A New Director

by Michael Premsrirat
of The Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles, CA
Volume III. Mar-April 2012

We were very pleased Marcus Gardley could join us in person for the January 26 staged reading of The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dryas part of the Los Angeles Theatre Center’s Playwrights Festival. It’s not so much a development opportunity for the plays, as it is an audience engagement effort intended to introduce 2012’s slate of upcoming productions to our constituents. However, for the playwright, who read the stage directions and provided musical accompaniment, it was a very satisfying opportunity to reconnect with L.A. actors with whom he’d previously worked, and it was a wonderful opportunity to introduce our new director, Charlotte Brathwaite, to the LATC family and our community partners who will help us publicize the production and create ancillary events to enrich the experience for our audiences.

Charlotte L. Brathwaite

We are going to miss the extraordinarily talented Chay Yew, who was unable to join us in January and will be unavailable to direct our fall production, because of his duties as Artistic Director at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. So we welcomed Ms. Brathwaite, with whom Mr. Gardley had worked before on other projects, as director for the staged reading, and just recently Mr. Gardley told us he would love to have her as director for the production.

Ms. Brathwaite is a native of Toronto, Canada. She joined La MaMa E.T.C’s Great Jones Repertory as a dancer/actor at the age of 16, and she performed in New York and internationally in over 12 countries with the company. As a director, her work has been presented in America, Mexico, the Netherlands, Germany and Croatia. Recently, she directed American Schemes by Radha Blank, commissioned and produced by NYC Summerstage, as well as Good Goods by Christina Anderson and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire at Yale School of Drama. She is the winner of a 2010 Princess Grace Foundation George C. Wolfe Award.

Not only does Ms. Brathwaite come to us with an impressive resumé, LATC’s Programming Director, Chantal Rodriguez, Ph.D., is excited about her insights and approach to the script as an African American woman. According to Dr. Rodriguez, “Our experience with Charlotte was a good one, and her direction brought new elements of the script alive for us.”

Ms. Brathwaite is moving to Los Angeles this year, and we ask the LATC family and its community partners to join us in welcoming her to the city and our artistic community. We look forward to working with her on the production and exposing the work of an emerging director to a broader audience.

What do you think about this conversation on The Road Weeps and how do you suggest we continue engaging community?

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