Downey Arts Coalition Welcomes Chalk Repertory Theatre
and its “Space Flash!” theatrical exploration of the
Apollo 11 Moon Landing at Columbia Memorial Space Center
Downey, CA, July 9, 2019 – The Downey Arts Coalition is pleased to welcome the L.A. Ovation Award-Winning Chalk Repertory Theatre to the City of Downey. Chalk Repertory is teaming up with Downey’s Columbia Memorial Space Center and the #OneGiantLeap initiative to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing by presenting a specially commissioned original play series titled “Space Flash!”
“Space Flash!” is a series of six 10-minute original, interactive and family friendly plays presented throughout the Space Center exhibits at various times on Friday July 19 and Saturday 20, 2019. There will be a special evening preview performance on Wednesday July 17th from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm where all 6 of the 10-minute plays will be performed including a special post show Q&A panel moderated by current Downey Arts Coalition Board president, C Raul Espinoza. Panelists include Eric Reyes Loo, Downey born and raised professional TV writer and playwright; Claudia de Vasco, Producer of Space Flash! and current Artistic Producing Director of Chalk repertory Theatre; Ben Dickow, Executive Director of Downey’s Columbia Memorial Space Center.
Based on Chalk Rep’s popular FLASH Festival model, six playwrights have created 10-minute performances inspired by the Apollo 11 moon landing, the history of space exploration, and locations within the Columbia Memorial Space Center. Each interactive play will be performed in rotation multiple times each day as a part of the Space Center’s Apollo 11 50th Anniversary program.
Space exploration is often told through the lens of white males. Chalk Rep’s “Space Flash!” gives a diverse group of women directors, women playwrights, and one Downey native the opportunity share their perspectives on this historic narrative.
Original 10-minute Plays
Artifact by Aditi Brennan Kapil, Co-directed by Aditi Brennan Kapil and Claudia de Vasco
A collection of personal artifacts from a 1973 SkyLab mission include a cassette tape recording of his family, that the astronaut made before departure.
Go/No Go by Victoria Stewart, Directed by Hilary Ward
Margaret Hamilton is putting a man on the moon, setting her on a collision course with Jim, the accountant who is trying to budget it.
A Race for Some Space by Christina Ham, Directed by Alejandra Cisneros
William and Lorraine, pioneers of an African-American space settlement, have decided to go back to earth where their freedoms they have become accustomed to will surely be suppressed. As they grapple with this decision we meet their younger selves-filled with hope, frustration, and the will to establish a space of their own.
First Girl on Mars by Chelsea Marcantel, Directed by Claudia de Vasco
AIl 17-year old El has ever wanted is to be the first girl on Mars. But when she gets a letter that could change her life forever, her dream suddenly seems a lot closer and scarier than she anticipated.
The Future by Eric Reyes Loo, Directed by Jer Adrianne Lelliot
Four teenagers, representing “the best and the brightest the Earth has to offer are in a Space Shuttle on their way to colonize Mars and find out the real reason they’ve been chosen for the mission.
The Smallness by Chelsea Sutton, Directed by Hannah Wolf
Kat and Sal want to perform a big dramatic moon landing reenactment but get distracted by the small, seemingly insignificant details and realize that perhaps nothing is too small to notice.
Performances will run Friday and Saturday afternoons July 19-20, 2019 at the Columbia Memorial Space Center located at 12400 Columbia Way, Downey, CA 90242. Admission is free. A special preview performance and post show Q&A panel will be held Wednesday evening July 17, 2019 at 8:00pm. Please visit ChalkRep.com to RSVP for the preview performance.
Claudia de Vasco, Producer/Director
Claudia de Vasco has been a performer, producer, and leader in Los Angeles & Minneapolis. She is the Artistic Producing Director for Chalk Repertory Theatre, and the Managing Director of Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles. She has performed with companies like Mixed Blood, San Diego Repertory, and Independent Shakespeare Company. On screen you’ve seen her on shows like Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life and SWAT, among others. She has produced and directed with various companies such as Theatre of Note, Chalk Repertory, and Rogue Artists Ensemble. She is a current member of The Kilroys, a collective working to achieve gender parity in the American Theatre, and is a former Jerome Foundation Many Voices Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center. Claudia also has extensive experience working in government, the tv/film industry, and creative marketing.
Eric Reyes Loo, Playwright
Eric Reyes Loo is a playwright and TV writer based in his hometown, Los Angeles. He has produced and developed work with local theatres such as Pacific Resident Theatre, Rogue Machine, The Blank, Moving Arts and Chalk Rep and other places around the country like The Inkwell, Lark Play Development Center, Manhattan Theatre Source, George Street Playhouse and Rattlestick. He’s an alumnus of the Playwrights Union and is a part of Chalk Rep’s Artistic Circle.
In addition, Eric has an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, which he attended on a full-scholarship and was awarded a scholarship from the National Hispanic Coalition for the Arts. He has been a lecturer in playwriting, screenwriting and TV writing at San Diego State University and wrote for two years on the teen melodrama GUIDANCE from Awesomeness TV and Verizon’s Go90. Seasons Two and Three can be found on Hulu. Eric’s currently an Executive Story Editor on the upcoming Netflix series, A.J. AND THE QUEEN set to air in 2019.
Aditi Brennan Kapil, Playwright
Aditi is a television and theatre writer, actress, and director. She is of Bulgarian and Indian descent, and was raised in Sweden prior to moving to Minneapolis, and more recently Los Angeles. Current projects include Season 2 of American Gods on Starz, a new play titled 1933 commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse, two commissions with Oregon Shakespeare Festival (a translation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, and an American Revolutions piece tentatively titled Pax Americana), and an as yet untitled commission with Audible. In the 2016/2017 season Aditi premiered SouthCoast Repertory commissioned play Orange at Mixed Blood Theatre (MN) and SCR, and Yale Rep commissioned play Imogen Says Nothing at Yale Repertory Theatre. She is a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists.
Christina Ham, Playwright
Christina Ham’s plays have been developed and produced both nationally and internationally with the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Center Theater Group, The Guthrie Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Goodman Theater, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Tony Award winning producer Arielle Tepper Madover off-Broadway at Theater Row, and the Tokyo International Arts Festival among many others. Christina is an Affiliated Writer at the Playwrights’ Center where she is also a member of its Advisory Council and a member of the Playwrights Union in Los Angeles and The Dramatists Guild of America. She is a member of The Kilroys who have been advocating for the equal representation of woman, trans, and non-binary writers on American stages. Recently, American Theatre magazine named her one of the top 20 most-produced playwrights of the 2018-19 season. She holds a Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Pillsbury House Theatre and is a writer on the new Amazon horror Anthology series THEM: Covenant.
Chelsea Marcantel, Playwright
Chelsea Marcantel is an LA-based writer, director, and collaborator. Reared by Cajuns in southwest Louisiana, Chelsea has lived and made theatre among the tribes of the Midwest, Appalachia, the Mid-Atlantic, and now the West Coast. In 2016, she completed a Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Fellowship at The Juilliard School. Her plays include AIRNESS, EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL, LADYISH, DEVOUR, and TINY HOUSES. They have been produced around the United States and Canada (and Chelsea is vigorously working on becoming a sensation abroad as well). Chelsea has been entrusted with young minds at Virginia Intermont College and Emory & Henry College, and loved every minute of it. As a writer, Chelsea is extremely interested in humans as small-group primates, and what happens when the rules and value systems of our chosen groups cease to serve us. She reads a lot of books, watches a lot of documentaries, and listens to a lot of podcasts. Chelsea is an avid self-producer, an enthusiastic member of The Writers Guild of America and The Dramatists Guild, and is definitely working on something amazing right this very minute.
Jer Adrianne Lelliot, Director
Jer Adrianne Lelliott is the founding artistic director of Coeurage Theatre Company. Theatrical directing highlights include Carla Ching’s The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up and Blackbird, as well as Vieux Carré, The Woodsman, and Andronicus for Coeurage. As an actor, she has appeared at The Kirk Douglas Theatre, The Pasadena Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Chance Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, MainStreet Theatre Company, and Disney on Broadway. Lelliott has been a theatre actor since early childhood, playing Chip in the original Los Angeles cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at age 12. Television credits include Sweet Justice, Picket Fences, Journey of the Heart, Melrose Place, Walker Texas Ranger, Life with Louie, The Practice, Ambushed, Safe Harbor, Providence, 7th Heaven, Disappearance, Smallville, The Handler, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Ctrl Alt Delete among many others. Film credits include Jack, Ambushed, Diplomatic Siege, Betrayal, Race You to the Bottom, Driftwood, and more. Lelliott attended film school at Loyola Marymount University and upon completion returned to theatre. She earned an MFA in Acting at Cal State Fullerton, after which she started working professionally in regional theatres across California.
Alejandra Cisneros, Director
Alejandra Cisneros is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine. She directs and produces in Los Angeles with her work including the cult-classic superhero series El Verde!, Chisme y Queso for Center Theatre Group, the West Coast premiere of In Love and Warcraft at the Los Angeles Theater Center/Artists at Play and Los Vampiros del Norte for East LA Rep. She is committed to amplifying diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in all her work.
Recently Alejandra has collaborated with Center Theatre Group’s Community Partnership program through library readings, new work commissions and costume displays in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Prior work includes producing events for Grand Park, Downtown LA and Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre. Alejandra is an alumnus of Director’s Lab West, a NALAC Leadership Institute Fellow, a Directing FAIR Fellow at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a Nathan Cummings Young Leaders of Color recipient. She was awarded a Leadership U: One-on-One grant, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group.
Chalk Repertory Theatre is dedicated to making Los Angeles theatre expansive, inclusive, non-traditional and rule-breaking while partnering with a variety of spaces as intimate as a living room and as public as an iconic landmark. Five graduates of the MFA Theatre program at the University of California, San Diego, founded the company in the fall of 2008. The first season kicked off in January 2009 with Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” in the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and garnered two Ovation Awards for its production of “Family Planning” by Julia Edwards. Celebrating its tenth season, Chalk Rep has become a leader in site-specific theatre in Los Angeles, partnering with sites as grand as the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and as rustic as the garage of a private home. For more information please visit ChalkRep.com
Columbia Memorial Space Center’s mission is to ignite a community of critical and creative thinkers. The Space Center is a space museum and hands-on STEM learning center located in Downey, CA, on the site of the former NASA-North American Rockwell Space and Information Systems Division headquarters where all of the Apollo spacecraft and, later, all of the Space Shuttles were designed and built. The Space Center serves as the US memorial to the astronauts of the Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-107.
Downey Art Coalition’s mission is to stimulate, develop, foster, encourage, and promote public interest in, and appreciation of the arts. We are a group of volunteers who work together to promote the arts in the city of Downey, by bringing together local artists, arts advocates, and arts organizations to work toward a shared vision of a local cultural renaissance.