L.A. Women's Theatre Festival Reveals Hosts

The event runs March 28-31.

By: Feb. 19, 2024
L.A. Women's Theatre Festival Reveals Hosts
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The 31st Annual Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival (LAWTF) has a roster of accomplished co-hosts for its six programs. This year's overall theme is Telling Our Truths.

The four days of performances will take place at Theatre 68 Arts Complex- The Rosalie at 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601

Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 8:00 p.m.

The Champagne GALA and Awards Ceremony will take place next door to Theatre 68 Arts Complex at the Lankershim Arts Center located at 5108 Lankershim Boulevard. Eight deserving women will be honored with the Festival's Annual Theatre Awards for their laudable contributions to the theatre world (who will be named in a separate press release). Spoken word and dance performances will also be presented.

Theme of the GALA: In Honor Of.

Hosted by Hattie Winston and Margaret Avery.

Hattie Winston has starred on Broadway (The Tap Dance Kid, The Me Nobody Knows, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hair, Scapino!, I Love My Wife, Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?), on television (Becker, The Electric Company, Homefront, The Soul Man) and feature films (The Battle of Shaker Heights, Beverly Hills Cop III, True Crime, and Jackie Brown). Hattie Winston is a Founding Member of the Negro Ensemble Company, where she performed in Day of Absence, Song of the Lusitanian Bogey, Daddy Goodness, Kongi's Harvest, among others.

Margaret Avery was the recipient of an Academy Award nomination for The Color Purple (1985). Other prominent movies include Cool Breeze, Which Way Is Up?, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, and more. She appeared on the BET TV series Being Mary Jane, The Neighborhood, and Genius: MLK/X.. Margaret starred in the acclaimed Robey Theatre Company production of The River Niger, and won the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for her performance in Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie? Margaret Avery's other stage credits include The Sistuhs and Revolution.

Friday, March 29 at 8:00 p.m.

Theme: Boxed In, Set Free

Hosted by Deborah Sharpe-Taylor and Clarinda Ross.

Deborah Sharpe-Taylor is a musical theatre veteran. Her credits include roles in Jelly's Last Jam, The Wiz, Eubie, Violet, Little Shop of Horrors, and It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues. She has sung with Mary Wilson and The Supremes, Soul II Soul, Barry White, Michael Jackson, Andrae Crouch, and Harry Belafonte. Deborah Sharpe-Taylor is the CEO of BeeBearBoo Productions/United Voices for Peace and was recently named Woman Of The Month by P.O.W.E.R. (Professional Organization of Women of Excellence Recognized).

Clarinda Ross is an LAWTF veteran performer and teaching artist. She currently directs the Advanced Actors Workshop at the Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy. She has toured extensively in theatre. Her plays have been produced at several Equity theatres and published by Applause Theatre Books, The Kenyon Review, and the Coachella Review. Clarinda received her MFA in Creative Writing for Performance at UC Riverside/Palm Desert. Clarinda Ross served for many years on the National Council of Actors' Equity and as a delegate for SAG-AFTRA.

Saturday, March 30 at 3:00 p.m.

Theme: Cultural Road Maps.

Hosted by Florence LaRue and Rosie Lee Hooks.

Florence LaRue is an original member of the legendary, Grammy Award winning pop singing group The 5th Dimension., which received 6 Platinum records and 14 Gold records. The last remaining original member of the group that originated the genre called "Champagne Soul," she still tours regularly with the current group today, singing the group's original songs, and more. Florence LaRue also appeared in the national tour of the Broadway hit Ain't Misbehavin', and nationally tours her solo show, Just As I Am. She is also a member of The Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Rosie Lee Hooks is a Founding Member of the musical performance ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, TV credits include NYPD Blue, Southland Sessions, Night Stand, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and more. She more recently appeared in the acclaimed Robey Theatre Company productions of A Heated Discussion, Knock Me a Kiss and Transitions. Rosie Lee Hooks is currently Director of Watts Towers Arts Center and Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center and was also a founding member of the D.C. Black Repertory Theatre Company.

Saturday, March 30 at 8:00 p.m.

Theme: Outside the Lines.

Hosted by Fay Hauser-Price and Jahna Cole Houston.

Fay Hauser-Price is a member of the Directors Guild of America. Her directing credits include Where There's Smoke, 5150, Paris in Search of a Dream, Read to M, L.A., The Emerging Artists Showcase, Story of a People, 24/Seven;;A Gift of Son, and The Other Side of Victory. She is also a producer, writer and actor. Fay has had a long-running role on The Young & The Restless and appeared in the national tour of the musical Purlie. Fay Hauser-Price's other stage work included roles in Twelfth Night, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Yellow Boat, and much more.

Jahna Cole Houston is an actor, producer, and writer. She has appeared on stage in Undertow, I Feel Like Going On, Swing Low Sweet Steamboat, Purlie Victorious, In Da Beginning, No Place to Be Somebody and Guess Who's Coming for Me? She appeared on television in Hollywood Fiction, Get Thee Behind Me and the mini-series Wicked. Jahna Cole Houston's feature film credits include Our Home, Triumphant: She Fights to Win, A Fatal Friend, A Little Problem and Living Jamerican. She has been a radio commentator on CRN and a television talk-show host. Jahna Cole Houston serves on LAWTF's Board of D

Sunday, March 31 at 3:00 p.m.

Theme: Looking Back.

Hosted by Kat Kramer and JC Cadena.

Kat Kramer founded Kat Kramer's Films That Change the World to showcase motion pictures that raise awareness about important social issues. She has performed in three solo shows, My Duet with Mick, The Colors of Myself and Kriss Krossing. Kat's theatre credits also include The Miracle Worker, The Diary Of Anne Frank, Great Expectations, David and Lisa, The Vagina Monologues, and The Lark. She also appeared in the independent feature film Turnover. Kat Kramer also serves on the Advisory Boards of LAWTF, the L.A. Press Club, and The Lavender Effect.

JC Cadena moved to Los Angeles to pursue her directing dreams and instead fell in love with acting. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic arts. Currently, JC is part of the creative team producing plays with The Robey Theatre Company, founded by Ben Guillory and Danny Glover. She recently appeared in The Robey's production of Othello and was associate producer of A Heated Discussion and The Talented Tenth. JC is also an LAWTF Board member. JC Cadena's mission is to give a stage for the BIPOC community while representing a positive role for Latinx women on the screen.

Sunday, March 31 at 7:00 p.m.

Theme: Rising Above.

Hosted by Terrie Silverman and Ada Cheng.

Terrie Silverman is a writer, solo performer, director, dramaturg and founder of Creative Rites Workshops and Coaching. She has been teaching and performing nationally for 23 years. As a solo performer, Career highlights include performing alongside Julia Sweeney and Laraine Newman, as well as dying on stage with Sir Ian McKellan. Terrie Silverman has facilitated workshops for institutions and organizations including Screen Actors Guild, the California Arts Council, Beyond Baroque, L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art, and Independent Writers of Southern California.

An educator-turned-artist, storyteller, and community builder, Dr. Ada Cheng has utilized storytelling to illustrate structural inequities, raise critical awareness, and build intimate communities. Committed to amplifying and uplifting marginalized voices, she has created numerous storytelling platforms for BIPOC and LGBTQIA community members to tell difficult and vulnerable stories. Since 2016, Ada Cheng has presented her solo performances nationally, including The Memories We Keep and Loving Across Borders..

Full details of the performer line-up and awardees are forthcoming.

The Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival was co-founded by solo artists Adilah Barnes and Miriam Reed. Festival Director: Jessica Lynn Johnson.

This year's organizational funders of Official Sponsors and Government Grantors include the Los Angeles County Arts and Culture, California Arts Council, City of Culver City, Department of Cultural Affairs-LA, City National Bank, Blackbaud Giving Fund, 4imprint, KPFK 90.7 FM, and Adilah Barnes Productions.

For more information about Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival, go to http://lawtf.org or call (818) 760-0408.