LOS ANGELES — The Latin theater company opens its 2022 season with the world premiere of SHEa poignant and lyrical initiatory drama written by Marlow Wyatt and led by justin lord. Performances take place May 6 by June 5 at Los Angeles Theater Center in downtown LA, with previews slated for April 28 through May 5.
Camille Spirlin (Runaway at home at the fountain) plays the role of 13-year-old SHE Sojourner Freeman. Growing up in a small town filled with poverty and neglect, ELLE escapes by reimagining her reality through poetry. Her dreams take flight when she is offered the opportunity to attend the prestigious Vanguard Academy. But forced to make her way, SHE quickly discovers that dreams cost money… and that you don’t always pay with money.
Also in the stellar cast are Lorenz Arnell (Ovation, Backstage and LADCC Prize for the title role in The Ballad of Emmet Till at the fountain) as ELLE’s best friend, Davie Mansaw; Karen Malina White (The top of the mountain for LA Theater WorksEight Nights at Antaeus, the Ballad of Emmet Till at the Fountain) as a neglectful, male-obsessed mother, Bernice; Kamal Bolden (NBC the end of the game, AMC to come 61st street) as Bernice’s charismatic gamer boyfriend, Mr. Lonnie; Aixa Clement (Bernarda Alba’s house at the Mark Taper Forum, American Illiad to Victory) as the eagle-eyed town matriarch, Miss Jane; and Gerard Joseph (Antaeus Theater Company The ZIP Code Plays in Los Angeles podcast series) as a city hustler Othalee.
“How do you succeed when you’re stuck in a small box? Wyatt asks. “SHE is trapped by the limits of poverty, seeking and wanting and growing up as a woman in a male society. She navigates a world of poetry and eventually discovers that the small town she desperately wants to escape from is filled with the very people who give her wings to fly.
SHE is a CTG/HUMANITAS finalist, winner of Long Beach Playhouse New Works, and has received A-List readings from the National Black Theater Festival and Antaeus Theater Company Lab Results. In 2021, as the pandemic raged, the Latino Theater Company produced an online digital reading ahead of this world premiere.
The creative team of SHE includes a scenographer Herbal Newsome; light and sound designer Kenneth Cosby; and costume designer Wendell C. Carmichael. The manager is Ladin Jae.
“I commend the Latino Theater Company for prioritizing an all-black creative team for this production,” Wyatt notes.
Marlow Wyatt is a playwright and actor with a BFA (magna cum laude) from Howard University College of Fine Arts. Her thirst for sharing the richness and beauty of black culture manifested itself in playwriting. Selected works include Robin, from the Hood (2021 Semi-Finalist Eugene O’Neill, New Works Pipeline/SBT 2021); red ribbons (2022 Voices for Victory Reading Series, 2021 Headwaters New Play Finalist, National Black Theater Festival A-List Reading Series); Listen, a black woman is talking (2021 Playwrights Union First Look Reading); Mourning of sons (LACMA-Theater at the Museum); American dreamers (Benefit of St. Brigid’s Catholic Church); Confession of my darling (Fade to Black, NESONA Festivals); Say something (AWOT Festival, Arts in Movement); and The village, which Billie would sing and Red, white and blue trilogy (Blue Girl Project). Marlow is an Antaeus Theater Company 2021 NEXT Commission Artist, the 2021 Support Black Theater As We Grow We Sow Winner, SBT’s First New Works Pipeline Artist, and a 2019 MADLab Playwright. She is also a Many Voices Fellowship Finalist, Alumnus Honored by Howard Players and CTG/Humanitas Playwrights Award Finalist.
Justin Lord’s experience as an actor with numerous television, film, musical and theatrical credits to his name, including Division Street on Broadway, led to the staging. His directing career began at the American Theater Arts in California, where he directed Sam Shepard cowboy mouthConrad Bishop and Elizabeth Fuller Full connection and his own adaptation of Harry Kondoleon The newlyweds. Since then, he has continued to direct in Los Angeles at venues including the Skylight Theatre, Luna Playhouse, Inner City Cultural Center, Theater 40, Towne Street Theater and Stella Adler Theater, as well as in New York City. and throughout the country. He has been honored with multiple Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Award nominations, and is a Fellow of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.
The Latino Theater Company is dedicated to providing a world-class arts center for those seeking artistic excellence. a laboratory where tradition and innovation are honored and refined; and a place where the convergence of people, cultures and ideas contributes to the future. Now in its 37th year, LTC has operated the Los Angeles Theater Center, a historic downtown building, since 2006.
SHE opens on Friday, May 6 at 8 p.m.with performances taking place afterwards on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m.. by June 5. Six preview performances take place on Thursday, April 28; Friday April 29; Saturday April 30; Wednesday May 4; and Thursday, May 5, all at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 1 at 4 p.m. Tickets range from $10–$48except the opening night which is $58 and includes a post-performance reception and previews, which are Pay what you choose from $5. the Los Angeles Theater Center is located at 514 S.Spring Street., Los Angeles, CA 90013. Parking is available for $5 with ticket validation at Joe’s Parking Structure, 530 S. Spring St. (immediately south of the theater).
To purchase tickets and for more information, including up-to-date Covid-19 safety protocols as of each performance date, call (213) 489-0994 or go to www.latinotheatreco.org.