2015 SEASON

This will be Artists at Play’s FIFTH year of producing theatre in Los Angeles, and we have some exciting programming lined up for you in 2015.

Artists at Play Readings
Saturday, April 4, 2015

by Sanaz Toossi 

by Carla Ching

On Saturday, April 4, Artists at Play will present our annual spring reading series. Keeping with our 2-plays/1-day setup, this year we proudly present readings of two new works: Nobody’s Child by Sanaz Toossi, along with The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up by Carla Ching. These readings will be at the Lounge Theatre, where we presented our last mainstage production, 99 Histories.


CTG Literary Tour
May 12-15, 2015

99 Histories 
by Julia Cho 

Artists at Play will welcome back the cast of 99 Histories (written by the playwright Julia Cho, directed by Leslie Ishii) for a week of readings in May at libraries located in East Los Angeles. Center Theatre Group invited us to participate in their library reading series as part of their program, The Shop, which provides residents throughout Boyle Heights the chance to make theatre a part of everyday life. The readings will take place May 12-15 and include a post-show talkback where we'll explore the issues of mental health in the Latino community.


Mainstage Production
Fall 2015

In Love and Warcraft
by Madhuri Shekar

This fall, Artists at Play is absolutely thrilled to present our fifth Los Angeles premiere: In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar. Aside from having an amazing title, In Love and Warcraft is a fresh look at the collision between online gaming and In Real Life (IRL) relationships. We have all been fans of Maduri Shekar’s work in the past-- a delightful intersection of humor, love and subculture--and this play is no exception. So get ready to venture into the World of Warcraft with Artists at Play!

Casting for NOBODY'S CHILD Reading

Artists at Play is seeking IRANIAN / MIDDLE EASTERN non-AEA actors for a reading of Nobody's Child by Sanaz Toossi

There is pay. 
Most likely 2 or 3 rehearsals throughout the month of March. Actual performance
 part of Artists at Play's annual spring reading series— on Saturday, April 4 at the Lounge Theatre 2

Submit headshot/resume to AAP.casting@gmail.com with Subject line: "NOBODY'S CHILD - [Character Name]" by Sunday, March 1
.
 
CHARACTER BREAKDOWN

SHADI
 - the oldest; lives in grief; no filter; 40s-50s; on another planet 

ANI
 - middle child; post-nose job; waiting for life to start; self-conscious; trying to keep her family together; 30s-40s 

CAMERON - youngest; MTF trans and now considering transitioning back to assigned gender (male); sweet but anger bubbles through 

BABA - the father; 60s-80s; he shows up as his children's depictions of him; never healed from his wife's departure; lives in the past 

NIMA - teens-20s; a servant on the train; smart; shy and respectful; cautiously inquisitive 

SYNOPSIS: When you're stuck on a train going through the desert in the Middle East, things can get heated. Especially for three prickly siblings. Oldest sister Shadi is depressed, youngest sister Cameron struggles to reestablish her identity within her family, and Ani— with a brand new nose— is caught in the middle. Questions of identity, love, gender and body hair are raised. Razors drawn. 


Please email headshot/resume to AAP.casting@gmail.com with Subject line: "NOBODY'S CHILD - [Character Name]." Submission deadline: Sunday, March 1

View/Share this casting notice on Facebook.

NOBODY'S CHILD by Sanaz Toossi

Artists at Play is proud to present Nobody's Child by Sanaz Toossi as part of our annual spring reading series on Saturday, April 4, 2015.

Sanaz Toossi, playwright
The Play
When you're stuck on a train going through the desert in the Middle East, things can get heated. Especially for three prickly siblings. Oldest sister Shadi is depressed, youngest sister Cameron struggles to reestablish her identity within her family, and Ani— with a brand new nose— is caught in the middle. Questions of identity, love, gender and body hair are raised. Razors drawn.

The Playwright
Sanaz is a playwright from California. Born and raised in Orange County, she found her passion for theater at South Coast Repertory. She is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and lives in New York with two actors in a one-bedroom. 

THE TWO KIDS THAT BLOW SHIT UP by Carla Ching

Artists at Play is proud to present The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up by Carla Ching as part of our annual spring reading series, on Saturday, April 4, 2015.

The Play
Diana and Max meet at 10 years old, the day their parents start fucking. In the ensuing 18 years, their parents break up, get back together, marry and divorce. And they see each other through it all, trying not to make the same mistakes their parents did. A play about trying not to fall in love with your best friend so you end up hating them. 

The Playwright
Carla Ching, playwright
An L.A. native, Carla stumbled upon pan-Asian performance collective Peeling at the Asian American Writers Workshop and wrote/performed with them for three years, which she still considers her first theater training. Her plays include Fast Company (EST/Sloan commission; South Coast Repertory Theater, dir. Bart DeLorenzo, asst. dir. Artists at Play's Peter J. Kuo; Ensemble Studio Theatre, dir. Robert Ross Parker; Pork Filled Productions, dir. Amy Poisson; winner of Edgerton New American Play Award; winner of Seattle Times’ Footlights Award for Top Play on a Smaller Stage), TBA (2g, dir. Denyse Owens), The Sugar House at the Edge of the Wilderness (Ma-Yi Theater Company, dir. Daniella Topol), Dirty, Big Blind/Little Blind, and The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up. She’s an alumna of The Women’s Project Lab 2008-2010, the 2010/11 Lark Play Development Center Playwright's Workshop and the Lark's 2011/12 Meeting of the Minds, the 2013/14 CTG Writers’ Workshop and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. BA, Vassar College. MFA, New School for Drama. Former Artistic Director of Asian American Theater Company, 2g. She is currently working on a Time Warner Foundation sponsored Crossroads commission for South Coast Repertory entitled Nomad Motel. Proud member of New Dramatists and The Kilroys. Carla wrote on Season Two of USA’s Graceland.

Artists at Play ... at Play!

2015 marks Artists at Play's fifth anniversary of existence and as a "thank you" to our supporters and audiences, we will celebrate by performing for you!









On Friday, January 23, producers (from l. to r.) Julia, Stefanie, Nicholas, Peter and Marie-Reine will step out from behind the curtain with original short plays created from a place of absolute honesty. Theatre, YouTube shame, dating, food love/ issues ... nothing is off-limits in this frank exploration of the things we constantly think about.

Join us for a night of laughter, embarrassment, truth and probably more than one instance of stage awkwardness (because it's at least a little fun when the producers squirm a bit). Plus, we will announce our upcoming 2015 line-up. Happy New Year and let us entertain you!

Artists at Play ... at Play!

Tickets
$15 pre-sale (BUY ONLINE)
$11-20 sliding scale at the door*
*Admission at the door is $10 + your draw from a deck of cards

Date and Time
Friday, January 23, 2015 at 8:30 p.m.
Doors open at 8 p.m. with pre-show reception

Location
Armory Center for the Arts
145 Raymond Avenue, Pasadena
Directions and Parking

Beer and drink specials all night!

T.A.A. (from AAP at Play!)

From Artists at Play ... at Play! (January 23, 2015), a special event to kick off our fifth year in Los Angeles theatre, featuring all-original pieces written by the AAP producers ...


T.A.A.


MARIE is at center stage after the welcome, while the others are sitting in (4) chairs set up in a semi-circle behind her.

MARIE: “T.A.A.”!

ALL: Let’s play!

MARIE takes seat as JULIA steps up to the mic.

JULIA: Welcome, everyone, to tonight’s gathering. This is a safe space for a fellowship of men and women who want to help each other. Those of us up here will be doing some sharing now, and perhaps our experiences will parallel some of yours.

I’ll begin: Hi. My name is Julia and I'm a theatre addict.

ALL: Hi, Julia.

JULIA: I’ve always loved the arts, first as a viewer/admirer then later as a performer. Things got pretty intense about five years ago when I started producing theatre. My now husband, who’s been with me for almost 10 years, grew increasingly frustrated the more time I spent at the theatre, working on theatre, rehearsing theatre-- It wasn’t just the time spent away from him, from home, but also the fact that I wasn’t really making any money that was really straining our relationship. He’s threatened to leave me several times… jokingly? I’m learning to scale back, but I'm still struggling to find that ideal life-work-theatre balance. Thank you.

NICHOLAS: Hi, I’m Nicholas and I am a theatre addict.

ALL: Hi, Nicholas.

NICHOLAS: I don’t even know how I got to this point! I used to hate theatre so much. When I was 11, I was forced to see The Phantom of the Opera and I fell asleep. And, now the duet The Phantom of the Opera from the show is my go to karaoke song, because it shows off my vocal range! Vocal range! What is that even? I remember when I thought musical theatre was only for nerds and white people.

My addiction to theatre has gotten real bad too. I choose theatre over everything. My family never sees me anymore. It’s so bad that I had to give them an ultimatum. “If you want to see me come to my play and pay $30 or don’t see me at all!”

Theatre is all I ever think about...like I read plays for fun! I guess it all started in college. I went in as an English Education major with an emphasis in African American Literature and minor in Spanish and some how left with a degree in theatre. But once I got a taste, I was hooked and now I work full time for a theatre. I literally need it to survive. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve started to develop an overly theatrical personality and that’s an acquired taste—most people think I’m annoying! I wish I were addicted to something easier like movies—you don’t have to pay for parking when you go to the movies. But, being here helps.

PETER: Hi, I’m Peter.

ALL: Hi, Peter.

PETER: I really don’t understand why I’m here. I’m not a theatre addict. For a long time theatre was my day job. And then I like to do theatre on the side. I like watching theatre. I like reading plays. I like thinking about theatre, a lot. But I’m not an addict. I can go without theatre if I need to. I mean, I once went a whole week without doing anything theatre related….five days? Reading reviews doesn’t count, right? I have friends outside of theatre...I just don’t see them often. It’s not a problem. It’s just a big part of my life....like big...you know, important.

STEFANIE: Hi, I’m Stefanie and I’m a theatre addict.

ALL: Hi, Stefanie.

STEFANIE: So, I don’t actually see much theatre. I don’t even average a show a month. I don’t read that many plays. To be honestly, I generally don’t even get through all the scripts that Artists at Play considers for any given year. I wasn’t a theatre major in college like my fellow co-producers. I was an Asian American Studies and Political Science major. I wanted to become a journalist so I could tell the stories of underserved communities in mainstream news outlets. Then I wanted to be a lawyer so disenfranchised people could have a voice in the legal system. A summer internship at East West Players changed everything and, for the last 15 years, theatre has been my tool for advocacy. And I don't know what I'd do without it.



MARIE: Hi, I’m Marie, and I’m a theatre addict.

ALL: Hi, Marie.

MARIE: It’s been about two months since the last time I saw a play. But, I spent the previous 3 months seeing 25-30 shows. In October, I went to not one, but two separate theatre festivals and conferences. Some weekends, I spent more time at the LATC than I spent time at my own home. I stopped seeing my friends. I sacrificed sleep. I spent too much money on parking, food and drinks.

I just don’t know how to shake it. You know, that feeling of looking for the next production that will warm my heart or make me think about life or society as a whole. It just feels so amazing, especially when the play is good. It gives me a high. Can I say it also turns me on?

So here I am, looking for help.

ALL: BREAK!

[Cue transition music: “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse]

Read the next piece: Swimming in Circles

SWIMMING IN CIRCLES (from AAP at Play!)

Written by Artists at Play founding member/producer Stefanie Wong Lau. From Artists at Play ... at Play! (January 23, 2015), a special event to kick off our fifth year in Los Angeles theatre, featuring all-original pieces written by the AAP producers ...


Read the previous piece: T.A.A. 

STEFANIE:
Swimming in Circles

ALL: Let’s play!

STEFANIE: “You’re not old, but you’re not young either,” said my OGBYN in 2012.
I was 33½ years old and just had a miscarriage. My doctor was talking to me about my “options” as I was getting close to the dreaded child-bearing age of 35. For those of you who don’t know, when a woman turns 35, the chances of having a difficult pregnancy and genetic abnormalities in the baby increases because eggs get old.
In 2008, when I was 29, I had my daughter. I was the first among my friends to have a child. Three years later, we started trying to have a second baby. And no go.
All the while, our friends were having their first child … and then their second. As they excitedly told me about their pregnancies, I would smile and say congratulations, and then go home and cry.
Then in early 2012 I got pregnant! We were so excited. I told my family right away and my co-producers in Artists at Play because I was due in the fall when our show Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them would be running.
Except on February 26, while we were hosting an Academy Award party, I started to miscarriage. A house full of friends and I was losing my pregnancy. I was six weeks along and my body was shedding a mass of cells no bigger than the end of my pinky. We were devastated, but there was nothing that we could do.
My OBGYN said to take some time off to let my body reset. So six months later, we started trying. And again, no go.
I thought it was bad when I got married and people constantly asked us when we were going to have a baby. It’s even worse when you have one kid and people start asking you when you’re going to have more kids.
The polite thing to say, the thing that makes the other person feel comfortable about their question is “oh, we’ve been trying but nothing yet” or “oh, we’re enjoying the one we have for a little longer.” But in my head, I wanted to stop the questions by honestly saying, “Yeah, we want to have more kids, but I had a miscarriage a few years ago and my husband’s sperm swims in a circle, so we’re having a little trouble conceiving again.”

But all that does is make the person feel bad for asking, and then I feel bad for making that person feel bad. So instead, I just sheepishly grin, repeat one of my standard responses and change the subject.

While I knew that I wanted a second baby, I didn’t want to go through the energy, time and money that would be necessary for fertility treatments, especially since the chances of those working are slim when the problem is the sperm. So I started to accept that we would just be a happy family of three. [cue projection of ultrasound]


But now, I get to be excited that we’re going to be a family of four.


ALL: BREAK!

[Cue transition music: Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”]

Read the next piece: Mikado Game Night