The Center Theatre Group’s Third Annual Block Party showcases the talent of three burgeoning local theater groups from the Los Angeles area.
As many of you know, I am a huge theater buff and one of the highlights of my job is attending show openings and supporting both large and small local theatrical productions. Center Theatre Group’s Block Party is about as local as you can get. Block Party is CTG’s program that focuses on supporting and cultivating smaller local theatrical troupes, playwrights, actors, directors and designers and it helps to foster relationships between Center Theatre Group staff and the staff of theatre companies throughout the Los Angeles area. I personally love supporting and attending shows from burgeoning theater companies and am delighted to see that one of the most prestigious theater groups in the country is doing the same.
For the third annual Block Party Season which takes place at the Kirk Douglas Theatre from March 7 to April 28th, 2019, Center Theatre Group received numerous submissions from intimate companies throughout the greater Los Angeles area. The productions chosen celebrate some of the best up and coming theatrical talent in LA. The line-up includes: Hollywood’s Theatre of NOTE’s “For The Love Of (or, the roller derby play),” Los Feliz’ Skylight Theatre Company’s “Rotterdam” and Glendale’s Antaeus Theatre Company’s “Native Son.” Each production will have a two-week run with 12 performances. The three visiting companies will receive the full support of Center Theatre Group and its staff in order to fund, stage and market each production. What an amazing opportunity!
For The Love Of (or, the roller derby play): March 7 – 17, 2019 kicks off the Block Party season. This all female play follows Joy and Michelle, long-term partners who find their lives turned upside down when Joy joins a roller derby team called the Brooklyn Scallywags. Joy becomes close with the star of the team and must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to follow her heart. I attended the opening of this girl-powered play last weekend and really enjoyed the interactive roller derby atmosphere, the cleverly choreographed skating numbers and the authentic relationships. So fun!
Rotterdam: March 28 – April 7, 2019 is poignant comedy that centers around Alice, who has finally found the courage to come out to her parents and her decision inspires her girlfriend Fiona to make an announcement of her own. Before Alice hits send on her email, Fiona reveals that she has always identified as a man and now wants to live as one, sending their relationship into a tailspin. This queer love story is a bittersweet comedy with deeply human characters, that makes us question love and sexual identity. This play sounds timely, relatable and very entertaining.
Native Son: April 18 – 28, 2019 is a searing new adaptation of a contemporary classic about being black in America. The longing for social justice ignites a palpable rage in Richard Wright’s classic novel, Native Son. Set in 1930s Chicago, where opportunities for African American men like Bigger Thomas are elusive, playwright Nambi E. Kelley’s gripping adaptation focuses on the inner workings of the protagonist’s mind as events violently and irrevocably seal his fate. Sounds riveting!
Tickets for the 2019 Block Party season are available HERE. If you love supporting smaller local theatre like I do, you can buy a Block Party Party Pass for $75, which includes a ticket to all three productions as well as a complimentary cocktail (or non-alcoholic beverage) at each performance. The Party Pass is available by phone or in-person at the box office using the code PARTYPASS through March 28, 2019.