For its 18th Anniversary Festival, the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival will return for the second consecutive year to The Electric Lodge, the nation’s first solar-powered multidisciplinary arts center.
The Electric Lodge is located at 1416 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA 90291. It is located one block from the restaurants and nightlife on lively Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and has a very close relationship with the businesses and residents within its community.
Over the years, the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival (LAWTF) has acquired an international reputation for presenting over 400 of some of the most extraordinary works by multicultural women from around the globe in the disciplines of theatre, dance, music, performance poetry, performance art, and storytelling. The women are a diverse group, representing a wide range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. They are superlative artists expressing a variety of perspectives. Performers from around the U.S. and throughout the world unite for this year’s Festival with the fitting theme for its eighteenth year, “Coming Of Age.”
The Festival kicks off on Thursday, March 24 with our traditional Champagne Gala and Awards Ceremony. This year’s theme for the evening is “On The Shoulders Of,” honoring exceptional women who have made laudable contributions in theatre. Following the reception at 7 p.m., the festivities continue at 8 p.m. with the presentation of the Integrity, Eternity, Rainbow, Maverick and Infinity Awards to five distinguished women. (The Honorees will be the subject of a subsequent release.) Hosts for the Gala are Hattie Winston (“Becker,” ‘Homefront”) and Florence LaRue (of The Fifth Dimension).
Entertainment for the evening will include these artists:
Ingrid Graham in a piece entitled “Artemis.” (Dance) Named after the Greek goddess of wilderness, this is a tribute to the goddess of nature that exists within us all.
Monica Hunken, a New York-based actor, will perform an excerpt from a piece entitled“Blondie of Arabia.” (Theatre) What started off as a random catering job at a royal wedding party turned into an adventure that led to an opportunity to explore the Arab world, filled with solitude, danger, celebrations, and surprising connections with strangers along the way.
Tia Matza, trapeze artist, in “My M.O.,” (Acrobatics) is a quest to find an enlightened artistic life and a reminder that we are in control of our own happiness.
Friday, March 25 at 8 p.m. Theme: “Defining Moments”—
Stacie Chaiken in “The Dig: Death, Genesis and the Double Helix.” (Theatre) An American archeologist is summoned to a dig in the ancient Arab-Hebrew town of Jaffa where they have found something they think might change everything- and she is the only one who can tell them what it is.
Erin Parks in “Bonnie in Brighton.” (Theatre) The story of an American girl’s empowering travels through Europe, a rite-of-passage odyssey that is shocking, funny, moving, and a rallying call for the adventurer within us all.
Rebecca Stronger in “Miss Georgia Valentine.” (Acrobatics) A New York-based aerialist-acrobat finds herself in an unexpected situation, which leads her to take the audience on a cheeky and compelling journey through the veils of her faith and memory.
Taffy Wallace in “Next Exit: Beautiful Life.” (Theatre) A personal journey growing up in Compton, moving to Beverly Hills and full circle back to Compton that focuses on identity and self-acceptance.
Saturday, March 26 at 3 p.m. Theme: “It’s A Family Affair”—
Ashanti Brown in “Hell On Me.” (Theatre) One young woman’s testimonial that no matter where you come from, you can rewrite your story, thus taking ownership of your life.
Veronique Jeanmarie in “Big Red Drum Set.” (Storytelling) A New York-based solo show about “music, memory, siblings and growing up in Los Angeles.”
Gloria Rosen in “Listen…Can You Hear Me Now?” (Storytelling) A New York-based actor whose lifetime of interpreting for her deaf parents leads this woman on a search for her own true voice.
Saturday, March 26 at 8 p.m. Theme: “Globally Speaking.”—
Michelle Glick in “Asian Belle.” (Theatre) An autobiographical tale of a New York-based woman’s biracial experience growing up as an Anglo-Asian in the Deep South, exploring assimilation in America, and feeling like a fish out of water desperately trying to be just like everyone else.
Monica Hunken in “Blondie of Arabia.” (Theatre) See description for Thursday, May 24. This is an expanded excerpt of the piece.
Saria Idana in “Homeless in Homeland.” (Theatre) The journey of a Jewish-American woman to understand her identity and her desire for justice in the face of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sunday, March 27 at 3 p.m. Theme: “Herstory Live!”—
Gael Le Cornier in “Frida Kahlo: Viva La Vida!” (Theatre) With a British-based actor, this piece is a portrayal of the turbulent life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.
Leslie McCurdy in “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman.” (Theatre) A Canadian-based actor portrays Harriet Tubman’s life, from her teenage years to her commitment to the Underground Railroad helping slaves reach freedom. This piece offers an inspirational message that “it’s your turn now.”
Kres Mersky in “The Life and Times of A. Einstein.” (Theatre) A day in the life of Albert Einstein as seen through the eyes of his secretary as press await his arrival for a conference on his birthday.
Sunday, March 27 at 7 p.m. Theme: “Resilient”—
Ingrid Graham in “Artemis.” (Dance) See Thursday, March 24.
Juliette Marshall in “You Look Good on Paper.” (Cabaret) A single mom joins the Brentwood Divorce Club looking for love in all the wrong places, while trying to be a good role model for her daughter.
Ingez Rameau in “Burn.” (Theatre) A piece about her growing up in post-World War II Displaced Persons Camps and the subsequent journey of survival, discovery and empowerment.
Bonnie Weiss in “Great Rock of Inner Seeking” and “Doesn’t Everyone Want to Do a Spanish Dance?” This 74-year-old modern dancer performs two pieces: the former inspired by sculptor Isamu Noguchi.
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The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival was founded by Executive Producer Adilah Barnes and Miriam Reed. This year’s Managing Producer is Shyla La’Sha. Longtime Honorary Chairpersons are Danny Glover and Hattie Winston. The Festival is an annual event unique among American cultural institutions and should not be missed.
Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival is made possible in part through the support of the California Arts Council, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, U.S. Bank, the City of West Hollywood, City of Culver City, and Adilah Barnes Productions.
Admission to the Gala is $40, or two tickets for $75 (includes light fare and Champagne).
For the other programs, ticket prices this year include Festival VIP passes for all six shows at $125; and general admission single show tickets at $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. Discounts are available upon request for students, seniors, and groups of ten or more.
The Electric Lodge welcomes all audience members to use its free, on-site parking lot.
Reservations: (818) 760-0408. Online reservations will be available at http://www.lawtf.com/
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