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Block Party Continues with 'Dry Land' Opening

CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S BLOCK PARTY CONTINUES AT THE KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE WITH THE OPENING OF THE ECHO THEATER PRODUCTION OF “DRY LAND” THIS SUNDAY, MAY 14

The Third and Final Installment of Block Party Will Run For 11 Performances Only

Center Theatre Group’s Block Party continues with the opening of The Echo Theater Company production of “Dry Land” this Sunday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Written by Ruby Rae Spiegel and directed by Alana Dietze, “Dry Land” will begin previews May 12 and continue for 11 performances only through May 21, 2017.

Block Party highlights some of the remarkable work being done in other, more intimate theatres throughout Los Angeles by fully producing three previously staged productions. The three visiting companies received the full support of Center Theatre Group and its staff in order to fund, stage and market each production. This year’s Block Party started with the Coeurage Theatre Company production of “Failure: A Love Story” April 14 through 23 and continued with The Fountain Theatre production of “Citizen: An American Lyric” April 28 through May 7.

“Dry Land” 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 and still an undergraduate at Yale, the play is a deeply truthful portrait of the fears, hopes and bonds of teenage girls — as gut-wrenching as it is funny. In his New York Times “critic’s pick” review, Ben Brantley called “Dry Land” “tender, caustic, funny and harrowing, often all at the same time.”

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.

On Wednesday, May 17, audiences are invited to attend a moderated Stage Talk with the “Dry Land” cast and company following the performance. Patrons must purchase a ticket to that performance in order to participate.

“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, The Echo Theater and The 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.”

Applications for the 2017-2018 Block Party are now being accepted. More information is available at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/BlockParty.

Center Theatre Group received 76 submissions for the 2016-2017 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).

As an homage to Coeurage Theatre’s payment structure, the first preview performance of each production is 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 “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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May 10, 2017