Thursday, September 11, 2014

Roster Set For Encuentro 2014 Theater Festival


            The following is a schedule of attractions in Encuentro  2014 National  Theatre Festival to be held at Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013.

            Oct. 16.- Oct. 25: “Mariela En El Desierto (Mariela in the Desert).” Written by Karen Zacarias. Directed by Tlaloc Rivas. Produced by Aurora Theatre/Teatro Del Sol. Performed in Spanish with English supertitles. It is 1950 and artists Mariela and José are living an isolated existence in the desert of Northern Mexico, haunted by the ghost of their young son. José is very ill and Mariela sends a telegram to their daughter encouraging her to come home. Where once the walls were beautifully decorated, now only one painting remains, and it is shrouded in mystery. The play portrays Mexico, its history, and its people in a three-dimensional story of a family of high achievers struggling to reconcile the demands of family, the responsibilities of spouses, and the call of art. In the 499-seat Theatre 1, Thursdays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m.

            Oct. 16-Nov.8: “Zoetrope Part I.” Written and directed by Javier Antonio Gonzalez. Produced by Caborca Theatre. Zoetrope is a play in two parts that follows a leftist Puerto Rican family over 4 decades between Lares, Puerto Rico and Harlem, New York. Performed as a truly bilingual production, supertitles compliment scenes in Puerto Rico performed in Spanish and New York in English.  The play is performed with live-feed video and choreography upon a minimalist set. It is by turns hilarious, acerbic, and passionate, but never nostalgic or sentimental, even as it treads the ideological landscape of Puerto Rican independence and colonial identities. Zoetrope Part 1 immerses us in the love story of Severino, an ex-soldier who sorted mail during World War II, and Inés, a Spanish-born public school English teacher. The play alternates between New York, where time is running out on Severino who is dying in the arms of another woman, and Lares, where time seems to stand still even as Inés, her sister, and friends plan for a revolution. In the 280-seat Theatre 2. Thursdays Oct. 16, 23, Nov. 6 at 8:30, Friday, Oct. 31 at 8:30, Saturdays Oct. 25, Nov. 1 at 2:30 and 8:30, Saturday Nov. 8 at 4:00 and 8:30, Sunday Oct. 19 at 2:30 and 7:30.

            Oct. 16- Nov. 8: “Patience, Fortitude and Other Anti-Depressants.” Written by Mariana Carreño King. Directed by Daniel Jàquez. Produced by INTAR Theatre/Unit 52. In English. Patience, Fortitude and Other Antidepressantsfollows Isabella, a young painter married to a policeman who works the night shift. Isabella wants to start a family but knows something is not quite right.  Her paintings come to life and help her navigate through the mirage of normalcy and expectations. Friends and relatives pull her in different directions as she deals with love, marriage, infidelity and sisters-in-law. In the 89-seat Theatre 4. Thursdays Oct. 16, 23, Nov. 6 at 8:30, Fri. Oct. 31 at 8:30, Saturday Oct. 18 at 2:30 and 8:30, Nov. 8 at 8:30, Sundays Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.

            Oct. 16 and Oct. 19- “Aliens, Immigrants & Other Evildoers.” Written and directed by José Torres-Tama. Co-presented with Highways Performance Space. In English. Aliens… is a creative response to the continuous attacks on Latino immigrants, which demonize them as scapegoats for the economic failures of this country. This piece troubles the collective amnesia which has lead to these attacks, and demands that the nation as a whole  take a hard look in the mirror. In light of the current Central American child refugee crisis, this timely performance is a call to action on Immigration Reform in the U.S. Through an innovative sci-fi Latino-noir aesthetic, Aliens…. satirizes the status of immigrants as “extraterrestrials”, and exposes the hypocrisy of a system that dehumanizes the same immigrants whose labor it readily exploits. In the Gallery. Thursday at 8:30 and Sunday at 2:30.

            Oct. 16- Nov. 8: “Premeditation.” Written by Evelina Fernandez. Directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela. Produced by Latino Theater Company. In English. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, but how many end in murder? Disgruntled housewives from opposite sides of the track, Esmeralda- sophisticated and calculating, and Lydia- potty-mouthed and pragmatic, soon find out the lengths they’ll go to get their husbands’ attention. Premeditation takes audiences on a Chicano-noir inspired journey through the intricacies of marriages while highlighting the Latino Theater Company’s ensemble creation process and impeccable comic timing. In the 320-seat Theatre 3. Thursdays Oct. 16 and 23 at 8 p.m., Fridays Oct. 24, 31, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m., Saturdays Oct. 18 and Nov. 1 at 2:00 and 8:00, Nov. 8 at 6:00.

            Oct. 17- Oct. 25: “Maria’s Circular Dance.” Written by Medardo Treviño. Translated and directed by Eva Zorrilla Tessler.Produced by Borderlands Theatre. In English. Maria’s Circular Dance testifies to the violence across the U.S./ Mexico border region. Set during the 2011 San Fernando massacre, the mass murder of 193 people by Los Zetas drug cartel at La Joya ranch in Tamaulipas, Mexico, the play follows Maria, a Colombian migrant and Angelito, her kidnapper. Together they whirl into a dance where dreams and reality, terror and courage, past and present dissolve as they recognize themselves in each other’s faces. In Theatre 4. Fridays Oct. 17 and 24 at 8:30, Saturday Oct. 25 at 2:30 and 8:30, Sunday Oct. 19 at 2:30 and 7:30.

            Oct. 17- Nov. 8: “La Esquinita, USA.” Written and performed by Rubén C. Gonzalez. Directed by Kinan Valdez. Produced by El Teatro Campesino. In English. A town’s main source of employment, The Thompson Tire Factory, has gone to China leaving its infrastructure in disarray. False idols of hope are the only source of relief and the citizens of this dilapidated town are left scavenging for what little remains. What happens to a town when promises from Big Business are broken? What happens to its people? Meet Lencho, Daniel and eight other characters in this story of love, forgiveness and ultimate redemption. In the Gallery. Thursdays Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 at 8:30, Fridays Oct. 17 and 24 at 8:30, Saturday November 8 at 8:30, Sundays Oct. 19 at 7:30, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 at 2:30 and 7:30.

            Oct. 17- Nov. 7: “Enrique’s Journey.” Adapted and directed by Anthony J. Garcia. Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning work of Sonia Nazario. Music composed and directed by Daniel Valdez. Produced by Su Teatro. In English. Enrique’s Journey depicts the contemporary odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship and peril to reunite with his mother in the United States. He pushes forward using his wit, courage, and hope-and the kindness of strangers.  Torn from today’s headlines, it is an epic journey that thousands of immigrant children make each year to find their mothers in the United States. In Theatre 2. Thursday Oct. 30 at 8:30, Fridays Oct. 24 and Nov. 7 at 8:30, Saturday Oct. 18 at 2:30 and 8:30, Sundays Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 at 2:30 and 7:30.

            Oct. 17- Nov. 6: “Your Problem With Men.” Written by Emilio Williams. Directed by Alexandra Meda. Produced by Teatro Luna. In English. Your Problem With Men pairs hilarious absurdism with Teatro Luna’s fearless women for a 65-minute madcap comedy. Asún, an American Latina in an Abercrombie world, breaks off her engagement because the question wasn’t popped the way she always dreamed – only to be slapped with the dark truth of her loneliness and regret. Berated by her mother, babied by her father and bullied by her sisters, (and annoyed by constant appearances by literary heroine, Jane Eyre) Asún begins the darkly funny journey on a road entirely unpaved by the sage advice of yesteryear. An emotional roller coaster that electrifies and torments, Your Problem With Men dissects the contemporary woman’s expectations in a culture still clinging to last century’s visions of love and marriage. In Theatre 3. Thursdays Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 at 8:00 p.m., Friday Oct. 17 at 8:00, Saturday Oct. 25 at 2:00 and 8:00, Sundays Oct. 19, 26 and Nov. 2 at 2:00 and 7:00.

            Oct. 17- Oct. 26: “Juarez, A Documentary Mythology.” Conceived and directed by Ruben Poléndo. Produced by Theater Mitu. In English. Juárez-born Artistic Director Rubén Polendo traveled with his company, Theater Mitu, to the region, conducting research and interviewing citizens on both sides of the border.  More than two years in development. Over 200 hours of interview footage. Hundreds of conversations. Theater Mitu creates an artful portrait of a community in crisis and transformation. Gangs, cartels, corruption, NAFTA, femicide, the War on Drugs, fear, familial honor, mythology and hope all appear in stories collected from parents, politicians, artists, activists, factory workers, journalists, professors and more. In Theatre 1. Fridays Oct. 17 and 24 at 8:00. Sundays Oct. 19 and 26 at 2:00 and 7:00.

            Oct. 18- Oct. 25: “Dreamscape.” Written and directed by Rickerby Hinds. Produced by Hindsight Productions. In English. Dreamscape, a Hip-hop Theater production, depicts the death and inner life of a young woman, “Myeisha Mills.” The play is a meditation and reimagining of the night of December 28, 1998, when nineteen-year-old Tyisha Miller was shot by four Riverside Police Department officers and left  unconscious bleeding in the car.  The play takes a clear-eyed look at the relationships between race, the body, and violence and is structured around an autopsy report recited by a dispassionate coroner. As each of the twelve bullet wounds is described in clinical detail, Myeisha reminisces about her life using each body part as a jumping off point, walking us through the impact of the twelve bullets that killed her,  through spoken word, dance and beatboxing. In the Gallery. Thursday Oct. 23 at 8:30, Saturdays Oct. 18 and 25 at 2:30 and 8:30.

            Oct. 30- Nov.8: “Properties of Silence.” Written by Theresa Chavez, Alan Pulner, and Rose Portillo. Directed by Theresa Chavez. Produced by About Productions. In English. Poetry, science, and history spiral out of control as a contemporary Phoenix realtor, her pool contractor husband, and the famed 17th C. poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz meet in a multi-layered dreamscape. Joined by Sor Juana’s confessor, who hopes to silence her pen and scientific inquiries, reality bends as they all confront the nature of their identities and seek to find a new beginning. Revered in Spanish-speaking countries and considered the first feminist writer, Sor Juana was a self-taught poet and playwright, scientist, and philosopher. Properties of Silence incorporates an original soundscape and video that appears as a black and white Golden Age of Mexican Cinema film, and is inspired by Sor Juana’s most significant poem, Primero Sueño (First Dream). In Theatre 4. Thursday Oct. 30 at 8:30, Friday Nov. 7 at 8:30, Saturdays Nov. 1 at 2:30 and 8:30 and Nov.8 at 2:30.

            Oct. 30 – Nov. 8: “Agua a Cucharadas.” Written by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Directed by Ismanuel Rodriguez. 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winner. Produced by Tantai Teatro. In Spanish with English supertitles. Water by the Spoonful takes a painfully honest and surprisingly humorous look at the unconventional communities we create when we seek redemption from our personal failings. Dancing artfully from story to story, playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes unlocks an intimate portrait of both a family and the members of an online recovery community as they struggle with the harrowing consequences of addiction. An expansive play that covers the distance from Puerto Rico to Japan, Philadelphia to San Diego, and the virtual world to the physical, Water by the Spoonful ties together the lives of a host of unforgettable characters in a play of genuine warmth about forgiveness and redemption. Tantai Teatro compliments this script with an amazing visual experience thanks to their innovative video mapping technology. In Theatre 1. Thursdays Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 at 8:00, Saturdays Nov. 1 at 2:00 and 8:00 and Nov. 8 at 8:30.

            Oct. 31- Nov. 8: “Dancing in My Cockroach Killers.” Written by Magdalena Gómez. Directed by Rosalba Rolón. Musical director: Desmar Guevara. Produced by Teatro Pregones. In English. Dancing In My Cockroach Killers is an explosive mix of texts, visuals, and music based on the writings of award-winning poet/playwright Magdalena Gomez. Pregones Theater’s stellar ensemble delivers the full range of Gomez’s rhythmic realism, boundless hope, and laugh out loud humor. Her characters face real life challenges with courage and flair, and are openly inspired by friends, family, and Latino icons as varied as Lolita Lebrón, Joe Cuba, and Iris Chacón. Each story in Dancing In My Cockroach Killers will have you nodding and finger-snapping in self recognition! In Theatre 1. Fridays Oct. 31 and Nov. 7 at 8:00 p.m. Saturday Nov. 8 at 2:00 p.m. Sunday Nov. 2 at 2:00 and 7:00.

            Oct. 31- Nov. 8: “Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary.” Written by Marissa Chibas. Directed by Maria Kingsley. Produced by CalArts Center for New Performance/ Duende CalArts. In English.
This solo tour de force tells an astonishing tale centered on three towering figures in the life of protean performer Marissa Chibas: her father, Raul Chibas, who co-wrote the manifesto for the Cuban revolution with Fidel Castro; her uncle, Eddy Chibas, who was the frontrunner for the Cuban presidency in 1951 before committing suicide during a live radio broadcast; and her mother, Dalia Chibas, Miss Cuba runner-up in 1959. Zigzagging through her own stories and key episodes in the history of her illustrious family, Chibas gives an impassioned, live-wire performance that is propelled by her near-death experience in the Venezuelan Amazonia. In the Gallery. Fidays Oct. 31 and Nov. 7 at 8:30. Saturdays Nov. 1 at 2:30 and 8:30 and November 8 at 2:30.

            Nov. 7: “The Long Road Today.” Written by Jose Cruz Gonzalez. Directed by Armando Molina. Produced by South Coast Repertory. Staged reading. With no park in his neighborhood, young Andrés plays in the street. One day, he chases a stray ball into tragedy. Two families and a community must confront the aftermath and take action to make a change. The stories and talent of nearly 1,000 Santa Ana residents helped inspire the creation of this distinctive and heart-touching play that celebrates a diverse community that will stop at nothing to build a city of hope safety and beauty. In Fifth Floor Studio. Fri. at 11 a.m..

            Nov. 8: “Alisal.” Written and directed by Juliette Carillo. Presented by Cornerstone Theatre Company. Staged reading. Developed with, for and about the Alisal (East Salinas, CA) farm working community, “Alisal” tells the story of three generations of hard-working women as they struggle to forge better lives and stronger bonds. From the lettuce fields of 1963 to the streets of today’s Alisal, this performance will incorporate community members along side professionals and Cornerstone Ensemble members. In Fifth Floor Studio.. Sat. at  11 a.m.

            Also part of the Encuentro Festival, but offsite:

            Sept. 26- Oct. 19: “Las Mujeres de Juarez (The Women of Juarez). Written and directed by Ruben Amavisca. Performed in English on Sept. 26, 27, 28, Oct. 17, 18, 19. In Spanish on Sept. 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, Oct. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12. The story of a mother searching for her missing daughter. Fri. & Sat. at 8, Sun. at 6. At Teatro Frida Kahlo, 2332 W. Fourth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057.

            Oct. 17-Nov. 16: “Julius Caesar.” Written by William Shakespeare. Directed by Robert Beltran (“Star Trek: Voyager”). In English. Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” explores the human motivations behind the betrayal, assassination and the aftermath of Caesar’s death, that precipitated the end of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire. Fri. & Sat. at 8:00, Sun. at 5:00. At casa 0101, 2009 East First St, Los Angeles, CA 90033.

            Most tickets for events are only $20 when ordered with the promotional code ENC14. To purchase tickets, go online to or call toll-free, 1-866-811-4111.

            Sponsors of Encuentro include Southwest Airlines, The Doris Duke Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the L.A. County Arts Commission.

            THE LOS ANGELES THEATRE CENTER (LATC) is a facility of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and is operated by the Latino Theater Company. Established in 2006, LATC operates as a world class performing arts center for those pursuing artistic excellence; a laboratory where both tradition and innovation are honored and honed; a place where the convergence of people, cultures, and ideas contribute to the future. LATC is located in the heart of the revived downtown historic core at 514 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

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