Five short plays using immersive audio storytelling will bring to life unsung landmarks in Los Angeles City Council Districts 8, 9, and 10 including the Metro Expo Line, Leimert Park, Historic West Adams, and Exposition Park.
“Chalk Lines” can be experienced online at home or on location at each site with a mobile device for free beginning on June 19; donations are encouraged. Streaming information and an experience guide are accessible through https://chalkrep.com.
“Chalk Lines” continues Chalk Rep’s 13-year tradition of revealing the spaces and stories of Los Angeles in all its beautiful, complex diversity. The company was founded on principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, anti-racist practices, and identity-conscious casting. “Chalk Lines” features underexplored communities, BIPOC and LGBTQ perspectives, and a diverse creative team.
“Chalk Lines” playwrights: Giovanni Adams (actor/playwright; “Love Is a Dirty Word”); Luis Alfaro (award-winning Chicano writer known for his work in poetry, theater, short stories, performance and journalism); Kimrie Lewis (actor/writer/director, currently stars in NBC’s new sitcom “Kenan”); Joseph Guy Maldonado (director/playwright/TV writer; award-winning “Hello Boys and Girls, or The Big Bird Play”); and Colette Robert (director/playwright). All writers grew up in Los Angeles and/or live in the neighborhoods where their stories take place.
“Chalk Lines” actors: Xan Churchwell (actor/writer/creator/ podcast host); Gregg Daniel (accomplished actor/director; Mark Taper Forum’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”; Pasadena Playhouse’s “Jitney”); Tonatiuh Elizarraraz (Echo Theater Company’s “Fixed”; IAMA Theatre Company’s “Species Native to California”); Veralyn Jones (award-winning actress; “Ferguson”; “Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White”); Emily Kuroda (Luis Alfaro’s “Straight as a Line”; “Red” at East West Players); and Emily Stout (founding member of The Associates Theater Ensemble).
The “Chalk Lines” creative team includes Chalk Rep founding member and award-winning director Jennifer Chang (LADCC Award in Direction for “Vietgone,” “The Clitorish,” “Bernhardt/Hamlet”); dramaturg Deborah Stein (playwright/screenwriter/director; “The Wholehearted,” “Marginal Loss,” “Chimera”); sound designers Justin Asher (composer/audio producer/sound designer) and Colin Wambsgans (creates sounds for concerts/installations/podcasts/films/plays/apps).
“March of Time – Time Warp,” written by Luis Alfaro, follows an unusually frank tour guide through 150-plus years of Los Angeles history and a morphing district from Union Station to Chinatown to the Coliseum and much more. Features Elizarraraz (Tourist), Kuroda (Tour Guide) and Adams (Chorus).
Kuroda has worked at Theatreworks (“The Language Archives,” “Calligraphy”), New York Theatre Workshop (“Endlings”), Pan Asian (“Brothers Paranormal”), American Repertory Theater (“Endlings”), Page 73 (“Today Is My Birthday”), Actors Theater of Louisville (“we, the invisibles”), Huntington Theater (“Tiger Style,” “Woman Warrior”), Artists at Play (“Two Mile Hollow”), South Coast Rep (“Fast Company,” “Ballad of Yachiyo” and “Our Town”), Alliance (“Tiger Style””), East West Players, Kirk Douglas, Mark Taper Forum, Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Singapore Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, The Doolittle, LATC, Zephyr, LA Women’s Shakespeare Company, and the Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival.
Recent TV: “All Rise,” “The Good Doctor,” “The Resident,” “Drop Dead Diva,” “Gilmore Girls.” Recent films: “Take the 10,” “Party Boat,” “Red,” “Sensei” and the upcoming Steven Soderbergh’s “Kimi” for HBO and “Porcupine” with Jena Malone. Awards: Dramalogue for “Ikebana,” “The Maids,” “Minamata,” “The Golden Gate” and “Visitors from Nagasaki”; LA Commendation for “About Love”; Garland for “Straight as a Line”; Entertainment Today for “Winter People.”
“Mutual Life,” written by Adams, is set in 1992 at the former Carl Bean AIDS Care Center in Historic West Adams. A young Latinx orphan living out his last days in hospice receives a mysterious sales visit for life insurance. Features Elizarraraz (Arturo) and Churchwell (Dee).
“8 for 16,” written by Lewis, rides the Expo Metro line from Vermont to Crenshaw and back while a seasoned street vendor and a young college student navigate intricate negotiations. Features Stout (Karly) and Jones (Diamond).
“From Your Homeworld to Mine,” written by Maldonado, begins at the Vermont Expo Metro Station, where passengers exiting the train encounter a man preaching the word of alien life. But perhaps he has much more to offer and share about history and humankind. Features Daniel (Rodney).
“Leimert Park Drum Circle, Sunday Afternoon,” written by Robert, beckons listeners with the beat of a drum down to Leimert Park Plaza on a journey of time, memory, and self-discovery. Features Jones (Parent).
Extending its signature site-specific style to the auditory realm, Chalk Rep combines classic theatrical storytelling with the unique sounds and ambiance of Los Angeles. In response to COVID-19 safety protocols, audience members are able to safely enjoy “Chalk Lines” at home focusing solely on the auditory experience. They also have the option to visually augment the experience by visiting each outdoor location and listen on a mobile device.
Chalk Repertory Theatre is dedicated to making Los Angeles theatre expansive, inclusive, non-traditional and rule-breaking while partnering with a variety of spaces as intimate as a living room and as public as an iconic landmark. Five graduates of the MFA Theatre Program at UC San Diego founded the company in the fall of 2008. The first season kicked off in 2009 with Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” in the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and garnered two Ovation Awards for its production of “Family Planning” by Julia Edwards.
Celebrating its 12th season, Chalk Rep has become a leader in site-specific theatre in Los Angeles, partnering with sites as grand as the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and as rustic as the garage of a private home. For more information, visit https://chalkrep.com.