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"Until the Flood" Opens at the Douglas


“Until the Flood” Will Run Through February 23, 2020

Currently in previews, “Until the Flood” will open at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre on Wednesday, January 29 at 8 p.m. Written and starring Dael Orlandersmith and directed by Neel Keller, “Until the Flood” will continue through February 23.

The creative team features scenic designer Takeshi Kata, costume designer Kaye Voyce, lighting designer Mary Louise Geiger, sound designer and composer Justin Ellington and projection designer Nicholas Hussong. The production stage manager is Brooke Baldwin.

Commissioned by Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, “Until the Flood” explores a community in turmoil following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Orlandersmith drew from her extensive interviews with residents across the greater St. Louis area to create composite characters that reflect a wide range of perspectives and experiences of race to discuss the roots of unrest and the search for healing. Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune said, “‘Until the Flood’ is so palpably compassionate, it achieves a great beauty by bringing us together rather than driving us apart.”

Dael Orlandersmith previously collaborated with Center Theatre Group on 2010’s “Bones” (a Center Theatre Group commission and world premiere), “Stoop Stories” and 2014’s “Forever” (a World premiere production). In 2015, “Forever” was performed at the Long Wharf and New York Theatre Workshop. There was also a production of the play at Oregon’s Portland Center Stage in 2016. In 2017, “Forever” was onstage at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. She first performed “Stoop Stories” in 2008 at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and Apollo Theater’s Salon Series; Washington, D.C.’s Studio Theatre produced its world premiere in 2009. She developed “Black N Blue Boys/Broken Men” as a co-commission between the Goodman Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it was staged in May 2012. Her play “Horsedreams” was developed at New Dramatists and workshopped at New York Stage and Film Company in 2008, and was performed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in 2011. Ms. Orlandersmith premiered “The Blue Album,” in collaboration with David Cale, at Long Wharf Theatre in 2007. “Yellowman” was commissioned by and premiered at McCarter Theatre in a co-production with The Wilma Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. Ms. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play for “Yellowman” in 2002. The Gimmick, commissioned by McCarter Theatre, premiered in their Second Stage OnStage series in 1998 and went on to receive great acclaim at Long Wharf Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop; Ms. Orlandersmith won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for “The Gimmick” in 1999. Her play “Monster” premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in November 1996. She has toured extensively with the Nuyorican Poets Café (Real Live Poetry) throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. “Yellowman” and a collection of her earlier works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service. Ms. Orlandersmith attended Sundance Institute Theatre Lab for four summers and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim, and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for a playwright in mid-career. She is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwriting Fellowship and an Obie Award for “Beauty’s Daughter.” In fall 2016, Ms. Orlandersmith wrote and performed “Until the Flood,” which was commissioned by The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. In 2018, it arrived at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in New York, Milwaukee Rep, the Goodman, and ACT Seattle. Ms. Orlandersmith is currently working on two commissions. Her play “Lady in Denmark” opened in fall 2018 at the Goodman, and prior to arriving at the Douglas, “Until the Flood” was onstage at Portland Center Stage and the Galway Arts Festival in 2019. This year, she’ll be performing the play not only at the Douglas, but at the Denver Arts Festival and Spoleto Festival in South Carolina. She is working on a new play called “New Age” for Milwaukee Rep and another play for the Goodman. Ms. Orlandersmith is also in the process of writing a book of autofiction.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, Managing Director Meghan Pressman and Producing Director Douglas C. Baker, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2100-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 are available online at, by calling Audience Services at (213) 628-2772 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles). Tickets range from $30-$75 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

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January 29, 2020