MARABELLA, SHE KILLS MONSTERS and More Set for Artists at Play Readings, 4/6

MARABELLA, SHE KILLS MONSTERS and More Set for Artists at Play Readings, 4/6

As part of Artists at Play's mission to present stories of underrepresented communities, they will develop and showcase two new works to the L.A. theatre community. This upcoming event features readings of Marabella by local playwright Boni B. Alvarez, whose Dallas Non-Stop was recently Ovation Recommended; and Qui Nguyen's She Kills Monsters, named one of the Best 10 Plays of 2013 (TimeOut Chicago, Edge Boston).

"Artists at Play takes seriously our mission to present work that has not been seen locally," said founder Stefanie Wong Lau. "Boni and Qui are groundbreaking voices in American theatre, and we are excited to showcase their work to the Los Angeles theatre community."

"Not only are we able to support these uniquely talented Asian American playwrights," said founder Julia Cho, "but both of the plays also feature diverse casts and an eclectic array of female characters."

"We have all been long time fans of Boni Alvarez," said founder Peter J.Kuo. "He is one of Los Angeles' emerging playwrights and brings his own specific voice to the national landscape of Asian American playwrights. He is unafraid to tackle difficult subject matters while infusing a strong vision of theatricality into his writing. We are very excited to be showcasing Marabella to our audiences."

"She Kills Monsters simply jumps off the page," said founder Marie-Reine Velez. "Throughout this journey of a grieving sister, we find a lot of humor, epic battles, sardonic monsters and, ultimately, a celebration of life. Role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons thrive because they rely so much on the player's imagination--you get to create new worlds and fight monsters! And not only that, but cleverness and character are just as valued as strength, even in battle. And to see these elements in play form...it's refreshing to come across a play that tickles the geek sensibilities in such a delightful and heartfelt way."

The readings will be presented on Sunday, April 6, at the Woman's Club of South Pasadena. Marabella is at 2 p.m., and She Kills Monsters at 5 p.m. Each reading will be followed by a talkback. Pre-sale tickets are $15 and includes dinner, hosted bar and dessert. Readings are complimentary. Tickets purchased at the door will be $20. Free parking is available on the street.

Marabella by Boni B. Alvarez
Directed by Peter J. Kuo
Dramaturgy by Tiffany Moon
Marabella has been struggling to care for her newborn in her Pacoima apartment. When the baby's father, Jason Ellis, suddenly loses his wife, Marabella sees an opportunity to return back to the affair she was forced to leave behind. She expects a warm welcome. Instead she encounters a home filled with rage and resentment. Before she can return to Jason's arms, she must deal with their attractive young tutor and Jason's two sons whom she once nannied. Playwright Boni Alvarez offers a contemporary adaptation of Medea that leads a multi-ethnic cast in a thrilling and highly provocative journey.

She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen
Directed by Andy Lowe
A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games, She Kills Monsters tells the story of teenage Agnes Evans, who is dealing with the death of her younger sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly's Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly's refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90s pop culture, acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.

Artist Bios

Boni B. Alvarez (Playwright, Marabella) is a Los Angeles-based playwright. His plays include Dallas Non-Stop; Dusty de Los Santos; The Special Education of Miss Lorna Camboga; Poke Back; and Ruby, Tragically Rotund. His plays have been produced/developed by Playwrights' Arena, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Chalk Rep, Skylight Theatre, The Vagrancy, and Second Generation (2g). He won a 20/20 Development Award from InterAct Theatre and has been a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, Aurora Theatre's Global Age Project, and Clubbed Thumb's Biennial Commission. He attended Sarah Lawrence College (BA), ART/MXAT Institute at Harvard University (MFA), and USC (MFA).

Peter J. Kuo (Director, Marabella) is a co-founder of Artists at Play, and an L.A. based theatre artist and administrator. He has been an assistant director at several regional theatres including South Coast Repertory, Geffen Playhouse and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. At Artists at Play he directed the Los Angeles premieres of Ching Chong Chinaman and Cowboy Versus Samurai. Additional directing credits include: re:Mix'T, Ordinary Days, Songs for a New World, Election Day, Bat Boy: The Musical, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, A Girls Guide to Chaos, La Llorona Llora and Letters to a Student Revolutionary. As an arts administrator he's worked at South Coast Repertory, East West Players and LA Stage Alliance, among others. He an associate member of the SDC.

Tiffany Moon (Dramaturg, Marabella) is a dramaturg and theatre manager devoted to the development and production of new works. She is a member of the reading committee and the general manager of the Ojai Playwrights Conference, and is currently associate-producing Alice Tuan's Hit with Los Angeles Theatre Center. In addition, she leads post-show conversations and guides audience members through lobby engagement activities at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Tiffany will graduate with her MFA/MBA in Theatre Management from CSULB in May, where she serves as the general manager of California Repertory Company.

Qui Nguyen (Playwright, She Kills Monsters) is a Brooklyn-based writer, fight choreographer, and co-artistic director of the OBIE award-winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company. His scripts include Krunk Fu Battle Battle (East West Players); Bike Wreck (produced at Youngblood and Metropolitan Playhouse); Trial By Water (produced at Ma-Yi Theater/Queens Theatre in the Park); Aliens Vs. Cheerleaders (Keen Teens); and the critically acclaimed Vampire Cowboys productions of The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G, Alice in Slasherland, Fight Girl Battle World, Men of Steel, Living Dead in Denmark, Stained Glass Ugly, A Beginner's Guide to Deicide, Vampire Cowboy Trilogy, and Soul Samurai. Additionally, he is a resident playwright of New Dramatists, a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, co-director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, an alumnus of Youngblood, and an advanced actor/combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. He has an MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University.

Andy Lowe (Director, She Kills Monsters) Finalist of the California Young Playwrights and Founding Artistic Director of the Asian American Repertory Theatre, Andy has been a producer of events and writer, director and/or producer of over 50 theatrical productions throughout San Diego. Receiving two mayoral commendations, he was recognized as one of 2001's "Top 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under the Age of 30" by Political Circus Magazine. From 2007-12, Andy served as "Theatre-in-Residence Program Coordinator" for the La Jolla Playhouse, while developing projects as producer/director of ChinesePirateProductions.com including a nationally recognized stage adaptation of Joss Whedon's Dr.Horrible's Sing Along Blog (2011). Andy is an advisor for Gam3rCon San Diego and current Production Manager for East West Players.

About Artists at Play: Artists at Play, founded in 2011 by Peter J. Kuo, Julia Cho, Stefanie Wong Lau and Marie-Reine Velez, is a collective of Asian American creative professionals who came together to curate quality theatre in Los Angeles. Along with Associate Producer Nicholas Pilapil, they present theatrical productions missing from the local landscape to tell the stories of communities underrepresented in theatre. Artists at Play debuted with a production of Lauren Yee's Ching Chong Chinaman (Los Angeles premiere) and followed up with A. Rey Pamatmat's Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (Los Angeles premiere), which received critical acclaim including an Ovation Recommendation and GLAAD Media Award nomination. Last year, they presented another Los Angeles premiere, a production of Michael Golamco's Cowboy Versus Samurai.

Artists at Play Readings

Sunday, April 6, 2014
2 p.m.: Marabella by Boni B. Alvarez
4 p.m.: Dinner reception and hosted bar
5 p.m.: She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen
7 p.m.: Dessert reception

All performances take place at the Women's Club of South Pasadena, 1424 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, CA 91030. For dinner, hosted bar and dessert reception: $15 pre-sale; $20 at the door. To purchase: http://bit.ly/AAPReadings14. For more information, visit ArtistsatPlayLA.blogspot.com or email ArtistsatPlayLA@gmail.com.

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