Over the past 12 years, CASA 0101 has emerged as an artistic leader in not only on the East side but the greater Los Angeles area. With Real Women Have Curves writer Josefina Lopez at the helm of this predominantly Latino/a theatre organization, CASA is now a sacred space for thought-provoking new works and adapted and updated classics. From their humble beginnings in a small former bridal shop, they now have a proper theatre, gallery and classroom space on 1st Street in Boyle Heights.
What will be occupying that space for the next month falls under the category of thought-provoking new works. The 2nd Annual Brown & Out Theater Festival, which runs September 28-October 21, is a series of short plays written by, for and about members of the Latino/a LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community. For those outside of East LA, this topic might not seem earth-shattering. But in this day, in this particular community, these stories will give a voice to people who often live in de facto silence.
The plays in the festival are as diverse as the members of the community it celebrates. The plots run the gamut from the supernatural (a gay Latino who helps ghosts crossover) and the absurd (a romantic dinner gets derailed by a jalapeno) to family dynamics (a gay couple's every day struggles to raise a child) to tragedies (a young man's suicide profoundly affects those around him) to re-imaginings of classic stories (the untold story of a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving). One of the most unique pieces in the festival is a collaboration with Jovenes, Inc, a facility for homeless youth in East Los Angeles.
Along with Artistic Director Lopez, the writers showcased in Brown & Out are Miguel Garcia, Monica Palacios, Jonathan Ceniceroz, Henry Alberto, Natalie Camunas, Evelyn Lorena, Mario J. Nova and April Ibarra. Hector Rodriguez, Corky Dominguez and Nina Harada direct these short plays.
The 2nd Annual Brown & Out Theater Festival runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. September 28-October 21 at The New CASA 0101 Theater (2102 E. 1st Street, 90033). There will be one added show on Thursday, October 11 at 8 p.m. for National Coming Out Day. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $17 for seniors, $15 for students and Boyle Heights residents. There are group rates. For tickets, call (323) 263-7684, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.casa0101.org.