DOS DE MEXICO and More Set for 24th STreet Theatre's 2013-14 Season
Theater that's international and local. Produced and presented. For young and for old. In Spanish and in English. 24th STreet Theatre announces a 2013-14 season that continues the multiple award-winning company's commitment to risk-taking fare that connects with kids as well as adults, and which actively engages the local community and beyond.
Located on 24th STreet and Hoover in the West Adams district of Los Angeles, 24th STreet stands out as a highly acclaimed professional theater that also works closely with the community to provide an inclusive environment, making theater accessible and affordable to all. Part of that mission includes producing sophisticated, provocative theater that families can enjoy together.
"Our version of TYA (Theater for Young Audiences) is very different from the concept most Americans hold of family theater," explains executive director Jay McAdams. "We don't shy away from difficult, sensitive or unpleasant topics. The average theatergoer will probably not identify what we do as kids' theater."
The season opens in October with "Dos de Mexico" when 24th STreet brings the simple yet profoundly beautiful work of two Mexican companies to L.A. On Oct. 5 and Oct. 6, Compañía Proyecto Perla presents Pato, Muerte y Tulipán ("Duck, Death and Tulip") in which Duck and Death invite young and old alike to join them in a world made of paper, words and leaves on a road full of questions about what it means to be alive. On Oct. 12 and Oct. 13, Compañía Hecho a Mano presents Lágrimas de Agua Dulce ("Tears of Sweet Water"), about Sofia, a little girl living in a small town plagued by drought who is forced to cry endlessly to provide water for her people.
For the holidays, 24th STreet offers Teatro del Pueblo, an original and unique ensemble production created by adult members of the surrounding community in workshops with 24th STreet's professional theater artists. Inspired by O'Henry's classic short story The Gift of the Magi, ensemble members weave together a moving tale about sacrifice and the true meaning of love. Supported by TheJames Irvine Foundation Exploring Engagement Fund, performances take place Dec. 7 through 15.
In 2014, LAb24 - 24th STreet's in-house experimental theater project that debuted last season with the critically acclaimed, extended run ofWalking the Tightrope - will present the world premiere of, Hansel & Gretel Bluegrass by Bryan Davidson, with 24th STreet artistic director Debbie Devine directing. This new version of the classic fairy tale is set in depression-era Kentucky and features the rollicking bluegrass sounds of The Get Down Boys. Performances take place March 22 through June 14.
The theater's annual "Explorer Series" celebrates diversity in music for all ages. On Saturday, May 10, The Get Down Boys will perform their special blend of high-energy bluegrass and Americana. On Saturday, May 17, Los Pinguos (called the "Latin Beatles" by the Los Angeles Times) will electrify audiences with their unique brand of Argentine-accented Latin rhythm.
McAdams laughs, "We're presenting shows in another language about a topic [death] parents don't want their children to know about, and a dark fairy tale re-set during the American depression. When we say we're doing really sophisticated theater for young audiences, we mean it! But, as with last year's Walking the Tightrope, kids are gonna love it, and so will audiences of all ages."
"I saw Walking The Tightrope with my wife, my children AND my parents," says actor Jack Black, a longtime supporter of 24th STreet Theatre. "Three generations of my family experienced the show together, and we were all blown away."
24th STreet Theatre 2013-14 Season:
Oct. 5-6 (Saturday @ 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Sunday @ 2 p.m.):
Pato, Muerte y Tulipán ("Duck, Death and Tulip") - Enter a world made of paper, words, leaves, water, snow, moons and suns as Duck and Death invite young and old alike to join them on a road full of questions about what it means to be alive. Three dimensional figures emerge from the flat pages of a story book in this beautiful and moving performance from Mexico's Compañía Proyecto Perla, presented in Spanish and English by a mix of live actors and puppets. (Recommended for ages 5+)
Oct. 12-13 (Saturday @ 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Sunday @ 2 p.m.):
Lágrimas de Agua Dulce ("Tears of Sweet Water") - Sofia is a little girl crying tears of sweet water. This may go unnoticed in some places, but her small town in Mexico is afflicted by drought, so this event unleashes the greed of adults. Sofia is forced to cry endlessly in order to provide water for her people. Presented in Spanish with English supertitles by Mexico's Compañía Hecho a Mano. (Recommended for ages 5+)
Saturday, Nov. 2 (6 p.m. -10 p.m.):
Dia de los Muertos - Celebrate the joyous tradition of Mexico's Day of the Dead at 24th STreet with food, music, dance and a graveyard where you can make your own altar for your departed loved ones. A free 24th STreet community event. (Appropriate for all ages)
Dec. 7-15 (Saturdays and Sundays @ 3 p.m.):
Teatro del Pueblo - Created by adult members of 24th STreet's local community in workshops with professional theater artists, this holiday show about love and sacrifice is inspired by O'Henry's classic tale The Gift of the Magi. Presented in Spanish with English supertitles. Sponsored by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. (Appropriate for all ages)
March 22-June 14 (Saturdays @ 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.):
Hansel & Gretel Bluegrass - The world premiere of a new version of the classic story set in depression-era Kentucky and featuring the rollicking bluegrass sounds of The Get Down Boys. The latest production from LAb24 (Walking the Tightrope), 24th STreet Theatre's resident experimental theater company dedicated to presenting provocative plays that appeal to kids while maintaining the look and emotional depth of adult theater, is written by Bryan Davidson and directed by Debbie Devine. (Recommended for ages 8+)
May 10 (@ 2 p.m.):
Saturday Explorer Series presents The Get Down Boys -The Get Down Boys (Matt Bruer-banjo, Etienne Cremieux-fiddle, Andy Keathley-guitar and Evan Winsor-bass) are a Los Angeles based string band performing high energy traditional and original bluegrass music, along with modern favorites infused with the sounds of Americana. Known for their carefully crafted songs, floor-shaking rhythms, and unmistakable harmonies, The GDBs bring an irresistible and infectious passion to their spin on American roots music. (Appropriate for all ages)
May 17 (@ 2 p.m.):
Saturday Explorer Series presents Los Pinguos - Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Los Pinguos combines Latin rhythms, performed with Spanish guitars, bass and harmonizing vocals. (Appropriate for all ages)
Tickets to 24th STreet Theater Productions are always affordable, including 24 cent admission for residents of the theater's surrounding University Park community. For everyone else, tickets to Pato, Muerte y Tulipán; Lágrimas de Agua Dulce; and Hansel & Gretel Bluegrassare $10-$24; the Explorer Series is $5; Teatro del Pueblo is 24 cents for all; and Dia de los Muertos is free.
For more information about 24th STreet Theatre's 2013-14 season, call (213) 745-6516 or visit online at www.24thstreet.org.