CENTER THEATRE GROUP SELECTS THREE LOCAL PRODUCTIONS FOR THE
SECOND ANNUAL BLOCK PARTY AT THE KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE
Center Theatre Group Will Remount Productions from Celebration Theatre,
Critical Mass Performance Group and Playwrights’ Arena March 29–May 20
Center Theatre Group has selected three local productions for the second annual Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Block Party 2018 will remount Celebration Theatre’s production of “Die, Mommie, Die!,” Critical Mass Performance Group’s production of “Ameryka” and Playwrights’ Arena’s production of “Bloodletting.” Each production will have a two-week run with 12 performances presented March 29 through May 20, 2018. The three visiting companies will receive the full support of Center Theatre Group and its staff in order to fund, stage and market each production.
“Just in its second year, Block Party is already a favorite tradition for the organization,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. “We cherish the opportunity to work alongside others in the Los Angeles theatre community and look forward to continuing to learn, share and experience with our colleagues by presenting these three vastly different productions of exceptional caliber.”
Full casting for the three productions will be announced at a later date.
March 29 – April 8
“Bloodletting” from Playwrights’ Arena will take the first slot and will begin previews March 29, open March 31 and close April 8. Written by Boni B. Alvarez and directed by Playwrights’ Arena Artistic Director Jon Lawrence Rivera, the play takes place on an island called Palawan. Farrah and Bosley, two Filipino American siblings who recently lost their father, arrive on the island to scatter his ashes when a typhoon hits and they are forced to seek shelter at a tiny café. The peculiar café owner and his granddaughter share tales of aswangs (witches) with the siblings—that is until Farrah discovers she has a few peculiarities of her own.
“Part of an ongoing relationship with playwright Boni B. Alvarez, ‘Bloodletting’ is set on a remote Philippine island and depicts native folklore through the eyes of Filipino Americans,” Rivera said. “Block Party will shine light on the diversity of our programming at Playwrights’ Arena and further showcase our work.”
Critical Mass Performance Group
April 19 – 29
Charting a course through 250 years of astonishing connections between the United States and Poland, Critical Mass Performance Group’s “Ameryka” is an epic exploration of the universal longing for freedom and justice. Written and directed by Critical Mass Performance Group Artistic Director Nancy Keystone in collaboration with the company, “Ameryka” will begin previews on April 19, open April 21 and close April 29.
From the American Revolution to the global war on terror, from the struggle for civil rights to the fight against communism, “Ameryka” shines a light on the promises and pitfalls of democracy. An ensemble-created piece developed over six years, it showcases Critical Mass Performance Group’s kaleidoscopic style of found texts, movement, original music and exuberant spectacle.
“We are absolutely over the moon to be chosen to participate in Block Party,” said Keystone. “‘Ameryka’ is a kind of hybrid creation—the different episodes collide in a fast-paced, non-linear structure, and it encompasses a variety of styles: vaudeville, psychological realism, heightened physicality, song, religious ritual, satire. It’s pretty epic!”
“Die, Mommie, Die!”
May 10 – 20
Celebration Theatre’s production of “Die, Mommie, Die!” will take the final slot of Block Party and will begin previews May 10, open on May 12 and close on May 20.
Written by Charles Busch and directed by Ryan Bergmann, the show is a campy noir classic that follows the devious actions of aging Hollywood star Angela Arden (played by Drew Droege in drag) who is trapped in an unhappy marriage and plots to kill her husband in order to be with her young lover. When Angela’s children learn of her plot and seek revenge, madness ensues in this over-the-top comedy.
On being selected, Celebration Theatre Co-Artistic Director Michael A. Shepperd said, “It’s a big honor for us. We’re a 53-seat theatre company in L.A. and we’ve seen our stock and value grow immensely over the last few years, so this is a testament to the hard work and the good work that we’ve been doing.”