L.A. Theatre Works has announced its 2018-19 season of seven plays, each to be recorded in front of a live audience for future radio broadcast and online distribution. All performances take place at the James Bridges Theater, located on the campus of UCLA in West Los Angeles.
In addition, the company will introduce audiences to its signature style of radio theater at venues across the country during its 15th national tour.
L.A. Theatre Works stands apart in its approach to making great theater widely accessible and affordable, bringing plays into the homes and classrooms of millions of theater lovers, teachers and students each year. This season, the company will record revivals of two classics: The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman and Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen; the world premiere of a new stage adaptation of E.M. Forster’s A Room With A View by the BBC’s Kate McAll; the Los Angeles premiere of the Tony Award-winning drama Oslo by J.T. Rogers; two plays about social justice told from a personal perspective: Sisters Matsumoto by Philip Kan Gotanda and The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson; and one all-out, silly, fun evening of camp: Charles Busch’s Die Mommie Die starring the playwright himself.
Each of the performances at UCLA’s state-of-the-art James Bridges Theater will be recorded live in front of an audience for future radio broadcast, distribution on CD, digital download and online streaming.
L.A. Theatre Works’ syndicated radio theater series broadcasts weekly on public radio stations across the U.S. (locally, in Southern California, on KPFK 90.7 FM) and can be heard daily in China and worldwide on the Radio Beijing Network.
Productions from the L.A. Theatre Works catalog can be downloaded as podcasts via iTunes and Wondery.com, or streamed on demand at www.latw.org. In addition, L.A. Theatre Works recordings are distributed, free of charge, along with study guides, to thousands of middle and secondary schools.
The L.A. Theatre Works catalog of over 500 recorded plays is the largest archive of its kind in the world.
From Oct. 12, 2018 through March 8, 2019, L. A. Theatre Works will tour 29 venues across the U.S. with its hybrid radio-theater production of Steel Magnoliasby Robert Harling. A company of six diverse women (Shannon Holt, Elisa Bocanegra, Monica McSwain, Inger Tudor, Cerris Morgan-Moyer and Patti Yasutake) will star in this laugh-out-loud funny and deeply touching story of female empowerment and resilience.
The schedule for the 2018-19 season at the James Bridges Theater is as follows:
Oct. 19 – 21, 2018:
The Little Foxes
Lillian Hellman’s classic tale of a wealthy southern family and the greed that tears them apart. Regina’s brothers have inherited their father’s wealth, while, after years of neglect, her dying husband is determined to see she gets nothing. Directed by Rosalind Ayres.
Nov. 16 – 18, 2018:
Set in 1945 in Stockton, CA — the same northern California town where playwright Philip Kan Gotanda grew up — Sisters Matsumoto is the story of three Japanese-American sisters who return to their family farm after years in an internment camp — but the once prosperous family finds that it’s not easy to pick up the pieces of their former lives. As the details of their deceased father’s final arrangement’s emerge, the sisters must work together to keep their dreams alive.
Jan. 25 – Jan. 27, 2019
The Good Negro
Civil rights leaders in Alabama take up the cause of a woman arrested for resisting segregation, but the moral shortcomings of their charismatic leader risk the future of the movement. This fictionalized account of the civil rights struggle by Tracey Scott Wilson tells the story of how the fight for racial equality was nearly stopped before it could begin.
March 1 – March 3, 2019
A Room With A View
World premiere by the BBC’s Kate McAll
An LATW-commissioned stage adaptation of the novel by E.M. Forster.
An encounter in Florence and an offer to exchange rooms brings George Emerson to the attention of Lucy Honeychurch. Their flirtation is cut short by Lucy’s chaperone, but when they meet again back home in England. There, Lucy must negotiate the demands of her station with the desires of her heart. McAll also directs.
April 12 – April 14, 2019
Los Angeles Premiere
A darkly funny, sweeping and surprising true story that was the winner of the 2017 Tony award for best play. Playwright J.T. Rogers presents a deeply personal tale set against a complex historical canvas of the back-channel talks, unlikely friendships and quiet heroics that led to the Oslo Peace Accords between the Israelis and Palestinians. Directed by Brian Kite.
May 17 – May 19, 2019
Die Mommie Die
Charles Busch recreates the role he originated – a camp send-up in which tongues aren’t the only thing dipped in acid! Angela Arden wants to be free of her suffocating marriage to film producer Sol Sussman. What better way than poison? Distraught by her father’s death and convinced of her mother’s guilt, Edith Sussman plots to get the truth out of Angela using any means necessary. Longtime Busch collaborator Carl Andress directs.
June 28 – June 30, 2019
Henrik Ibsen created one of literature’s most compelling characters in the beautiful and enigmatic Hedda Gabler, a woman who finds herself trapped and suffocated in her marriage to an academic. Hedda’s desperate dissatisfaction leads to questionable moral choices in this startling portrait of a woman hell-bent on destruction. Translated by Doug Hughes, directed by Debbie Devine.
All performances of L.A. Theatre Works’ radio theater series take place at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with matinees on Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m., and are recorded live-in-performance (without sets or costumes).
The James Bridges Theater is located in Melnitz Hall on the campus of UCLA, at 235 Charles E. Young Dr., Los Angeles CA 90095. Enter UCLA off Sunset Blvd. and Hilgard, and park in Lot 3 on the lower level.
Tickets range from $15–$65. Assisted listening devices are available. .