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Produced by JB² & The RDS Team
Can you believe it? 5 years already – seems like just yesterday we were neck deep in our first season of RDS, completely in over our heads and drowning in chaos. Well, it’s 5 years later and I’m proud to say we still have no idea what’s going on or how to do it – but one thing’s for sure: we got us some FANTASTIC plays to present to you, our fine audience, for your final, fatal, judgement.
The rules are the same as always, in the famous words of Optimus Prime:
“One shall stand, one shall fall.”
Alexa, an eccentric heiress to a wind farm, goes on a quest to find a utopia city her father used to tell her about as a young girl. She believes the healers she finds there will be able to cure her of her mental illness. Sebastian, a skeptical windmill mechanic, accompanies Alexa at the insistence of her Aunt. Unbenknownst to them, her Aunt has plans to steal the farm while they are away. As they traverse unique lands and meet zany characters, Sebastian begins to believe in the utopic city, but it may all be another one of alexas delusions. Reminicent of ‘Don Quixote’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Tilting’ takes a unique look at mental health and and what makes each of us delightfully “crazy”.
“Same Blood” is a dystopian story set in the year 2060 in which white supremacists have taken over the United States and called for the extinction of all minorities. The main character, Adam, believes he is the last Black person in the country and hides his identity. He runs into a friend, Eve, a pregnant black woman who tells him of a resistance preparing to fight against the racist regime.
When Hunter, her rapist and former friend, forces his way back into her life a year after he’s declared not guilty in the court of public opinion, Ricki is faced with a difficult set of questions—what does it take to atone for this sin, is it even possible and how far is she willing go to find out?
Learn more about Hannah & Monsters are Made
Rachel Rios (Playwright, Tilting) is a third year Playwriting MFA candidate at The Catholic University of America with a BA in English and Theatre from Loyola Marymount University. Past Credits include: “Floss” (The Keegan Theatre’s WOMXN on Fire Festival, DC), The Bachelors (The Tavern Rakes, Los Angeles), “Caution: Children at Play” (Fresh PRODUCE’d LA, Los Angeles), “Floss” (John Cauble Award National Semi Finalist, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Selection), Playing with Ringworm (The Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival, DC).
So Rachael, what lead you to writing Tilting?
Fun Fact: I play the trombone.
Michael Alan Herman is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter in the greater Los Angeles area. Since his MFA in writing from the University of Southern California, his plays have been produced across the country in collaboration with The Hollywood Fringe Festival, Roustabout Theatre Troupe, The Dandelion Theatre, Theatre NOVA, and Eastern Michigan University. In addition to playwriting, Michael is also one of the writers behind James Franco’s latest film The Mad Whale in collaboration with Elysium Bandini Studios. He has two literary publications (Contract Terror and Speechless) and one comic book (Unlawful Good: An Anthology of Crime). Through these publications, he has come to believe there is no art more precious than collaboration.
So Michael, what lead you to writing Eldritch?
ELDRITCH wasn’t so much a play I wanted to write, but a feeling that possessed me. How pretentious does that sound? No really…for like a year and a half I had this haunting feeling that I wanted to create something that was lush with dark whimsy. Something that smelt like a very old place. An ancient place that was once yours. A place where you hid, or you cried. For me, that place was the hill behind my parent’s house. It was little more than a half-eaten forest, but it was my Sherwood and my Avalon. Eldritch is my love letter to that place. And my promise to those who still run wide-eyed into the night: You are not alone. There is still a reason to play outside. There is still wonder, and beauty, and horror.
Fun Fact: I make cyber scavenger hunts and release them online for people to solve.
Jada Yvonne Harris is a recent graduate from Miami University. Her passion for theatre started at the early age of four! While attending Miami University, Jada fell in love with playwriting because it allowed her to freely speak her mind. In 2017, Jada was a recipient of the Gallagher Playwriting Award for her ten minute play submission of Same Blood and later received a grant to develop it into a full length play. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles where she is currently pursuing a career in film.
So Jada, what lead you to writing Same Blood?
I love America, but why is it so hard for it to love me back?
SAME BLOOD discusses the struggle of identity and what it means to be Black in America. The media has put a spotlight on me, painting a false picture of who I am. But how could you ever know that if you’re afraid to talk to me? My skin color is a source of my power, yet it is also a source of my pain. Here in the year 2019, it can be said that we have made leaps to reaching the Mountaintop, but we still have so long to go and, unfortunately, may not reach it within our lifetime. For that very reason, I have set this dystopian story 41 years ahead of us in the year 2060, a year soon to knock on our front door.
So, as time hurdles forward, we must all ask ourselves a question:
How do we want to leave this world for our descendants?
The story of SAME BLOOD is not a guarantee of what is to come, but rather, a warning of where our nation might go without the equality and justice that it currently lives without.
Fun Fact: During Jada’s free time, she creates content for her YouTube channel called The Thriving Artist!
Hannah C. Langley is an emerging playwright, screen and television writer from Valencia, California. Her plays approach political topics on a personal scale. With a mix of magic and modern technology, Langley creates protagonists who are young, female-identifying, and on the verge of finding themselves. While obtaining her MFA in Dramatic Writing at USC, Hannah’s work was chosen and featured twice (now three times, thanks all!) by the Fountain Theatre’s Rapid Development Series. Her thesis play, Losing My Religion (in 140 Characters or Less), received a workshop production at USC, staged readings at Cypress College and the Pasadena Playhouse, and was recorded as a podcast by At the Table: A Play Reading Series, featuring Broadway’s Abby Church, Max Crumm, Aneesh Sheth, and Tony nominee Isabel Keating. The play has since earned semifinalist status in both The Road and Sanguine Theatre NYC’s summer play festivals. Find her work on New Play Exchange. Or, slip into Hannah’s DMs on Twitter (@HannahCLangley) and she’ll send you some samples!
So Hannah, what lead you to writing Monsters Are Made?
After years of telling the story of my own “bad experience” with a former friend in a hotel room as a short comic anecdote, I realized that it was anything but funny. It was terrifying, but the only way I could process that level of betrayal for a long time was by rewriting it, sanitizing it, making it into something you could talk about at a party. What I really needed to do (and what I’ve tried to do with this play) was keep rewriting it—researching and raising the stakes—until the story wasn’t about what happened to me anymore. It needed to be someone else’s. It needed to be Ricki’s and it needed to be Hunter’s. And, I hope, even though it’s no longer my story, it’s a more truthful one.
Fun Fact: I wore a sports bra to bed until I was 16 just so I’d be prepared on the off chance a dragon or a wizard whisked me away during the night. Questing and flopping boobs do not mix, friends!
The best plays that fit the guidelines will then be asked to participate in a reading. Each week three playwrights will have the opportunity to have a single scene read – a scene they feel best represents their work as a whole.
This program is about shining a light on the new voices in Los Angeles Theatre, and giving new plays and/or new playwrights a chance to showcase their work.
Send plays and questions to email@example.com