LUZ, a new play by Catherine Filloux (DOG AND WOLF, LEMKIN’S HOUSE), will be given its world-premiere production this fall with previews beginning September 28 prior to an official press opening October 3 at La MaMa’s First Floor Theatre (74A E. 4 St.) in New York. LUZ is a Watson Arts Project, which presents original theater with a particular emphasis on women.
Directed by Jose Zayas and with music composed by Sergio R. Reyes, LUZ has a cast featuring Kim Brockington, Peter Jay Fernandez, Lynette R. Freeman, Bobby Plasencia, Kimber Riddle, Steven Rishard, Julissa Roman, and Teresa Yenque.
LUZ is a large-scale work, panoramic in its view as the play exposes the global scale of gender-based violence and the collusion between human rights and corporate law practices. From the garbage dump in Guatemala City to tent cities in Haiti and the toxic oil ponds where birds expire, Luz, Helene and Zia — survivors of targeted violence — with the help of human rights lawyer Alexandra search for hope in the unlikeliest in-between places. A play that is at once volatile and tender, entertaining and surreal.
According to author and NYU Gallatin professor Sharon Friedman, “Over the past two decades, playwright Catherine Filloux has been a leading voice in theatre for social change, dramatizing human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. She has given us nuanced portraits of psychic trauma in the aftermath of genocide in Europe of the Second World War, Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia. In her most recent play LUZ, she asks audiences to bear witness to a judicial system that is often indifferent to gender-based violence against women. Her characters are subjects of their histories in every sense of the word, subjected to the forces that engulf them, but at the same time active in the choices they make and in the construction of their memories and futures.”
Peter Jay Fernandez has appeared on Broadway in Cyrano De Bergerac, Julius Caesar, Henry IV, Jelly’s Last Jam, The Merchant of Venice. His Off Broadway credits include CQ/CX (Atlantic Theatre Company), Macbeth (TFANA), Too Much Memory (Fourth St. Theater), Zooman and the Sign (Signature), The Pain and the Itch (Playwrights Horizons), As You Like It, Henry VIII, Coriolanus, Spell # 7, Winter’s Tale and more (Public), Widowers Houses (Epic), Thunder Knocking on the Door (Minetta Lane) and more. Regional: Arena, Longwharf, Goodman, Old Globe, Cincinnatti Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Wilma,Williamstown, Milwaukee Rep and more. Televison/ Film: Deception, Preaching to the Choir, Adjustment Bureau, Funny Valentines, “Fringe,” “The Good Wife,” “Damages,” “Blue Bloods,” “Body of Proof,” “Law & Order”(s) and more. Fernandez is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Division of The New School for Drama.
Catherine Filloux is an award-winning playwright who has been writing about human rights and social justice for the past 20 years. Ms. Filloux wrote the libretto for the new opera NEW ARRIVALS — with music by the composer John Glover — which debuted in June 2012 at Houston Grand Opera. Ms. Filloux’s numerous plays include DOG AND WOLF at 59E59/Watson Arts, LEMKIN’S HOUSE at 78th Street Theatre Lab/McGinn-Cazale Theatre, THE BEAUTY INSIDE with New Georges, EYES OF THE HEART with National Asian American Theatre Company, and KILLING THE BOSS at Cherry Lane Theatre. She wrote the libretto for the opera WHERE ELEPHANTS WEEP by composer Him Sophy, premiered in Phnom Penh in Cambodia in 2008. Her awards include the Kennedy Center’s Roger L. Stevens Award, New Dramatists Callaway Award and the Peace Writing Award from Omni Center for Peace.
Director Jose Zayas is co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Immediate Theater Company, and has held residencies at such theatres as Ensemble Studio Theatre and INTAR. His credits include MRS. JONES AND THE MAN FROM DIXIELAND by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik at EST, Caridad Svich’s IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES at Repertorio Espanol, THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS at Dence Center, THE IMAGINARY INVALID at American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Arts Theatre, SOUTHERN PROMISES by Thomas Bradshaw at PS 122, OKAY by Taylor Mac at EST, and THE WASPS and TECMESSA with Target Margin. Past credits for the cast include: Kim Brockington (ZORA, THUNDER KNOCKING ON THE DOOR, “Guiding Light”), Peter Jay Fernandez (on Broadway in JULIUS CAESAR directed by Daniel Sullivan and HENRY IV directed by Jack O’Brien, along with CQ/CX, THE PAIN AND THE ITCH and BLISS), Lynnette R. Freeman (THE RANTERS), Bobby Plasencia (AMERICAN JORNALERO), Kimber Riddle (THE GOOD SOUP), Julissa Roman (CROSSINGS), Teresa Yenque (THE FIFTH COLUMN, Public Theater’s SANCOCHO), and Mark Zeisler (Broadway’s BROOKLYN BOY and A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE).
Scheduled through October 14, LUZ will perform Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased by calling 212 475 7710 or online at www.lamama.org
Watson Arts is a resident company of La MaMa E.T.C. dedicated to original theater with a particular emphasis on women. Under Artistic Director, Mary Fulham, an award- winning playwright and director, Watson Arts develops and produces works that incorporate text, dance, music, media, and performance. Productions of note include Dog and Wolf by Catherine Filloux at 59E59 Theater, Coming Aphrodite! at La MaMa (three Innovative Theater nominations), Hercules in High Suburbia (Winner NYC Fringe Overall Excellence Award) and Devotion (MECCA –Montreal English Critics Circle Award) www.watsonarts.org
ABOUT LA MAMA
La MaMa is a remarkable arts institution with a world-wide reputation for producing daring work in theater, dance, performance art, and music. Founded in 1961 by theater pioneer and legend, Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has produced and presented more than 3,200 theatrical productions to date and is a vital part of the fabric of cultural life in New York City and around the world.
La MaMa provides a supportive home for artists and takes risks on unknown work. Artists such as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, Blue Man Group, David and Amy Sedaris, -and others whose names you haven’t heard of yet – began their careers at La MaMa. International artists introduced to America by La MaMa include Tadeusz Kantor, Andrei Serban, Kazuo Ohno and, more recently, the acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre. La MaMa has been honored with more than 30 OBIE Awards, dozens of Drama Desk and Bessie Awards, and, in 2006, Ellen Stewart was recognized with a special TONY Award for “Excellence in the Theatre.”
This project was made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; and with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; as well as Local Arts Support, Brooklyn Arts Council/NYSCA; Lambent Foundation grant (Tides Center); Off Broadway Angels; Puffin Foundation; and Spunk Fund.
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