Orange County Theatre Reviews

Breathe Theatre Company’s powerful and important production Our Life: The Black Youth Stories Project opens on Saturday, January 2, 2016 for three performances only at CASA 0101’s Little Casa in the Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Show times are 7pm on Saturday, January 2nd and 3pm & 7pm on Sunday, January 3rd.

The production is directed by Southern California native Amanda Novoa and the cast includes members of the show’s original production in June 2015: Maribel Martinez (Sunset Baby, The Liquid Plain, Ghosts), Amandla Bearden (Sunset Baby, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Raven), and Taylor Fagins (Our Life original cast, Threadcount, Merry Live of Windsor); all of whom study acting at the University of California, Irvine.

Director Amanda Novoa is also returning to the production. She holds an M.F.A. from UC, Irvine in stage management and has dedicated herself to giving voice to the communities around her. Her passion for community-engaged theater has led her to be involved with many such projects at UC, Irvine, South Coast Repertory Theater, and Center Theater Group. Scenic and projection design by Morgan Lindsay Price, projection design by Glenn Michael Baker, costume design by Kaitlyn Kaufman, lighting design by Jamie Eby, sound design by Mark Caspary and Brian Svoboda, music composition by Mark Caspary, stage managed by Alex Meyer, and co-produced by UC, Irvine faculty member and local producer Joel Veenstra.

Our Life: The Black Youth Stories Project is a production of carefully pieced narratives which focus on the experience of black youths, past and present, forced to view their blackness as limitation and the lasting effects these limitations create. Our intent is to create a conversation about the current climate of black America, compare it to the conditions of the past, and foster dialogue on how we can begin to navigate the continuing adversity. There will be talkbacks held after each performance to allow an open forum during which audience members may express their thoughts about the issues at hand as well as the production’s process and message.

 Co-creators Megan Gainey and Ross Jackson are the co-artistic directors of Breathe Theatre Company, overseeing new approaches and new works respectively. They have a passion for creating work that is genuinely reflective and aim to eliminate harmful practices from theatre. Their and the company’s goals are to create opportunities for artists to achieve what they dream, build a truly inclusive structure, and provide a space for theater goers and creators to breathe freely and with support.

Tickets for Our Life: The Black Youth Stories Project are currently available at http://ourlifebysp.bpt.me. Tickets for general seating are $20. CASA 0101’s Little Casa is located at 2009 E. 1st St. Los Angeles, CA 90033

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