Block Party at Douglas

Kristi AvilaA&ELeave a Comment

Cast from ‘Failure: A Love Story’

Center Theatre Group has selected three local productions for the inaugural Block Park: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre at Culver City’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, April 14-May 21.

Block Party will remount Coeurage Theatre Company’s production of “Failure: A Love Story” by Philip Dawkins, Echo Theater Company’s production of “Dry Land” by Ruby Rae Spiegel and Fountain Theatre’s production of “Citizen: An American Lyric” by Claudia Rankine and adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs.

Each production will have a two-week run during the April-May Block Party.

The selected shows will receive the full support of Center Theatre Group and its staff to fund, stage and market each production. Full casting for “Failure: A Love Story,” “Dry Land” and “Citizen: An American Lyric” will be announced later.

“Failure: A Love Story” from Coeurage Theatre Company will take the first slot (April 14-23). Written by Philip Dawkins and directed by Michael Matthews, the show chronicles the lives, loves and deaths of the three Fail sisters and the one man who fell in love with each of them. Set against the backdrop of 1920s Chicago, this whimsical tale explores the impermanence of life and the permanence of love.

Fountain Theatre’s “Citizen: An American Lyric,” a meditation on race that fuses poetry, prose, movement, music and the video image will rub April 28-May 7. Adapted by playwright and Fountain Theatre Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs and directed by Shirley Jo Finney, it is a provocative stage adaptation of Claudia Rankine’s acclaimed book of poetry about everyday acts of racism in America. Of Rankine’s “Citizen,” The New Yorker wrote that it was “brilliant… [and] explores the kinds of injustice that thrive when the illusion of justice is perfected.” The New York Times wrote that “Rankine brilliantly pushes poetry’s forms to disarm readers and circumvent our carefully constructed defense mechanisms against the hint of

“It’s particularly meaningful to us that ‘Citizen’ was chosen,” said Sachs, because racism and white dominance in America are as timely now as ever.”

Written by Ruby Rae Spiegel and directed by Alana Dietze, Echo Theater Company’s “Dry Land” will take the final slot of Block Party and will begin previews May 12, open on May 14 and close on May 21. It is a haunting play about female friendship and an abortion that takes place in the locker room of a central Florida high school. Written when Spiegel was just 21 years old and still an undergraduate at Yale, the play is a deeply truthful portrait of the fears, hopes and bonds of teenage girls — as gut-wrenching as it is funny. In his New York Times “critic’s pick” review, Ben Brantley called “Dry Land” “tender, caustic, funny and harrowing, often all at the same time.”

“As we celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50 years of creating theatre in Los Angeles, we want to turn the spotlight on some of the remarkable work being done on other stages,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie in discussing Block Party. “Coeurage Theatre, Echo Theater and Fountain Theatre, as well as others throughout L.A., regularly produce excellent, boundary-pushing work and we’re so glad they are sharing some of that work with us.”

Ms. Avila may be contacted at kavila@ctgla.org

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