Two free performances set for Jan. 21
LOS ANGELES — The Fountain Theatre and Grand Performances will present two free performances of the Fountain’s critically acclaimed, award-winning stage adaptation of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. Previously announced as part of Grand Performances’ summer line-up but postponed due to rain, both performances have been rescheduled to take place indoors in the Rosenthal Theatre at Inner-City Arts on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., with an additional preview scheduled for Friday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m.
Citizen was adapted for the stage by acclaimed playwright and Fountain artistic director Stephen Sachs from Rankine’s National Book Critics Circle award-winning book of poetry. In this intensely provocative and unapologetic rumination on racial aggression, seemingly everyday acts of racism are scrutinized as part of an uncompromising testimony of “living while Black” in America — from the shooting of Trayvon Martin, to the tennis career of Serena Williams to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In his “Critic’s Choice” review of the Fountain production, Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty wrote, “Claudia Rankine’s powerful writings about the trauma of racism make for a staging and message that resonate,” while Stage Raw critic Myron Meisel called it “a transcendent theatrical experience.” The original Fountain production received the 2016 Stage Raw Award for “Best Adaptation” and was remounted by Center Theatre Group at the Kirk Douglas Theatre as part of its 2017 Block Party celebration of intimate theater in Los Angeles.
Original cast members Bernard K. Addision, Leith Burke, Tony Maggio and Lisa Pescia will be joined by Monnae Michaell and Adenrele Ojo. The creative team includes director Shirley Jo Finney, video designer Yee Eun Nam, lighting designer Alison Brummer and sound designer Peter Bayne; the production stage manager is Chloe Willey.
Grand Performances is the longest-running presenter of free global performing arts in downtown Los Angeles. Since 1986, Grand Performances has presented world-class music, dance, poetry, theater, and family programming. Grand Performances’ mission is to inspire the community, celebrate diversity and unite Los Angeles through free access to global performing arts. All events are free, for all ages, and open to the public.
Inner-City Arts is one of the nation’s most effective arts education providers, offering an oasis of learning, achievement, and creativity in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
Inner–City Arts is located at 720 Kohler Street in Downtown L.A. (just south of the Arts District).