Jena Malone ("Bastard Out of Carolina," "Contact") and Ruby Dee play a lonely 12-year-old girl and the black cook who helps her understand her place in life in The Member of the Wedding, performing Nov. 15-19 in the Los Angeles Theatre Works' "The Play's the Thing" radio series.
Dee, an actress and civil rights activist for some 60 years, has won numerous awards including an Obie for Athol Fugard's Boesmand and Lena, a Drama Desk Award for Wedding Band and an Ace Award as Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey Into the Night. In 1988 she was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame, in 1989 into the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame and in 1995, she and her husband Ossie Davis were given the National Medal of Arts Award by President and Mrs. Clinton. An Emmy winner for "Declaration Day," Dee starred on TV's "Having Our Say," "Finding Buck McHenry," "The Stand" and "A Storm in Summer."
Malone first came to attention as the abused 11 year old in "Bastard Out of Carolina," for which she received Screen Actors Guild, Ace and Golden Globe nominations. Her other credits include "Ellen Foster" with Julie Harris, original star of Member of the Wedding, "Hope," "Hidden in America" and "Stepmom."
Also in the cast are Laurel Moglen and Lawrence Pressman.
Carson McCullers adapted her coming-of-age novel, "The Member of the Wedding," into a play in 1948. The 1950 Broadway production, which made an overnight star out of Harris, became a popular hit. McCullers also wrote "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and "Reflections in a Golden Eye." Tickets are $36-$32. The Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard. For tickets, call (310) 827-0889. L.A. TheatreWorks is on the web at http://www.latw.org.
All "The Play's the Thing" theatre productions are recorded for future broadcast on Santa Monica College's KCRW 89.9 FM. Productions have won several awards including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Gold and Silver Awards, three Sony Awards, the Writer's Guild of America's Best Comedy Award and the 1999 Audie Award for Best Dramatic Production from the Audio Publishers Association.
— By Christine Ehren