California Institute for the Arts Center for New Performance kicks off its 20th anniversary season on Thursday, Sept. 29, with the world premiere of “Scene with Cranes,” written by acclaimed playwright Octavio Solis, directed by Chi-wang Yang. It will run from Sept. 29 through Oct. 1, at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in downtown Los Angeles.
Known for plays of satire, mythology, and steely realism, Octavio Solis is considered one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America. In this world premiere production, a tight-knit East L.A. family is left shattered in the wake of their youngest son’s mysterious death. Devastated, the mother retraces her son’s final steps in search of the truth. In his signature blend of classic and contemporary, Octavio Solis parallels John Sibelius’ musical masterwork in a play of the same name. Exquisitely visceral, Chi-wang Yang’s direction of “Scene with Cranes” navigates the many avenues of loss, leaving us stranded in a meditation on grief.
“We could not be more excited to produce this beautiful new work from one of our greatest living playwrights,” said Travis Preston, CNP Executive Artistic Director and Dean of the CalArts School of Theater. “Octavio, Chi-wang, and the creative team embody the best of what CNP promises, bold and profoundly moving artists of daring imagination. I can think of no better way to open our 20th season.”
“Scene with Cranes” is a project of Duende CalArts, an initiative of the CalArts Center for New Performance dedicated to developing and producing innovative work emerging from Latinx and Latin American communities and sources. Established in 2009 by Marissa Chibás, Duende CalArts brings prominent and emerging Latinx and Latin American artists from the performance community to develop adventurous projects at CNP. It aims to expand aesthetic boundaries and performance discourse, collaborating with national and international Latinx artists and advancing multilingual works.
For 20 years, CNP, the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, has been an active incubator of new directions in the performing arts. Through ongoing residencies, development support, and presentations on the local, national, and international stage, CNP invests deeply in the creative practices of visionary national and international artists, realizing projects through a commitment to artist-led process.
This season, between September 2022 and May 2023, CNP will produce the world premiere of a new theatrical work from Adrienne Kennedy, “Sisters Etta and Ella on the Upper West Side,” directed by Monty Cole (Feb. 23-26, 2023).
Also slated for release is “The George Project,” an immersive audio experience based on “When This War Is Over, You’re Going to Get It George,” written by artist Emilio Cruz and directed by Juli Crockett.
Artist and director Natalia Lassalle-Morillo will premiere “Pasadizo en Espiral” (“Passage of the Spiral”), a documentary film exploring celebrated Mexican theater company Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, their ongoing relationship with artists from CalArts Center for New Performance, and children from the Mixteca Region of Mexico.
Creator and performer Peter Mark will present “HA-M-LET” (Spring 2023), a site-specific, multilingual, multimedia performance sourcing material from Shakespeare’s play, pop internet culture, home videos and 3D animation. CNP artists-in-residence include Zola Dee, Rickerby Hinds, Derek Jackson, and Alpert Award winner Kaneza Schaal.
For more information, please visit the Center for New Performance.