THOSE WOMEN PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCES ARTISTIC LEADERSHIP AND THEME FOR NEW SEASON
Those Women Productions is pleased to announce that Lily Tung Crystal joins our leadership team this season as an Associate Artist. She will partner with Artistic Director Elizabeth Vega, Managing Director Carol Lashof, and returning Associate Artist Norman Patrick Johnson. Our main events for 2018 will be a staged reading of The Melting Pot by Carol Lashof; Shifting Spaces, a trio of one-act plays which shift the way we think about gender roles and identity; and the West Coast Premiere of Woman On Fire by Marisela Treviño Orta.
Those Women Productions was founded in 2014 by Carol Lashof and Elizabeth Vega with a mission to stage hidden truths of gender and power. In 2015, it was named “Best Year-Old Theater Company” by the East Bay Express. From the beginning, Those Women Productions has practiced “Radical Hospitality”: All shows are choose-your-own price; everyone is welcome regardless of ability to pay.
“Crossing Borders” is the theme for our season of new plays planned for 2018. The borders in question are literal and metaphorical, metaphysical and actual; they are of gender, race, nationality, and space-time.
The season begins with a staged reading of The Melting Pot, by Carol S. Lashof. The Melting Pot remixes early 20th century sources, including Israel Zangwill’s wildly popular melodrama of the same name, to tell a quintessentially American love story – Boy meets Girl, and Nation meets Metaphor. The reading will be directed by Elizabeth Vega and will feature performances by Lily Tung Crystal and Norman Patrick Johnson. It will also feature original music by Berkeley jazz musician and composer Erika Oba. Performances are Saturday, January 20, 4 pm and 8 pm at the Temescal Art Center, 511 48th St, Oakland.
Those Women Productions received a generous grant from the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission this year, which will help support our spring production at the Live Oak Theater in Berkeley: Shifting Spaces is a trio of bold one-act plays featuring characters who fight to claim their full human identities within restrictive social structures.
The plays of Shifting Spaces are:
- vessels (World Premiere)
It’s Germany—1944. Are you a bitch or a whore? Is she your lover, friend, sister, acquaintance, colleague, or occasion for sin?
Commissioned for the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, this poetic drama reveals the little-known stories of lesbians in Nazi Germany, written by Kim Yaged, directed by Elizabeth Vega.
- S/He (World Premiere)
On the eve of surgery, Sam comes home to pack and to confront his mother about being trans.
A high-stakes, lyrical encounter between an African-American mother and her transgender son, by Bay Area playwright Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko, directed by Norman Patrick Johnson.
- Revelation (West Coast Premiere)
It’s judgment day, and John, a young man, finds himself buried beside Mary, an old woman, who claims to recognize him. But she’s nothing like any woman he’s ever known.
A darkly comic tour through changing gender roles and social expectations, by Canadian playwright Shirley Barrie, directed by Lily Tung Crystal.
Shifting Spaces opens Friday, March 23, 2018 (press opening), and plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm through April 8 (no performance on Easter Sunday, April 1) at the Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley.
Those Women Productions finishes our season with the West Coast Premiere of Woman on Fire, an explosive and relevant play by Bay Area favorite Marisela Treviño Orta, directed by Elizabeth Vega.
Set in 2002 under the specter of the 9/11 terror attacks, Woman on Fire is a re-imagining of Sophocles’ Antigone set along the Arizona/Mexico border. The ghost of a woman who died while crossing the border haunts the unwilling heroine Juanita, the wife of a U.S. border patrolman. Juanita finds herself torn between the law of man and a higher law when she must decide whether to put her husband’s career and their marriage at risk in order to give the restless spirit the proper burial she demands.
Woman on Fire opens in August, 2018, at the Live Oak Theater, 1301 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley.
Those Women Productions practices Radical Hospitality: we welcome everybody to our shows regardless of their ability to pay. We also like to pay our artists, in recognition of their valuable work and because we love them and want them to have food. How do we manage this? With help from our extraordinarily generous community, including many of you who are reading this newsletter right now. In fact, (spoiler alert) we’re about to launch our annual fundraising campaign to make our 2018 season a success. Please consider an early donation. We will sing your praises in the programs of our shows all year long!