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The Matrix Theatre Company brings New York Times “playwright-to-watch” Geraldine Inoa to L.A. with the West Coast premiere of her provocative new play.
What we always hear: “Black Male Shot by White Police Officer.” What we never see — how loved ones struggle to cope in the aftermath. The Matrix Theatre Company presents the West Coast premiere of a daring new play from a significant emerging voice in theater. Scraps, written by Geraldine Inoa and directed by 2019 Obie Award winner Stevie Walker-Webb, opens at the Matrix Theatre on July 6, with previews beginning June 27.
Set in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, three months after the fatal shooting of black teenager Forest Winthrop by a white police officer, Scraps is a provocative mash up of poetry, realism and expressionism that chronicles the effects of Forest’s death on his family and friends.
“Geraldine has created a completely original, highly theatrical, frequently funny collage,” says producer Joseph Stern. “At first glance, the story sounds very familiar — but I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“Trauma doesn’t end after the event, but instead reverberates forever through the lives of those who remain,” Inoa explains. “If we continue to only engage in surface-level conversations about race that prevent us from feeling uncomfortable, we are only asking for things to stay the same. This is a provocative play that may cause discomfort, but I hope it enables audiences to make a step forward, even if that means just making room to listen to my characters for 90-minutes.”
Those characters include aspiring rapper Jean Baptiste Delacroix Forest’s high school friend Calvin Young, whose status as a freshman at Columbia University may not be enough to save Aisha Douglas, the beautiful mother of Forest’s son Aisha’s tragic younger sister and Forest’s young son, Sebastian.
Scraps premiered in a sold-out run at NYC’s Flea Theater in 2018, directed by artistic director Niegel Smith. The New York Times review called Inoa “a playwright to watch,” noting her “own sharp vision” Time Out New York called Inoa “a passionate new voice screaming to be heard” and The New Yorker described Scraps as “an ambitious, vibrant new play.” It was a finalist for the L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award, a semifinalist for the P73 Playwriting Fellowship and a semifinalist for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference.
An alumnus of the Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group and the inaugural recipient of the Shonda Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission from IAMA Theatre Company, Inoa currently resides in Los Angeles where she writes for AMC's The Walking Dead. Her work has been developed at both the Atlantic Theater Company and Labyrinth Theater Company. The Flea Theater production of Scraps marked her professional playwriting debut. She holds a B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Stevie Walker-Webb is an Obie award-winning director, performing artist and cultural worker, a former 2050 Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop (named in celebration of the Census Bureau’s projection that by the year 2050, there will be no single racial or ethnic majority in the U.S.) and recipient of the Princess Grace Award for theater. Off-Broadway: Jordan E. Cooper’s Ain’t No Mo’ at the Public Theater upcoming: Fairview at Woolly Mammoth and One In Two with the New Group in New York City. He is the founding artistic director of the Jubilee Theatre in Waco, Texas, holds an MFA from the New School, a BS in Sociology from the University of North Texas, and is an Emerge-NYC alumnus.
In 2009, following more than three decades of producing multiple award-winning work for the stage, Matrix Theatre Company founder/artistic director Stern resolved to redirect the company’s focus to the exploration of race issues in contemporary society. Since then, the Matrix has offered up critically acclaimed productions of Lydia Diamond’s Stick Fly, set in the Martha’s Vineyard summer home of an upper middle class African American family Neighbors, the highly provocative study of the history of racism in America by then-unknown playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who has since gone on to win two Obie awards and a MacArthur “genius” grant a non-traditional. multi-culturally cast production of all My Sons by Arthur Miller the West Coast premiere of We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South-West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 by Jackie Sibblies Drury, who went on to receive the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Los Angeles premiere of The Mountaintop by Katori Hall, in an acclaimed production directed by Roger Guenveur Smith.
Scraps opens on July 6 and continues through Sept. 15, with previews taking place June 27 through July. 5. Performances are scheduled Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 3 p.m. and Mondays at 8 p.m. General admission on Saturdays and Sundays is $35 previews and all Monday evening performances are Pay-What-You-Want. The Matrix Theatre is located at 7657 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (west of Stanley Ave., between Fairfax and La Brea). For reservations and information, call (323) 960-7711 or go to www.matrixtheatre.com
“AN EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE… magnificently written and directed” — Broadway World
“BRILLIANT, POWERFUL… at the cutting edge of the stage and screen cycle of productions reacting to the surge of police and vigilante killings of African Americans and/or the judicial system’s unjust mistreatment of Blacks… among the best of these works…. rated: BRAVO!” — Hollywood Progressive
“STUNNING… [a] remarkable ensemble of actors… [playwright] Inoa’s voice isn’t one you’ve heard in the theater before but if we’re going to make sense of racism and the violence against innocent black men - hers is an essential voice.. Don’t miss this powerful production.” — KCRW 89.9 FM
“TIMELY, RELEVANT AND DISTURBING… RIVETING… a fascinating peek at a world of trauma and loss” — LA Splash
“DISTURBS AND CHALLENGES… the emotions expressed are clear and raw… the acting is superb” — Larchmont Buzz
“MEMORABLE AND POWERFFUL THEATER… stand[s] out as something radical and different, unafraid of probing into uncomfortable territory…. All of the performances are stunning.” — On Stage and Screen
“PROVOCATIVE… Inoa’s language is authentic and often raw, both lofty and nightmarish… Stevie Walker-Webb does deeply committed work directing this increasingly hallucinatory confection…. A forceful play about slavery’s legacy” — People’s World
“RECOMMENDED… STAGE RAW TOP TEN… incisive character-rich drama… smart and sometimes gritty street dialogue” — Stage Raw
“BOLD, TIMELY HOTBLOODED… This important, extraordinary, affecting play, featuring a superb cast of actors given keen direction by Stevie Walker-Webb, must be seen.” — Theatre Notes
“GUTSY… a powerful and true portrait of what it’s like for black people to live in a world of terror and fear” — Total Theater
Presenter / Producer: The Matrix Theatre
Theater > Drama
Event Phone: 323-960-7711
The Matrix Theatre
7657 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90046
LA - Hollywood / Westside
Performance Dates: 6/27/2019 - 9/15/2019
Sat., Mon. 8:00 pm Sun. 3:00 pm previews Wed. 6/27 Thurs 6/28, 8:00 pm
Saturdays and Sundays $35 Previews and Mondays Pay-What-You-Can
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