La Jolla Playhouse has announced that the Common Ground Theater will be its 2022/2023 theater-in-residence. Led by Christopher Ashley, the artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse Wealthy Family, the theater-in-residence program aims to encourage the artistic development of local performing arts organizations, while contributing to the San Diego theater scene in its together. The program provides temporary housing each year to a local business without a permanent location, including performance space, lighting and sound support, and marketing and development mentoring and assistance.
“Now in its 12th year, the Theater-in-Residence program has given The Playhouse the opportunity to partner with so many of the vibrant theater companies in our community, and it’s a joy that Common Ground Theater is joining this list,” Ashley said. . “Common Ground has a long and storied history in San Diego, and we are honored to serve as their home during the 2022/2023 season.”
The Common Ground Theater will launch its residency with Still We Rise, a celebration concert on Saturday July 9 at Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre. This poetry and jazz-infused concert features works by historic black poets such as Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Amanda Gorman, along with a 3-piece band. The residency will also include a workshop production of the new play Sense of Love, by Sheryl Mallory Johnson, as well as a monthly reading series Uplifting Black Voices Play by playwrights who identify as black and/or intersect with blackness.
The Theater-in-Residence program is part of La Jolla Playhouse’s overall commitment to fostering artistic relationships and the development of new work. Previous resident theaters include Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, Moxie Theatre, San Diego Asian American Repertory Theatre, Eveoke Dance Theatre, Teatro Máscara Mágica, Circle Circle dot dot, Native Voices at the Autry, Backyard Renaissance and Blindspot Collective.
The Common Ground Theater has had a wide and significant impact in San Diego County. It is the only theater in the San Diego area whose primary goal is to consistently and consistently deliver high-quality classic and new works by and about black people. It offers theater productions at low cost in an area that lacks artistic and cultural opportunities for its residents. It develops budding black artistic talent that provides a core of performers not only for Common Ground Theater productions, but for many other theaters in the San Diego area. Most African American actors who have performed at other theaters in the San Diego area were first trained and developed by the Common Ground Theater. Common Ground provides jobs for black actors and other actors in the San Diego area. During the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic and violent and deadly attacks on black people revealing continuing racial injustice, Common Ground Theater Board Members and Executive Artistic Director Yolanda Franklin have been involved and provided leadership. For the past two years, they have played a central role in Zoom presentations and discussions regarding the role of San Diego’s theater community in addressing social, cultural, racial, and artistic injustice.
As San Diego’s leading black theater, Common Ground Theater Executive Artistic Director Yolanda Franklin is frequently called upon to provide leadership in the arts and culture community, network and collaborate with other arts and culture organizations , and to help provide solutions to healing. the local and national racial divide. Ms. Franklin focused the theme for their 2020-2021 season on “Raising Black Voices: Raising Our Consciousness to the Next Level”. The first production during was “Dinner and a Zoom,” a four-play series focusing on new one-act plays by black women, directed by Franklin and presented in conjunction with the Moxie Theater. The next series, played in December 2020, featured three contemporary plays by black men. Other digital performances included new short original plays focusing on black mental health, older adults, LGBQT issues, biracial issues, black youth issues, and human rights. The 2021-2022 season focused on the same theme: “Continuing to Raise Our Consciousness to a Higher Level” with a co-production with Diversionary Theater of One In Two, by Donja Love, in August 2021. It was followed by an initial collaboration between Common Ground and Playwrights Projects in September 2021. They then hosted Common Ground’s Black History and Juneteenth events at Market Creek Plaza, in conjunction with Jacob’s Center for Neighborhood Innovation. The Common Ground Theater is delighted to present its 59th season, from July 2022 to June 2023, with a one-year residency at La Jolla Playhouse.
La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new and future in American theater, from Tony Award-winning productions, to imaginative programs for young audiences, to interactive experiences outside our walls. theatre. Currently run by Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and General Manager Debby Buchholz, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer. Playhouse artists and audiences have helped develop new plays and musicals, including staging 108 world premieres, commissioning 60 new works and sending 33 productions to Broadway, including the hit musical Come From Away – which won won a total of 38 Tony Awards. , including the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Drama. For more information, visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org.