Bootleg Theater Announces Final Schedule for HOPE FESTIVAL

Bootleg Theater Announces Final Schedule for HOPE FESTIVALBOOTLEG THEATER is thrilled to announce the Los Angeles premiere (second half of a rolling world premiere) of I CARRY YOUR HEART, written by Georgette Kelly and directed by Jessica Hanna (as part of the Hope & Optimism Initiative's "Hope On Stage" playwriting prize project ( I CARRY YOUR HEART will preview on Thursday, May 18 at 7pm; will open on Friday, May 19 at 7pm and run through Saturday, June 10 at 7pm at the Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles.

Phoebe is a young poet, forever living in the shadow of her estranged mother's literary acclaim. When her mother unexpectedly dies Phoebe is left with two complicated legacies: donating her mother's organs and reading her mother's unpublished confessional journal. Meanwhile, Tess and her partner Lydia receive an early morning phone call, informing them that a donor heart is available for Tess - good news, but news that has come far sooner than they were prepared for. As these two families form an unlikely connection, they struggle to understand the politics and poetics of organ donation-and they dare to hope that pieces of us can live on after great tragedy.

GEORGETTE KELLY (Playwright) is a playwright with one foot in New York and the other in Chicago. Her play Ballast was featured on The Kilroys List 2015 and was chosen as a finalist in the 2015 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. Georgette's other plays include Faith in a Fallen World, In the Belly of the Whale, how to hero or the subway play, and an adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's Lighthousekeeping. Her work has been developed by The Kennedy Center, The National New Play Network, The DC Source Festival, The ALLIANCE THEATRE, terraNOVA Collective, Taffety Punk, Diversionary Theatre, Capital Stage, TOSOS, Prologue Theatre, New Leaf Theatre, and Chicago's DCASE. She is a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow and a member of 2014-2015 TerraNOVA Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, The Dramatists Guild of America, and Writers WorkSpace. Georgette holds a B.A. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Hunter College, where she studied with Tina Howe, Arthur Kopit, and Mark Bly.

Jessica Hanna (Director) is a Los Angeles based Theater Maker. BFA in Acting from the Theater School at DePaul University in Chicago. She has worked as an actor, director, choreographer and producer all over Los Angeles with many companies and spaces including, Open Fist, SacRed Fools, Evidence Room, John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, Greenway Court, Abundant Sugar, Atwater Village Theatre, Furious Theatre, Mine is Yours Theatre Co., B-Flat Productions, Center Theatre Group, Mutant Collective, Occidental College and Circle X. She has also had the pleasure of working with Anne Bogart and the SITI Co. as an actor at the Getty Villa twice. In June 2006, she co-founded Bootleg Theater and has been the Producing & Managing Director ever since. At Bootleg she has produced and worked with hundreds of artists and companies, overseeing production of all the theatrical and dance performances. Recent directing credits include: Four Chords And A Gun by John Ross Bowie at Bootleg Theater, Inland Empress by Tom Cavanaugh for Mutant Collective, Lisa Dring's Death Play for the Son of Semele Solo Creation Festival and Circle X Theatre. No Homo by Brandon Baruch, at Hollywood Fringe (Winner Best Director, Ensemble Theater, World Premiere and Golden Playwright), New York Fringe and Atwater Village Theatres, and Bachelorette for Mine is Yours Theatre Co.

I CARRY YOUR HEART will feature (in alphabetical order): Michael Bates, Joanna Bronson, Christine Dunford, Elizabeth Liang, Mateo Mpinduzi- Mott, and Elayn J. Taylor. The multi award-winning design team for I CARRY YOUR HEART is as follows: Set Design is by Sibyl Wickersheimer; Lighting Design is by Brandon Baruch; Sound Design is by John Zalewski; Costume Design is by Ann Closs-Farley & Alyssa Gonzalez. Casting is by Raul Clayton Staggs. The Stage Manager is Jeanne Valleroy. The Production Manager is Susan K. Coulter. I CARRY YOUR HEART is produced by Cece Tio and Jessica Hanna and Executive Produced by Andrew Chignell and Hope On Stage (

Comments Executive Producer Andrew Chignell, "I'm thrilled to be working with Bootleg to bring together artists, activists, and academics for this three-day festival which is also the capstone event for our three year, $5 million research project. Opening Night will be dedicated to the late Professor Marilyn McCord Adams. She was a philosopher and theologian from whom both Sam Newlands (my co-organizer) and I took many seminars. When she was the chair of the UCLA philosophy department she started working towards ordination in the Episcopal church. Part of her training involved working with gay couples afflicted by the AIDS epidemic at that time. As a result her research turned increasingly towards philosophy of religion and in particular themes related to hope: suffering, evil, and the love of God. She was a strong proponent of same sex marriage in the church, and ultimately became the first female and first American Regius professor of divinity at Christ Church college Oxford. She died on March 22, 2017. Because L.A. was Marilyn's favorite place in the world, and because she both worked on and inspired hope, Sam and I want to dedicate the opening performances of "I Carry Your Heart" to her. We were delighted when Georgette Kelly and Jessica Hanna enthusiastically agreed."

Director & Producer Jessica Hanna adds, "We are thrilled to bring this beautiful play to life for Los Angeles audiences after our colleagues in Ithaca have worked on their production. Georgette has been a dream to work with and we look forward to seeing, and hopefully, producing, more of her work in the future. And what an incredible ensemble of actors and a production design dream team. The overall project has been a boon to the Bootleg, it fits with our mission of developing and supporting new work. And the fact that the Initiative is a non-theatrical source is deeply exciting as a way to fund new plays and support the artists who make it. This play as well as this project has been a gift. It has definitely caused me to be more hopeful for the future of new plays."


The Los Angeles Hope Festival is a three-day capstone event of the the Hope and Optimism initiative, a $5 million, four-year grant at The University of Notre Dame, Cornell University, and the University of Pennsylvania. The project explores the theoretical, empirical, and practical dimensions of hope, optimism, and related states. All daytime festival events are free, thanks to the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation. Reservations are requested and can be made at the Bootleg Theater website

3 - 4:30 | PANEL - THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HOPE: Michael Scheier, Eshkol Rafaeli, Lori Markson 4:45 - 6 | KEYNOTE - Tali Sharot: "The Science of Optimism" 6:30 | Box office and bar area open 7 - 9 | PERFORMANCE - "I Carry Your Heart" by Georgette Kelly 9:30 | LIVE MUSIC BY THE BAR with Matthew Logan Vasquez of Delta Spirit

11 - 12 | TALK - Yiyun Li: "The Small Why and the Big Why: Under the Supervision of Memory" 12:15 - 1:45 | LUNCH - Food Trucks 1:45 - 3:15 | PANEL - THE PHILOSOPHY OF HOPE: Luc Bovens, Nicole Hassoun, Andre Willis 3:30 - 4:30 | TALK - Sabra Williams: "Hope In Darkness - The Actors' Gang Prison Project" 5 - 6 | KEYNOTE - Dr. Cornel West: "Justice Matters - What Love Looks Like in Public" 6:30 | Box office and bar area open 7 - 9 | PERFORMANCE - "I Carry Your Heart" followed by talkback with playwright, director, actors 8:30 | LIVE MUSIC BY THE BAR - Tyler Cole & Willow

10 - 12:00 | READING - "How To Conquer The World: A Brief History Of Yogurt," followed by talkback with playwright David Myers 12:30 - 1:30 | LUNCH - Food Trucks 1:30 - 3 | READING - "The Body," followed by talkback with playwright Steve Moulds 3 - 3:30 | SCREENING - Winning shorts from Hope on Screen video competition, conversation with grand prize winner Keaton Davis 3:45 - 5 | TALK - David Eagleman, neuroscientist and host of The Brain on PBS 5:15 - 6:30 | READING - "Are We Not Men?" by T.C. Boyle followed by Q&A with the author 6:30 | Box office and bar area open 7 - 9 | PERFORMANCE - "I Carry Your Heart" by Georgette Kelly 9:15 | LIVE MUSIC BY THE BAR with Orkestar Meze and Daniel Rotem

What Do You Think? Tell Us In The Comments!

Related Articles

Thousand Oaks THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...