ART, POLITICS AND PASSION MIX IN NEW PLAY MODOTTI AND WESTON
(Santa Barbara) MODOTTI AND WESTON is the story of politically passionate people inter-twining with magnetic artists who were all candid about their belief in Communism and often liberal in their sexual pursuits. This professional reading, focused on the rather short life of Tina Modotti, was adapted from a screenplay written by Claudia H. McGarry and her writing partner Patrick Read. Inspired by actual events, the play, MODOTTI AND WESTON, could be pulled from today’s headlines; yet, took place more than a century ago. Then, the Communist vs. the Democratic way of life polarized the world. Plan to be in the intimate Alhecama Theatre on Saturday, March 10 at 7 pm to experience this one-act, one-hour play reading. Discussion afterward is bound to ensue. McGarry also serves as director and producer. MODOTTI AND WESTON reflects a brief moment in the life of Tina Modotti, a beauty, a muse, an artist, a rebel, but more than all else, a humanitarian, and the famed photographer, Edward Weston. Tina Modotti was born Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti Mondini in Udine, Italy. She was a stunning woman and found work in America as a model and actress after arriving in San Francisco at a young age to join her family in 1913. In her early twenties it seemed an opportune time to transition and create a new persona for herself. This is when she met Edward Weston, a very successful photographer (whose work is still revered and collected worldwide), who began to teach her the art of photography. He quickly recognized her talent. Sparks flew between them and an illicit love affair began. Robeaux Richey, Modotti’s young artist husband at the time, decided to move to Mexico. Determined to join her husband, Modotti convinced Weston to move to Mexico to pursue their photography together. Before plans were secure, however, Richey had died of smallpox. She left for Mexico, and found herself at the heart of a circle of artists and Communists such as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Julio Mella and others who greatly influenced the course of her life. McGarry recently had her first play, “Kiddo and Patty Hearst,” produced at the Center Stage Theater in Santa Barbara, The Alcazar in Carpinteria, and at the Hudson Guild in Chelsea, New York, often to sold-out performances. “This new play is more character driven because it’s focused on the fiercely passionate, artistic and sexual relationships of the characters. I’m really looking forward to having it performed at the Alhecama Theatre that was home to a professional local theatre company for decades. The thespian vibes are strong in that auditorium,” said McGarry.
JUST THE FACTS
WHO: Claudia H. McGarry Presents
WHAT: MODOTTI AND WESTON Written/Directed by Claudia H. McGarry (based on a screenplay by McGarry and Patrick Read) Featuring: Shari Howard, Erika Leachman, Peter Rojas, Philip Moreno, Ken Weiler, Isaiah Canada, Kathleen Russell Hardin, Rene Correa, Ryan Grau, and Ivy Vahanian
WHEN: Saturday, MARCH 10 at 7 PM
WHERE: THE ALHECAMA THEATER 914 Santa Barbara St, Santa Barbara, Ca. 93101 (behind Playa Azul Restaurant)
TICKETS: $15 General; $10 Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Members. Cash at the Door or online at: https://nightout.com/events/modotti-and-weston/tickets
ABOUT: More than a century ago Tina Modotti’s life crystalized a brief and powerful moment in time. She was a beauty, a muse, an artist, a rebel, but more than all that, a humanitarian. Set in Los Angeles and Mexico, the play delves into the affair she had with famous photographer, Edward Weston, how they found themselves in Mexico with artists and activists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, larger than life figures who greatly influenced the course of her life and their relationship.