IAMA/Latino Theater Company Presents the World Premiere Of Jonathan Caren's CANYON
This land was made for you and me" - Woody Guthrie. IAMA Theatre Company partners with the Latino Theater Company to bring the world premiere of Canyon by Jonathan Caren (The Recommendation, Need To Know) to The Los Angeles Theatre Center. Previews begin Feb. 22, with the press opening scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28 and performances continuing through March 24.
In Canyon, purpose collides with ideals when two families are rocked by an unpredictable accident on Labor Day weekend in 2016 - before everything in America changed. A newlywed couple and a Mexican father and son are striving to find a better view in life, and the price ultimately may be each other. Rising New York-based director Whitney White helms an immersive staging of this daring new play that looks at gender, citizenship and the costs of trying to live a conventional American life.
"What's happening in this play is happening in small ways all over our country" says Caren. "I'm looking at the chasm between how we self-identify and how we behave as a culture. I'm interested in how a person acts when they're tested beyond their ideals."
"What happens to your morality when you feel threatened? asks White. "Canyon is a reminder of just how vulnerable we all are."
According to Caren, the play was written specifically for a Los Angeles audience as a way to further conversation and connect communities. "Both IAMA and Latino Theater Company are reaching outside their comfort zones to put this on," he says. "I hope the play brings us together because there's been enough division in our culture from outside forces."
Caren spent four years meticulously developing the play to make sure that a variety of voices are included. A huge fan of White's work - the playwright describes her as a wildly exciting director who pushes the limits of what theater can be, and who is truly "the star of this production" - Caren is thrilled that, as an African American woman, she will bring yet another, radically different perspective to the work, which is "all about prisms."
The Canyon acting ensemble includes IAMA co-artistic director Stefanie Black (This is Us, recurring on Scandal); Luca Oriel (recurring on Shameless, feature films Devil's Whisper and Calloused Hands); founding Latino Theater Company member Geoffrey Rivas (LTC productions of A Mexican Trilogy and The Sweetheart Deal; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; TNT's Murder in the First); founding IAMA Theatre Company members Brandon Scott (Syfy's Channel Zero, Grey's Anatomy) and Adam Shapiro (Waitress on Broadway, Showtime's The Affair); and Christine Woods (IAMA productions of Sinner's Laundry and Cult of Love; CBS's Man With A Plan; HBO's Hello Ladies). Scenic design is by Dan Soule; lighting design is by R. S. Buck; sound design is by Jeff Gardner; costume design is by Melissa Trn; and the prop master is Michael O'Hara. The stage manager is Robert Mahaffie, and Patti Anne Miller produces for IAMA Theatre Company.
Jonathan Caren's other plays include Need to Know (Colt Coeur Play Hotel, Rogue Machine); the Ovation Award and Craig Noel Award-winning The Recommendation (IAMA, The Flea, The Old Globe, Windy City Playhouse 2019); and Catch The Fish (Most Outstanding Play NY Fringe), all published by Dramatists Play Service. His work has been seen at theaters including Manhattan Theatre Club, the Roundabout Underground reading series, EST's "Octoberfest", Rattlestick's F*icking Good Plays Fest, New Group's New Works/New Voices, Williamstown Theater Festival, Ars Nova's Ant Fest, Pasadena Playhouse, Keen Company's "Keen Teens", Colt Coeur's "Play Hotels", Woodshed Ensemble, Berkshire Playwright's Lab as well as developmentally at the Lark, New York Stage and Film, the Jewish Plays Project, Partial Comfort, the Samuel French OOB Festival and the Old Vic in London. He is a former member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer's Group at Primary Stages, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a Dramatist Guild Fellow, a New York Stage and Film Founder's Award winner, a two-time recipient of a Fellowship to SPACE @ Ryder Farm, a two-time Lecomte du Nouy award winner and a recipient of the Theater Publicus Prize for Dramatic Fiction. He's a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwright's Program at the Juilliard School and Vassar College, where he studied mythology and religion. He also serves as an adjunct professor at NYU's Tisch School of The Arts. In TV, Jonathan is currently a producer on USA's The Sinner and has worked on such shows as ABC's A Million Little Things, NBC's Rise and Netflix's original drama Gypsy. He is a member of IAMA Theatre Company.
Whitney White is a director, actor and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. Recent work includes Aleshea Harris' What To Send Up (The Movement, NYT Critics' Pick), Jump by Charly Simpson (rolling world premiere, PlayMakers Rep), Rita Tambien Rita by Tony Meneses (Julliard), Othello (Trinity Rep) and Br'er Cotton by Tearrance Chisholm (Endstation). Her original piece Macbeth in Stride was part of Under the Radar Festival at the Public. Associate directing: Marvin's Room (Broadway), If I Forget (Roundabout), Othello (NYTW). Upcoming: An Iliad (Long Wharf) and The Secret Life of Bees (Atlantic Theatre, associate director). Whitney is an associate artist at the Roundabout Theatre and was recently a 2050 Fellow at the New York Theatre Workshop. She is currently in residency at Ars Nova as part of their Makers Lab where she is developing Definition, an original concert-play, and at the Drama League as part of their Next Wave Residency where she is developing an African American production of Anton Chekov's Three Sisters set to original music. Whitney is the current recipient of the Susan Stroman Directing Award courtesy of the Vineyard Theatre. MFA Acting: Brown University/Trinity Rep, BA: Northwestern University.
Designated by Playbill as "one of 20 regional houses every theater lover must know," IAMA Theatre Company is a Los Angeles-based ensemble of artists committed to invigorating live performance for a streaming generation. Through cutting-edge, cool and hyper-modern stories, IAMA is invested in the immediacy of production and strives to bring audiences out of their personal space and into a shared experience. Plays generated at IAMA have traveled to off-Broadway, Second Stage and the Roundabout Underground, and have been performed regionally and internationally. IAMA members have been featured in numerous critically acclaimed TV shows and films as well as in a vast array of theater and live performances all over the country; this fall, IAMA co-artistic director Katie Lowes and her husband, IAMA company member Adam Shapiro, made their Broadway debuts in Waitress. IAMA earned the Ovation Award for Outstanding Play in an Intimate Theatre for its Los Angeles premiere of Jonathan Caren's The Recommendation. In 2017, TV producer and creator Shonda Rhimes announced that she would become IAMA's first-ever "Patron of the Arts" with a generous endowment from the Rhimes Family Foundation.
The Latino Theater Company is dedicated to providing a world-class arts center for those pursuing artistic excellence; a laboratory where both tradition and innovation are honored and honed; and a place where the convergence of people, cultures and ideas contribute to the future. Now in its 33rd year, LTC has operated The Los Angeles Theatre Center, a landmark building in Downtown's Historic Core, since 2006.
Canyon opens on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m., with performances thereafter taking place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. through March 24. Three preview performances take place Feb. 22 through Feb 24 on the same schedule. All tickets are $38, except Feb. 28 (opening night) for which tickets are $60 and include a post performance reception, and previews, which are $20. The Los Angeles Theatre Center is located at 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. Parking is available for $5 with box office validation at Joe's Parking structure, 530 S. Spring St. (immediately south of the theater). For more information and to purchase tickets, call (866) 811-4111 or go to thelatc.org/.