Plays in the Park: Series of One-Acts Performed by Film and TV Stars
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The last date listed for Plays in the Park was Saturday July 28, 2012 / 7:00pm.
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Jamaica, Farewell returns to the Santa Monica Playhouse after successful runs all over the world. Debra Ehrhardt's solo show is based on a mostly true story about her journey to the U.S. from Jamaica in the turbulent 1970s of the Manley era. When Ehrhardt was an 18-year-old secretary in Kingston, she and her passion for America bumped into a handsome CIA agent over a bowl of oxtail soup. She decides to squeeze through the pinhole of opportunity with the help of this love-struck American. Her way out of Jamaica is blocked by many obstacles: an alcoholic father, a Bible-spouting mother, the price of airfare, and U.S. government suspicions. Nevertheless, she begins a dangerous adventure that only the single-minded passion of a teenage girl would chance. The boundary between bravery and foolishness becomes blurred as she grows more desperate. When she agrees to smuggle a million dollars in cash to a mysterious contact somewhere in Miami, the agent becomes her unwitting accomplice. Every part is played by NAACP Award winner Ehrhardt, an actress capable of amazing mimicry. This one-woman caper's got generous dollops of humor, laughter and light. Jamaica, Farewell has been optioned for film by a major Hollywood producer. Learn More
Mark Rydell (the former daytime drama star who became more famous as a director of blockbuster movies (“On Golden Pond”, “The Rose,” “The River”) and classic television (“Gunsmoke,” “Ben Casey”) in the presentation of a themed program of short plays called “Plays in the Park,” unified by their locale. The show will consist of readings of “Park Strangers” and “Swans,” and “Oxymorons.
In “Park Strangers,” a fading stage star is paired with a younger actress in a commercial for an offensive corporation. Offensive, yes, but both need the money. In “Swans,” a woman presses her man to find out when he’ll marry her. It’s the little things that ostensibly bother him…like her collection of swans. In “Oxymorons,” J finds his depressed brother Joey near the park zoo. J’s sister-in-law has sent him to locate Joey. The two brothers have some old issues to settle. Don’t be fooled into thinking they’re polar opposites. They have far more in common than at first appears…like their women.
The cast also includes Esai Morales* (“Fairly Legal,” “NYPD Blue”), Susan Ateh (“In Bruges,” “The Clinic”), Beege Barkette (“The Fabulous Baker Boys,” “The Onion Field”), Chihiro Kawamura (“In Her Shoes,” “The Republic”), and Dahlia Waingort* (“Raging Bull II,” “True Blood”).
Writer-director Brian Connors is a graduate of Rutgers University. His other plays include “Cross Your Heart” and “Two Sisters.” A screenplay, “King Baby,” was made into a short film. Also an actor, he has extensive stage credits and made a number of appearances on several television series.
This guest production is produced by Schott Productions.