(Beverly Hills, CA January 24) The newly formed Wallis Youth Theater Company presents its inaugural theater production Word of Mouth—a devised physical theater piece that asks audiences to examine the role words play in creating a culture of fear and division, or a culture of empathy and unity—on January 28 & 29 in the Lovelace Studio Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Directed by Madeleine Dahm, Word of Mouth is an experimental work that was born of the youth theater members’ reactions to recent political and social events across the world, and their desire to question the normalization of verbal violence.
Integrating text, movement, mask and music, it is an uncompromising and sometimes satirical look at truth, fear and the power of words. The narrative of Word of Mouth is drawn from multiple sources and includes: individual testimonials, newspaper articles (The New York Times, Washington Post, The Independent, London Times), excerpts from United Nations delegate speeches and the human rights speeches of Nobel Peace Prize honoree Aung San Suu Kyi. Due to sophisticated language and some adult content, the recommendation age is 15+.
“Our actors have channeled their deep concerns about the current political and social climate to create a powerful new work,” said Mark Slavkin, Director of Education at The Wallis. “I am very proud that The Wallis is able to invest in young artists and provide a safe space for their talents to be cultivated and their voices to be honored.”
“As we find ourselves in an era of Post-Truth, often overwhelmed by propaganda that is rooted in fear, isolationism and hate, it is vital that we create a space in the arts for the insights, perspectives and courageous experiences of the young,” said Dahm.
The Wallis Youth Theater Company’s mission is to cross boundaries, and with an ethos of collaboration, create thoughtful and provocative work that is rooted in humanity. The youth company is comprised of young actors aged 17 – 23. Drawn from across Los Angeles, these artists come from diverse backgrounds and experiences but are connected by their passion for theater and the arts. The Company aims to provide a place for young actors to work as an ensemble, learn cutting edge creative practices, develop innovative and socially conscious work and be engaged with the local community.
Single tickets for Word of Mouth are now available for $20. Student tickets are available for $10 (with a valid ID). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.
About Madeleine Dahm (Director):
Madeleine Dahm is an award winning experimental physical theater director, choreographer and arts advocate. Originally from London, her work has been presented across the UK, in Europe and the U.S. She has been the Resident Artist at Grow @ The Wallis since 2015, staged Mo.men.tum on the Bram Goldsmith Theater stage in 2016, and is the founding Artistic Director of The Wallis Youth Theater Company. Recent directing credits include: director and choreographer of Oktoberfest The Musical: An Almost True Story, a new musical comedy by Emmy Award-winning film composer Harold Faltermeyer and famed Disney writer Philip LaZebnik (now heading to Vegas). Dahm is the Movement Devisor for Sussan Deyhim’s The House is Black, a seminal multi-media work on Iranian activist and poet Forough Farrokhzad. For 2017, Dahm is working on the dramaturge and direction of the staged play Isn’t it Rich, taken from the feminist novella by famed arts critic and international journalist Victoria Looseleaf. Dahm trained at the Old Vic and Royal Court Theater’s in London, and with the legendary Martha Graham. She holds a post-graduate from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.
About the Word of Mouth cast:
Trecey Dory is happy to be a part of The Wallis Youth Theater Company. He is a recent graduate of Cortines High School for the Performing Arts. He was a regional finalist of the August Wilson Monologue Competition and most recently performed with Whittier Community Theater. He hopes that by being a part of this project, he can help spread a message of love and equality among people, no matter their creed, religion, skin color etc…
Jayde Kief has performed Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams, in DTASC and ESU competitions, placing as a finalist. She is also the 2016-17 NAM California Teen Spokesmodel and Actress title holder. As a classically trained actor, dancer and singer-poet, Jayde calls the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts her “artistic safe home.” She was selected to perform her Mo.men.tum solo for The Wallis Board of Directors, as part of an event that introduced Artist Director Paul Crewes to the community. She was featured as The Girl in the Green Dress at the 2016 Wallis WelcomeFest. Jayde is a freshman at Glendale Community College, majoring in Theater and Dance Teaching.
Malakai Jones is thrilled to be a part of The Wallis Youth Theater Company’s first year. This company is filled with talented, warm and like-minded individuals dedicated to bringing change through their art. Malakai is a recent graduate of CHAMPS Charter High School’s drama academy and is currently taking a gap year to focus on developing his craft and writing.
Alex Sheldon has had extensive experience previously performing Shakespeare, other classical work and writing original plays at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon. Alex also acts in films, some of which he has directed, with themes of horror, fantasy and classical style language he puts into all his original work.
Samantha Marino is a student at El Camino College, studying English Literature. She was born in the Los Angeles area and has performed in local productions through community and school. Some credits include Hairspray, Rumors, You Can’t Take it With You and Lysistrata. She plans to transfer to a UC in the fall, where she will continue to study writing and perform theater.
Kelvin Morales Ever since Kelvin was young he has been enthralled by storytelling of all mediums. He decided to start acting in his freshman year of high school, and since, has appeared on numerous stages from Pasadena City College to Theatricum Botanicum. His road has led him to The Wallis Youth Theater Company where he hopes he can spread a message of peace and equality.
Tristan McIntyre is a regional award winning actor, dancer and comedian. His most recent performance as Sir Robin in Beverly Hills High School’s production of Spamalot won Tristan a fullride scholarship to attend Broadway Artist Alliance in New York City. Tristan is currently a freshman at the University of Southern California, where he is studying acting. Most recently, Tristan made his professional debut as a swing in Celebration Theater’s production of The Boy From Oz. An alum of The Wallis’ Songwriting for Theater course, Tristan is grateful for the artistic opportunities that the Wallis has provided him, reassuring him of the pathway that he wishes to pursue in the performing arts.
Clementine Turner is a British actress who has spent the last two years here in Los Angeles, finishing high school and studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. She has been working with The Wallis for a year now, performing in The Intimidation Game with The Miracle Project. She has loved being a part of The Wallis Youth Theater Company, and getting to work as an ensemble with such an incredible group of individuals.
Jordan Rodriguez is a student at AMDA College & Conservatory of the Dramatic Arts for a BFA in Acting. While attending, she has had the fortune of being in a staged reading of American Clock, as well as had several of her original plays performed and workshopped.
About the Production Team:
The production team includes Bosco Flanagan (lighting designer), Jeannie Scheidewind (scenic designer), Marissa Maynes (costume designer) and Geoffrey Stirling (stage manager).
About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts:
Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis has produced or presented more than 100 dance, theatre, opera, classical music and family programs to an ever-expanding audience. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, The Wallis brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists. Featuring eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe. The mission of The Wallis is to create, present and celebrate unique performing arts events and educational programs that reflect the rich cultural diversity of our community. Nominated for 28 Ovation Awards, four L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle Awards and the recipient of six architectural awards since opening in 2013, The Wallis is a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue that celebrates the classic and the modern and was designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects. The building features the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW at The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education (a gift of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family and the Annenberg Foundation) and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these structures embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike.
For more information about The Wallis, please visit: TheWallis.org.
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Word of Mouth
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Lovelace Studio Theater
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 8:00pm
Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 3:00pm & 7:00pm
Single tickets: $20; Student tickets (with a valid ID): $10 (prices subject to change)
Online – TheWallis.org
By Phone – 310.746.4000
Box Office – Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Service
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210