Part of the PlayLabs new play festival.
West of Central
by Playwrights' Center Core Writer Christina Ham
The year is 1966 and the remnants of the Watts Riots are still smoldering against the backdrop of South Central Los Angeles. When a mysterious man stumbles into the office of private eye Thelma Higgins looking to warn her husband that his life might be in danger, she soon discovers that the man she’s been married to for ten years is not who he claims to be. As her investigation leads her on a tangled trail of deceit, corruption, and treacherous backroom deals, she and her husband must learn to trust one another again to find out who’s trying to kill him and why.
Tuesday, October 18 at 7 p.m.
Friday, October 21 at 7 p.m.
Director: Hayley Finn
Dramaturg: Michael Kinghorn
Sound designer: Andrew Dolan
Stage manager: Jared Zeigler*
Cast: Juanita Jennings*, Shawn Hamilton*, James A. Williams*, Mikell Sapp, Thomasina Petrus*, Mark Benninghofen*, Chaz Hodges*
*Member of Actors' Equity Association
FROM CHRISTINA: “The two genres that I love the most are noir and horror. I’ve already had the privilege of working on my supernatural play The Hollow in the Ruth Easton New Play Series a few years ago. This time I’m looking forward to exploring noir with West of Central. Typically, most noir features male protagonists, and I wanted to turn that on its head by utilizing a strong, black, female protagonist who has to navigate the cutthroat world of an explosively changing South Central Los Angeles. For me this workshop will provide the opportunity to revisit noir standards and to also create new ones.” Read the full interview with Christina »
Thank you to West of Central's New Play Amplifiers Jeffrey Bores & Michael Hawkins, Peter & Maura Brew, Mary Anne Ebert & Paul Stembler, Maggie Gilbert & Bob Rosenbaum, Jennifer Melin Miller & David Miller, and Marcia & John Stout.