Music, Theatre Arts & Dance, Cal State L.A. | Spotlight

Budding playwrights premiere four new works

Annual Festival puts spotlight on ‘Missing Mutts,’ ‘9 Layers,’ ‘Colorblind,’ ‘Miss Quince’

Event details

14th Annual John Lion New Plays Festival

May 11-12, 7:30 p.m.;
May 13, 2:30 p.m.;
May 17-19, 7:30 p.m.

Intimate Theatre at the Luckman, on the CSULA campus. For campus map or directions: /univ/

Tickets may be purchased at the Luckman Box Office during business hours at $10 for general admission and $5 for students with student I.D.

For ticket purchase, box office hours and information, please call the Luckman Box Office at (323) 343-6600.


Festival Director-Professor José Cruz González

Festival Dramaturg- Professor Susan Mason

Dramaturgs-Graduate students Giovanni Cecchin, Jocelyn James, Heidi Ochoa, and Marc Cardiff

Co-directors-Graduate students Jonas Oppenheim, Ricky Pak, and Rena Heinrich

Production Stage Manager-Morgan Zupanski

Sound Designer-Cricket S. Myers

Scenic and Multimedia Designer-Adam Flemming

Costume Designer-Professor G. Shizuku Herrera

Faculty Lighting Designer Supervisor-Anne E. McMills

Lighting Designers-Students Wendy Arteaga, Lauren Blair, Shake Esmailian, Jessica Morataya, Mariah Murray, Marcelo Olivas, Heather Oliver, Mark Peterson, Alejandro Sandoval, Christopher Sorensen and Jessica Wong

TAD Faculty Production Manager-Professor Meredith Greenburg

Group picture of “Color Blind” student-actors at rehearsal.
(Rehearsal photo of "Colorblind," courtesy of CSULA's Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.)

Offering a glimpse into tomorrow’s theatre, the John Lion New Plays Festival at Cal State L.A. celebrates the creative achievements of talented CSULA student playwrights each year by showcasing their exciting new works.

With a two-week run, May 11-13 and 17-19, a series of four new one-act plays will be staged at the Luckman’s Intimate Theatre on the CSULA campus.

Powerful and dramatic, each play reflects the struggles of daily life in its own unique, often far-fetched way.

Written by Jason Suarez, Mystery of the Missing Mutts follows a down-and-out private detective, Nancy Kowalski, who must find out why every dog on the planet has gone missing.

In Marisol Lydia Torres’s 9 Layers, the character, Seda, wakes up to find herself in a dream from which she cannot escape. She meets Xolotl, a shape-shifting spirit guide, who insists on accompanying her on her journey of self-discovery.

In Colorblind, by Patrick William McElree, a guy named Eugene is on his way to meet the father of his girlfriend Camille. As they get closer to their destination, Eugene panics and worries that he won’t measure up.

Composed by Cynthia Santos-DeCure, Miss Quince features a middle-aged Latina walking into a quinceañera (dress) shop where she finds an outlet to demand the right of passage she never had when she was 15.

“Each play was developed through tutorials, workshop readings, and production,” explained Director José Cruz González, professor of theatre arts at CSULA. “Our student playwrights have collaborated with guest directors, designers, faculty, actors, and student dramaturgs [play developers] throughout the process.”

The professional crew includes sound designer Cricket S. Myers, who received a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Nomination for her design of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. Expert set and multimedia designer Adam Flemming has designed for The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, East West Players, Long Beach Opera, and Son of Semele Ensemble.

Picture of rendering for stage design of Miss Quince production.
(Rendering image of "Miss Quince" stage design, courtesy of CSULA's Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.)

The Festival is named for the late John Lion, former producing director of the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, in acknowledgement of his legacy in theatre and education. Lion founded the award-winning Magic Theatre in San Francisco, which has helped develop many of America’s contemporary playwrights, including Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard.

Since 1997, CSULA’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance has premiered 60 new plays written by undergraduate and graduate students under the John Lion New Plays Festival.

Festival dramaturg Susan Mason, emerita professor of theatre arts at CSULA, said, “Many CSULA student playwrights have gone onto distinguished careers in theatre and several plays presented in this Festival in the past were recognized by the prestigious Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival.”

Find out more at the following links: