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Latino Theater Company Announces Virtual Fall Season

The season will include streamed, archival footage of fully staged plays, sneak-peek readings of upcoming productions and more.

Latino Theater Company Announces Virtual Fall Season

The Latino Theater Company has announced a Fall 2020 Virtual Season. Over the next five months, the company will stream a combination of archival footage of past, fully-staged hit productions; live streamed, "sneak-peek" readings of plays set for on-stage production in 2021 (or whenever theater is permitted to resume); live online conversations with company members; and live readings of new plays selected for the company's annual Unmasking New Works playreading series. All events are scheduled, on the respective dates listed below, to take place at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET. All events are free and will be available for viewing at Scroll down to the bottom of this release for an easy-to-read schedule.

The season will open on Tuesday, Aug. 18 with an archival video presentation of Latino Theater Company's 2014 production of Premeditation, a dark romantic comedy written by resident company playwright Evelina Fernández and directed by LTC artistic director José Luis Valenzuela. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. But how many end in murder? A follow-up, online conversation with the artists will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Tuesday, Aug. 25 will see streaming archival video of the 2009, Los Angeles Times "Critic's Choice" production of Solitude, also written by Fernández and directed by Valenzuela, with a follow-up conversation on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Inspired by a collection of essays on Mexican thought and identity by Octavio Paz, Solitude explores love, death, destiny and family through a contemporary lens, accompanied by live music from cellist Semyon Kobialka.

On Friday, Aug. 28, tune in for a sneak-peek reading of August 29, a play named for the date in 1970, exactly 50 years ago, when Los Angeles Times columnist Ruben Salazar was killed while covering a large Chicano-led anti-war demonstration in East L.A. In the play, a university professor is writing a book on the life of Salazar. As she writes, those days from the late 1960s and early 1970s come to life, helping her recall the past and challenging her to renew her activism. The reading will be preceded by a live, online conversation on Thursday, Aug. 27. Written and first produced in 1990 by members of the Latino Theater Company, then known as the Latino Theater Lab, August 29 was initially announced to open this month at the Los Angeles Theatre Center and is now scheduled to receive a fully staged production in 2021.

September will bring archival video of La Olla on Tuesday, Sept. 1, followed by an online conversation on Wednesday, Sept. 2; and a sneak-peek reading of The Last Angry Brown Hat by Alfredo Ramos on Friday, Sept. 4, preceded by an online conversation on Thursday, Sept. 3. Fernández and Valenzuela again team up for La Olla, adapted from the Roman comedy The Pot of Gold by Plautus and inspired by the Rumberas films of the golden age of Mexican Cinema. The Latino Theater Company incorporates its distinctive style of comedy, music, dance and imagery to explore one of the most basic aspects of human behavior - greed - as a bit player in a shady 1950s L.A. nightclub finds a pot full of cash. In The Last Angry Brown Hat, four former members of the Brown Berets, a 1960s militant Chicano civil rights organization, reunite after the funeral of a pal. Together, they confront the dichotomy between their youthful anger and radicalism, and their current, more conformist lives filled with adult responsibilities.

Archival footage of This is a Man's World, a semi-autobiographical coming of age story written and performed by LTC founding company member Sal Lopez, is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8, followed by an online conversation with Lopez on Wednesday, Sept. 9; and a sneak-peek reading of SHE, a new coming-of-age drama by Los Angeles-based emerging playwright Marlow Wyatt on Friday, Sept. 11, preceded by an online conversation on Thursday, Sept. 10. In Lopez's candid and intimate performance, music and memory swirl as he relives the lessons that shaped his life, from the scent of a piroul tree in Mexico to the thrill of young love to the effects of the Watts Riots and the birth of his son. Meanwhile, in a small town filled with poverty and neglect, 13-year-old SHE escapes by re-imagining her reality through poetry, until - forced to make her own way - she discovers that dreams cost... and you don't always pay with money. Like August 29, the on-stage world premiere of SHE has been postponed until next year.

La Victima was the first show ever produced by the Latino Theater Company, in 1985. Created by El Teatro De La Esperanza - a company that helped define Chicano theater and an entire generation of theater professionals - it's a groundbreaking look, infused with humor, music and dance, at the history of Mexican-U.S. immigration from the intimate perspective of two families. Watch archival footage of the 2010 revival featuring the late Lupe Ontiveras (Selena, Desperate Housewives), who was one of LTC's founding company members, on Tuesday, Sept. 15, followed by an online conversation on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Latino Theater Company will produce a second revival of La Victima, in collaboration with students from UCLA's School of Theater Film and Television and the East Los Angeles College Theater Arts Department, when the company resumes production on the Los Angeles Theatre Center stage in 2021. On Friday, Sept. 18, catch a sneak-peek reading of the newest play by Evelina Fernández: Sleep with the Angels. Molly is separated from her husband and in desperate need of a childcare provider. Then she discovers Juana standing at her doorstep. Soon, Molly and her kids are swept up into Juana's magical and charming ways. But, who is Juana, really. A pre-reading online conversation is set for Thursday, Sept. 17.

Tuesday, Sept. 22 brings archival video footage of last season's Home, writer/performer Nancy Ma's coming-of-age tale about growing up sandwiched between two cultures. Desperately seeking approval from her Chinese Toisan immigrant family, Nancy journeys away from her home in New York City's Chinatown in search of the American dream - only to learn that you can only find "home" when you accept where you come from. Join Ma and director Geoffrey Rivas for an online conversation on Wednesday, Sept. 23. A sneak-peek reading of Just Like Us by Karen Zacariás is set for Friday, Sept. 25, with the online conversation preceding it on Thursday, Sept. 24. Based on Helen Thorpe's bestselling book of the same name, this documentary-style play follows four Latina teenage girls, two of whom are documented and two who are not, through young adulthood. Their close-knit friendships begin to unravel when immigration status dictates the girls' opportunities - or lack thereof. The previously announced Los Angeles premiere will now take place at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in 2021.

Archival footage of Evelina Fernández's Los Angeles Times "Critic's Choice" and Los Angeles Drama Critics award-winning The Mother of Henry will stream on Tuesday, Sept. 29, followed by an online conversation on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Travel back to the working class melting pot of East LA of the 1960s where five diverse employees in the returns department at the iconic Boyle Heights Sears form a tight bond as they cope with upheaval in their personal lives, their community and the rapidly changing world around them during the course of one tumultuous and historic year - 1968.

For eight weeks, Oct. 1-Nov. 20, Latino Theater Company will stream its Unmasking New Works playreading series every Friday, with a preceding on-line conversation set for the Thursday prior to each reading. An announcement went out last month seeking submissions of full-length plays that both reflect the full range of diverse communities and life in Los Angeles and are written by Los Angeles-based playwrights. The company received 61 submissions, and the selection process is currently underway. A final schedule with play titles will be announced in September.

During the first three weeks of October, the LTC will stream all three parts of Evelina Fernández's epic A Mexican Trilogy. Part 1, Faith, will stream on Tuesday, Oct. 6; Part 2, Hope will stream on Tuesday, Oct. 13; and Part 3, Charity, will stream on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Travel with the Morales family through decades of the Mexican-American experience, from a remote mining town in Arizona during World War II, to the Phoenix family home during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and, finally to Los Angeles following the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005. A Mexican Trilogy is the winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle's Ted Schmitt Award and is published by Samuel French. Each of the three streamed productions will be followed by an online conversation the following day: for Faith on Wednesday, Oct. 7; Hope on Wednesday, Oct. 14; and Charity on Wednesday Oct. 21.

The last week of October, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, the LTC will stream archival footage of Dementia, with the online conversation set for Wednesday, Oct. 28. Written by Evelina Fernández and directed by José Luis Valenzuela, Dementia was first produced in 2002, garnering a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Theater Production and four Ovation nominations, and was revived by the LTC in 2010 (Los Angeles Times "Critic's Choice") and again in 2017. This innovative play tackles topics taboo in the Latino community, including homosexuality, AIDS, teen pregnancy and euthanasia - all through the Latino Theater Company's uniquely styled lens.

Closing out the season on Friday, Dec. 11 will be archival video of Latino Theater Company's signature holiday pageant, La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin, which has taken place annually since 2002 at Downtown L.A.'s beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Adapted for the stage by Evelina Fernández from the mid-16th century text The Nican Mopohua and performed in Spanish with English subtitles, La Virgen is the City of L.A.'s largest theatrical holiday production with over 100 actors, singers and indigenous Aztec dancers as well as children and seniors from the community. Join the tens of thousands who have become transfixed by the story of Juan Diego, a simple peasant to whom the Virgin Mary appeared on four occasions in the mountains of Tepeyac near Mexico City in 1531. A Los Angeles Times "Critic's Choice," the production has been featured by The New York Times, American Theatre, Univsion, Telemundo and Fox News among many others. An online conversation on Thursday, Dec. 10 will precede the event.

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 34th year, LTC has operated The Los Angeles Theatre since 2006.

All Fall 2020 Virtual Season events are free and will be available for viewing at

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