THE WATER TRIBE Comes to VS. Theatre

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Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles in association with VS. Theatre Company has announced the world premiere production of The Water Tribe, a new play by Don Cummings. Under the direction of Tricia Small, there will be three preview performances January 10-12 and opening is set for Friday, January 17, at 8pm. The engagement will run through February 9 at VS. Theatre.

The cast will feature (in alphabetical order) Alexandra Daniels, Jon Joseph Gentry, Hannah Prichard, Christopher Reiling, and Jayne Taini. Scenic design is by Adam Glover, lighting design is by Shara Abvabi, costume design is by Ovation Award-winner Michael Mullen, and sound design is by Bella Vita Entertainment. The stage manager is Maya Braunwarth. The Water Tribe is produced for EST/LA and VS. Theatre Company by Lizzy Ross and Crystal Jackson along with associate producer Adam Glover (who also serves as assistant director).

Claudia is young, parentless, minimally employed, and almost without family or friends but she remains upbeat about her future and confident in her quest to form a personal tribe for herself and her boyfriend Johnny. But Johnny has problems of his own. He has launched into adulthood but still struggles to cut the cord from his concerned mother while searching for a connection to his long-absent father. As the few people Claudia has in her life begin to fall away and the problems in her relationship are laid bare, she teeters on the brink of catastrophe in this searing, darkly funny tragicomedy about the critical importance of community, identity, and home.

Don Cummings is a playwright, author, and essayist. His plays have been produced on both coasts - A Good Smoke, American Air, What Do Men Live By?, Stark Raving Mad, The Winner, Piss Play is About Minorities So It's Really Important, Feed the Children!, Loose Joints, and The Fat of the Land which was a semifinalist for the Kaufman & Hart Award for New American Comedy and was published in The Coachella Review. A Good Smoke was a semifinalist for the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference, was given a reading at The Public Theater (directed by Pam MacKinnon with Meryl Streep, Henry Wolfe, Grace Gummer, and Debra Monk), and was optioned for Broadway. Piss Play was produced as part of The New York Cringe Festival where it received the Golden Pineapple Award for Best Play. The Winner was a finalist for The Heideman Award at the Actors Theater of Louisville and was published in Post Road Magazine. His essays and short stories have been published in Epiphany, Rain Taxi, and Cagibi. His love-sex-and-health memoir, Bent But Not Broken (Heliotrope Books), was published in the spring of 2019.

Tricia Small is a graduate of Wright State University. Favorite shows as an actor include the LA premiere of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George, Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive, and the critically acclaimed Slow Dance at Midtown by Elizabeth Sarnoff. She starred in the Chicago premiere of the musical High Fidelity (Route 66 Theatre Company) and in the West Coast premiere of No Wake at VS. Theatre. As producer/director she helmed the world tour of Growing Up Fisher with Joely Fisher and produced the world premiere musical Soon at Signature Theatre in Washington, DC. In LA she has directed productions of Spring Awakening, 13, and Dogfight. She is the writer and executive producer of WGN's cult hit TV show Salem as well as many independent films including Mothers and Daughters (starring Susan Sarandon, Mira Sorvino, and Sharon Stone), and festival favorites The Last Treasure Hunt, The Gymnast, and How to Ace an Intervention.

The running schedule is Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. General admission seating for previews is $15; regular performances are $25 online and $30 at the door. For students and seniors, $20 online and $25 at the door. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (818) 839-1197. VS. Theatre is located at 5453 W. Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, 90019.

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