I’ve been working on a very cool project since January of this year. I was hired by East LA Rep who in turn was hired by Watts Village Theater Company to be a part of the Meet Me @ Metro Project.
The project will consist of original works by Watts Village Theater Company, Moo Doo Puppets, Epic Megalopolis Productions, Collage Dance Theatre, and East LA Rep. Metro TAP Pass required for the entire performance. Performances will take place at designated Metro stations along the Red and Blue Lines starting at Union Station and ending at 103rd Street Station. Performances will take place on May 2nd with the first performance starting at 11 am and the second at 4 pm.
M3 was inspired by several interactions with the youth of Watts who, despite being in their late teens, had never traveled outside a ten-mile radius of their community. A further exploration of this phenomenon revealed that just as youth seldom ventured outside of Watts, many Los Angeles residents never travel to Watts.
East LA Rep will be performing at Vernon Station on Vernon and Long Beach Ave. The cast and production team took a trip to the site in February and we looked around the site and ventured into a all four corners of the intersection. We saw an Hermandad Mexicana Center that provides legal assistance to immigrants, a nail salon, a laundromat, a seafood restaurant, a market and several street vendors. We also had some delicious quesadillas at Danny’s Boy Restaurant.
The play is being written in collaboration with the actors and on this particular trip to the site we conceived a four act play. Each of the acts would be performed on a separate street corner. Inspired by the movie Paris Je T’Aime, the cast chose the concept of love in all it’s different forms for the play.
It has been interesting to see how the play evolves. We’ve had to think logistically about the play and how it would work if we had to take into consideration the number of audience members that we will have as well as the time that it will take to perform the piece. Originally we were thinking that we would write a ten minute play but in reality we will be doing about a seven minute play. We cannot perform on the platform of the metro station, therefore we have to factor in the time that it takes to get the audience and at least one cast member off the platform and into the areas where we wanted to perform.
I’ve had to make several changes to the script and we’ve dropped the four street corners concept. I think in future I would still like to do a play on four street corners but perhaps the audience follows the acts of the play from one street corner to the next. Due to time constraints we’ll have to perform in one spot but the concept of love remains. Los Angeles can be a shallow city. It can sometimes make you feel like you don’t belong and make you long for an escape. But many friends who have left it’s tinsel town vibe have often returned. The sun shines bright in L.A. and most of the time you don’t really care about the smog because you are in love either with yourself (if you are the superficial type) or with writing or art or the city.