1995 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize winner, Emma's Child, hadn't yet arrived Los Angeles, but Nov. 2-Dec. 16 she will make her debut in the City of Angels care of No Title Productions. Emma's Child, a drama about a couple's attempt to adopt a child, plays at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble for the duration of November in honor of National Adaptation Month. Meryl Friedman (Zoetrope: All Live: On Stage, Pudd'nhead Wilson) directs.
The second part of Kristine Thatcher's trilogy of plays dealing with infertility, Emma's Child continues the struggles of Jean and Henry to make a family. Having given up on the modern methods to have their own baby in the first play, Under Glass, the couple have turned to adoption. When their welfare mother Emma Miller delivers a girl severely handicapped by hydrocephalus, they must decide if they will go through with the process or abandon baby Robin as her mother has already done.
Thatcher is a member of the Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble (the company won the 2001 Tony Award for a Regional Theatre). Other works include 2000 Jeff nominee Voice of Good Hope and Niedecker.
Rod McLachlan (Broadway's The Real Inspector Hound, Death and the King's Horseman) and Peggy Gross star as Henry and Jean. Joining them are Kristen Brennan (Emma/Michelle), John Eric Montana (Sam), Eri J. O'Brien (Tess/Dr. Arbaugh), Allison Sie (Mary Jo), Kim Leigh Smith (Franny, Vivian) and Steve Totland (Laurence).
Tickets are $19.59-$22.50. The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble is located at 2055 South Sepulveda Boulevard in West Los Angeles. For reservations, call (323) 477-2055. — By Christine Ehren