GREENWAY ARTS ALLIANCE
THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET
ADAPTED BY AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT AMY LUDWIG
BASED ON THE CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED NOVEL BY SANDRA CISNEROS
AND DIRECTED BY ALEXANDRA MEDA
THE CAST FEATURES
ELIZABETH NUNGARAY ESTELLA GARCIA
ALEX ALPHAROAH FRANCELI CHAPMAN CHRISTINE MANTILLA
GRACIELA LIZET RODRIGUEZ MIEBAKA YOHANNES
PERFORMANCES RUN FROM SEPTEMBER 29 – OCTOBER 28, 2017
WITH THE OFFICIAL PRESS OPENING ON SEPTEMBER 30
AT GREENWAY COURT THEATRE
PRESENTED IN CELBRATION OF
GREENWAY ARTS ALLIANCE’S 20th ANNIVERSARY
LOS ANGELES, CA (Aug. 30, 2017) – Greenway Arts Alliance (Whitney Weston and Pierson Blaetz, Co-Founders and Co-Artistic Directors) will present THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET, adapted for stage by award-winning playwright Amy Ludwig (2006 LA Weekly Theater Award for “Best Adaptation” of The House on Mango Street) and directed by Alexandra Meda (Artistic Director of Chicago’s Teatro Luna). Based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Sandra Cisneros, THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET will play at Greenway Court Theatre (544 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles) from September 29 – October 28, 2017, with the official press opening taking place on Saturday, September 30.
The cast of THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET features:
Elizabeth Nungaray as Esperanza
Your Problem with Men and Enrique’s Journey at Los Angeles Theatre Center.
Nungaray is an ensemble member of Teatro Luna.
Estella Garcia as Older Esperanza
South Coast Repertory’s The Long Road Today by Jose Cruz Gonzalez.
Cecil in Watts Village Theatre’s Meet me at the Metro.
Alex Alpharoah as Ensemble
Noche de Boda at Frida Khalo Theatre, Don’t Talk About It, SP!T About It at
Greenway Court Theatre, Urban Unrest at Sacred Fools Theatre, and others.
Franceli Chapman as Ensemble
House of Thieves at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Christine Mantilla as Ensemble
World premieres of The Anatomy of Gazellas (Playwrights Arena) and Soledad by Janine Salinas Schoenberg (Casa 0101 Theatre) and Demeter in the City by Sarah Ruhl (Cornerstone Theater Company).
Graciela Lizet Rodriguez as Ensemble
Rodriguez played the role of Valeria Lopez in Baño de Damas with Tierra Blanca Arts Center.
Greenway Court Theatre’s Don’t Talk About It, SP!T About It.
Miebaka Yohannes as Ensemble
Miebaka has performed on stages on Off Broadway, television and film.
Joining Alexandra Meda’s creative team are choreographer Ysaÿe McKeever (Teatro Luna’s Generation Sex), projection and environment designer Corwin Evans, costume designer Beryl Brachman, lighting designer Azra King-Abadi, and sound designer Jesse Mandapat.
THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET centers around the life of young Latina Esperanza Cordero, as she undergoes her personal journey into adulthood. As she matures, Esperanza encounters the harsh realities of puberty as well the hardships witnessed in her family and her Mango Street neighborhood. Despite all she witnesses and endures, Esperanza seeks hope and persists toward a better future.
Ludwig’s adaption of THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET received national critical acclaim. The Chicago Tribune said, “Some plays open up their world so completely they cast a thick spell. That’s the triumphant case with director Amy Ludwig’s joyous and generous adaptation of The House on Mango Street.” And, “Amy Ludwig’s respectful stage adaptation honors Cisneros’ eloquent writing,” said the Los Angeles Times.
“THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET is currently banned from Tucson, Arizona schools. Why? Sandra Cisneros’ powerful words take us to the heart of how it feels to grow up as an outsider. In today’s climate, that’s a story we need to share and celebrate, not to silence,” said THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET adaptor Amy Ludwig.
Director Alexandra Meda said, “The story of Esperanza, her young desire to shake the sky and soar above her ‘House on Mango Street’ and the special kind of fear and hate that is directed at immigrant families, is a very personal touchstone for so many readers over the last 20 years — including this cast and creative team. The isolation, violence, and limitations that surround Esperanza feel all too familiar in the current state of affairs we find ourselves in today in the United States. I am thrilled to be working with this exciting talented cast in exploring the contemporary relationships we have as a society to this family and neighborhood that was brought to life over 25 years ago.”
THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET is presented in celebration of Greenway Arts Alliance 20th Anniversary year, which kicks off on October 8, 2017. For two decades, the nonprofit GAA has been uniting communities through art, education and social enterprise. Greenway, a community leader and role model in social enterprise, runs the Greenway Court Theatre (a professional 99-seat theater), the Greenway Institute for the Arts (an arts education program at Fairfax High School, Title 1 high school in Los Angeles) and the Melrose Trading Post (a weekly open-air arts based marketplace). An all-day community celebration of Greenway Arts Alliance’s 20th Anniversary will take place at the world famous Melrose Trading Post on Sunday, October 8.
The acclaimed novel, The House on Mango Street, has been used as required reading in educational institutions all around the nation. Continuing this theme of education, Greenway Arts Alliance’s educational wing, the Greenway Institute of the Arts (GIA), will incorporate the novel and stage production into Fairfax High School’s curriculum through the GreenwayReads program. Greenway’s multi-disciplinary approach to programming will focus on the novel’s themes while bringing it to life on stage and through arts education and special events. Three hundred students will participate in GreenwayReads and will have the opportunity to see the stage production at select matinee performances. Last year, GIA and GCT kicked off the GreenwayReads program with Greenway’s production of George Orwell’s 1984.
“It was important that we choose a book and play that reflect the lives of the students at Fairfax High School, Esperanza’s story in THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET is the story of so many students at Fairfax,” said Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director Whitney Weston of Greenway Arts Alliance.
“We reached out for recommendations from our amazing community of artists and educators who have supported us over Greenway’s 20-year history. We agreed that staging a classic that so beautifully portrays the power of place and home for an immigrant family is a must-see in our current political climate,” added Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Greenway Arts Alliance, Pierson Blaetz.
“Most of the professional staff and crew of GreenwayReads participate in the student sessions, before and after the performances. For many students, it is the first time they have ever seen a professional play, and after the program, it’s amazing to see them actively invested and excited about theatre,” said Weston. “Pierson and I are grateful that our cast and crew share Greenway Arts Alliance’s mission of uniting communities through art.”
THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET will play at Greenway Court Theatre, 544 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Performances begin September 29, 2017 and play through October 28, 2017 with the official press opening on Saturday, September 30 at 8:00 p.m. Performance schedule is Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Note: There will be no matinee performance on September 30. Tickets go on sale on Friday, September 1, 2017. General admission tickets are $30, and student/senior (65+) discounted tickets are $15. Tickets are available online at GreenwayCourtTheatre.org. For more information call 323-673-0544 or visit GreenwayCourtTheatre.org.
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ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
AMY LUDWIG (Adaptor) is a writer, director, and producer based in Los Angeles. Her stage adaptation of Sandra Cisneros’ novel “The House on Mango Street” has been produced at over 25 theatres nationwide and earned the 2005 LA Weekly Award for Best Adaptation. As a director in Chicago, Amy developed new plays by Sarah Ruhl, Elizabeth Wong, Hurt McDermott, Rebecca Gilman, and others with theaters including Victory Gardens, Theater Oobleck, and Chicago Dramatists Workshop. She also created original works with her site-specific company, Blue Star. Amy was the sole researcher for the first two seasons of Fox TV’s hit series BONES. Her award-winning short film HOLLYWOOD FOREVER played at festivals across the United States and Europe. She graduated from Yale and Northwestern, and trained at Trinity Rep Conservatory and the WB Comedy Writing Workshop.
ALEXANDRA MEDA (Director) is a theatrical director/deviser, cultural-producer and a digital content creator serving as the Artistic Director for Teatro Luna: America’s National Latinx + Women of Color Theatre Ensemble and Touring Company, a Steering Committee member of both the National Latina/o Theatre Commons and the Latino Theatre Alliance- Los Angeles, and facilitates and produces events around Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion issues in the arts and beyond. She has directed and produced new and original performances in over 42 cities in the US and 4 countries. Currently, she is building two new plays that will tour internationally for Teatro Luna: Lovesick – which will have its first public performance at the Chicago Latino Theatre Festival by CLATA at Victory Gardens and I Thought You Could See Me.
YSAŸE McKEEVER (Choreographer) is a dancer, choreographer and filmmaker from Chicago. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BFA in Dance and Minor in Philosophy in 2013. There she performed works choreographed by Darrell Jones, Renée Wadleigh, Jan Erkert, Kirstie Simson, Sheldon Smith and more. Over the summers, Ysaÿe has trained at the Boston Conservatory, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and The Cambrians intensive programs. She has also had the honor of training at the Taipei National University of the Arts where she performed work by Ming-Lung Yang. Since graduating, Ysaÿe’s choreography and films have been shown around the nation and Cagliari, Italy. She has performed with Red Clay Dance, performed in works by Helen Lee and Rachel Bunting, and performed with comedian Hannibal Burress. Ysaÿe has also choreographed for Teatro Luna’s local and touring productions of Generation Sex. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Links Hall as a part of Set Free and in her second season dancing with Aloha Chicago.
SANDRA CISNEROS (Author) is an author and an activist. Writing for over 50 years, her work explores the lives of the working class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and prose, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary degrees, national and international book awards, and most recently Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the National Medal of Arts presented to her by President Obama at the White House.
Her classic coming-of-age novel, The House on Mango Street has sold over six million copies, has been translated into more than twenty languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and university curricula across the U.S.
GREENWAY ARTS ALLIANCE (GAA) – Since its 1997 inception, the Greenway Arts Alliance has united communities through the arts, education and social enterprise. Through Greenway Court Theatre’s professional theatre productions, Greenway Institute for the Arts’ education programs and the Melrose Trading Post’s weekly art-based open market, Greenway Arts Alliance builds a vibrant artistic community in the heart of Los Angeles. GAA has modeled an innovative partnership with the Fairfax High School campus to leverage community resources to connect the profession artistic and public education communities around a commitment to learning and creation in the arts. Greenway Arts Alliance was Co-Founded by artists-activists Whitney Weston and Pierson Blaetz, both of whom serve as Co-Artistic Directors for the organization.
GREENWAY COURT THEATRE – Greenway Court was initially built by Fairfax High School students in 1939 as a class project and used as a Social Hall by both students and faculty. It sat virtually unused for many years until it was finally renovated into a professional 99-seat theatre by Greenway Arts Alliance in 2000, to benefit both the school and the surrounding community. Greenway Court Theatre has a rich history of presenting and producing diverse bodies of work. Greenway has opened its door to many main-stage productions, weekly open mic poetry, festivals and world premieres that have moved to larger venues and toured across the country.
GREENWAY INSTITUTE FOR THE ARTS – An arts education program in theatre, dance and film for students at the Fairfax High School, a Title 1 high school in the Los Angeles Unified School district. Greenway Institute for the Arts promotes arts education though both in-class and after-school programs in theatre, dance film. Through the generosity of our funders, classes and workshops are provided free of charge to Fairfax High School students. Presented with opportunities to engage with professional artists, young people are able to discover their individual voices and passions that can lead to careers in the arts.
MELROSE TRADING POST – A pioneering arts-based marketplace held every Sunday on the Fairfax High School campus. Every Sunday, the Melrose Trading Post offers a constantly evolving experience, with a curated selection of handcrafted artisan goods, eclectic art and craft, vintage fashion, antique furniture and one-of-a-kind treasures.
Through admission and vendor fees, the Melrose Trading Post has grown to become the most successful ongoing social enterprise program in the history of Los Angeles Unified School District, awarding grants to Fairfax High School organizations for sports equipment, beautification projects, teacher programs, theatre productions, and more – totaling well over seven million dollars since the Melrose Trading Post’s humble beginnings in 1997. Through Greenway Arts Alliance, the Melrose Trading Post provides formal job and life skills training to large numbers of paid and volunteer students from Fairfax High School – the first real-world job experience for many. The market also serves as an incubator to promote small community businesses and budding entrepreneurs, many of them professional artists, by providing affordable retail opportunities in a prime, high-traffic location. Additionally, the popular weekly market has always featured local musicians. In 2014, the market expanded to include even more opportunities for local artists through an outdoor, year-long series of music, dance, theater and spoken word events via the MTP Main Stage.