What is Under Construction?
In 2019, Carlyle King and Jessica Broutt brought together new and emerging playwrights to develop some exciting new plays, to be read in-person on The Road Theatre’s Magnolia stage September 23 – October 3. With the success of UC1, the team went on a search for the playwrights for Under Construction 2021 (UC2). However, the pandemic came with one silver lining: instead of only looking at local playwrights, their virtual sessions allowed UC2 to go national! UC2’s plays will be done October 21-31 with nine exciting new plays! The search for UC3 will begin in November and by 2022 we will have 10 more exciting playwrights! With the creation of new plays, the Road is fulfilling their mission statement to develop social and politically relevant voices and thoughts to the American stage. And like Luis Alfaro said in the LA Times, “nothing is more exciting then the initiating of new plays from within!” We could not agree more.
“Our mission was to find diverse and dynamic voices committed to working as a group on developing new works from the ground up; to come in with an idea and desire to refine their voice with actors and directors, all committed to the same goal of crafting a play.”
“The full lengths of “Under Construction” are just that…still “UNDER CONSTRUCTION.” This is the result of the playwrights’ one-year commitment to the workshop. These readings are the next stage in their development and we hope you can join us!?”
September 23, 2021| Thursday 7:30pm
Playwright: Aja Houston
Director: Inger Tudor
Three sisters are the only people left in their town that has yet to be taken by a sinister, formless entity, “The Calling.” Constantly living in terror and fighting for their lives, the unexpected arrival of a long-lost friend gives them hope. Will they figure out if it’s false before “The Calling” returns to take its next victim?
Starring: Dolann Marie Adams, Mildred Marie Langford, Kacie Rogers, Christian Telesmar.
September 24, 2021| Friday 7:30pm
“Here Comes the Night”
Playwright: Lisa Kenner Grissom
Director: Diana Wyenn
When Olivia, a musician’s wife and climate science advocate, invites Maggie, an old friend turned social media influencer, to spend the weekend while she has an at-home abortion, she doesn’t realize that Maggie, although well-intended, is about to throw Olivia off course. And actually, these women of different generations, are about to change each other’s lives – all because of a woman’s right to choose. As both struggle with their decisions, they ultimately help each other in ways they hadn’t expected, or imagined. What happens when a woman’s right to choose becomes a litmus test for all of her life choices?
Starring: Cherish Monique Duke, Kaitlin Huwe.
September 25, 2021| Saturday 7:30pm
“The Play You Want”
Playwright: Bernardo Cubría
Director: Michael John Garcés
Fed-up by the theatre world’s desires to box him in, Mexican playwright Bernardo Cubría sarcastically pitches “Nar-Cocos” a play about drug dealers on Dia de los Muertos. Much to his surprise, the Public Theatre picks it up. With financial pressures mounting and a newborn at home, this is his chance at a commercial success. But when Scott Rudin offers him a Broadway run on the condition he further exploit his identity and the headlines, he must decide just how much he’s willing to compromise in order to finally be accepted.
Starring: Mando Alvarado, Chelsea Gonzalez, Carlos LaCámara, Christopher Larkin, Natalie Llerena, Lidia C. Porto, Roland Ruiz, Stewart J. Zully.
September 26, 2021| Sunday 1pm
Playwright: Jennifer Maisel
Director: Emily Chase
A woman longs to find herself in the middle of her dreaming mind. A man struggles to reconcile his past transgressions with his current life. What every day choices add up to a life together? Will Lisa and Josh ever conquer the distance between them? Can Siri’s voice lead them down a path to redemption?
Starring: Donna Simone Johnson, Josh Zuckerman.
September 26, 2021| Sunday 7:30pm
“The Skeleton Flower”
Playwright: Elizabeth Sampson
Director: Christian Lebano
In “The Skeleton Flower,” middle-aged and divorced sisters Denise and Darla find out
what a Black Beetle, a piece of jewelry, and a special flower have to do with their mom Jean, and how that knowledge will unlock the secrets of the family, rocking them all into finally growing up.
Starring: Gwen Van Dam, Michael Dempsey, Susan Diol, Jennifer Finch, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin McCorkle, Blaire Chandler Wilcox.
September 30, 2021| Thursday 7:30pm
“The Caregiver’s Guide”
Playwright: Jami Brandli
Director: Ann Hearn Tobolowsky
A family dramedy about evolving heroes, truth tellers, memory keepers, and early onset Alzheimer’s.
Starring: Christina Carlisi, Meeghan Holaway, Ru Kazi, Samantha Tan, Stephen Tobolowsky.
October 1, 2021| Friday 7:30pm
Playwright: Jennie Webb
Director: Susan Vanita Diol
Jess and Bev have been together longer than either of them thought they would be. And in their respective fields – Climate Change and Emergency Management — things are definitely heating up, affecting them in ways they didn’t see coming. “Adaptation.Resilience” is a play about sustaining love and navigating grief in times of extreme disruption.
Starring: Alaska Jackson, Carl Johnson, Andrea Lwin, Amy Tolsky, Michelle Gillette.
October 2, 2021| Saturday 1pm
“WHISKEY AND HOOCH”
Playwright: Carlos Lacámara
Director: Carlos Lacámara
“Life is what happens to you while you’re waiting for something to happen.”
Starring: Stephanie Erb, Arthur Hanket, Elisha Kim, Steven Porter, Jon Sprik.
October 2, 2021| Saturday 7:30pm
“Derelict in FAIRVILLE”
Playwright: Steve Apostolina
Director: Jennifer Chambers
When a horrific event thrusts Fairville, Ohio into the National media, the entire town is devastated. A chain reaction of judgement, hate, sadness and disillusionment tragically follows. In Fairville, you don’t have to be wrong to face consequences.
Starring: Fiona Bishop, Taylor Gilbert, Judith Moreland, Jonathan Nichols, Ben Theobald, Inger Tudor.
October 3, 2021| Sunday 1pm
“Stories | Shadows”
Playwright: Cory Hinkle
Director: Jessica Hanna
Haley’s Grandma is dying, at least that’s what her Mom says, which sends Haley home to attempt a relationship with a woman she never really knew. Grandma saved three stories for the end of her life, and after Haley hears the final story, it forces her to confront a past she didn’t know existed.
A play about the stories we tell and the lies that cast shadows down through generations.
Starring: Laura Gardner, Raul Vega Martinez, Jacqueline Misaye, Adam Peltier.
October 3, 2021| Sunday 7:30pm
“Setting the Table”
Playwright: Velina Hasu Houston
Director: Stewart J. Zully
A young Japanese woman marries a Black man and moves with him to Kansas where she becomes stepmother to his two teenage children. Inspired by true events, the play takes an earnest look at race, immigration, and family.
Starring: Karrie King, Merrick McCartha, Ronaldo Alexander-Mateo Medina, Geoff Rivas , Nicole Royster, Tamlyn Tomita, Zine Tseng.
“Under Construction” HISTORY
In 2019, Carlyle King and Jessica Broutt brought together a group of 11 playwrights, both emerging and established writers, to meet bimonthly to create and workshop new plays. They called it UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Each playwright entered the group with the beginnings of a new play. The work would be developed collaboratively.
This program is modeled for playwrights who would benefit from a structured space to receive feedback from peers, all in the supportive environment of The Road.
This group furthers The Road’s mission to develop socially and politically relevant voices and thoughts to the American stage, as well as continues to establish our company as a leader and champion of new work in Los Angeles.
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