Thursday, March 20, 2014

The 21st Annual Festival "Giving Voice" Host Line-Up


          The 21st Annual Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival  (LAWTF) has a roster of distinguished artists who will m.c. four days and six programs at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA 90291. Here’s the diverse list of those who will be welcoming our audiences and introducing the performers:

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. --“In Honor Of” Champagne GALA & Awards Ceremony.

Ted Lange: Known internationally for his portrayal of Isaac Washington on the long-running TV series “The Love Boat,” Ted received the Renaissance Man Theatre Award from the NAACP for his stage accomplishments as actor, playwright (23 plays), and director (including the current comedy “Classic Couples Counseling” at the Secret Rose Theatre). His one-man show in which he portrays Paul Lawrence Dunbar, “Behind the Mask,” tours worldwide.

Starletta DuPois: Although known for her work on TV (“Lost”) and in hit films (“The Notebook,” “Friday After Next,” “Big Momma’s House,” “First Sunday,” “Waiting to Exhale”), Starletta has the distinction of being one of the few to have portrayed all three female characters in “A Raisin in the Sun.” She also tours with her solo show “Order My Steps.”

Friday, March 28, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.--“Transformations”

Fay Hauser-Price:  Familiar to national audiences as Detective Salena Wiley on “The Young and the Restless,” Fay has also appeared on “Glee” and in “Roots: The Next Generations,” “Candyman: Farewell to the flesh,” “Akeelah and the Bee,” and more. She has produced, written and directed the series “Living With Soul,” “24/7,” and “Red Hot & Cool.”  Her stage credits include “Twelfth Night” and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Fay has worked with the LAWTF in various capacities for 15 years.

Angela Robinson-Witherspoon: A veteran stage actress (“Sirens,” “Happy Endings,” “The Last Straw,” “A Song for You”). She has also been visible in film (“The Moment After,” “48 Hours,” “Crossroads,” “The Meteor Man”) and on TV (“Ugly Betty,” “Joan of Arcadia,” “The Wayans Bros.” and “3rd Rock From the Sun”).

Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.--“Mirrored Reflections”

Sky Palkowitz: The popular performance artist is billed as The Delusional Diva, creating playing multiple characters in shows for children and adults. Also, classically trained, she toured 22 cities last year with Shakespeare By The Sea. Her latest solo show is named “Calling America: Don’t Hang Up!”

Kat Kramer: Named Entertainer of the Year by the LA Comedy Awards, her stage credits include “The Colors of Myself,” “Kriss Krossing,” “The Miracle Worker” and “The Diary of Anne Frank.” The daughter of legendary filmmaker Stanley Kramer, she presents the film series “Films That Change the World.”  She is a columnist for the Tolucan Times.

Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.--“Rising Above”

James Pickens, Jr.: James has been a regular in a number of TV series, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Roseanne,” “The Practice,” ‘The X-Files,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Another World.” With a strong stage background, he appeared with Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson in the Negro Ensemble Company production of “A Soldier’s Play” and also performed with New York’s famed  Roundabout Theatre Company (“A Raisin in the Sun”). He won a Drama Desk Award for his performance in “Balm in Gilead.”

Karen A. Clark: A favorite with LAWTF audiences with her piece “The Women,” celebrating the women of her family, and her mother in particular. Also a singer and recording artist, her latest album(“The Karen A. Clark Project” on the C-Sick Records label)  has been described as “Jill Scott meets Sade,” covering the subjects of love, life, career, companionship, sensuality and city life, Although she states that the principal fan base for her music  is comprised of women, “as an added bonus, men like the sexy content.”

Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.--“It’s All Relative”

Bertila Damas: Winner of the Back Stage Garland Award for her work in “Electricidad” at the Mark Taper, where Bertila also performed in “Street of the Sun.” She also acted at D.C.’s Arena Stage and the New York Shakespeare Festival.  Her TV roles include characters on “Grimm,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

Adleane Hunter: A director for over 25 years, Adleane has worked with the Robey Theatre Company, St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, the Actors Theatre of Phoenix, The Black Theatre Troupe in Phoenix (winning a Zoni Award of Excellence” for “The Bluest Eye”), Illinois Repertory Theatre, Gaslamp Quarter Theatre, Towne Street Theatre, and Inner City Cultural Center. She is included in “Drama Mamas,” a film documentary about Black female directors.

Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.--“Riffs”

Ingrid Graham: The dancer and choreographer has worked at Merce Cunningham, California African American Museum, Edinburgh Festival, Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival , Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Ingrid has appeared in Vogue, Glamour and Vibe magazines.

Barry Shabaka Henley: A veteran theatre actor, Shabaka’s  career includes stints with the Center Theatre Group, West Coast Black Repertory Theatre and the San Francisco Mime Troupe. His stage credits include “Jitney,” “Waiting for Godot,” “Rabbit Foot,” “Richard II” and “As You Like it.” He has won Obie, Olivier and Drama Desk Awards.  His recent notable films include “Carrie,” “State of Play” and “Collateral.” His TV credits include major roles on “Luck,” “Barbershop” and “Robbery Homicide Division.”

For more information about Festival programming, please go to or call (818) 760-0408.

Monday, March 17, 2014

LAWTF Presents The 21st Annual Festival "Giving Voice"

The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival (LAWTF) marks 21 years of producing close to 500 extraordinary multicultural and multidisciplinary solo performers from around the globe.

The longest-running annual solo festival for women in Los Angeles, LAWTF will return March 27-30, 2014 to the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA 90291.

The Champagne Gala and Awards Ceremony on March 27, 2014 will be held in honor of exceptional women who have made laudable contributions in theatre. Following the reception at 7:00 p.m., the festivities continue at 8:00 p.m. with the presentation of the Integrity, Eternity, Rainbow, Maverick and Infinity Awards to distinguished women.

Entertainment for the weekend-long event is as follows:

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
"In Honor Of"
Ingrid Graham: “The Passage This dance explores one woman’s journey to self-acceptance through gratitude and meditation.
Tia Matza : “Grief and Grace This aerialist piece channels the grace of Tia’s mother as it also honors the divine feminine in all of us.
Sloan Robinson: “BANANAS: A Day In The Life of Josephine Baker” La Baker, also known as 'The Duchess of Europe', overcame limitations imposed by the color of her skin to become one of the world's most versatile entertainers. 

Friday, March 28, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
Tracy Silver: “Motion Cures A misunderstood child in a dysfunctional family shares how the beauty and grace of ballet saved her life.
Sofia Marie Gonzalez: “Bully-Mia” This piece on bullying chronicles one person’s journey from victim to victor.
Katie Rubin: “Why I Died, A Comedy!”  An unlikely exploration of forgiveness, unity and ultimately enlightenment in the life of one actor.

Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
“Mirrored Reflections”
Cynthia Ling Lee: “Rapture” The intimate and bittersweet rapture of poetic love-in-separation is reinterpreted through cultural and gendered difference in this contemporary abhinaya (emotional expression in Indian dance) piece.
Ansuya Nathan: “Long Live the King”  A big fan of Elvis, a young Indian woman arrives in Australia with her husband the day The King dies. She fears her marriage is drifting apart due to pressures of migration and the impending birth of their first child.
Marlene Ondrea Nichols: “Dress Kiss Me” A dress becomes a bridge to understanding a woman’s seamstress mother who hopes to create enough beauty through clothing to block memories of war and loss.
Lisa Marie Rollins: “Ungrateful Daughter” An adopted Black girl shares her mixed experience growing up in an Anglo family.

Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
“Rising Above”
Dacyl Acevedo: “Will Work For”  This farcical journey uses clowning, storytelling and physical theatre to illustrate how one actor navigates through the trials of unemployment to survive the economic crash.
Jozanne Marie: “Beautiful” Jamaican-born, Jozanne shares her brave story of survival, faith and victory in a personal story about a girl, an island and a secret.
Anita Noble: “Polly Bemis”  From “Unbinding Our Lives” by Geralyn Horton, Anita portrays the historical Polly Bemis, a pioneering Chinese woman who was bought and sold as a saloon girl and ultimately became a famous figure of the Wild West.

Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
"It’s All Relative”
Estela Garcia: “Remedios Varo: La Alquinista”  In Spanish and with supertitles, this piece uses multimedia to bring alive paintings by visual artist Remedios Varo that speak as metaphors for her personal family life.
Jennifer S. Jones: “Appearance of Life”   An Argentine woman searches for her daughter, Rosa, who becomes one of many desaparecidos (disappeared) during the Dirty War of Argentina, from 1976 to 1983. This piece is based on the writer’s first-hand interviews.
Ciera Payton: “Michael’s Daughter” One woman’s paper-trail relationship with her incarcerated father.
Karen A. Clark: “The Women” Karen A., through music, poetry and storytelling reflects on the women in her family, and particularly her mother who provided a "wow" factor.

Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Karen Bankhead: “Etta Mae Humphries: And the Rest Is History”  Etta Mae Humphries, better known as “the Black Forrest Gump,” is full of wisdom, humor and anecdotes of her influence on celebrities. She knows everybody who is anybody.
Mwanza Furaha: “Excerpts from Cabaret Underground” This jazz cabaret artist speaks to her own life and pays tribute to some of the vocalists she has had the pleasure of working with during her career.
The Lindz: “WASP” This poet speaks on relationship-related, socially conscious, goofy, insightful, sardonic and riotous poetry.

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The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival was founded by Executive Producer Adilah Barnes and Miriam Reed. The Festival is an annual event unique among American cultural institutions and should not be missed.

Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival is a non-profit organization.  Admission to the Gala is $45, or two tickets for $80 (includes light fare and Champagne). For the other programs, ticket prices this year include general admission single show tickets at $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. Students, seniors, and groups of ten or more, $18. Children 12 and under, $10.

Reservations: (818) 760-0408. Online reservations will be available at  To join and follow LAWTF on Facebook and Twitter, click on their links at