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New L.A. Theatre Works Season Starts Today

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Season segues from digital stage to in-person performance.

New L.A. Theatre Works Season Starts Today

L.A. Theatre Works will segue from the digital stage to in-person performance in 2021-22 with a seven-play season of audio theater.

The new season kicks off today, Tuesday, Oct. 19, with the digital release of Paradise by Laura Maria Censabella, followed by the digital release of Franklinland by Lloyd Suh on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Both productions were recorded in-studio, sans audience, as part of L.A. Theatre Works' ongoing Relativity Series of science-themed plays. The remaining five plays will be recorded on stage, in front of a live audience, at UCLA's James Bridges Theater beginning in February.

The world's leading producer of audio theater with a catalog of close to 600 plays that is the largest archive of its kind, L.A. Theatre Works is universally acclaimed for its state-of the-art audio productions of classic and contemporary plays, often with celebrity casts. The recordings can be heard on radio stations and podcasts worldwide, digitally downloaded, or checked out at libraries across the U.S.

Available for purchase online beginning today, Tuesday, Oct. 19, Paradise is a moving, funny and thought-provoking STEM-themed drama by acclaimed playwright Laura Maria Censabella. What is the science behind first love? Two outsiders, a gifted Yemeni-American teenager at a poorly rated high school in the South Bronx and her disillusioned biology teacher, form an unlikely scientific partnership in the hope of securing her a scholarship. But when conflicts arise over differences in religion, culture and the boundaries of mentorship, their capacity to alter the course of each other's lives becomes greater than either had imagined. Jeff Marlow (The Thanksgiving Play at Geffen Playhouse, Henry IV with Tom Hanks) and Medalion Rahimi (NCIS: Los Angeles, Still Star-Crossed) will reprise their roles from the 2019 JuVee Productions/American Oasis West Coast premiere at the Odyssey Theatre.

Gregory Harrison and Larry Powell star in the audio recording of Franklinland, Lloyd Suh's re-imagining of a founding father's fatherhood, scheduled for digital release on Tuesday, Dec. 14. As it turns out in this funny and moving new play, growing up the son of Benjamin Franklin, the greatest scientific mind in the world - inventor of the lightning rod, the odometer, the glass harmonica, bifocal glasses, and, in his spare time, the United States of America - is not all it's cracked up to be.

L.A. Theatre Works is thrilled to return to in-person performance at UCLA's James Bridges Theater in February, celebrating Black History Month with Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau. Four performances of Morisseau's compelling exploration of the modern education system - and those it does and doesn't privilege - are set to take place February 4 through February 6. Nya, a dedicated teacher at an inner-city school, is desperate to give her only son opportunities that her own public high school students will never have. When a controversial incident at his private school threatens to get Omari expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own fight to give her son a future without turning her back on their community.

Next up, March 11 through March 13, L.A. Theatre Works will record Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's delightful, gender-bending rom-com about looking for love in all the wrong places. Mistaken identities, love unrequited and love triumphant combine to create a romantic misadventure where things are not always what they seem.

Audiences are in for a special treat from April 22 through April 24 when L.A. Theatre Works records an all-new audio version of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. The BBC's Kate McAll, previously commissioned by the company to adapt A Room With A View, Daniel Deronda, Frankenstein and The Murder on the Links, returns to adapt Hemingway's breakthrough novel. A group of friends decamp from 1920s Paris for the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. Jake loves the aristocratic Bret Ashley but Bret's wandering eye lands on a young toreador. In the week of drinking, bullfighting and jealousy that follows, friendships will be upended and hopes for love dashed.

The U.S. premiere of a vivid, brutally comic and heartbreaking new play runs May 20 through May 22. Once Upon A Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia by Josh Azouz closed just one month ago at London's Almeida Theatre, where Time Out called it "a brave, hilarious and singular play." Four months into the Nazi occupation of Tunisia, two couples - one Muslim and one Jewish - are trying to survive war and marriage, and save themselves from a Nazi named Grandma.

June 24 through June 26 will see a live-in-performance recording of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard's wildly witty and inventive, Tony Award-winning first play that thrusts two of Shakespeare's most incidental characters into the limelight. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been summoned by the King of Denmark to glean what afflicts their old college friend, Prince Hamlet. As they meditate on fate and the inevitability of death, the events of Shakespeare's play unfold around them, and audience members are left to piece together the half-glimpsed, incomplete actions of the major players.

L.A. Theatre Works stands apart in its approach to making great theater widely accessible and affordable, bringing plays into homes and classrooms of millions of theater lovers, teachers and students each year. LATW's syndicated radio theater series broadcasts weekly on public radio stations across the U.S. and daily in China on the Radio Beijing Network. According to AudioFile magazine, "L.A. Theatre Works sets the gold standard for fine audio theater recordings." The Philadelphia Inquirer calls L.A. Theatre Works "a national theatrical treasure."

Plays in the Relativity Series are produced with lead funding by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, bridging science and the arts in the modern world. Other plays in the series include such titles as The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial starring Ed Asner, John DeLancie and Harry Groener; The Ruby Sunrise starring Elisabeth Moss, Jason Ritter and Henry Winkler; Proof starring Robert Foxworth, Anne Heche, Kaitlin Hopkins and Jeremy Sisto; and Spill starring Jane Kaczmarek and James Morrison.

For more information about the L.A. Theatre Works 2021-22 season, call 310-827-0889 or go to www.latw.org.


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