Tag Archives: friendship

VIDEO: For playwright Idris Goodwin, hip hop play ‘Hype Man’ is about friendship

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‘Heart Song’ Cafe Chat: The Power of Faith, Healing and Birthday Cake

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We enjoyed a passionate and insightful chat with audience members yesterday in our cafe after the sold-out Sunday matinee of Heart Song. The hit play has been striking a deep chord with audiences since it opened to rave reviews in May. Its funny and touching dramatization of the themes of faith, grief, loss, friendship, empowerment and the mother/daughter relationship has ignited a strong need in audiences to want to talk about it after.  Yesterday, the play’s director, playwright and cast members gathered in our cafe after the matinee performance for an informal chat with audience members to share thoughts and feelings about the play they had just seen and performed.

Director Shirley Jo Finney discussed the universal chords in the play, pointing out that the intersection of cultures in the story demonstrates that “we are all one people”.  Actress Elissa Kyriacou shared her own personal story describing how, after recently losing her own mother, the play has served as an extraordinary healing process. Juanita Jennings remarked on the profound affect the play has had on all the women in the cast — and even her husband, who had a cathartic experience while seeing the play. Playwright Stephen Sachs spoke about the genesis of writing the play and how the script evolved through many drafts.  

The men and women who had just seen the play asked questions and made comments describing how deeply they were moved by the performance. Heart Song is a funny and powerful new play about a middle-aged woman named Rochelle (played by Pamela Dunlap)  struggling through a crisis of faith and the recent loss of her mother. Rochelle’s life is changed when she is convinced to take a flamenco class with other middle-aged women.

Yesterday was also an afternoon of joyous celebration as we toasted director Shirley Jo Finney on her birthday. Cake and ice cream was shared by all.  What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday: a terrific afternoon of theatre followed by a thought-provoking and heartfelt discussion topped with yummy ice cream and birthday cake! Who could ask for anything more?

Heart Song has been extended to August 25th.

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Heart Song Extended to Aug 25  (323) 663-1525  MORE 

“Cyrano” Explores Love in the Age of Technology

Our upcoming world premiere  production of Cyrano is a funny and romantic tale about a brilliant deaf poet in love with a hearing woman. Set in a modern city, the play also dramatizes how technology helps and harms how we communicate. The influence of the internet — email, smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, texting, blogging — all play an important part in the story of Cyrano.

The new play asks some relevant questions about life and love in the Electronic Age:

  • Do all of our electronic devices make us feel more connected, or more alone?
  • Is it easier to text someone than have a real face-to-face conversation?
  • Is the “you” on your Facebook page or website or blog the real you? Are we our avatars?
  • What effect does all this technology have on our ability to have personal relationships? How does it influence our self esteem, how we see ourselves? How we perceive reality?

Since her pathbreaking The Second Self: Computers and The Human Spirit in 1984 psychologist and sociologist Sherry Turkle has been studying how technology changes not only what we do but who we are. In 1995’s Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, Turkle explored how the Internet provided new possibilities for exploring identity.

Described as “the Margaret Mead of digital cuture,” Turkle has now turned her attention to the world of social media and sociable robots. As she puts it, these are technologies that propose themselves “as the architect of our intimacies.” In her most recent book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, Turkle argues that the social media we encounter on a daily basis are confronting us with a moment of temptation. Drawn by the illusion of companionship without the demands of intimacy, we confuse postings and online sharing with authentic communication. We are drawn to sacrifice conversation for mere connection. Turkle suggests that just because we grew up with the Internet, we tend to see it as all grown up, but it is not: Digital technology is still in its infancy and there is ample time for us to reshape how we build it and use it.

Enjoy This Video, as Turkle Asks: Are We Connected, But Alone?

Cyrano    April 28 – June 10  (323) 663-1525   More Info