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Casting Announced for Center Theatre Group's Block Party

CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S BLOCK PARTY PRESENTING THREE LOCAL PRODUCTIONS AT THE KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE

Casting Finalized for the Remounting of Productions from Coeurage Theatre Company, The Fountain Theatre and The Echo Theater Company April 14 – May 21

Casting is finalized for three local productions being presented as part of Center Theatre Group’s inaugural Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre. Center Theatre Group will remount Coeurage Theatre Company’s production of “Failure: A Love Story,” The Fountain Theatre’s production of “Citizen: An American Lyric” and The Echo Theater Company’s production of “Dry Land” for Block Party at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Block Party runs April 14 through May 21. The three shows have the full support of Center Theatre Group and its staff in order to fund, stage and market each production.

“Failure: A Love Story” from Coeurage Theatre Company will begin previews April 14, open April 16 and close April 23. Written by Philip Dawkins and directed by Michael Matthews, the show chronicles the lives, loves and deaths of the three Fail sisters and the one man who fell in love with each of them. Set against the backdrop of 1920s Chicago, this touching, whimsical tale explores the impermanence of life and the permanence of love.

The cast of “Failure: A Love Story” includes Joe Calarco, June Carryl, Cristina Gerla, Kristina Johnson, Margaret Katch, Denver Milord, Gregory Nabours, Theodore Perkins, Kurt Quinn, Brandon Ruiter, Nicole Shalhoub, Gina Torrecilla and Brittney S. Wheeler. Scenic design is by JR Bruce, costume design is by Allison Dillard and lighting design is by Matthew Brian Denman. Emily Abbott is the production stage manager.

“Citizen: An American Lyric” from The Fountain Theatre will begin previews April 28, open April 30 and close May 7. Adapted for the stage by Fountain Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs and directed by Shirley Jo Finney, “Citizen” fuses poetry, prose, movement, music and the video image in a provocative stage adaptation of Claudia Rankine’s internationally acclaimed book of poetry about everyday acts of racism in America.

The cast of “Citizen: An American Lyric” includes Bernard K. Addison, Leith Burke, Tony Maggio, Monnae Michaell, Simone Missick and Lisa Pescia. Scenic and projection design is by Yee Eun Nam, costume design is by Naila Aladdin-Sanders, lighting design is by Pablo Santiago and sound design is by Peter Bayne. Anastasia Coon is the movement director and Shawna Voragen is the production stage manager.

“Dry Land” from The Echo Theater Company will begin previews May 12, open on May 14 and close on May 21. Written by Ruby Rae Spiegel and directed by Alana Dietze, it is a haunting play about female friendship and an abortion that takes place in the locker room of a central Florida high school. Written when Spiegel was just 21 years old, the play is a deeply truthful portrait of the fears, hopes and bonds of teenage girls.

The cast of “Dry Land” includes Daniel Hagen, Ben Horwitz, Connor Kelly-Eiding, Teagan Rose and Jenny Soo. The cast also includes Jacqueline Besson and Alexandra Freeman as well as USC School of Dramatic Arts students Francesca O’Hern, Bukola Ogunmola, Sidne Phillips and Tessa Hope Slovis. Scenic design is by Amanda Knehans, costume design is by Elena Flores, lighting design is by Justin Huen and sound design is by Jeff Gardner. Anna Engelsman is the production stage manager.

“As we celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50 years of creating theatre in Los Angeles, we want to turn the spotlight on some of the remarkable work being done on other stages,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie in discussing Block Party. “Coeurage Theatre, Echo Theater and Fountain Theatre, as well as others throughout L.A., regularly produce excellent, boundary-pushing work and we’re so glad they are sharing some of that work with us.”

Center Theatre Group received 76 submissions for Block Party from intimate theatre companies from North Hollywood to San Pedro, Topanga to Sierra Madre. With Block Party, Center Theatre Group hopes to strengthen relationships within the Los Angeles community, create additional avenues for the organization to become familiar with local playwrights, actors, directors and designers, and foster relationships between Center Theatre Group staff and the staff at theatre companies throughout Los Angeles.

Block Party receives major support from Aliza Karney Guren and Marc Guren with generous funding also provided by Joni and Miles Benickes.

Center Theatre Group has a long history of pairing with local theatre companies including the Deaf West production of “Big River” which was produced at the Mark Taper Forum in 2002 and went on to Broadway before returning to the Ahmanson Theatre in 2005 as part of a national tour. More recently, Center Theatre Group partnered with Ebony Repertory Theatre for the remounting of “A Raisin in the Sun” (which played at the Douglas), 24th STreet Theatre’s “Walking the Tightrope” (also at the Douglas) and with other companies around the city for “The Behavior of Broadus” (Burglars of Hamm and Sacred Fools Theater Company) and “Birder” (The Road Theatre Company).

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Tickets for each production are available by calling (213) 628-2772, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre or at the Kirk Douglas Theatre box office two hours prior to performance. Tickets range from $25 – $70 (ticket prices are subject to change).

Tickets for all three Block Party productions can be purchased as a package for $67. The package is available in person or by phone only.

As an homage to Coeurage Theatre’s payment structure, the first preview performance of each production will be a pay-what-you-want performance. Pay-what-you-want gives patrons the opportunity to decide what their theatre experience was worth to them before, during or after the performance. The pay-what-you-want performance for “Failure” will be on April 14, “Citizen” will be on April 28 and “Dry Land” will be on May 12.

The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA 90232. Ample free parking and restaurants are adjacent.

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March 30, 2017