Get Ready To SMILE for IAMA Theatre

Q&A by TeenTix LA Marketing Assistant Albert Tran

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Get Ready To SMILE for IAMA Theatre

We are so excited to be back promoting another show with our arts partner, IAMA Theatre! SMILE premiered on November 10th. This show explores the story of a 17 year old girl from Northeast Philadelphia. When an “incident” follows pursuit at her affluent school landing her in the guidance counselor’s office, the two find themselves forming an unlikely yet complicated relationship. The main character is also learning how to navigate a world defined by her race, gender, and class. We wanted to learn more about their upcoming production so we asked Stefanie Black, IAMA’s Artistic Director, for more insight.

Why did your team decide to showcase SMILE and how did it come about when choosing which productions to perform?

SMILE was originally developed in 2018 in IAMA's New Works Festival. Melissa Jane Osborne, the playwright, is an ensemble member and submitted the piece. We have been developing it with her and director, Michelle Bossy since 2018. It was originally programmed to premiere in the fall of 2020, but due to the Pandemic, it had been postponed till now. We were and still are so excited about sharing this very relevant and timely piece of theater. It's a story with many perspectives and touches on the very potent themes of grief, trauma, and connection.

What message do you or your team want for teens to obtain from seeing this production?

We want to create more dialogue around feeling seen and heard as a young person. This play examines the many ways that teenagers do not have agency over their own experience, their bodies, their choices; how they rely on adults for safety and care, and how their feelings and perspective is so important. That their voices matter.

What’s something you or your team have learned while participating in this production and are there any lasting impressions you might have?

We have learned that centering the experiences of others around us is the best path to true collaboration and trust. In an environment where you are developing a new play, it's so important for everyone to feel they have a voice in the process and are a vital part of telling this story.

If you could explain this production in one word, what would it be and why?

Layered.

Why do you think this production deserves to be seen by audiences?

There is a lot to be learned from the past. Not just our own, but our society's. It's so important to be able to hold a mirror up to ourselves and see where we have grown and where we still have work to do. This play helps us look at how not much has changed since 1992 and that we, as a society, still have much to do when it comes to uplifting women and their freedoms.

We would like to thank all of the members in IAMA Theatre, including Melissa Jane Osborne, Michelle Bossy, and Stefanie Black for all of their hard work to piece together this production after a long hiatus. This story serves as a touching reminder reflecting on our own society and how much change there is still needed to have.

Check out our events calendar for more details on this interesting and complex production. Teens – take advantage of this deal while you can! In addition, TeenTix LA is having a TeenTix Night with IAMA Theatre on Sunday, November 20th. Don’t miss an opportunity to sign up for lots of fun, food, and a post-show talkback!

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Governor “ANN” Richards Is Ready To See Us

Q&A by TeenTix LA Intern Albert Tran

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Pasadena Playhouse sets the stage for audiences to check out ANN, their newest production. ANN is written and performed by none other than Emmy Award-winner Holland Taylor. Taylor performs a memorable tribute and shines a positive light on the late Texas Governor Ann Richards. Through Taylor’s performance as Ann Richards, she is able to exude confidence and accompany a fresh yet colorful side to the character. Taylor’s successful performances throughout Texas, Chicago, Washington, DC, and at Broadway’s Lincoln Center have made this a long-awaited event in LA To get you excited for this awesome show, we asked Nelly Mueller, Marketing Manager for Pasadena Playhouse, a few questions about this highly-anticipated play.

- Why did Pasadena Playhouse choose Ann?

Ann was originally part of our 2019 - 2020 Season, before the pandemic hit. We're thrilled to be bringing back this show for its West Coast premiere this season, particularly because this will be Holland Taylor's last time performing this role. Our Producing Artistic Director, Danny Feldman, put it this way: "Holland Taylor is a true legend - her conception, writing, and performance of this show are evidence that she is truly one of the best we've got. It is a privilege to have her here with us to tell her delightful version of the story of Texas Governor Ann Richards one last time."

- What are some highlights or challenges from this production?

As is the nature of live theater, it's important to be ready for anything, and we have a truly excellent team here at Pasadena Playhouse that is always ready to expect the unexpected! We've also been lucky enough to collaborate with some of the team members at ZACH Theatre in Austin, TX to ensure that this production is the best it can be.

- What do you hope for teens to take away from the experience of viewing this production?

We hope that beyond enjoying the return of live theatre after a two year long absence, teens feel encouraged to register to vote! Holland Taylor reminds us that Ann Richards always said to "quit whining, and start participating." For this show, we've even teamed up with When We All Vote to make it easier than ever to register and participate in local and national elections, just like Governor Richards said we should. Visit WhenWeAllVote.org/Ann to learn more.

- What your team is most proud of when doing this production?

This is our second in-person show that we've put up since COVID, and we're so thrilled by the amount of support we've received from our community. We're very proud of being a member supported theater, and it was the support for those members and the greater Southern California community that has allowed us to keep making bold and important theater. It really does take a village!

We are so happy and ecstatic that Pasadena Playhouse is back and better than ever. Their shows never fail to succeed and that is why so many community members around the Southern California area love them so much to keep their in-person shows running. We can’t wait for you all to go see ANN and hope y’all can be moved by Holland Taylor’s legendary portrayal of an iconic leader. Remember teens, you can head over to our events calendar and purchase your $5 tickets using our TeenTix Pass. Get your tickets as soon as you can before Governor Ann Richards retires for the VERY last time.

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