The two works will play as part of one evening for five performances through Jan. 21 at the Skirball Cultural Center for the company's "The Play's The Thing" radio theatre series. Shows are performed live and recorded for future broadcast.
With The Watts Towers Project, Smith, the creator of A Huey P. Newton Story, now explores the titular steel and mortar monument in South Central Los Angeles, which was built over a period of 33 years by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia, and have held ground through earthquakes, riots and civic indifference.
InTaking Flight, Sevan tells the story of a woman wounded by an errant fragment of a plane engine on September 11, 2001, who is aided bedside by her best friend; but the constant care and painful rehabilitation tests the relationship.
The Watts Tower Project and Taking Flight both premiered in 2006 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre as part of the Center Theatre Group's Solomania! series. "When I saw the pieces at the Douglas last year, I was enormously impressed and excited by the power of the work," stated LATW producing artistic director Susan Loewenberg in a release. "Part of our mission at L.A. Theatre Works is to preserve important works of theatre, and these deeply personal accounts by two important local artists cried out to be recorded."
Smith's Obie Award-winning solo play, A Huey P. Newton Story, was recorded by L.A.T.W. in 2000. Sevan can be heard in the L.A.T.W recordings of Our Lady of 121st Street and Anna in the Tropics. The 2006-07 "Voices from the Edge" season lineup will next offer Keith Bunin's The Busy World is Hushed, starring the Off-Broadway cast of Jill Clayburgh, Hamish Linklater and Luke McFarlane (Feb. 7-11); Rinne Groff's The Ruby Sunrise, starring Lili Taylor, Adam Arkin and Harriet Sansom Harris (March 14-18); Arthur Miller's The Man Who Had All The Luck with Kurtwood Smith (April 11 15); Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (May 16-20); Melinda Lopez's Sonia Flew with Hector Elizondo and Phillip Casnoff (June 13-17); and one last presentation, scheduled for a July 11-15 run, yet to be announced.
LATW's nationally syndicated radio show "The Play's The Thing" series can be heard in cities across the country including Boston, Seattle, Albuquerque as well as on XM Satellite radio. The two-hour radio broadcasts include special backstage features and interviews with actors, playwrights and directors. The L.A. Theatre Works Audio Theatre Collection is available in book stores, libraries, through their catalog or digitally on audible.com, the L.A. Theatre Works website and iTunes.
For tickets to any of "The Play's The Thing" series productions at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, call the L.A. Theatre Works box office at (310) 827-0889. For more information, visit www.latw.org.