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TogetherLAFestival Returns with Playwright Meet and Greets

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“Together LA: A Virtual Stage Festival” is celebrating the vibrant and diverse intimate theatre scene of the greater Los Angeles area.

Meet the playwrights from the 2nd week of LA's first TogetherLAFestival. Presented by Alternative Theatre Los Angeles (ATLA) in association with LA Stage Alliance (LASA), "Together LA: A Virtual Stage Festival" is celebrating the vibrant and diverse intimate theatre scene of the greater Los Angeles area.

"While the doors to our theaters may be shut, our artists continue to innovate and utilize new technology to serve Los Angeles and promote the importance of theatre. Join us as we celebrate works that are created specifically for a virtual format. Over the course of three weekends, now thirty-five (35) of ATLA theatre companies will showcase 10-minute works, digitally produced and virtually shared. Each evening will be hosted by celebrity guests." - ATLA.

Hosts include Yara Martinez (Oct 8th); Ahmed Best (Oct 9th); Drew Droege (Oct 10th); Del Shores (Oct 10); Kirsten Vangsness (Oct 16th); Sharon Lawrence (Oct 17th)

TOGETHER LA FESTIVAL will be free to the public to stream via Twitch.tv, opening October 1, 2020 and running through October 17, 2020. ATLA welcomes sponsors and donors. Donations will benefit Color of Change. Participating theatre companies include: 24th Street Theatre, Actors Co-op, Ammunition Theatre Company, Celebration Theatre, Chance Theater, Coin and Ghost, Company of Angels, Echo Theater Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, IAMA Theatre Company, Impro Theatre, Independent Shakespeare Company, Interact Theatre Company, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, Macha Theatre, Open Fist Theatre Company, Ophelia's Jump Productions, Pacific Resident Theatre, Playwrights' Arena, Rogue Machine Theatre, Sacred Fools Theater Company, Sierra Madre Playhouse, Skylight Theatre Company, The 6th Act, The Fountain Theatre, The Group Rep Theatre, The Inkwell Theater, The New American Theatre, The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, The Road Theatre Company, The Victory Theatre Center, Theatre of NOTE, Theatre West, Towne Street Theatre, and Whitefire Theatre.

Oct 8:

Ashley Taylor (First Impressions, Second Chances - Theatre West) wrote her first play in the 4th grade; it was about a magic hat that gave out answers to math test questions if you could guess the answer to the riddle it gave you. Since then, she's continued to write several short plays, monologues, and TV pilots, as well as a web series called The Keepers. This "play/film" was inspired by watching her weekly writers' workshop on Zoom and tales of single friends trying to date whilst in a pandemic.

Melissa Jane Osborne (Cuddle - Ophelia's Jump) focuses her writing on female driven stories that give voice to things we have trouble talking about. She has worked with Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Samuel French Festival, NYFringe, Killer Films, IAMA Theatre Co and Stella Adler Studio. Melissa is a three-time O'Neill National Playwrights Center finalist and creator of the first interactive scripted iPhone game "Campus Crush" for the Episode App, garnering over 7 million views and multiple sequels. Her videos for New Form Digital have gone viral being seen by over 46 million people. Her short film "Oma" starring Lynn Cohen (Munich) is currently streaming on Amazon, and her short "Always Remember Me" won Best World Short at The Key West International Film Festival and Kodak Award.

Doug Haverty (Missileer - Group Repertory Theatre) has been a member of Group Rep since 1982 where his play, In My Mind's Eye had its world premiere in October 1984 and was published by Samuel French. Doug's musical (co-written with Adryan Russ), Inside Out had its world premiere at Group Rep in April 1989 and is now published by Samuel French. After the musical opened Off Broadway at The Cherry Lane Theater, DRG issued an Original Cast Recording featuring the Off-Broadway cast. It was re-mixed and re-mastered and re-released on Kritzerland Records. This musical was revived at Group Rep as Reaching Up. Other works presented at The Group Rep include: Next Window, Please and The Ghost of Gershwin (Book and Additional Lyrics) and Love Again (Book and Co-Lyrics).

Catherine Butterfield (Just Another Birthday in Bedlam - Interact Theatre Company) is a Los Angeles playwright whose recent productions include Welcome to Your Alternative Reality (with Ron West) at the Open Fist, Life Expectancy at the Malibu Playhouse, and It Has to Be You at the Abingdon Theatre. Her play Joined at the Head was originally produced at the Manhattan Theatre Club and nominated for a Drama Desk award. It has been produced regionally at numerous theatres including The Pasadena Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, and recently in Barcelona, Spain where it won the grand prize at the Barcelona theatre festival. Additionally, it earned her the George E. Oppenheimer/New York Newsday Award for Best New Play and the Kennedy Center-American Express award for Outstanding Promise as a Playwright. The Sleeper received the Kaufman & Hart Award for Best New American Comedy. A recent production of it at LA's Theatre Tribe was nominated for six L.A. Weekly awards. Life in the Trees received the Davie Award for Best New Play in Regional Theatre.

Oct 9:

Annette Lee (A Fork in the Middle - Playwrights' Arena) has written for radio, mono-drama, site-specific projects, and has served as a dramaturge for both professional theaters and top theater schools. Her plays have been performed and read in New York, Los Angeles, Colorado, Portland, and Chicago. A recipient of the Mickey Dude Fellowship for the Depiction of Ethnic Life in America and the Edna & Yushan Han Scholarship, Annette holds an MFA in Playwriting from UCLA. She has taught writing at UCLA and at East West Players. Formerly, as the Literary Manager for Los Angeles' Playwrights' Arena, Annette curated seven seasons of the New Pages Lab Reading series, a program developing new works for the stage by Los Angeles playwrights which have been seen and heard across the country.

Emily Brauer Rogers (Edge - Chance Theater) moved to Los Angeles to get an MA in Professional Writing with emphasis on dramatic writing from the USC. Since then, she's had two full length plays, Searching for Americana and Hardcore: Women's Reflections on Iraq produced as well as optioned Romeo, Juliet, and Rosaline to Amazon Studios with her writing partner, Koji Sakai. Emily has been published in a Smith and Kraus anthology, 161 Monologues from Literature. She has had several ten minute and one act plays read and produced in San Diego, New York, Los Angeles, Orange County, Colorado, Missouri, and Indiana.

Carene Mekertichyan (Coriola - Independent Shakespeare Co.) serves as the Artistic Associate for Social Justice at Independent Shakespeare Co. and is a Hero Theatre Company Member and Associate Member of Sacred Fools. In addition to writing, she is a performer who has worked as a teaching artist with the Unusual Suspects, Harlem School of the Arts, Star Education, and Bresee Academy. Carene is drawn to storytelling that centers on marginalized narratives and she firmly believes that true art exists to create empathy and social change. Carene received her training from Dartmouth College and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Her plays have been produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, MeetCute LA, and Sacred Fools' We the People Theater Action.

Spencer Green (On - The 6th Act) has written for such TV shows as Mad TV, The Fairly Oddparents, and Denis Leary's Merry F#%$in' Christmas. He was a contributing editor to Leonard Maltin's annual Movie Guide for almost 20 years, and a co-editor of Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia as well as being managing editor of all three editions of Maltin's Classic Movie Guide. Green co-wrote the musicals Bukowsical (Outstanding Musical, 2007 New York International Fringe Festival) and Bumpersticker: The Musical, which premiered at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and was named one of the 2016 Top Ten L.A. Theatre Productions by "The Huffington Post." Green's plays have been produced by St. Louis' Theatre Lab, Chicago's Hobo Junction, and Los Angeles' Sci-Fest LA.

Odalys Nanin (Love in the Time of COVID - Macha Theatre) is an award-winning playwright and producer, having published three plays and written/produced two short films. Last September she world-premiered her latest play Skin of Honey ("Piel de Miel"), a compelling story that weaves a political theme through the romantic history of two teenagers torn apart by the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion into Cuba. Odalys has garnered impressive media coverage from numerous outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, La Opinion, Univision, NBC News, LA Weekly, and Entertainment Today. Her newly revived Macha Theatre stands tall and strong as one of the only Latina run theaters in the country where it has become a community cultural arts center for artists to exhibit and express their talents (whether they be painters, actors, writers, etc.).

Oct 10:

Ron Sossi (Come/Go/Come - Odyssey Theatre Ensemble) founded the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in 1969 to demonstrate that experiment-oriented theater could have populist appeal and be fiscally solvent while maintaining the highest artistic standards, and he has led the company as its artistic director for its entire 50-year history. In 2013, he was honored with the LA Weekly Career Achievement Award, and is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Margaret Harford Award for "demonstrating a continual willingness to experiment provocatively in the process of theater" as well as the LADCC's Ron Link Award for "consistent quality of direction."

Bryan Davidson (Las Instrucciones - 24th Street Theatre) is a Los Angeles-based playwright and teacher. His play War Music premiered in 2002 at Los Angeles Theatre Center, produced by Echo Theatre Company and Playwrights' Arena, and was subsequently produced at The Geffen Playhouse in 2004. The play was named as one of the top ten "Notable Shows of 2002" by the L.A. Times and received three Ovation awards, including for World Premiere Play. Other productions include: Banned and Burned in America, a commission from the Greenway Court Theatre and Reflecting Back, a commission for young audiences from Cornerstone Theater Company to accompany the touring American Originals exhibit from the National Archives, and a commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic to create a theater piece to accompany Wing on Wing, composed by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Roger Q. Mason (Me and Her Against the World - Skylight Theatre Company) is a Black, Filipinx, plus-sized, gender non-conforming, queer artist of color. He is the recipient of the 2020 Chuck Rowland Pioneer Award for achievement in playwriting. Roger's work challenges and inspires audiences to re-consider what they've been taught and to re-think how they feel about those who are different. His work often uses the lens of history to chip away at the cultural biases which divide, rather than unite us. Roger's work has been seen on Broadway at Circle in the Square (Circle Reading Series), the New York Theatre Workshop, Flea Theatre, EST/LA, Son of Semele, and Skylight Theatre. The White Dress, now in development as a feature film, has been called "a genderqueer coming-of-age drama for the they/them generation." The script was a finalist for the Lark Playwrights Week and the Screencraft Play Award. Lavender Men, envisioning Abe Lincoln's romance with his legal assistant Elmer Ellsworth, will be produced by Skylight Theatre Company.

Doug Cooney (The Final Tour) Sierra Madre Playhouse collaborated with composer David O on an original youth musical, The Legend of Alex, produced by the Mark Taper Forum P.L.A.Y., and the musical adaptation of The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders, developed at the Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices for the Taper P.L.A.Y production. The Final Tour was workshopped at Sundance Theater Labs with Moises Kaufman directing John Neville and Mary Lou Rosato. He is the author of a series of books published by Simon & Schuster for Young Readers, including The Beloved Dearly, I Know Who Likes You and No Such Thing as Magic. Cooney has been honored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacArthur Foundation, the Lila-Wallace Readers Digest Fund, the MacDowell Colony and the State of Florida.

Alternative Theatre Los Angeles is a community of 64 professional intimate theaters based in the greater Los Angeles area. Like Los Angeles, the theatre community has always been at the forefront of innovation. ATLA came together five months ago to discuss how to move through the current COVID crisis and come out stronger. ATLA is committed to uplifting unrepresented voices, raising the bar and pushing the boundaries of professional theatre. At weekly virtual roundtables, ATLA continues to remind us that theatre is a collaborative art form, stronger together as one community.

LA Stage Alliance ("LASA") works with the theatre community to expand awareness, appreciation, and support of performance arts. As a new form of theater emerges, LASA will continue to support artists and engage audiences through a series of programs, events, and advocacy efforts. All our initiatives aim to serve and strengthen the sector - both at an individual and public level. LASA will continue to provide resources that facilitate audience engagement, collaborative marketing, community building, and professional development. LASA has modified its event hub, www.onstage.la, to now promote virtual events and share all that Los Angeles is creating.

Each night starts at 7 PM PST, and each piece runs approximately 10 minutes. All shows will take place at twitch.tv

After Hours Theatre Company and Schmedake Lighting Design are leading the recording process for each piece, and producing the live broadcasts.

October 8th:

Theatre West
First Impressions, Second Chances by Ashley Taylor
Description: After months of quarantine in his apartment, Todd reluctantly decides to embark on a challenging new social adventure: a blind date...on Zoom.a??

Ophelia's Jump
Cuddle by Melissa Jane Osborne a??

Description: In the pandemic new normal a man must navigate the cost of connection when a stranger appears at his door. The playwright's name is Melissa Jane Osborne. She uses her middle name for all her stage work and I guess it was published as Melissa Osborne, so if we could correct that, it would be great. Thank you!

Group Repertory Theatre
Missileer by Doug Haverty
Description: Political opposites, and an estranged mother and son, try to get through a Facetime call and a little good news.a??

Interact Theatre Company
Just Another Birthday in Bedlam by Catherine Butterfield
Description: A group of friends gather for a surprise Zoom birthday party for their miserable friend John, whose girlfriend walked out on him during lockdown. But surprise parties never go exactly as you predict...

October 9th:

Playwrights' Arena
A Fork in the Middle by Annette Lee
Description: The usual family dinner takes an unexpected turn. Pass the dysfunction, please.

Chance Theater
Edge by Emily Brauer Rogers

Description: A dark comedy. When two women get stuck on a cliff after trying to kill themselves, like Thelma and Louise, they have to decide if they want to move forward or go back.

Independent Shakespeare Co.
Coriola by Carene Mekertichyan
Description: Caught between her younger idealism and the realities of government, newly elected city councilmember Coriola Marcus must confront the ramifications of the partnerships she forged in order to secure the election. Inspired by Shakespeare's Coriolanus.


The 6th Act


ON by Spencer Green
Description: Scientist creates companion; theatrics ensue.

Macha Theatre
Love in the Time of COVID by Odalys Nanin
Description: Ariel is a nurse in Los Angeles and Marie a teacher in Paris, planning to get married in the beautiful Chateaux of Chonenceaux when Covid locks down the world. Ariel, against all odds decides to fly to Paris to marry her.


October 9th:

Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
Come/Go/Come by Ron Sossi
Description: Absurdities and hijinks in the dream of birth and death.

24th Street Theatre
Las Instrucciones by Bryan Davidson

Description: In 1918 influenza has ravaged Toluca, Mexico. A father struggles to build an altar seeking to connect, to celebrate, and to remember.

Skylight Theatre Company
Me and Her Against the World by Roger Q. Mason

Description:a?? Cornelius Johnson, FBI COINTELPRO informant, has a spiritual reckoning in the Egyptian afterlife. It raises memories of the empowering relationship he held with his grandmother; a figure who helped him navigate the difficulties of being a kid during the early Civil Rights movement.


Sierra Madre Playhouse
The Final Tour by Doug Cooney
Description: To serve her husband's genius, Wanda Toscanini Horowitz interviews yet another traveling companion for her husband, the acclaimed pianist Vladimir Horowitz.a??

Reservations: TogetherLAFestival.org


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