Latino Theater Company offers free virtual online season starting August 18
From left, Sam Golzari, Esperanza America, Olivia Cristina Delgado, Ella Saldaña North, Julio Macias, Kenneth Miles Ellington Lopez in ‘A Mexican Trilogy Part 2: Hope’ / Grettel Cortes

LOS ANGELES — Pay no attention to this dateline! Although the storied Latino Theater Company is based here, the virtual online season can be accessed literally from wherever you are in the world!

Over the next five months, LTC’s fall season includes streamed, archival footage of fully staged hit productions and live streamed “sneak-peek” readings of upcoming productions—including August 29 about Chicano activist and journalist Ruben Salazar on the 50th anniversary of his death. The calendar also includes live online conversations with company members; and live readings of new plays selected for the company’s annual Unmasking New Works playreading series. All events are scheduled, on the respective dates listed below, to take place at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET. All events are free and will be available for viewing at www.thelatc.org/. At the bottom you will find the complete schedule. Keep it handy!

The season opens on Tues., Aug. 18, with an archival video presentation of LTC’s 2014 production of Premeditation, a dark romantic comedy written by resident company playwright Evelina Fernández and directed by LTC artistic director José Luis Valenzuela. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. But how many end in murder? A follow-up, online conversation with the artists will take place on Weds., Aug. 19.

Tues., Aug. 25, will see streaming archival video of the 2009 Los Angeles Times “Critic’s Choice” production of Solitude, also written by Fernández and directed by Valenzuela, with a follow-up conversation on Weds., Aug. 26. Inspired by a collection of essays on Mexican thought and identity by Octavio Paz, Solitude explores love, death, destiny and family through a contemporary lens, accompanied by live music from cellist Semyon Kobialka.

On Fri., Aug. 28, tune in for a sneak-peek reading of August 29, a play named for the date in 1970, exactly 50 years ago, when Los Angeles Times columnist Ruben Salazar was killed while covering the Chicano Moratorium, a large Chicano-led anti-war demonstration in East L.A. In the play, a university professor is writing a book on the life of Salazar. As she writes, those days from the late 1960s and early 1970s come to life, helping her recall the past and challenging her to renew her activism. The reading will be preceded by a live, online conversation on Thurs., Aug. 27. Written and first produced in 1990 by members of the LTC, then known as the Latino Theater Lab, August 29 was initially announced to open this month at the Los Angeles Theatre Center and is now scheduled to receive a fully staged production in 2021.

September opens with an archival video of La Olla on Tues., Sept. 1, followed by an online conversation on Weds., Sept. 2; and a sneak-peek reading of The Last Angry Brown Hat by Alfredo Ramos on Fri., Sept. 4, preceded by an online conversation on Thurs., Sept. 3. Fernández and Valenzuela again team up for La Olla, adapted from the Roman comedy The Pot of Gold by Plautus and inspired by the Rumberas films of the golden age of Mexican cinema. The LTC incorporates its distinctive style of comedy, music, dance and imagery to explore one of the most basic aspects of human behavior—greed—as a bit player in a shady 1950s L.A. nightclub finds a pot full of cash. In The Last Angry Brown Hat, four former members of the Brown Berets, a 1960s militant Chicano civil rights organization, reunite after the funeral of a pal. Together, they confront the dichotomy between their youthful anger and radicalism, and their current, more conformist lives filled with adult responsibilities.

Sal Lopez in ‘This is a Man’s World’ / Latino Theater Company

Archival footage of This is a Man’s World, a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story written and performed by LTC founding company member Sal Lopez, is scheduled for Tues., Sept. 8, followed by an online conversation with Lopez on Weds., Sept. 9; and a sneak-peek reading of SHE, a new coming-of-age drama by Los Angeles-based emerging playwright Marlow Wyatt on Fri., Sept. 11, preceded by an online conversation on Thurs., Sept. 10. In Lopez’s candid and intimate performance, music and memory swirl as he relives the lessons that shaped his life, from the scent of a pirul tree in Mexico to the thrill of young love to the effects of the Watts Riots and the birth of his son. In SHE, in a small town filled with poverty and neglect, 13-year-old SHE escapes by reimagining her reality through poetry, until, forced to make her own way, she discovers that dreams cos—and you don’t always pay with money. Like August 29, the on-stage world premiere of SHE has been postponed until next year.

La Víctima was the first show ever produced by the Latino Theater Company, in 1985. Created by El Teatro de la Esperanza, a company that helped define Chicano theater and an entire generation of theater professionals, it’s a groundbreaking look, infused with humor, music and dance, at the history of Mexican-U.S. immigration from the intimate perspective of two families. Watch archival footage of the 2010 revival featuring the late Lupe Ontiveras (Selena, Desperate Housewives), who was one of LTC’s founding company members, on Tues., Sept. 15, followed by an online conversation on Weds., Sept. 16. LTC will produce a second revival of La Víctima, in collaboration with students from UCLA’s School of Theater Film and Television and the East Los Angeles College Theater Arts Department, when the company resumes production on the Los Angeles Theatre Center stage in 2021.

On Fri., Sept. 18, catch a sneak-peek reading of the newest play by Evelina Fernández: Sleep with the Angels. Molly is separated from her husband and in desperate need of a childcare provider. Then she discovers Juana standing at her doorstep. Soon, Molly and her kids are swept up into Juana’s magical and charming ways. But who is Juana, really? A pre-reading online conversation is set for Thurs., Sept. 17.

Tues., Sept. 22 brings archival video footage of last season’s Home, writer/performer Nancy Ma’s coming-of-age tale about growing up sandwiched between two cultures. Desperately seeking approval from her Chinese Toisan immigrant family, Nancy journeys away from her home in New York City’s Chinatown in search of the American dream, only to learn that you can only find “home” when you accept where you come from. Join Ma and director Geoffrey Rivas for an online conversation on Weds., Sept. 23. A sneak-peek reading of Just Like Us by Karen Zacarías is set for Fri., Sept. 25, with the online conversation preceding it on Thurs., Sept. 24. Based on Helen Thorpe’s bestselling book of the same name, this documentary-style play follows four Latina teenage girls, two of whom are documented and two who are not, through young adulthood. Their close-knit friendships begin to unravel when immigration status dictates the girls’ opportunities—or lack thereof. The previously announced Los Angeles premiere will now take place at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in 2021.

Archival footage of Evelina Fernández’s Los Angeles Times “Critic’s Choice” and Los Angeles Drama Critics award-winning The Mother of Henry will stream on Tues., Sept. 29, followed by an online conversation on Weds., Sept. 30. Travel back to the working-class melting pot of East L.A. of the 1960s where five diverse employees in the returns department at the iconic Boyle Heights Sears form a tight bond as they cope with upheaval in their personal lives, their community and the rapidly changing world around them during the course of one tumultuous and historic year, 1968.

For eight weeks, Oct. 1-Nov. 20, LTC will stream its Unmasking New Works playreading series every Fri., with a preceding online conversation set for the Thurs. prior to each reading. An announcement went out last month seeking submissions of full-length plays that both reflect the full range of diverse communities and life in Los Angeles and are written by Los Angeles-based playwrights. The company received 61 submissions, and the selection process is currently underway. A final schedule with play titles will be announced in September.

During the first three weeks of Oct., the LTC will stream all three parts of Evelina Fernández’s epic A Mexican Trilogy. Part 1, Faith, will stream on Tues., Oct. 6; Part 2, Hope, will stream on Tues., Oct. 13; and Part 3, Charity, will stream on Tues., Oct. 20. Travel with the Morales family through decades of the Mexican-American experience, from a remote mining town in Arizona during World War II, to the Phoenix family home during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and, finally to Los Angeles following the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005. A Mexican Trilogy is the winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle’s Ted Schmitt Award and is published by Samuel French. Each of the three streamed productions will be followed by an online conversation the following day: for Faith on Weds., Oct. 7; Hope on Weds., Oct. 14; and Charity on Weds. Oct. 21.

‘Dementia,’ The Latino Theater Company / Christopher Ash

The last week of Oct., on Tues., Oct. 27, LTC will stream archival footage of Dementia, with the online conversation set for Weds., Oct. 28. Written by Evelina Fernández and directed by José Luis Valenzuela, Dementia was first produced in 2002, garnering a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Theater Production and four Ovation nominations; it was revived by LTC in 2010 (Los Angeles Times “Critic’s Choice”) and again in 2017. This innovative play tackles topics taboo in the Latino community, including homosexuality, AIDS, teen pregnancy and euthanasia—all through the Latino Theater Company’s uniquely styled lens.

Closing out the season on Fri., Dec. 11, will be archival video of LTC’s signature holiday pageant, La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin, which has taken place annually since 2002 at downtown L.A.’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Adapted for the stage by Evelina Fernández from the mid-16th century text The Nican Mopohua and performed in Spanish with English subtitles, La Virgen is the City of L.A.’s largest theatrical holiday production with over 100 actors, singers and indigenous Aztec dancers as well as children and seniors from the community. Join the tens of thousands who have become transfixed by the story of Juan Diego, a simple peasant to whom the Virgin Mary appeared on four occasions in the mountains of Tepeyac near Mexico City in 1531. A Los Angeles Times “Critic’s Choice,” the production has been featured by The New York Times, American Theatre, Univision, Telemundo and Fox News among many others. An online conversation on Thurs., Dec. 10 will precede the event.

The LTC is dedicated to providing a world-class arts center for those pursuing artistic excellence; a laboratory where both tradition and innovation are honored and honed; and a place where the convergence of people, cultures and ideas contributes to the future. Now in its 34th year, LTC has operated the Los Angeles Theatre since 2006.

All Fall 2020 Virtual Season events are free and will be available for viewing at www.thelatc.org/.

Below is an easy-to-read schedule of events.

The Latino Theater Company Fall 2020 Virtual Season
Schedule at-a-glance.
Note: All programs start at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET.

Tues., Aug. 18: Archival Video Presentation—Premeditation
Weds., Aug. 19: Online Conversation—Premeditation

Tues., Aug. 25: Archival Video Presentation—Solitude
Weds., Aug. 26: Online Conversation—Solitude

Thurs., Aug. 27: Online Conversation—August 29
Fri., Aug. 28: Online Reading—August 29

Tues., Sept. 1: Archival Video Presentation—La Olla
Weds., Sept. 2: Online Conversation—La Olla

Thurs., Sept. 3: Online Conversation—The Last Angry Brown Hat
Fri., Sept. 4: Online Reading—The Last Angry Brown Hat

Tues., Sept. 8: Archival Video Presentation—This is a Man’s World
Weds., Sept. 9: Online Conversation—This is a Man’s World

Thurs., Sept. 10: Online Conversation—SHE
Fri., Sept. 11: Online Reading—SHE

Tues., Sept. 15: Archival Video Presentation—La Víctima
Weds., Sept. 16: Online Conversation—La Víctima

Thurs., Sept. 17: Online Conversation—Sleep with the Angels
Fri., Sept. 18: Online Reading—Sleep with the Angels

Tues., Sept. 22: Archival Video Presentation—Home
Weds., Sept. 23: Online Conversation—Home

Thurs., Sept. 24: Online Conversation—Just Like Us
Fri., Sept. 25: Online Reading—Just Like Us

Tues., Sept. 29: Archival Video Presentation—The Mother of Henry
Weds., Sept. 30: Online Conversation—The Mother of Henry

Thurs., Oct. 1: Online Conversation—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #1
Fri., Oct. 2: Online Reading—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #1

Tues., Oct. 6: Archival Video Presentation—A Mexican Trilogy Part 1: Faith
Weds., Oct. 7: Online Conversation—A Mexican Trilogy Part 1: Faith

Thurs., Oct. 8: Online Conversation—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #2
Fri., Oct. 9: Online Reading—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #2

Tues., Oct. 13: Archival Video Presentation—A Mexican Trilogy Part 2: Hope
Weds., Oct. 14: Online Conversation—A Mexican Trilogy Part 2: Hope

Thurs., Oct. 15: Online Conversation—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #3
Fri., Oct. 16: Online Reading—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #3

Tues., Oct. 20: Archival Video Presentation—A Mexican Trilogy Part 3: Charity
Weds., Oct. 21: Online Conversation—A Mexican Trilogy Part 3: Charity

Thurs., Oct. 22: Online Conversation—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #4
Fri., Oct. 23: Online Reading—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #4

Tues., Oct. 27: Archival Video Presentation—Dementia
Weds., Oct. 28: Online Conversation—Dementia

Thurs., Oct. 29: Online Conversation—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #5
Fri., Oct. 30: Online Reading—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #5

Thurs., Nov. 5: Online Conversation—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #6
Fri., Nov. 6: Online Reading—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #6

Thurs., Nov. 12: Online Conversation—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #7
Fri., Nov. 13: Online Reading—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #7

Thurs., Nov. 19: Online Conversation—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #8
Fri., Nov. 20: Online Reading—Unmasking New Works Reading Series, Script #8

Thurs., Dec. 10: Online Conversation—La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin
Fri., Dec. 11: Archival Video Presentation—La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin

All Fall 2020 Virtual Season events are free and will be available for viewing at www.thelatc.org/.


CONTRIBUTOR

Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.

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