Six world premieres will be mounted in the inaugural season at the Kirk Douglas Theater, the midsize venue in Culver City overseen by Gordon Davidson and the Center Theater Group. Five of the six playwrights represented are from the Los Angeles area.
The world premiere of Charles L. Mee’s comedy “A Perfect Wedding,” commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum and developed at the Taper’s 2003 New Work Festival, opens Nov. 7 and runs through Nov. 28. Mee, a historian and playwright from Brooklyn, is the one out-of-towner.
Up second is “The Paris Letter” by Jon Robin Baitz, whose “Mizlansky/Zilinsky” played at the Geffen and “Ten Unknowns” was mounted at the Mark Taper Forum. Play, which addresses the costs of denial on family, friendship, love and marriage, runs Dec. 12-Jan. 2. It was part of the reading series at the Ojai Playwrights Conference in 2002.
Told in a collage of text, image, movement and music, Nancy Keystone’s “Apollo — Part 1: Lebensraum” runs April 10-May 1. “Lebensraum” follows Wernher von Braun and Arthur Rudolph, the darlings of Nazi Germany’s rocket program, as they are brought to America to become American rocketeers. “Apollo” was developed this year at the Taper’s new play development programs, First Step and Next Step.
Chay Yew’s “A Distant Shore” concerns two families inextricably entwined with the fate of a small Southeast Asian country during the 1920s. Play opens May 22 and closes June 12. Yew is the director of the Taper’s Asian Theater Workshop, and “A Distant Shore” was developed at the Taper’s 2002 New Work Festival under the title “Malaya.”
“This is work that reflects who we are as a nation, what our similarities are, what our debates are about and what is in the hearts and minds of our artists,” Davidson said. “It also acknowledges the changing global horizons that are part of 21st century life.” Davidson is in his final year programming the Taper and the Ahmanson theaters for CTG.
A subscription bonus option includes two new plays created for young audiences, “Flight,” by Charlayne Woodard, and “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip,” by Doug Cooney and David O.
“Flight,” the story of a slave community and a young boy whose mother has been sold by plantation owners, was commissioned by CTG’s PLAY (Performing for Los Angeles Youth) and developed during several readings in 2003 and 2004. The musical “Frip,” based on George Saunders’ story, was also commissioned by P.L.A.Y.
Charter subscription prices to the premiere season at the 300-seat Kirk Douglas Theater range from $56 to $168.