Other Desert Cities: Who's art is it anyway?

Opening Thursday, May 14, 8 p.m. (through May 23)
There are few places left in this world where the inclusion of a handheld device breaks the tone of a room. These places are venues like a Midnight Mass, a movie screening, or a theatrical stage production. It's a powerful reminder of why we need to unplug and pause to focus on such art forms, like theatre is Actors' Theatre' production of Other Desert Cities (ODC) by Jon Robin Baitz.
 
According to Kyle Los, Actor's managing director (and a performer in this production), ODC is a realistic look at the intricate family dynamics when the family members come together for a holiday. We know this narrative well and ODC plays on our private high hopes that issues from the past will stay in the past, with an air of positivity and jokes that sometime belie a deeper meaning of what is behind the laughter. 
 
The show asks who really owns "the story" we all have experienced from our perspective – and, from the legal side of the bench, who owns the rights to stories that become art when so many others are involved in them.
 
"Each character is uniquely complex, just as we all truly are; the writing is strong and the characters are smart," says Los of this play that was shortlisted for a Pulitzer Prize. "It creates a witty and intelligent platform whereby honest questions are explored."
 
At the Friday performance (5/15) guests will be able to dive into the dysfunctional family systems we all inhabit from time to time and look at the struggle for artists and writers in producing such works based on true happenings. Panelists to help the audience tackle these "who 'owns' the rights?" questions include: Scott McKnight, LMSW Clinical Practice, MBA (who also joined us for "Water by the Spoonful"); Tamara H Fox, PhD Art Theory, Aesthetics, and Criticism/MA Art History/MFA Painting and Drawing/BFA; Sammy Publes, stage, film, and TV actor; and moderator Kathleen Higgins.

Purchase tickets here.
 
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