Star-Studded L.A. Theatre Works Radio Theater Series Moves to UCLA

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Sarah Drew, Calista Flockhart, Stacy Keach, Amy Madigan, Jean Smart, Matthew Rhys, Joanne Whalley, JoBeth Williams among stars lined up for 2011-12 season of 10 plays to be performed at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater

Photo credit: Derek Hutchison

Stacy Keach records in front of a live audience for L.A. Theatre Works' nationally syndicated radio theater series. (Photo credit: Derek Hutchison)

"We are thrilled to be moving to the James Bridges Theater at UCLA,” says L.A. Theatre Works producing director Susan Loewenberg.

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Sarah Drew, Calista Flockhart, Stacy Keach, Amy Madigan, Jean Smart, Matthew Rhys and JoBeth Williams are among the stars set to record 10 plays as part of L.A. Theatre Works’ 2011-12 season. Beginning this September, L.A. Theatre Works’ acclaimed “The Play’s The Thing” radio theater series moves to the James Bridges Theater on the campus of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. There, each performance will be recorded in front of a live audience for future radio broadcast.

“We are thrilled to be moving to the James Bridges Theater at UCLA,” says L.A. Theatre Works producing director Susan Loewenberg. “We preserve great drama, and the UCLA archive preserves film and TV – it’s a perfect match. The Bridges is an intimate, state of the art facility that offers possibilities for integrating multi-media into some of our productions. We’re excited by the idea of partnering with various UCLA departments to enrich the theater-going experience with pre- and post-show panel discussions, to cross promote with other offerings on campus, and to introduce more students and young people to great drama.”

In 2011-12, the 10 plays selected to be recorded in front of a live audience at the James Bridges Theater include Rolf Fjelde’s striking new translation (including the title) of A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen; a new comedy about romance in the science lab, Completeness by Itamar Moses; the Tony Award-winning drama Copenhagen by Michael Frayn; Sam Shepard’s ground breaking, Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child; the witty and provocative Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts; the savage morality tale Look Back in Anger by John Osborne; Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan, with Stacy Keach reprising his role as Richard Nixon; Michael Hollinger’s award-winning look at a ‘high strung’ string quartet, Opus; Terence Rattigan’s 1948 masterpiece The Browning Version; and the classic Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco.

L.A. Theatre Works has been the foremost producer of radio theater in the United States for more than two decades, bringing the finest recorded dramatic literature into the homes of millions every week. L.A. Theatre Works' syndicated radio theater series airs weekly on public radio stations nationwide, including 89.3 KPCC in Southern California; 89.7 WGBH, Boston; 91.5 FM WBEZ, Chicago; 94.9 KUOW, Seattle; 90.1 WABE, Atlanta; 94.1 KPFA, Berkeley; 91.1 KRCB, North Bay (San Francisco); and in over 100 other markets. Recordings can also be streamed on demand at http://www.latw.org and are distributed to over 8500 libraries nationwide. The L.A. Theatre Works Audio Theatre Collection, with over 450 titles, is the largest archive of its kind in the world.

Click here to view a video about L.A. Theatre Works.

The schedule for the 2011 - 2012 L.A. Theatre Works season at the James Bridges Theater is as follows:

SEPTEMBER
A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Rolf Fjelde, featuring Calista Flockhart and JoBeth Williams
Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora’s well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen’s masterpiece, in a powerful new translation, is as fresh today as when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.
September 22-25 (Thursday @ 8 pm; Friday @ 8 pm; Saturday @ 3 pm & 8 pm; Sunday @ 2 pm & 7 pm)

OCTOBER
Completeness by Itamar Moses, featuring Mandy Siegfried
This brand new play by the author of Bach at Leipzig will be recorded to air as part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity science series, with lead funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Just how does a computer scientist romance a molecular biologist? Elliot offers to build a computer program to help Molly with her latest research project, but they discover that love just might be the winning formula - if they can only move beyond their fears and past heartbreaks.
October 20-23 (Thursday @ 8 pm; Friday @ 8 pm; Saturday @ 3 pm & 8 pm; Sunday @ 2 pm & 7 pm)

NOVEMBER
Copenhagen by Michael Frayn
How different would the world have looked had the Nazis been first to build an atomic bomb? Werner Heisenberg, one of Hitler’s lead nuclear scientists, famously and mysteriously met in Copenhagen with his colleague and mentor, Niels Bohr, one of the founders of the Manhattan Project. Michael Frayn’s Tony Award-winning drama imagines their reunion. Joined by Niels’ wife, Margrethe, these three brilliant minds converge for an encounter of atomic proportions. Copenhagen will be recorded to air as part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity science series, with lead funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
November 17-20 (Thursday @ 8 pm; Friday @ 8 pm; Saturday @ 3 pm & 8 pm; Sunday @ 2 pm & 7 pm)

DECEMBER
Buried Child by Sam Shepard, featuring Amy Madigan
An instant classic, Buried Child was the recipient of the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979. When Vince brings his girlfriend Shelly home to meet his family, it’s a curious homecoming for the son nobody seems to remember. Violence is never far from the surface as his unexpected return uncovers a deep, dark secret that triggers catastrophe.
December 8-11 (Thursday @ 8 pm; Friday @ 8 pm; Saturday @ 3 pm & 8 pm; Sunday @ 2 pm & 7 pm)

JANUARY
Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts, featuring Jean Smart and original off-Broadway cast member Patrick Breen
Two men in love, two parents in denial, and two friends on speed dial. Luke believes in God; Adam believes in everything else. When an accident changes everything, Adam must turn to Luke's family and friends for support… and answers. Next Fall captured the hearts and minds of Broadway, winning a 2010 Outer Critics Circle Award as Best New American Play and a Tony Award nomination for Best Play.
January 19-22 (Thursday @ 8 pm; Friday @ 8 pm; Saturday @ 3 pm & 8 pm; Sunday @ 2 pm & 7 pm)

MARCH
Look Back in Anger by John Osborne, featuring Sarah Drew and Matthew Rhys
Set in the UK at the dawn of the ‘60s social unrest, this savage morality tale spawned the phrase “angry young man.” Jimmy Porter barely ekes out a living running a candy stall by day and playing jazz trumpet by night. Although he usually takes his frustrations out on his emotionless wife, Jimmy's scathing tongue and self-loathing seems destined to destroy everything.
March 15-18 (Thursday @ 8 pm; Friday @ 8 pm; Saturday @ 3 pm & 8 pm; Sunday @ 2 pm & 7 pm)

APRIL
Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan, featuring Stacy Keach
Stacy Keach reprises his starring role as Richard Nixon in this look at the disgraced president’s interviews with legendary British talk show host, David Frost. Over a one week period, the former president’s desperate attempt to withstand a defacto trial of his legacy degenerates into a personal struggle with his inner demons.
April 19-22 (Thursday @ 8 pm; Friday @ 8 pm; Saturday @ 3 pm & 8 pm; Sunday @ 2 pm & 7 pm)

MAY
Opus by Michael Hollinger
Sex, drugs and chamber music! Talent and temperaments collide in this amusing and compelling behind-the-scenes look at a “high-strung” string quartet. A world-famous ensemble threatens to unravel as it prepares for a high-profile performance at the White House when its most talented member goes missing. Hiring a gifted young woman as a replacement, however, unleashes a maze of backstage maneuvering that tests loyalty, morality and the group’s very passion for music itself.
May 17-20 (Thursday @ 8 pm; Friday @ 8 pm; Saturday @ 3 pm & 8 pm; Sunday @ 2 pm & 7 pm)

JUNE
The Browning Version by Terence Rattigan, featuring Martin Jarvis, Ian Ogilvie and Joanne Whalley
Terence Rattigan’s 1948 masterpiece about a schoolmaster who must give up his 18 year post at an English public school. Brilliantly exploring the complexity of the human heart, it also predates Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in its scathing examination of a marriage. A contemporary of Noël Coward and Somerset Maugham, Rattigan’s wit and depth remain timeless.
June 21-24 (Thursday @ 8 pm; Friday @ 8 pm; Saturday @ 3 pm & 8 pm; Sunday @ 2 pm & 7 pm)

JULY
Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco
What do you do when everyone around you is turning into a rhinoceros? In Eugene Ionesco’s farcical French classic that defines Theatre of the Absurd, Stanley Berenger is an unhappy clerk who faces this odd reality in his daily life. Written during the German occupation of Paris, this masterful comedy became a metaphor for conformity and culture that still resonates today.
July 19-22 (Thursday @ 8 pm; Friday @ 8 pm; Saturday @ 3 pm & 8 pm; Sunday @ 2 pm & 7 pm)

Performances of “The Play’s The Thing” will be recorded live at the James Bridges Theater on the campus of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. The James Bridges Theater is located in Melnitz Hall at 235 Charles E. Young Dr., Los Angeles CA 90095. Enter UCLA off Sunset Blvd. and Hilgard, and park in Lot 3 on the lower level. Tickets range from $20.00 to $49.00. Assisted listening devices are available. For more information and to purchase season subscriptions or single tickets, call 310-827-0889 or visit L.A. Theatre Works online at http://www.latw.org

Lead funding for "The Play's The Thing" has been provided for the 2011-12 season by The Peter Glenville Foundation. Additional major support for L.A. Theatre Works programs and productions comes from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs; and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

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