Skylight Honors Indigenous Peoples Day with THE 7 STAGES OF GRIEVING
As the first professional Aboriginal production in Los Angeles, The 7 Stages of Grieving holds a mirror up to America by sharing Australia's Aboriginal people's fight for equality and recognition.
With the hope of reconciliation, The 7 Stages of Grieving gives a comprehensive account of the Aboriginal people and their struggle to survive. These poignant stories reflect similar travails of Native Americans. Politically relevant and culturally profound in the season we celebrate Columbus Day (Indigenous People Day), the play recounts Aboriginal history through true, humorous, and stunning personal tales that open a dialogue on the issues which separate and unite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people: discrimination, inequality, oppression, segregation, and colonization. Their story is your story.
"The themes in 7 Stages have relevance in the USA as there are many shared experiences between Australia and America's First Nations people, Latinx and Black communities. These stories engage the Los Angeles community with an inspiration to stand-up to current social injustices and continue the conversation to create change," says producer Josh Thorburn. "As the writers express in this piece, in the end it isn't something you read or write that changes your life or the lives of others. It's something you do."
Director Jason Klarwein works nationally and internationally with Australia's leading theatre companies. 2019 marks his tenth year as Artistic Director of Grin & Tonic Theatre. In 2007 Jason was one of five Australian artists invited by London's Almeida Theatre and the Sydney Theatre Company to participate in an International Shakespeare Laboratory led by Cicely Berry of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Almeida Theatre's Artistic Director Michael Attenborough. In 2009 he toured the United States alongside Cate Blanchett in the Sydney Theatre Company's production of A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Norwegian screen and stage legend Liv Ullmann. In 2017 Jason was nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Actor in a Play for Sam Strong's production of Michael Gow's Once In Royal David's City. Jason has directed many acclaimed theatre works including Orbit, Oedipus Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Much Ado About Nothing, St Mary's In Exile, The 7 Stages of Grieving (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Montreal, London), Hoods and My Name Is Jimi (Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney).
Chenoa Deemal is from the Thitharr Warra clan that is part of the Gugu Yimithirr tribe who reside in and around Hopevale, north of Cooktown in the Cape York Peninsula of Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) and has been working professionally as an actor since 2009. Chenoa's shows include Rainbow's End (Riverside Theatres Parramatta), Mother Courage and Her Children (Queensland Theatre Company), The Voice In The Walls (Imaginary Theatre), Mr. TakahashiI & Other Falling Secrets (Corrugated Iron) and A Man With Five Children (Darlinghurst Theatre). She has performed in the national tour of The 7 Stages Of Grieving (Queensland Theatre Company / Grin & Tonic) to critical acclaim and recently appeared in London at Origins: Festival Of First Nations.
Grin & Tonic Theatre Troupe developed this production with Queensland Theatre in 2015 and toured Australia in 2016 and 2017. Internationally, the production has appeared at the International Performing Arts for Youth conference in Montreal in 2016 and Origins: Festival of First Nations in London 2017.
United Stages (formerly Australian Theatre Company) is recognized in Los Angeles for their critically acclaimed productions of Grey Nomad (winner Best Play - Local Production 2017 BroadwayWorld.Com Award), Swansong, Speaking in Tongues, Ruben Guthrie, and Holding the Man. Their annual reading series has presented 17 Australian works since its launch in 2015. In 2017 they partnered with 16th Street Actors Studio Australia to launch an education program that has included master classes with top professionals such as Tony Award, Oscar and Pulitzer Prize winning writer and director, John Patrick Shanley. Relaunched in 2019, United Stages is excited to expand from its Australian roots to become a reinvigorated and inclusive arts organization sharing stories from around the world. As the global entertainment hub, and a melting pot of diversity, Los Angeles will be the home of United Stages as it continues to enhance and contribute to the world's theatre and arts communities. For more information, please visit www.unitedstages.org
Skylight Theatre Company was honored to have their multi-award winning production of Rotterdam at Center Theatre Group's 2019 Block Party at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The production won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award in 2018 for Best Production. Additional LADCC awards for Rotterdam include Writing and Lead Actress. It also received top honors at the 2018 Stage Raw Awards, winning Production of the Year and Leading Actress awards. Recognized as a "powerhouse of new play development" by Dramatist Magazine, this year Skylight presented their first full-length original musical "Bronco Billy - The Musical garnering nine Stage Raw Award nominations. Many of Skylight's World Premieres have gone on to be performed nationally and internationally: Church & State opened Off Broadway in 2017, has had 42 productions with 13 more scheduled; Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea (a co-production with Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble) received the prestigious Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association Citation and multiple productions. Skylight's resident writers have enjoyed productions nationwide, received the esteemed USA Ford Fellowship in Theater and Performance (Sigrid Gilmer), and a Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize (Louisa Hill, - Lord of the Underworld's Home for Unwed Mothers). Skylight's resident-writers program is helmed by the Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Tony Award nominated playwright, Lee Blessing.
The 7 Stages of Grieving opens at 8:30pm Friday November 1, and runs at 8:00pm on Thursdays, 8:30pm Fridays and Saturdays, 3:00pm on Sundays through November 24, 2019. Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave, LA, 90027. Tickets are $20 - $35. Reservations: (866) 811-4111, www.unitedtix.org or www.skylighttix.com