Downstream, James Ryder's new play, which tries to fuse the worlds of live theatre and hip-hop music, will have its world premiere at The Other Space at Santa Monica Playhouse on Oct. 28, running through Dec. 10.
Ryder, a poet as well as a playwright, has teamed up with singer-songwriter Inara George and rap artist-actor Jordan Mahome in this portrait of a successful entertainment lawyer who spins out of control, suffering a nervous breakdown at a most inopportune time. Parker Riley is then faced with trying to recover his hold on life in a surreal world of sex, drugs and megabuck record deals. Before long, he begins to see his alter ego in a fast-rising rap star from the streets of Brooklyn—Shadow X—who has become the new messiah of the inner city.
Downstream is directed by the co-founder of Open Door Theatreworks, Obi Ndefo, a recent graduate of the Yale School of Drama. His partner in ODTW, Daren Rice, heads the cast, which also includes Jordan Mahome.
ODTW is a Los Angeles-based company of actors, writers and directors. Its mission is to explore and utilize the city's rich cultural diversity by staging new and classic texts.
Santa Monica Playhouse is located at 1211 4th St. For tickets and information call (310) 394-9779 ext. 627. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent