Treading the Boards of LA Women’s Theater Fest
The 21st Annual Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival (LAWTF) kicks off on Thursday, March 27 with a Champagne Gala and Awards Ceremony, followed by a roster of distinguished artists who will emcee for four days and six programs at the Electric Lodge in Los Angeles.
"The Champagne Gala and Awards Ceremony will honor exceptional women who have made laudable contributions in theatre," writes the LA Women’s Theater Festival on their website.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. on March 27 with cocktails, followed by an 8 p.m. presentation of the Integrity, Eternity, Rainbow and Maverick Awards to distinguished women.
Hosts for the event are Starletta Dupois of "The Notebook" and everyone’s favorite shipboard bartender, Ted Lange. Entertainment for the evening includes Ingrid Graham’s "The Passage," an exploration of one woman’s journey to self-acceptance. Aerialist Tia Matza will channel her mother in "Grief and Grace," and NAACP Theatre Award-winning Sloan Robinson will present her one-woman tour de force, "Bananas: A Day in the Life of Josephine Baker."
On Friday, March 28, the festival continues with "Transformations," featuring host Fay Hauser-Price and Angela Robinson-Witherspoon of "Ugly Betty."
Tracy Silver’s "Motion Cures" is about how dance saves the life of a misunderstood child in a dysfunctional family. Sofia Marie Gonzalez’ "Bully-Mia" chronicles one persons journey from victim to victor; and Katie Rubin’s "Everything, All at Once!" is an unlikely exploration of forgiveness in the life of an actor.
Weekend Sizzles at LA Women’s Theater
The party starts early on Saturday, March 29 with an afternoon scheduled of "Mirrored Reflections," with host Kat Kramer and Sky Palkowitz. Cynthia Ling Lee shows the intimate and bittersweet rapture of love in separation through "rapture/rupture," a contemporary abhinaya Indian dance piece.
Ansuya Nathan is a young Indian woman arriving in Australia on the day Elvis dies in "Long Live the King,"; and Marlene Ondrea Nichols "Dress Kiss Me" looks at the bonds between a woman and her seamstress mother. Lisa Marie Rollins looks at the experience of an adopted girl growing up in an Anglo family in "Ungrateful Daughter."
On Saturday evening, "Rising Above," hosted by Karen A. Clark and James Pickens, Jr. of "Grey’s Anatomy," is an invigorating lineup. Dacyl Acevedo’s "Will Work For" uses clowning and storytelling to show how one artist navigated unemployment to survive the economic crash.
Jozanne Marie’s "Beautiful" looks at a Jamaican girl’s survival on her island, and Anita Noble’s "Polly Bemis" finds her portraying the titular character, a pioneering Chinese woman who was bought and sold as a saloon girl and ultimately became a famous figure of the Wild West.
The festival wraps up on Sunday with two programs. The afternoon program of "It’s All Relative" features hosts Adleane Hunter and Bertila Damas from "Grimm."
The program features Spanish language piece "Remedios Varo: La Alquimista" from Estlela Garcia, bringing to life the artists’ work. Jennifer S. Jones brings her firsthand interviews to life in "Appearance of Life," a piece about a woman who searches for her daughter after the Dirty War of Argentina, from 1976-1983.
Ciera Payton explores one woman’s paper-trail relationship with her incarcerated father in "Michael’s Daughter," and Karen A. Clark reflects on her mother and female family members in "The Women."
Sunday evening’s program "Riffs" is hosted by Ingrid Graham and Barry Shabaka Henley of "Shameless." It features Karen Bankhead in "Etta Mae Mumphries: And the Rest is History." Mwana Furaha shares "Excerpts from Cabaret Underground," and The Lindz presents socially conscious poetry in "WASP."
The LA Women’s Theatre Festival runs from March 27-30 at Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA. For tickets or information, call 818-760-0408 or visit http://www.lawtf.org