Teen Has Magic Connection to a Maid Named Lydia in Denver World Premiere

News   Teen Has Magic Connection to a Maid Named Lydia in Denver World Premiere Octavio Solis' Lydia, the tale of a Mexican-American teen who is injured and disabled just as she comes of age, gets its world premiere Jan. 18-March 1 by Denver Center Theatre Company.
Stephanie Beatriz as Lydia
Stephanie Beatriz as Lydia Photo by Terry Shapiro

Juliette Carrillo directs the production, opening Jan. 24 at The Ricketson Theatre, one of DCTC's homes within the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The title character is an undocumented immigrant worker who connects to a brain-damaged teen.

Award-winning Latino playwright Solis presented his commissioned script for Lydia to DCTC new plays director Bruce K. Sevy at the 2007 Colorado New Plays Summit. This new, full premiere production is one of three DCTC world premieres happening this winter, culminating in the 2008 Summit in February.

According to production notes, "In El Paso, just prior to her quinceañera, or 15th birthday, the daughter of the Mexican-American Flores family is tragically injured and disabled in a traffic accident. Her seemingly miraculous connection with Lydia, an undocumented immigrant who arrives from Mexico to work as a maid, takes the brain-damaged girl and her family on a dark, shocking and mysterious journey of discovery and anger."

The creative team, conjuring El Paso in the 1970s, includes composer Chris Webb, scenic designer Antje Ellermann, costume designer Christal Weatherly, lighting designer Charles R. MacLeod and sound designer Kimberly Fuhr.

The cast includes Onahoua Rodriguez as Ceci, Carlo Albán as Misha, René Millán as Rene, Catalina Maynard as Rosa, Ricardo Gutierrez as Claudio, Christian Barillas as Alvaro and Stephanie Beatriz as Lydia. For more information, visit www.denvercenter.org.

At Denver Center Theatre Company, Kent Thompson is artistic director and Bruce K. Sevy is director of new play development.

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This winter, the west-of-the-Mississippi destination for fans of new American plays is Denver, where the Tony Award-honored Denver Center Theatre Company will premiere three new works, starting with the Jan. 17 opening of Theresa Rebeck's Our House.

The presentation of full productions of Our House (which began previews Jan. 11), Lydia by Octavio Solis (starting Jan. 18) and Plainsong by Eric Schmiedl (starting Jan. 25) leads to the Colorado New Play Summit Feb. 14-16 — a weekend of four new-play readings, a panel discussion, industry fellowship and a chance to attend the three new productions.

A "satiric skewering of reality television," Our House, conceived by Theresa Rebeck and Daniel Fish, is written by Rebeck, who recently made her Broadway debut with Mauritius.

Fish directs the production, which plays to Feb. 16 in DCTC's The Space Theatre.

The cast includes Danny Mastrogiorgio as Wes, Molly Ward as Jennifer, Rob Campbell as Merv, Kate Nowlin as Alice, Suzy Jane Hunt as Grigsby, Haynes Thigpen as Vincent, Jonathan Fried as Stu and Jennifer Le Blanc as the Assistant.

According to DCTC notes, "Rising Broadway playwright Theresa Rebeck takes on network television's controversial blurring of news and entertainment in reality programming. The playwright's trademark biting wit and comic social satire are unleashed as she skewers the trend toward the presentation of television news as entertainment and ambitious news anchors becoming celebrity media stars. This world premiere of a DCTC commission was first read at last season's Colorado New Play Summit."

The creative team includes scenic designer Andrew Lieberman, costume designer Kaye Voyce, lighting designer Scott Zielinski and sound designer Richard M. Scholwin.

Plainsong by Eric Schmiedl is based on the novel by Kent Haruf, and is directed by Kent Thompson, Jan. 25-Feb. 23 (opening Jan. 31) at The Stage Theatre. According to DCTC, "One of the most anticipated world premieres in the Denver Center's 29 seasons, Colorado native Kent Haruf's award-winning New York Times best-selling novel 'Plainsong' — set on the vast plains of Colorado — comes to the stage in an eloquent adaptation by Eric Schmiedl, commissioned by the Denver Center Theatre Company. …The townspeople in a small ranching community narrate Plainsong's warm, funny, sometimes harsh, often unsentimental and yet lyrical story. A teacher is left alone to raise his young sons and two crotchety bachelor brothers offer their ranch as a home to a 17-year-old pregnant girl. Their lives, heartbreak and triumphs, told with Haruf's down-to-earth honesty, will capture the hearts of audiences just as they did his novel's faithful readers."

The design team includes scenic designer Vicki Smith, lighting designer Don Darnutzer, costume designer Susan E. Mickey, sound designer Craig Breitenbach and composer Gary Grundei.

The large cast of Plainsong is led by John Hutton as Tom Guthrie, Mike Hartman as Raymond McPheron, Philip Pleasants as Harold McPheron, Tiffany Ellen Solano as Victoria Roubideaux and Kathleen McCall as Maggie Jones with Gabe Antonelli, Ian Frazier, Keean Johnson, Jeremy Singer, Stephanie Cozart, Michael J. Fulvio, Sam Gregory, David Ivers, Lauren Klein, Kendra Kohrt, Randy Moore, Leslie O'Carroll, Erik Sandvold, Danielle Slavick, Josh Clayton and Jeremiah Miller.

Onahoua Rodriguez, Ren
Onahoua Rodriguez, Ren Photo by Terry Shapiro