Charles J. Evered House – Artist Residency for Vets

The Charles J. Evered House (CJE House) is a new program division of Hi-Desert Cultural Center whose mission is to provide a safe and secure artistic residency that facilitates the creativity of veterans and those who serve in conflict zones.  Located in the renowned artistic communities of Joshua Tree National Park and established by former Lt., US Navy Reserve, and celebrated writer/director, Charles Evered, the CJE House is named in honor of his father, Charles J. Evered (1918-1979), who was a veteran of World War II, Army Air Corps.

The CJE House project has already brought together an impressive group of successful artists and supporters (Mentor Board) that have agreed to work with the residents in their chosen field — should they request such guidance. The Mentor Board has among its ranks best-selling authors, Emmy, Tony and other major award-winning working artists and arts related professionals that are willing to mentor and give of their time completely free of charge.

The Hi-Desert Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are fully tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. (Federal Tax ID# 23-7425816).

For more, visit the website for the Charles J. Evered House here.

Magic Theatre Introduces Its 2017-2018 Season Including THE EVA TRILOGY


THE EVA TRILOGY by Barbara Hammond

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 31, 2017) – ­ Magic Theatre (Artistic Director, Loretta Greco; Managing Director, Jaimie Mayer) announced its 2017-2018 season today, which includes the World Premiere of Barbara Hammond’s THE EVA TRILOGY.

Barbara Hammond’s THE EVA TRILOGY is a lyrical Irish epic spanning thirty years over the course of three plays: EDEN, ENTER THE ROAR, and NO COAST ROAD. In Hammond’s trilogy, an Irish expat named Eva returns home from her rebellious life in Paris and makes an irreparable choice when her ailing mother’s fate is placed in her hands. Her decision becomes legendary within her community and proceeds to haunt her through the rest of her life. Each play in the trilogy champions its own theatrical landscape, reflecting the tremendous range of Hammond’s writing and the evolving state of her subject. Magic will be the first theatre to take on all three parts in a single production. Julia McNeal (FRED’S DINER, A LIE OF THE MIND) will star as Eva.

CONTACT: Jonathan White / 530-219-9797 or

In December 2017, Magic Theatre will once again feature the Martha Heasley Cox Virgin Play Festival, Magic’s annual insiders’ look at plays in the making. The 2017 Virgin Play Series will showcase the next generation of bold theatrical voices, working alongside Magic’s family of visionary mid-career writers. All three World Premieres of this season were gestated within the Virgin Play Festival in 2016, and Magic’s consistent pipeline from workshop to production will once again be shared in 2017.
Since its inception in 1967, Magic Theatre has fostered courageous playwrights and produced explosive, entertaining, and ideologically robust plays. Magic believes that if we demonstrate faith in a writer’s vision by providing a safe, rigorous, and innovative artistic home, where a full body of work can be imagined, developed, and produced, then writers, in turn, will thrive.  Seventeen of the last nineteen world premiere plays developed and produced at Magic have enjoyed extended life in cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington DC, London, Manila, and Seoul.
With its intimate thrust stage, Magic is the perfect venue for audiences to experience new work up close. That intimacy extends beyond the mainstage through a number of special events: Community Nights that offer affordable access for the next generation of theatre audiences, Friday night actor Talkbacks, New Work Salons with playwrights and directors, and the Martha Heasley Cox Virgin Play Festival. Magic patrons enjoy unparalleled access to new plays, playwrights, and the process of taking theatre from the page to the stage.
Magic is also proud to be a community partner. Through its “Sheparding America” celebration of Sam Shepard’s legacy in the Bay Area, its Laney College Initiative and Magic: Oakland Annex, the Magic Apprenticeship Program, and active collaborations with A.C.T., Campo Santo, Word for Word, Intersection for the Arts, and The Commonwealth Club, Magic is a local industry leader.

With by Carter W. Lewis, Selected for 2017 Play Penn Conference

Clifford and Minnie devolve into a world of often hysterical but ultimately heartbreaking minutiae as they navigate a blizzard, a dead son, a rat in the kitchen and a half decorated Christmas tree, to find dignity in their final days.

Carter W. Lewis is currently Playwright-in-Residence at Washington University. Previously, he was Literary Manager & Playwright-in-Residence for The Geva Theatre Center (NY), and was co-founder and Resident Playwright for Upstart Stage in Berkeley, California. He has won several national awards including The Julie Harris – Playwriting Award, The State Theatre – Best New American Play, The Cincinnati Playhouse Rosenthal New Play Prize (1996 & 2001), New Dramatist Playwriting Award, Playwright’s Center Jerome Residency, and is a two-time nominee for the American Theatre Critics Award.  He has had close to 200 productions of his plays nationwide. Carter lives in St. Louis with his dog, Bucket.

“We Can’t Remain Silent” – Interview with Stephen Sachs

A conversation with The Fountain Theatre’s Stephen Sachs

Since starting The Fountain Theatre in 1990, Debra Lawlor and Stephen Sachs have put on new plays that challenge perceptions. Los Angeles’ Fountain is also a founding member of the National New Play Network (NNPN), a network of theatres around the country committed to the development of new plays. As part of NNPN’s rolling world-premieres program, they are the first of five theatres to produce, Building the Wall, written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan.

The play is set in 2019, when President Trump has built the southern border  wall and the rounding-up and detention of millions of immigrants is in full swing. The play follows a  writer interviewing the supervisor of a private prison as the supervisor awaits sentencing for carrying out the federal policy that has escalated to extreme levels. During the Fountain’s rehearsals the co-artistic director, Stephen Sachs, took time to sit down with me to talk about the need to take action as theatre artists at this time.

Stage Directions: Tell me about the Fountain Theatre?

Stephen Sachs: We create work that reflects the cultural diversity of the country, and social and political issues affecting our community.

Tell us how Building the Wall came to be at the Fountain.

I’ve known [playwright] Robert Schenkkan for 30 years. We were both members of Ensemble Theatre Studio when he was a fellow actor. During the 2016 election season, we were determined for the Fountain Theatre to make a political statement, to do something to inspire social action. Then Robert sent me a draft of Building the Wall. He had written it in just one week—he did it in a blaze of white heat! It was very raw and I was just blown away by it. It was terrifying, and we knew immediately that we had to do it.

Theatre audiences in general tend to skew left, and you’re here in Hollywood… aren’t you “preaching to the choir” with a piece like this?

There is that challenge of potentially preaching to the choir, but I must trust the diversity of our audience. We can’t remain silent. As an artist, I think some of the greatest theatre has come out of social and political upheaval, of unjust and dangerous times. Theatre must be the moral conscience of this country, and to me, there is no higher calling than for theatres like ours to do works like this.

What are you hoping to do with this production? 

I am hoping to move the audience with this experience. They will be seeing a play that is a warning of the horrors that could come under this new administration. My hope is that it triggers them into action. It’s not enough to just say how upsetting and depressing the times are—we need to be inspired into action that is positive. There needs to be a movement forward.

And for those who happen to be Trump supporters?

What Robert has done is written about a Trump supporter who has followed the party line, and implemented the program. It’s about a person who has rounded up and detained immigrants, who has been part of a program that spirals out of control. This is that man who says he was just following orders. Sometimes the most horrific acts are committed by the simplest, most normal people. This play holds a mirror up to ourselves, and shows us what direction we could be moving with all this. To emphasize this, we’re moving the seating so that the production is three-quarters in the round. Audience members will be looking across the stage at each other during the production. I think that’s powerful.

Why is it important to produce this play now?

We want to give the theatre community the opportunity to give creative voice to what is happening now–what Trump means, what he’s already doing. So many people in theatres everywhere are wringing their hands, asking, “What can we do?” We can sign petitions and march as citizens as we should, but what can we do as a theatre community? This play offers the theatre artist and their audience something…

A call to arms so to speak – 


So this play fits the mission of the Fountain.

 Very much. Theatre can change people, and I want people to leave the Fountain and somehow see the world differently. I want them to be able to look into the soul of a human being and see a greater sense of truth. Theatre for us is a higher calling, and if what we’ve done enabled audience members to see a greater sense of truth, then we’ve done our job.

Read the full article from Stage Directions here.

“Two Degrees” by Tira Palmquist at the Jones Theatre parallels climate change, a life’s meltdown

Kathleen McCall and Jason Delane in “Two Degrees” at the Jones Theatre. Photo Credit: AdamsVisCom for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

The day “Two Degrees” had its world premiere, Denver experienced a record-breaking temperature of 80 degrees. You might have thought that Mother Nature could not have offered a more apt lead-in for a review of a play about a climate scientist who’s been drafted by a college friend, now a high-ranking senator, to appear before a Senate committee. Yes, the balmy weather was a bit unnerving (if pleasing) but the Denver Center’s production of Tira Palmquist’s play proves to be far more than an issue outing.

The play opens onto a dimly lit set to the sounds of mutually gratifying sex. Emma (Kathleen McCall) and Clay (Jason Delane) met in a D.C. hotel bar and made their way to her room. Each knows next to nothing about the other. That’s Emma’s rule. We learn why soon enough when Clay goes to the bathroom to get dressed and another man, a memory, walks into the room. This is husband Jeffrey (Robert Montano). While Emma was taking ice core measurements in Greenland, an unfathomable personal disaster took place back home in Boulder.

Kathleen McCall and Robert Montano in "Two Degrees" at the Jones Theatre. Photo Credit: AdamsVisCom for the DCPA
Kathleen McCall and Robert Montano in “Two Degrees” at the Jones Theatre. (AdamsVisCom for the DCPA)

The play gets its title from the notion that, according to some scientists, 2 degrees Celsius is the threshold that, once exceeded, will lead to us to irreversible environmental upheaval. For Emma, the margin of disaster turned out to be more mundane: Someone had too many drinks and there was a crash on a Colorado road.

It is no easy task maneuvering the cataclysmic. The play’s twofold approach is impressively fluid as it moves between Emma’s past and her present, between her grief and the planet’s forewarned misery. The thaw that Emma researches threatens the way humankind lives. But the one she is experiencing epitomizes the benumbing and melting that humans go through after disastrous personal loss.

As the men in Emma’s life, Montano keeps gainfully busy portraying Jeffrey as well as Eric, Senator Allen’s exacting chief of staff, and Malik, an extreme weather carpenter at the Greenland station. His impressive triple duty is more than economical: it underscores Emma’s fragility. “Not now, Jeffrey,” she says sharply to his apparition more than once. “Not now!” But the other men, looking like variations of her husband, gnaw at her.

Emma is a tricky character to inhabit. As comfortable as she may be on the ice or in the home that she and Jeffrey share, she finds herself less sure-footed on D.C.’s slippery terrain. McCall is at her best capturing the character’s anxious energy, her defensive prickliness. It’s Emma’s frosted interior that occasionally begs for a more still approach.

Sen. Allen (Kim Staunton) and Eric represent the sausage-making aspects of governance: the horse-trading, the pragmatism. Staunton imbues Sen. Allen with a easy confidence. Of course, she can work a room. Still, a slip of the tongue during a wine-fueled visit with Emma could have forced the play into too much interpersonal drama. Instead, Staunton’s get-things-done portrayal underscores just how hard-nosed she’s become since their college days. Credit, too, director Christy Montour-Larson’s deft trust in the play’s ideas and emotions and the audience’s appreciation of the subtle movements between the expansive and the taut.

Kathleen McCall and Jason Delane in "Two Degrees" at the Jones Theatre at the DCPA. Photo Credit: AdamsVisCom for the DCPA
Kathleen McCall and Jason Delane in “Two Degrees” at the Jones Theatre at the DCPA. (AdamsVisCom for the DCPA)

The sleek, evocative set (by Robert Mark Morgan) suggests the icy minimalism of Greenland as well as the very different chill of Washington, D.C. Charles MacLeod’s lighting — along with projections by Topher Blair — tease the set’s panes of glass and ice. You heard right, ice. The understated sound of dripping underscores the play’s global anxieties but also hints at the drip, drip, drip of emotional torment.

Read the full article from The Know here.