The Cypress College New Play Festival provides student actors and directors a place to help develop new plays with professional playwrights from Los Angeles. We are celebrating our seventeenth summer season. Our festival won the OC Weekly Best of 2008.
“Mark Majarian and the rest of this community college’s theater department deserve a chorus of hosannas for launching and growing a new-play festival as strong as any in Southern California. Many of the writers-and several of the plays-have subsequently received full-fledged productions at regional and off-Broadway theaters. They provide encouragement and incentive to playwrights, a strange breed of animal that chooses to work in an artistic field where recognition is hard to come by and financial compensation nearly impossible.”
Notable playwright collaborations have been with a reading and production of Oliver Mayer’s “Bold as Love,” Paula Cizmar’s “Venus in Orange” which was produced at the Victory Theater in Burbank, Jonathan Caren’s “Need to Know” produced at the Rogue Machine Theatre, Jennifer Maisel’s “@the speedofjake” produced by Playwright’s Arena, Erik Patterson’s “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” produced at the Theater of NOTE, Ruth McKee’s “Hell Money” produced at the Chalk Repertory Theater, Doug Cooney’s Long Story Short which won a design award and was invited as an “Invitational Scene” for the Region VIII, Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Also, Mickey Birnbaum’s “Big Death Little Death” (developed during the 2002 Cypress New Play Festival) which opened the inaugural 2005-06 season of the Wooly Mammoth Theater Company (in Washington D. C.). Mickey’s other play, “Bleed Rail,” (developed during the 2004 Cypress New Play Festival) was performed at the Theater @ Boston Court in Pasadena. Other notable past collaborations were with Cody Henderson whose play, “Cold Tender” won the 2002 OC Weekly award, Annie Weisman’s “Be Aggressive” which was produced at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2001 and Robert Glaudini’s “Poison Tree” which was produced by the Mark Taper Forum in 2001 and Michael Golamco’s play “Year Zero” which went on to premiere at the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago in the fall 2009.
Performances: Thursdays 7:00 P.M. (June 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28, @ 7 P.M.) through July 28th. There will be a discussion with the writer following each reading. Admission is $5.00 to support the festival.
Studio Theater, Theater Building 9200 Valley View, Cypress 90630
For additional information, please contact Mark Majarian at (714) 484-7205, mmajarian (at) cypresscollege.edu
This season’s line-up features the following productions:
“Karina Played Pachanga Music” by Israel Lopez Reyes, Thurs. June 30th at 7pm. (4 men, 1 woman)
The play explores the underground world of techno-rancheras, poverty, and party crews in West Dallas. Katrina must escape a manhunt and save her missing brother from a dark party crew rival.
Israel Lopez Reyes | Short Bio
Recent acting credits include Concrete Orange: An American Fable (Guthrie Theater), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (UCLA) Life on the Praça Roosevelt (UCLA) Se Llama Cristina (Kitchen Dog Theater) The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Company of Angels) and The Taming of the Shrew (Long Beach Playhouse). Israel participated in the Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training (2015) and the LAByrinth Intensive Ensemble (2012). He was recently awarded a full-scholarship with the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford University.
His written plays include: the easterlies, Sir Dezmond the Black Knight of Inglewood Castle, bautista the real-life walking lowrider freak and the rodeo inside, Debunked Theories of the Burger King Party, Pigeons on the Greenline Headed Towards Norwalk, and BROKE (a cheap play for your broke ass).
“Pachucos of Palmdale” by Danny Herman, Thurs. July 7th at 7pm. (3 women, 4 men)
Pachucos of Palmdale is the farcical story of the blending of two cultures. Gabe, a whitewashed Latino Los Angeleno, gets stuck in the city of Palmdale. Gabe hopes to get back on the road to San Francisco, a place he believes could be home, his gay Mecca…until he has a run in with a Greek chorus of dating profiles that have other plans.
Daniel Herman | Short Bio
Danny Herman is an undergraduate BA Theatre Major at the University of Southern California. Pachucos of Palmdale is his second full length play written at USC.
“The Backroom” by Rebin Zangna, Thurs. July 14st at 7pm. (1 woman, 5 men)
A Lebanese-American student with high aspirations and his straight-talking, sometimes racist, Morrocan-American boss venture to make some extra money by buying a case of stolen phones. As they try to make extra side-money, they negotiate with the regulars of the cellphone shop. The day goes on and they are solicited by the student’s ex girlfriend, whom they both can’t resist and her boyfriend, who is highly terroritorial about what he feels is his. The pair’s relationship sours as they confront each other and others over matters of money, ownership, and what it means to do business.
Rebin Zangana | Short Bio
Rebin Zangana is plawright and screenwriter from Columbus, Ohio. He is currently an MFA student at the University of Southern California. Rebin wrote and directed his first short film, Artifact, in 2016. He is currently developing a story for a feature film, set to film in 2017. During his time at USC, Rebin has had numerous readings, including two short plays as part of Feuchtwanger Refreshed, an event celebrating German writer Lion Feuchtwanger. His, and other plays from the event, will be published as a collection by USC. As a storyteller, Rebin hopes to bring to the stage and the screen a more authentic and inclusive vision of American life.
“Staying Where You Are” by Erik Patterson, Thurs. July 21th at 7pm. (2 women, 2 men)
Is a moving and dramatic tale about a family caught in the generational cycle of poverty in the Pico/Union neighborhood of Los Angeles. How do you overcome your challenges, your demons? Where do you start, especially when all options that would preserve your dignity seem closed to you?
Erik Patterson | Short Bio
Erik is a graduate of Occidental College and the British American Drama Academy. His plays have been produced by Playwrights’ Arena, the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Theatre of NOTE, Evidence Room, and The Actors’ Gang, and developed through the Lark Play Development Center, Moving Arts, Black Dahlia, Naked Angels, and the Mark Taper Forum. He has had monologues published by Heinemann and Smith & Kraus. Along with writing partner Jessica Scott, he has written screenplays for Warner Premiere, ABC Family, the Disney Channel, The Hatchery, and Universal. He won a 2010 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Children’s Script (Long Form) for Another Cinderella Story. He was nominated in the 40th Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series for “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour”. His play He Asked For It was nominated for a 2009 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Los Angeles Theater. It was nominated for a 2008 Ovation Award for World Premiere Playwriting, as well as being named one of the Top 10 Plays of 2008 by Frontiers Magazine. In 2003, his play Yellow Flesh Alabaster Rose won a Backstage West Garland Award for Best Playwriting and was a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award. In 2004, his play Red Light Green Light was nominated for an Ovation Award for World Premiere Playwriting.
“Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire” by Brian James Polak, Thurs. July 28th at 7pm. ( 6 women, 6 men)
Fast-forward Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” 115 years. “Welcome to Keene, NH” is a three-act play telling the fictional story of a real American small town through the everyday lives of its citizens.
Brian James Polak | Short Bio
He was born and raised in New Hampshire, that little chunk of a state shoved between Maine and Vermont and eventually moved to Los Angeles and received MFA from USC. His play HENRY AND THE HIPPOCAMPUS was a semi-finalist for O’Neil Playwrights Conference and a recipient of The Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Award. WAR PROFITS received the Kennedy Center’s John Cauble Award and was recently presented in The Road Theater’s Summer Playwright’s Festival. A couple of his short plays have been published in Smith & Kraus “Best Ten-Minute Plays” anthologies, and another has been published by Commonplace Books. In 2013 Brian wrote a play called TALES FROM TENT CITY about a group of runaway teenagers and he had the opportunity to workshop it with undergrad students at USC as well as at Loyola Marymount as part of their Playwrights Center Stage program.
For additional information, please contact Mark Majarian at (714) 484-7205, mmajarian (at) cypresscollege.edu | #CypressCollege #Theater #Arts