South Coast Repertory's second annual Pacific Playwrights Festival, which offers mountings of two workshop productions, a mainstage staging, plus seven staged readings, officially opens June 10. Both workshops and two of the readings are by Latino authors; no coincidence, since the Fest, running through June 20, also encompasses SCR's 14th annual Hispanic Playwrights Project.
The workshop stagings are Jose Rivera's References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot! and Rogelio Martinez's Illuminating Veronica, to be directed by Lisa Portes.
As for the mainstage mounting, 1998 Tony nominee Julyana Soelistyo and television comedy veteran Melanie Chartoff co-star opposite Alan Oppenheimer (Sunset Boulevard) Richard Doyle, John Fleck, Patricia Fleck, Joseph Fuqua and Kellie Waymire in the new romantic comedy, On The Jump. The play started previews May 21 and officially opened May 28, John Glore's play runs to June 27 on the Rep's mainstage.
Robbed and abandoned on her wedding night by her new spouse, a woman contemplates suicide on a nearby bridge. That's when things take a turn for the better. Glore based his comedy on a story by his wife, Amy Dunkleberger.
Actress Soelistyo received a Tony nomination for her work in Golden Child. She's also worked at several theatres in Seattle. Chartoff as numerous stage credits in New York and California (including Big River at La Jolla), but she's best known for appearances in films and television ("Fridays," "Weird Science"). Waymire, who plays the lead, Colleen, won a Drama-Logue Award for Sylvia at CA's Old Globe. Directed by SCR associate artist Mark Rucker, On The Jump features sets by Neil Patel, costumes by Walker Hicklin, lighting by Scott Zielinski and sound by Justus Matthews. Dennis McCarthy provides original music for the production.
Readings at the Pacific Playwrights Festival include:
Lupe, Now! by Jonathan Ceniceroz, directed by Luis Alfaro
Cuchifrito by Eduardo Andino, directed by Octavio Solis
Everett Beekin by Richard Greenberg, author of Three Days of Rain and the upcoming Off-Broadway play, Hurrah at Last.
The Mystery of Attraction by Marlane Meyer, directed by Jody McAuliffe
God of Vengeance by Donald Margulies, adapting Sholem Asch's drama
The Altruists by Nicky Silver (The Food Chain), directed by David Warren
The Beginning of August by Tom Donaghy, author of Minutes From The Blue Route, directed by Neil Pepe.
South Coast Rep director of public relations Chris Gross told Playbill On Line, among the better-known cast members taking part in the readings are Philip Casnoff (Chess), Veanne Cox (The Batting Cage), Joanna Gleason (Into The Woods), Michael Goorjian, Chris Eigeman, Arye Gross, Jane Kaczmarek, Maura Tierney and Bradley Whitford.
For tickets and information on On The Jump and the Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Rep call (714) 708-5555.
-- By David Lefkowitz