Featuring an All-New Lineup of Creative, Contemporary and Sometimes Controversial Artists and shows.
Segerstrom Center’s annual Off Center Festival returns January 12 – 28, 2017 with an acclaimed line-up of creative, contemporary and sometimes controversial artists and shows. The festival will present Keith A. Wallace in The Bitter Game, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Marga Gomez in Latin Standards, Belarus Free Theatre in Time of Women, Choir! Choir! Choir! and Justin Vivian Bond in Justin Vivian Bond Shows Up. The Off Center Lounge in Leatherby’s Café Rouge will be open again with a special low-cost post-performance menu and the opportunity to mix and mingle with festival artists.
The Bitter Game
January 12 & 13 at 8 p.m. Samueli Theater
Created, Written, and Performed by Keith A. Wallace Directed and Co-Created by Deborah Stein Costume Art Direction: Walter Myrick A stirring solo performance charged with pain, poetry, and laughter. The Bitter Game blends basketball, block parties, traffic stops, and learning how to survive while Black in America.
The Bitter Game is a stirring commentary that explores the question of police agency and excessive force, the ripple effects of trauma in communities of color, and the value of Black lives in this country. Keith A. Wallace is an actor, playwright, director and self-proclaimed ”actorvist.” He has appeared in Junk, Blueprints to Freedom, Movers + Shakers, Death of a Driver, Venus, In the Crowding Darkness, and more.
Directing credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and The Brothers Size (Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Production). MFA in Acting from UCSD; recipient of the 2016 Princess Grace Theater Award. Deborah Stein’s play Chimera was seen in UTR 2012; other plays include Marginal Loss, The Wholehearted and God Save Gertrude. She is co-artistic director of Stein | Holum Projects, an alumna of New Dramatists, and teaches at UCSD, where her collaboration with Wallace began. Recommended for mature audiences.
Latin Standards by Marga Gomez
January 19, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. Judy Morr Theater
Written and performed by Marga Gomez Directed by David Schweizer Direct from its 2017 world premiere at The Public Theater’s Under The Radar Festival, Latin Standards delivers nostalgia and relevance with a comic edge in a loving and funny true story of perseverance and creative addiction passed down from immigrant father to lesbian daughter.
In Latin Standards, Marga Gomez, the driven adult child of a Cuban entertainer, defies reason by producing a hipster comedy night at a struggling Latino drag queen club during San Francisco’s gentrification crisis. Between vivid portrayals of characters from her upbringing in 1960’s Manhattan to present day San Francisco, Gomez sardonically ponders the ballads (or Latin Standards) penned by her late father Willy Chevalier: a comedian/producer/entrepreneur and composer of dance tunes that reveled in jealousy and obsession.
Latin Standards will mark Gomez’s return visit to Segerstrom Center’s Off Center Festival after her success with her play Lovebirds in 2015. Marga Gomez is a GLAAD Award-winning writer and performer of 12 solo plays, which have been presented at The Public Theater, La Mama Experimental Theater Club, Dixon Place and more. Stand-up comedy appearances include LOGO’s One Night Stand, Comedy Central’s Out There, and HBO’s Comic Relief. Recommended for mature audiences.
Justin Vivian Bond Shows Up
Jan 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. Samueli Theater
You’re in for a treat (and more than a few tricks) with the legendary twisted wit and songful stylings of the trans-genre artist and icon.
Mx Justin Vivian Bond is a trans-genre artist living in New York City. As a performer both on and OffBroadway, Mx Bond has received numerous accolades, winning an Obie (2001), a Bessie (2004), a Tony nomination (2007), the Ethyl Eichelberger Award (2007), The Peter Reed Foundation Grant and a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant for Artists. V authored the Lambda Literary Award winning memoir TANGO: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels (The Feminist Press, 2011).
Films include John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus (2006), Sunset Stories (2012), Imaginary Heroes (2004) and Fanci’s Persuasion (1995). Solo exhibitions of JVB’s watercolors, sculptural installations and live art have been presented by Participant, Inc. (NYC, 2011), Art Market Provincetown (2014), and Vitrine (London, 2015). Albums include Kiki and Herb: Do You Hear What We Hear?, Kiki and Herb Will Die For You at Carnegie Hall, Dendrophile, and Silver Wells. Recommended for mature audiences.