Center Theatre Group’s L.A. Writers’ Workshop Festival: New Plays Forged in L.A. moves to the Digital Stage this season with a virtually produced reading of “Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue” written by Kemp Powers (2019-2020 L.A. Writers’ Workshop participant). Available on demand beginning February 4 at 5 pm and accessible until April 4, 2021, the video will be free to Center Theatre Group subscribers and supporters or $10 for all others. “Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue” will be available at CTGLA.org/ChristaMcAuliffe.
“Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue” follows Bernard and Steven Gentry, twins who have lived starkly different lives. One is plagued by racism because of his dark skin while the other passes as white. Steven spent his childhood trying to fit in and is now a successful attorney. Bernard was a star student who dreamt of space, but his current prospects are about as dismal as the Challenger Space Shuttle that once inspired him. Moving between their 80s New York City childhood and a Minnesota courthouse in 2006, “Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue” is a haunting meditation on race and privilege in America.
Directed by Jennifer Chang, the cast of “Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue” features Giovanni Adams, Jovan Adepo, Amaia Arana, Lorena Martinez, Connor Paolo, Adam J. Smith, Cory Michael Smith, Larry Bates and Justin Lawrence Barnes.
Kemp Powers is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and storyteller. His plays include “One Night in Miami…,” “Little Black Shadows,” “The Two Reds” and “A Negro by Choice.” He received the 2013 Ted Schmitt Award for Outstanding New Play for the world premiere of “One Night in Miami…” in Los Angeles. That production also won three LA Drama Critics Circle Awards and four NAACP Theatre Awards. The 2016 production of “One Night in Miami…” at London’s Donmar Warehouse was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Play. Powers also wrote the adapted screenplay for “One Night in Miami…” the movie, directed by Academy Award-winning actress Regina King. His work has been developed at South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and The Classical Theatre of Harlem. He is the co-director and co-writer of the Disney/Pixar animated feature “Soul.” In television, he was a writer for “Star Trek: Discovery” in addition to several other projects. He has toured nationally as a storyteller for the Peabody Award-winning series, “The Moth,” and was one of the storytellers published in the first edition of their New York Times-bestselling book, “The Moth: 50 True Stories.”
The L.A. Writers’ Workshop is a dynamic and talented community of playwrights at Center Theatre Group. Since 2005, CTG has invited seven local playwrights to spend a year researching and writing a new work with the feedback of their fellow writers and artistic staff. Membership in the Writers’ Workshop begins with this residency year and continues with events and activities designed to build community and support professional and artistic development. The program is designed to foster important voices, inspire playwrights to create their best work, encourage bold writing and build relationships among local playwrights, Center Theatre Group and the L.A. theatre community. The growing community currently of L.A. Writers’ Workshop members currently includes 103 playwrights.
The 2021 L.A. Writers’ Workshop and Festival is made possible with dedicated funding from WarnerMedia and the National Endowment for the Arts. Lead support for Center Theatre Group’s Artistic Development Program is generously provided by the Annenberg Foundation and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.