Humanitas & La Stage Alliance Announce First Ever STAGE RAW/PLAY LA Theater Festival

Humanitas & La Stage Alliance Announce First Ever STAGE RAW/PLAY LA Theater Festival

HUMANITAS and LA Stage Alliance are pleased to announce the first ever Stage Raw/PLAY LA Theater Festival Weekend, September 6-9. All events will take place at Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring Street, Downtown L.A.

The Festival opens Friday, September 6 at 8 p.m. with a concert reading of Hydra, by Leviticus Jelks, in a presentation by Ammunition Theatre Company. The Festival continues the following day, Saturday, September 7, with readings of plays by Ashley Rose Wellman, Jami Brandli and featured honoree Melanie Marnich. (Best known for her work on the HBO drama "Big Love," Marnich is an American playwright, television writer, and producer, currently acting as co-showrunner and executive producer on Amazon's upcoming drama series, The Expatriates). The companies presenting their plays are, respectively, Echo Theater Company, Skylight Theatre Companyand Latino Theatre Company. Also, on September 7 will be a colloquy ("Singing in the Rain") on the relationship of live theater to the culture-at-large, with views from the worlds of social media, politics, psychology, and the arts.

On Sunday, September 8, the Festival resumes with readings of plays by Mariana Carreño King and Gina Young, presented, respectively, by Rogue Machine Theatre and Theatre of NOTE, plus a colloquy on the relevance of theater ("What's a Theater Supposed To Do?"), as artistic directors from three of LA's legacy theaters face off against artistic directors from three local, emerging theater companies, in order to assess the challenges and possibilities of keeping the art form engaging to audiences in 2019.

The Festival closes on Monday night, September 9, with the Fifth Annual Stage Raw Theater Awards. These awards, chosen by a jury of Stage Raw critics, honor the work done on stages of 99-seats or fewer, in productions that opened between June 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019. The 2019 nominees are here.

All readings and colloquies are free, though reservations are required. Tickets to the awards ceremony - co hosted by IAMA Theatre Companyand Ammunition Theatre Company- are $25. Tickets to all festival events can be found at and link here

The readings and colloquies are a continuation of the PLAY LA program. The goal of PLAY LA, created in 2016 by HUMANITAS Executive Director Cathleen Young and founding member/playwright/screenwriter Shem Bitterman, is to enlist five playwrights from the Greater Los Angeles area (including Ventura, Orange San Bernardino and Riverside counties), for one year, during which they write a play from scratch. Each playwright receives a grant of $1,500.

During the year, the writers meet regularly with each other and with invited expert guests in order to discuss their plays-in-development. The project's culminating event is a festival of concert readings of these plays in conjunction with public seminars and discussions.

Furthermore, PLAY LA ensures that each writer becomes connected to a local theater. That theater is offered funds dedicated to help subsidize a production of the work by that playwright.

Playwrights often have to wait up to a decade through readings and workshops, before seeing their plays produced. What distinguishes PLAY LA from other play development programs is the commitment to getting these new plays produced in a timely way, in order that they don't miss the cultural moment in which and from which they were created.

Between 2016 and 2018, PLAY LA enlisted 19 writers: Nine have been writers of color, 12 women and seven men, resulting in seven produced plays. This year, for the 2019 PLAY LA reading-series, HUMANITAS has joined forces with Stage Raw, with generous support from LA Stage Alliance.

Applications for the 2020 PLAY LA Program will open in early September. Please check

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