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NEWS RELEASE — CRITICAL MASS PERFORMANCE GROUP ANNOUNCES PANELS & EVENTS TO ACCOMPANY THE WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTION OF “AMERYKA” OPENING SATURDAY 2/6

CRITICAL MASS PERFORMANCE GROUP
ANNOUNCES PANELS AND EVENTS TO ACCOMPANY ITS
WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTION 0F
AMERYKA
OPENING FEBRUARY 6
AT SHAKESPEARE CENTER OF LOS ANGELES

AmerykaCritical Mass Performance Group has announced a slate of panels and events surrounding and enhancing the audience experience of Ameryka, its world premiere play opening at Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles on Saturday, February 6. Written and directed by Nancy Keystone in collaboration with the company, the cast of Ameryka will feature Curt Bonnem, Russell Edge, Ray Ford, Lorne Green, Drew Stafford Harper, Danielle K. Jones, Christopher Salazar, Nick Santoro, and Valerie Spencer.

Throughout the run of Ameryka, in partnership with the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, an exhibition of political posters from the Solidarity and American Civil Rights Movements (www.politicalgraphics.org) will be featured in the theatre lobby. Additionally, The Richard Velzen Trio will perform live jazz on Saturdays 2/13, 2/20, and 3/5. For more information and activities schedule updates, visit www.criticalmassperformancegroup.com.

FRIDAY 2/12 — POST SHOW PANEL
Pawel Leszkowicz and Tomasz Kitlinski will lead a conversation about current civil rights issues in Poland, focusing on the LGBT community. Leszkowicz is a Polish art historian and art curator. He works as a lecturer and researcher at the Department of History of Art, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, is a member of the International Association of Art Critics and is an LGBT rights activist. Kitlinski is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Sociology, Marie Curie University, Lublin. He is an activist on behalf of labor rights and the equality of women and minorities in Poland and is the author of “The Stranger Is Within Us” (co- written with Leszkowicz) and “Love and Democracy: Reflections on the Queer Question in Poland.”

SATURDAY 2/13 — POST SHOW PANEL
YOU’RE PRODUCING WHAT?! — Producing Theatre in Los Angeles
With Nancy Keystone (Artistic Director, Critical Mass Performance Group) and artistic leaders from the Los Angeles intimate theatre scene.

SUNDAY 2/21 — FOLLOWING 2PM PERFORMANCE
Professor Jody David Armour will speak about the international impact of American racial and social justice and the current Black Lives Matter movement. Armour is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at USC, where he studies the intersection of race and legal decision making. A widely published scholar and popular lecturer, Armour is a Soros Justice Senior Fellow of The Open Society Institute’s Center on Crime, Communities, and Culture. His book Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America (New York University Press) addresses core concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement. Armour often appears as a legal analyst on a variety of national television and radio news programs.

SATURDAY 2/27 — 7PM (PRIOR TO PERFORMANCE)
Adam Michnik will speak before the 8pm performance. Michnik was a forceful leader of the Solidarity Movement, long-time dissident, writer, historian, and public intellectual. He was jailed multiple times during the Communist regime. He is the co-founder and editor of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland’s leading newspaper. Michnik is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a laureate of many awards and honors including a Knight of the Legion of Honour. He has also received a Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, a Goethe Medal, and was named European of the Year.

MONDAY 2/29 — POST SHOW PANEL
YOU CALL THAT THEATRE?! — Devising Theatre in Los Angeles
With Nancy Keystone (Artistic Director, Critical Mass Performance Group), Sean Cawelti (Artistic Director, Rogue Artists Ensemble), Traci Kato-Kiriyama and Kennedy Kabasares (PULL Project), and Estela Garcia (independent artist).
Exploring the methods and madness of the collaborative creation process for new theatrical works. Ameryka is the product of five years of collaborative creation by Critical Mass Performance Group.

There will be one preview performance of Ameryka on Friday, February 5 at 8pm and opening is set for Saturday, February 6 at 8pm. The engagement will run through March 6 only with performances on Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. There will be added performances on Sundays 2/14, 2/21, and 3/6 at 7pm, and on Mondays 2/22 and 2/29 at 8pm. Admission on Friday, Sunday, and Monday is $25; on Saturday it is $30. Student and senior discounts are available at all performances. Tickets are available online at http://critical-mass- performance-group.ticketleap.com/ameryka/ or by calling (323) 993-7263. Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles is located at 1238 W. 1st Street in LA, 90026.

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02-02-16

NEWS RELEASE — WORLD PREMIERE OF “SALOME” BY CHRISTOPHER ADAMS-COHEN OPENS FEBRUARY 5 AT MACK SENNETT STUDIOS

Lunar River
in association with Mack Sennett Studios
presents
the World Premiere of
SALOME
A Play by Christopher Adams-Cohen
Directed by Patrick Kennelly

JANUARY 31 — FEBRUARY 28
THE BASEMENT AT MACK SENNETT STUDIOS

OPENS FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5 AT 8PM

Salome

Lunar River in association with Mack Sennett Studios has announced the world premiere of Salome, a radically queer reinvention of the ancient tale, written by Christopher Adams-Cohen and directed by Patrick Kennelly. Salome will run for four weeks only with two preview performances on January 31 and February 4 at 8pm. Opening is set for Friday, February 5 at 8pm. Salome will run through February 28 at The Basement at Mack Sennett Studios.

The cast will feature (in alphabetical order) Christopher Adams-Cohen, Matthew Raich, Rachel Rivera, Soren Royer-McHugh, and Jacqueline Wright. The scenic design is by John Iacovelli, lighting design is by Pablo Santiago-Brandwein, costume design is by Lauren Oppelt, and music and sound design is by Jonathan Snipes. The stage manager is Kelly Egan.

In this radically queer reinvention of the ancient tale of Salome, the playwright takes spiritual inspiration from the transgressive sexuality of Oscar Wilde’s poetic study of the ultimate femme fatale, igniting a militantly erotic epiphany for the 21st Century.

Playwright Christopher Adams-Cohen is also an actor and director. He first appeared on stage as a disembodied angel head in Achim Freyer’s Faust. A Los Angeles native, he played roles as a child vocalist at the LA Opera, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Hollywood Bowl. He apprenticed at New York Stage & Film’s Powerhouse Theatre, and returned there in the summer of 2015 to act in their workshop series. Adams-Cohen is currently producing new work at Montserrat, a performance space in the DTLA Industrial District (www.montserratdtla.com), serves as literary manager for TinyRhino LA, and is a frequent writer and performer with Play Collaborative Arts (www.playcollaborativearts.com). He is a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. More at www.cadamscohen.com.

Director Patrick Kennelly writes, produces, directs, designs, and curates for film and video, theatre, and for the performance and visual arts. His recent projects include the experimental short-form documentary ten minutes in two hours, shot in South Sudan, a music video for the single “Body & Blood” on noise-rap group Clipping’s debut album, and the feature film Excess Flesh which had its world premiere at SXSW in the spring of 2015. Kennelly is the Co-Artistic Director at Highways Performance Space.
There will be two preview performances of Salome on Sunday, January 31 at 7pm and Thursday, February 4 at 8pm. Opening is set for Friday, February 5 at 8pm. The engagement will run through February 28 with performances on Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 9pm, and Sunday at 7pm. Admission for previews is $28 (students $20) and for regular performances $32 (students $25). Tickets are available online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2488224 or by calling (800) 838-3006.

The Basement at Mack Sennett Studios is located at 1215 Bates Avenue, LA, 90029 (on the corner of Fountain, one block east of Sunset).

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01-21-16

L to R — Christopher Adams-Cohen, Jacqueline Wright, Matthew Raich.
PHOTO BY GAIL HOWLAND.

NEWS RELEASE — THE BLANK THEATRE’S 24th ANNUAL YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS

SUBMISSIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED
THE BLANK THEATRE’S
24th ANNUAL NATIONWIDE
YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL

The Blank Theatre - Young Playwrights Festival LogoThe Blank Theatre’s 24th Annual Young Playwrights Festival is now seeking submissions nationwide from playwrights 19 years of age and younger. The submission deadline is March 15, 2016. Winning plays will be presented by professional actors and directors from June 2—26, 2016 at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

The Blank Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival is a nationwide competition that produces the work of 12 young writers each year. Since 1993, the festival has produced 272 plays by playwrights 19 and younger from 27 states.

Each winning play will have four performances in a weekend run. The productions are made possible in part by grants from The Plum Foundation, The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Hollywood Fringe Festival, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

The rules for the festival competition are as follows: playwrights must be 19 years of age or younger on March 15, 2016; original plays and musicals can be any length, on any subject. Scripts must be legible and pages must be numbered and unbound. Submissions may be made online at theblank.submittable.com or hard copies mailed to YPF, c/o The Blank Theatre, PO Box 1094, Los Angeles, CA, 90078 (and must be postmarked or emailed by March 15, 2016). There is a limit of three (3) plays per playwright. All plays must include a cover sheet with the play’s title, playwright’s name, date of birth, school (if any), mailing address, contact phone number, e-mail address and the play’s production history (if any).

Each playwright whose work is accepted will be assigned a mentor: professionals who will help the youngsters hone their work for performance. Past mentors have included Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, Tony Award-nominated composer Michael John LaChiusa, writer Jeff Greenstein (Will & Grace), producer Todd Milliner (Hot in Cleveland, Grimm), writer Irene Mecchi (The Lion King, Brave), Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), television and film director Garry Marshall, and many others. The playwrights then experience the thrill of seeing their plays performed by industry professionals in fully staged productions.

Said Noah Wyle (star of television’s ER and Falling Skies), Artistic Producer at The Blank, “Each Spring for the past 23 years, The Blank has found the freshest, most original voices in the American theatre, invited them to Los Angeles, and promoted their work during a month-long festival in June. This thought provoking work, performed and directed by seasoned professionals, has entertained thousands of audience members over the years. While these authors are often as different as the states from which they come and the subjects with which they deal, they share something truly improbable. They’re teenagers.” Wyle continued, “These are not only the voices of today’s theatre — they are the voices of tomorrow’s as well.”

For more information, visit the Festival’s website at www.ypf.theblank.com or The Blank Theatre’s website at www.TheBlank.com.

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01-11-16