Five Latino playwrights and readings of South Coast Repertory's season 2001-02 entries, Hold Please, Nostalgia and Horton Foote's Getting Frankie Married - and Afterwards are on the bill for the Southern California theatre company's fourth annual Pacific Playwrights Festival June 22-July 1.
California Scenarios is a site-specific piece commissioned by the Rep for five Latino playwrights, Luis Alfaro (Black Butterfly, Jaguar Girl, Pinata Woman and Other Super Hero Girls Like Me), Joann Farias (Claudia Meets Fulano Colorado), Anne Garcia-Romero (Santa Conceptcion), Jose Cruz Gonzalez and Octavio Solis (Dreamlandia, Santos & Santos, La Posada Magica). Held in the public gardens designed by Isamu Noguchi to reflect the landscapes of California, California Scenarios will look at Latino life on West Coast. The five short plays, directed by Juliette Carrillo (the world premiere of References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot), run June 22-24, 29-30 and July 1 at Noguchi Gardens.
Two separate Latino playwright readings, Sweaty Palms by Alejandro Morales and Our Tight Embrace by Jorge Ignacio Cortinas, will be held June 23 and 24, respectively. Palms finds a family in Granada, Spain at odds when the farm's patriarch dies under the mysterious curse of a young gypsy, while Embrace pits an elderly woman prisoner against her guards in a Columbian safe house. Lisa Portes (Kudzu: A Southern Musical) directs Palms; Ruben Polendo (Sleepwalkers) directs Embrace.
Pulitzer Prize winner Foote's latest, Getting Frankie Married - and Afterwards, is the story of ancient Mrs. Willis, the grand matriarch at the center of her clan, and her ambition to live until her bachelor son Fred is married. He's willing if his longtime sweetheart Frankie will consent, but there's a secret in his past that may derail their plans. Getting Frankie Married and Afterwards will be read June 30 on the Mainstage prior to its run March 29-May 5, 2002 at the Rep.
Hold Please features four women in the workplace trying to understand their place or where they going (i.e.: retirement) while they face the prospect of a new boss. What will he - for it will be he, won't it - demand? Be Aggressive's Weisman's new play will be read June 29 before it opens the Rep's Second Stage season Sept. 18-Oct. 21, 2001. Nostalgia, set to run Oct. 30-Dec. 2, 2001 at the Rep, will be read June 28-30 and July 1 on the Second Stage. Directed by Loretta Greco (Two Sisters and a Piano), Lucinda Coxon's play takes place on a farm in South Wales where magical things are happening. Two farmers hear a siren's song, which may or may not have something to do with the woman across the way who is loved by one man and hated by the other. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, arrives on the scene to figure out the foreboding in the woods, but even the greatest literary detective may not be able to understand the emotional and physical entanglements.
Also in developmental readings are:
Kevin Heelan's examination of a South African boy's corruption in America Eye to Eye, directed by Seret Scott June 29 on the Mainstage
Sheila Callaghan's grad school comedy Scab, June 30 on the Second Stage
Hilary Bell's strange tale of life in 19th Century Sydney The Falls, directed by Liz Diamond July 1 on the Mainstage
Begun in 1998, the Pacific Playwrights Festival has read four recent additions to the South Coast Repertory season - The Beard of Avon, Kimberly Akimbo, Tom Walker and the Lincoln Center-bound Everett Beekin, which will star Bebe Neuwirth in New York.
Tickets are $8-$18. South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. For reservations, call (714) 708-5555. South Coast Repertory is on the web at http://www.scr.org.
— By Christine Ehren