Taper, Too, the Mark Taper Forum's new-play festival, ends its stint at the Actors' Gang in Hollywood July 17. After a hiatus of five years, the series returned to the theatrical arena with a five-play slate June 8. Formerly based at the John Anson Ford Theatre in Los Angeles, Taper, Too will present works of Asian Theatre Workshop, Latino Theatre Initiative, The Other Voices Project and P.L.A.Y. (Performing for Los Angeles Youth). All these groups operate as part of the Taper's new play and audience development programs.
Taper, Too has always provided us an important step in the development of new theatre and talent," said Taper artistic director Gordon Davidson. "Beyond the workshops and readings of the New Work Festival and before the final polishing of a mainstage production, Taper, Too offers audiences the opportunity to experience fully staged productions of our most promising new work and affords the play a more intimate setting to change and grow, before moving on to the Taper or other larger venues." Introduced in 1983, the festival helped develop In the Belly of the Beast, Stand-up Tragedy and Angels in America, Part One before shutting down in May 1995.
The season commenced June 8-25 with a double bill: Black Butterfly, Jaguar Girl, Pinata Woman and Other Superhero Girls Like Me by Luis Alfaro and Lisa Peterson; and Drive My Coche by Roy Conboy. Black Butterfly is based on the writings of East Los Angeles poets Alma Cervantes, Sandra C. Munoz and Marisela Norte. Coche is a rock and roll memory play with music which explores L.A.'s car-cruising culture.
Other productions include The Square (July 1-16), by Chay Yew and Lisa Peterson; Weights (July 8-17) by Lynn Manning; and Night of Griots (June 23), organized by Jerry Quickley.
Actors' Gang is located at 5201 Santa Monica Blvd. For tickets and information call the Taper box office at (213) 628-2772 or visit www.TaperAhmanson.com. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent