La MaMa Hosts LUZ Talkback, 10/13

La MaMa Hosts LUZ Talkback, 10/13

The 2:30 matinee performance of LUZ -- Catherine Filloux's new play about gender-based violence and human rights violations in different parts of the world -- will be followed by a discussion with members of the human rights community, including Kate Doyle of The National Security Archive and winner of the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism, along with Dr. Marcia Esparza, who has conducted research in areas including state violence, genocide and memory-silence in the aftermath of mass killings.

The discussion will be moderated by Regina Edmonds, Professor Emerita of Psychology and former director of Women's Studies Program, Assumption College. Also participating will be student activists from the LUZ Community Outreach Project.

LUZ -- a new play by Catherine Filloux (DOG AND WOLF, LEMKIN'S HOUSE) -- will be given its world-premiere production this fall with previews beginning September 28 prior to an official press opening October 4 at La MaMa's First Floor Theatre (74A E. 4 St.) in Manhattan. LUZ is a Watson Arts Project, which presents original theater with a particular emphasis on women. LUZ is scheduled to run through October 14.

Directed by Jose Zayas and with music composed by Sergio R. Reyes, LUZ has a cast featuring Kim Brockington, Peter Jay Fernandez, Lynette R. Freeman, Bobby Plasencia, Steve Rishard, Kimber Riddle, Julissa Roman and Teresa Yenque.

LUZ is a large-scale work, panoramic in its view as the play exposes the global scale of gender-based violence and the collusion between human rights and corporate law practices. From the garbage dump in Guatemala City to tent cities in Haiti and the toxic oil ponds where birds expire, Luz, Helene and Zia -- survivors of targeted violence -- with the help of human rights lawyer Alexandra search for hope in the unlikeliest in-between places. A play that is at once volatile and tender, entertaining and surreal.

According to author and NYU Gallatin professor Sharon Friedman, "Over the past two decades, playwright Catherine Filloux has been a leading voice in theatre for social change, dramatizing human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. She has given us nuanced portraits of psychic trauma in the aftermath of genocide in Europe of the Second World War, Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia. In her most recent play LUZ, she asks audiences to bear witness to a judicial system that is often indifferent to gender-based violence against women. Her characters are subjects of their histories in every sense of the word, subjected to the forces that engulf them, but at the same time active in the choices they make and in the construction of their memories and futures."

Catherine Filloux is an award-winning playwright who has been writing about human rights and social justice for the past 20 years. Ms. Filloux wrote the libretto for the new opera NEW ARRIVALS -- with music by the composer John Glover -- which debuted in June 2012 at Houston Grand Opera. Ms. Filloux's numerous plays include DOG AND WOLF at 59E59/Watson Arts, LEMKIN'S HOUSE at 78th Street Theatre Lab/McGinn-Cazale Theatre, THE BEAUTY INSIDE with New Georges, EYES OF THE HEART with National Asian American Theatre Company, and KILLING THE BOSS at Cherry Lane Theatre. She wrote the libretto for the opera WHERE ELEPHANTS WEEP by composer Him Sophy, premiered in Phnom Penh in Cambodia in 2008. Her awards include the Kennedy Center's Roger L. Stevens Award, New Dramatists Callaway Award and the Peace Writing Award from Omni Center for Peace.

Director Jose Zayas is co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Immediate Theater Company, and has held residencies at such theatres as Ensemble Studio Theatre and INTAR. His credits include Mrs. Jones AND THE MAN FROM DIXIELAND by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik at EST, Caridad Svich's IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES at Repertorio Espanol, THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS at Dence Center, THE IMAGINARY INVALID at American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Arts Theatre, SOUTHERN PROMISES by Thomas Bradshaw at PS 122, OKAY by Taylor Mac at EST, and THE WASPS and TECMESSA with Target Margin.

Past credits for the cast include: Kim Brockington (ZORA, THUNDER KNOCKING ON THE DOOR, "Guiding Light"), Peter Jay Fernandez (on Broadway in JULIUS CAESAR directed by Daniel Sullivan and HENRY IV directed by Jack O'Brien, along with CQ/CX, THE PAIN AND THE ITCH and BLISS), Lynnette R. Freeman (THE RANTERS), Bobby Plasencia (AMERICAN JORNALERO), Kimber Riddle (THE GOOD SOUP), Julissa Roman (CROSSINGS), Teresa Yenque (THE FIFTH COLUMN, Public Theater's SANCOCHO), and Steve Rishard (A HEARTBEAT TO BAGHDAD at Flea Theatre.)

Scheduled through October 14, LUZ will perform Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by calling 212 475 7710 or online at www.lamama.org.

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