Cornerstone Theater Co. to Present LOVE ON SAN PEDRO World Premiere, 11/7-11/24
Cornerstone Theater Company is thrilled to present the world premiere of the fourth play in its Hunger Cycle, Love on San Pedro, an unlikely love story set in the intricate and vibrant community of Skid Row, downtown Los Angeles. Love on San Pedro was written by James Mcmanus through a partnership with Full Stage USA at New Dramatists, a program made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The play is directed by Cornerstone ensemble member Shishir Kurup. It will be presented at Los Angeles Mission, opening November 7 and running Wednesdays through Sundays until November 24.
Love On San Pedro is set in the one square mile community of Skid Row, know for its homeless population, where artists rub shoulders with lawyers, pastors, social workers and b-ball players. McManus' searing language takes us from the benches of San Julian Park to the walls of an intimate SRO apartment and a raucous karaoke hall. Among the true-to-life characters is Marjorie, world-weary and cynical in the face of love. But when she's wooed by Skyhook, a man whose hope and hoop-shots know no bounds, her world - and our expectations - open up in surprising ways.
"It's clear that collaborating with our neighbors from Skid Row, where hunger is felt viscerally, is crucial to The Hunger Cycle. I'm thrilled to invite Angelenos to experience this act of storytelling and creation," said Michael John Garcés, Cornerstone Theater Company Artistic Director, "Contrary to its public image, Skid Row is a vibrant, dynamic and politically active community, home to a deeply creative pool of poets, musicians, graphic artists and many others. The opportunity to contribute to this rich cultural landscape is an honor we're thrilled to share with audiences."
Although the area of Skid Row doesn't have any true boundary lines, it is mostly identified as a fifty-block sector bounded by Main St (west), Third St. (north), Alameda St. (east) and Seventh St. (south). According to the most recent census data, the population of Skid Row ranges from 8,000 to 11,000 people, about 2,500 of whom are homeless. There are over 100 social services within the neighborhood, with services ranging from housing, food, medical and job training.
Cornerstone spent over a year developing the play, through story circles and community readings with partner organizations including Downtown Women's Center, Lamp Community, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Los Angeles Mission, and Skid Row Housing Trust. Of the 26 actors in the play, three are Cornerstone ensemble members - MC Earl, Peter Howard, and Bahni Turpin - and 23 are members of the Skid Row community, the majority of whom are embarking on their first theatrical experience.
"The idea behind Full Stage USA is to explore the range of partnerships available for American Playwrights, as well as ways a laboratory like New Dramatists can help enrich the process," said Todd London, New Dramatists Artistic Director. "We felt Cornerstone would be a perfect partner, as Cornerstone conceived a project that would allow a writer with a strong voice and a devotion to the stories of people not often heard on our stages to learn this new way of
working. James Mcmanus is not only that writer, but the process of getting to know the people of L.A.'s Skid Row has changed his life and his work forever."
Other contributing artists to Love on San Pedro include Shannon Scrofrano (Scenic Design), Meghan E. Healey (Costume Design), Geoff Korff (Lighting Design), and John Nobori (Sound Design).
Love on San Pedro begins previews October 31, opens November 7 and runs through November 24, 2013. Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Los Angeles Mission is located at 303 E 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. Parking will be at Downtown Women's Center (442 South San Pedro St.) with a shuttle and walking guides to escort patrons to the venue.
Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can and available online at www.CornerstoneTheater.org. Select dates will include public events such as panels and community dialogues.