David McMillan's WATCHING O.J. to Make World Premiere in Los Angeles This Fall

David McMillan's WATCHING O.J. to Make World Premiere in Los Angeles This Fall

Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA presents the World Premiere of WATCHING O.J. by David McMillan Opening Saturday, October 3, 2015 with reception to follow Running at 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 2pm Sundays through November 8, 2015 EST/LA in Atwater Village Theater at 3269 Casitas Ave. LA, CA 90039.

In the wide cross-section of L.A.'s diverse population, tensions ran high as people awaited the verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder case. Twenty years to the day, David McMillan's new play returns to the scene. No matter what you thought or what your feelings were regarding O.J.'s guilt or innocence, they are represented here, as people come in and out of the Perfect Fit Cleaners and its environs. A passionate multi-racial perspective during that crucial day of October 3, 1995 brings a volatile discussion about race and social classes to the surface, but one that is essential for us to continue.

"As a black teen growing up in L.A., I was fascinated by how people were watching the trial. Specifically, how everybody was viewing the trial through their own distinct racial, cultural, and historical lens. Even now, "the facts" of the case are often beside the point -- what's illuminating is how we look at those facts. Twenty years later, if the trial can force us to look at our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and most of all at ourselves and our own prejudices and biases -- perhaps some good can come from Nicole and Ron's tragic deaths. Maybe in remembering, we'll appreciate how much race relations have improved since 1995, or how much they haven't," said playwright David McMillan.

David McMillan (Playwright) is a Los Angeles playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker. His writing credits include Fox's Sleepy Hollow, the upcoming Fox show Lucifer, and a new pilot that he is developing with Will Packer for NBC. David has received several awards for his work, including USC's top prize for screenwriting.

Keith Szarabajka (Director) works extensively in the theatre as well as television, film, and radio in which he has won an Audie Award for Tom Robbins' Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, and five Earphone Awards within the last two years. Film Credits include: The Dark Knight, Argo, A Perfect World, and Missing. TV work includes: Sons of Anarchy, Angel, Cold Case, Profit, and The Equalizer. Keith has appeared on NPR's Selected Shorts since 1987. He is a co-author of the play Bleacher Bums. Keith is a member and interim co-artistic director of Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA.

Stephen Burleigh (Producer) won the George Foster Peabody Award for producing Edge Of America, the Official Opening Night Film of the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. Edge Of America was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival, the Hampton's International Film Festival, the Nantucket Film Festival, and was voted Best Film at the Native American Film Festival in San Francisco. Stephen produced the independent film, Bereft, starring Edward Herrmann, Michael C. Hall, and Marsha Mason. He executive produced the adaptation of Emily Mann's play Execution Of Justice for which he won the GLAAD Media Award for Best Television Movie. (in 2000's Five Best TV Movies - LA Times). As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway (A Talent for Murder, starring Jean Pierre Aumont and Claudette Colbert).

WATCHING O.J. opens on Saturday, October 3rd and runs at 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 2pm Sundays, through November 8, 2015. ENSEMBLE STUDIO THEATRE/LA is located at 3269 Casitas Ave. LA, CA 90039. Tickets: $19.95 at 818-858-0440 or watchingoj.brownpapertickets.com.

THE ENSEMBLE:

Angela Bullock (2014 NAACP - BEST FEMALE LEAD nom - Cassiopeia, has appeared at Public Theater, Primary Stages, The Guthrie, and Yale Repertory, and recent films include 2015 CANNES SELECTIONS Chronic, and The Escort); Kareem Ferguson (short films, two of which have been recognized as official entrants and competitors in the Pan African, Trinidad and Belize International Film Festivals, developing his first feature film Roman); Robert Gossett (BROADWAY - Fences, A Raisin in the Sun, and The Last Minstrel Show. On the West Coast Gossett received the NAACP AWARD for BEST PERFORMANCE by a male actor - MALE, and an LA Weekly Award. Appeared in Royale at the Kirk Douglas Theatre - Ovation and NAACP AWARD noms. Film/TV: The Closer, The Net alongside Sandra Bullock, The Maker with Matthew Modine, Arlington Road with Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins. Jimmy Zip - Hollywood Film Festival for BEST FEATURE under a one million dollar budget. Currently in the TNT's Major Crimes as Chief Taylor reprising the role he created in The Closer); Tony Pasqualini (Arena Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Vineyard Theatre and Playwrights Horizons. In L.A. area credits include South Coast Repertory's All My Sons and Much Ado About Nothing; What I Heard About Iraq at The Fountain Theatre, A Delicate Balance, and Loyalties Pacific Resident Theatre, Father in House Of Gold, and The Ugly One at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. TV guest star credits include Mad Men, Modern Family, Bones, and The Mentalist. Lisa Renee Pitts (Straight Outta Compton, as Dre's mom, Her, directed by Academy Award Winner Spike Jonze! Off-Broadway/Regional: Manhattan Theater Club, San Diego Repertory Theater, Portland Center Stage, Virginia Center. Guest star The Shield and Numbers); Tarah Pollock (A Midsummer Night's Dream with Downtown Rep, In Search of doG: Episode 3 at Ensemble Studio Theater, Tartuffe, Our Town, and Trojan Women at the Scene Dock Theater). Eve Sigall (two-time OVATION AWARD nominee - Joan's Trip and Three Tall Women; winner of two Drama-Logue Awards for best actress - Apartments and Dissident; stand in for Kathleen Chalfont in Angeles in America at Mark Taper Forum and long list of theatrical/film credits including starring role in Night Caller, and Space Between); Roy Vongtama (The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, CSI, Private Practice and the feature, After the Rain; and Kelly Wolf (NY - Ah, Wilderness! at the Roundabout, Elm Circle at Playwrights Horizon, Fun at Manhattan Class Company, and Summer Winds at Naked Angels. L.A. Theatre: Cat's Paw at LATC, The Substance of Fire at The Mark Taper Forum. Film/TV includes - Less Than Zero, Triumph Of The Spirit, Graveyard Shift, A Day in October, and Infinity, Law and Order, E.R., Southland).

PRODUCTION TEAM: Andy Broomell (Scenic Design), Michael Kozachenko (Lighting Design), Will Mahood (Sound Design), Catherine Baumgardner (Costume Design), and Brad Bentz (Technical Director).

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