24th STreet Theatre presents the debut production of its LAb24 resident experimental theater company. The West Coast premiere of Walking the Tightrope by Mike Kenny opens January 26 at 24th STreet Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
Directed by 24th STreet artistic director Debbie Devine, and starring Mark Bramhall, Tony Duran, Michael Redfield and Paige Lindsey White, Walking the Tightrope is a highly theatrical, stylized production that utilizes poetic language, circus arts, live music and multi-media to explore themes of grief and loss.
The deceptively straightforward story concerns young Esme, who visits her grandparents every summer at a seaside resort and is left to wonder why, this year, Nanna isn’t there. On a more complex level, Tightrope explores the deep grief experienced by her grandfather over the death of his wife, and his redemption through the innocence and inherent joy of a young child.
“This is a very special piece, a lyrical tone poem that has been dramatized and turned into a play for all ages,” explains Devine. “Children will get that Esme is searching for her grandma, and they’ll love the clown, music and vivid design elements. Adults will understand and relate to the old man’s profound grief. How do you survive a spouse? How do you go on?”
Debbie Devine is a multiple award-winning theater director and the co-founder/artistic director of 24th STreet Theatre. Named “one of Los Angeles’ most fascinating people” in the LA Weekly People 2012 issue, Devine has been a respected leader in the field of arts education for over three decades. She has held the position of Drama Department Chair of the Colburn School of Performing Arts for over 20 years and is also a theatrical director with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her work as an actor has earned her three Drama-Logue Awards, an LA Weekly Award, a Robby Award, LA Parent magazine’s Best Westside Children’s Theatre Award and the Women In Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Los Angeles Theater.
24th STreet Theatre is known for being a leader in arts education and community outreach as well as for presenting quality professional theater for young and old alike. Using art as a tool to positively impact the world around them, 24th Street’s programming includes free after school enrichment programs, Teatro Nuevo Latino Initiative projects, a music series, outreach programs for at-risk teens, free community events, professional development programs for teachers, arts-ed school workshops, gallery exhibits and international touring in addition to critically acclaimed season productions geared for both adult and family audiences.
Walking the Tightrope opens 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 26, and performs 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday through March 30. Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for kids under 16; $12 for students, seniors and teachers; and 24 cents for residents of the theater’s surrounding North University Park neighborhood. Call (213) 745-6516 or visit www.24thstreet.org.
24th STreet Theatre is located at 1117 West 24th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007 (at the intersection of 24th and Hoover). Secure parking is available for $5 in the lot on the southwest corner of 24th and Hoover.
Recommended for adults and kids (6 and older).
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