Center Theatre Group has announced casting for the second annual L.A. Writers’ Workshop Festival: New Plays Forged in L.A., a one-day event at the Kirk Douglas Theatre celebrating some of the freshest and most thrilling voices in modern American theatre. The festival will take place on June 29 from 1 to 9 p.m. with readings of three new plays by three L.A. Writers’ Workshop participants from throughout the program’s 14-year history. The readings include “Campaign” by Laura Jacqmin, directed by Monty Cole; “Sleeping Giant” by Steve Yockey, directed by Michael Matthews; and “Confederates” by Dominique Morisseau, directed by Goldie Patrick.
The cast for “Campaign” includes Jon Chaffin, LaNisa Renee Frederick, Simon Helberg, Raymond Lee and Jason Ritter; “Sleeping Giant” features Philippe Bowgen, June Carryl, Shalita Grant and Michael Grant Terry; and the cast for “Confederates” includes Zibby Allen, Cherise Boothe, Sophina Brown, Nija Okoro and Cornelius Smith Jr.
Doors open at noon for the festival and there will be a 9 p.m. reception in the Kirk Douglas Theatre lobby following the final play reading. Refreshments will be available throughout the day.
The first reading will be “Campaign” by Laura Jacqmin at 1 p.m. “Campaign” follows four men, on an island in the middle of nowhere, fighting for The Mission. Four men, perfectly content to keep watch (over nothing) and swear allegiance (to even less than nothing)—to “protect what’s theirs.” Then, a woman shows up…and suddenly the mission isn’t quite so clear anymore. “Campaign” is a hilarious and absurd exploration of toxic masculinity, male trauma and bagel bites.
Readings continue at 3:30 p.m. with “Sleeping Giant” by Steve Yockey. In “Sleeping Giant,” when a firework-filled marriage proposal goes very wrong, the accompanying explosions wake up something very old that’s been sleeping in the nearby lake for thousands of years. What follows are intimate, darkly comic and sometimes startling vignettes about the lengths people go when they desperately want something to believe in.
The festival’s final reading at 7 p.m. is “Confederates” by Dominique Morisseau, which she first developed during her time in the Writers’ Workshop. In “Confederates,” Sarah, a savvy slave turned Union spy, and Sandra, a brilliant professor in a modern-day private university, are facing similar struggles even though they live over a century apart. “Confederates” leaps through time in order to trace the identities of these two black American women and explore the reins that racial and gender bias still hold on American educational systems today.