Thank you Pasadena Playhouse for a wonderful, rich, and invigorating first two days of rehearsal for NOMS DE GUERRE. The HotHouse reading series has provided us time to dig into the script and discuss the research around the play. I've done rewrites throughout to clarify the plot, smooth out the dialogue, and deepen the characters. It's been new play development heaven!
We head back into rehearsals today in preparation for our first invited reading. I hope that you can join us today and tomorrow at 8:00pm. Under the direction of Diane Rodriguez, this reading of NOMS DE GUERRE features Chris Butler, Deidrie Henry, Pia Shah, Jacques C. Smith, Danielle Mone Truitt, and Michole White. Victoria Moy is serving as dramaturg and Mary K. Klinger is our stage manager. Click here for reservations and to learn more.
Over the next couple of days, I'm going to share artists interviews. For now, here's more information about the play and this extraordinary, passionate, and talented company of artists!
About the Play
Noms de Guerre is a haunting, lyrical and passionate story of friendship, love and politics. Mira is a rising star in the Republican Party, but her campaign against women’s reproductive rights puts her at odds with her best friend, Jude, an award-winning journalist. At home, Mira struggles to run a campaign for Governor and help her war hero husband, Douglas, adjust to civilian life. When Jude discovers that Douglas is linked to a massacre of Afghan civilians, Mira is thrown into a whirlwind of political intrigue and must decide whether to hold on to her career or save her husband.
Noms de Guerre Company
Meet the Creative Team
Jacqueline E. Lawton (Playwright) was named one of 30 of the nation's leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute. Her plays include: Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful; The Devil’s Sweet Water; The Hampton Years; Ira Aldridge: the African Roscius; Lions of Industry, Mothers of Invention; Love Brothers Serenade (2013 semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference), Mad Breed, Noms de Guerre. and Our Man Beverly Snow. Ms. Lawton received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow.
Diane Rodriguez (Director) is an Obie Award winning theatre artist who directs, writes and performs. She is Associate Producer and Director of New Play Production at the multiple Tony Award winning Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles and is an Associate Member of Cornerstone Theater. She has directed and performed for both companies. For ten years she was a Resident Artist and Director of the Mark Taper Forum’s Latino Theatre Initiative, a comprehensive Latino play and audience development program.
Victoria Moy (Dramaturg) is a Dramatic Writing MFA candidate at the University of Southern California. Her plays have been performed at American Theatre of Actors, Red Room, Access Theater, and at Dartmouth College. Her forthcoming book Fighting For The Dream: Voices of Chinese American Veterans from World War II to Afghanistan will be published in November by the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Meet the Cast
Chris Butler (Cooper) is a two-time Ovation, NAACP, LADCC and Garland Award winner for Yellowman (Fountain Theatre), Best Actor and Stick Fly (Matrix Theatre), Best Ensemble. Other theater: 110 In The Shade (The Roundabout Theatre Company); Death Of A Salesman (South Coast Rep); Race (A.C.T.);Much Ado About Nothing (Kirk Douglas Theatre); Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Santa Cruz); One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, You Can’t Take It With You(Rubicon Theatre); A Raisin in the Sun, The Piano Lesson (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Blue (Pasadena Playhouse); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Globe Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare Center LA) and The School for Wives (La Jolla Playhouse). T.V. credits include: TNT’s, King & Maxwell (series regular), The Good Wife, NCIS: Los Angeles, Law & Order: SVU, True Blood, Hound Dogs (pilot), Criminal Minds and Rizzoli & Isles. Film credits include The Longshots, Rescue Dawn and Cradle 2 the Grave. Chris holds an MFA in Theatre (University of California at San Diego) and a BA in Dramatic Arts (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
Deidrie Henry (Mira) is very excited to be involved in the reading of this beautifully written play for HOTHOUSE. She was last seen in Love, Loss and What I Wore (Rubicon Theatre), American Night (Yale Repertory Theatre), A Raisin in the Sun (Kirk Douglas Theatre and Ebony Repertory Theatre). Other performances include Parade at the Mark Taper, Coming Home and Yellowman at the Fountain Theatre. She is an Ovation, Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle, LA Weekly, and NAACP Award Recipient for her many roles on the Los Angeles stages. Credits include Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Alliance Theatre, Hartford Stage, Arena Stage, Boston’s Huntington Theatre. Television apparences include, Criminal Minds, Justified, Twisted, Touch, The Riches, ER, She is a proud member of Actor’s Equity, SAG and AFTRA.
Michole White (Jude) is a seasoned vet to the world of theatre, film, television and commercials. Ms. White’s is most noted theatrically for her role in August Wilson's Jitney Off Broadway and regionally with Radio Golf and Two Trains Running to follow at the Goodman, Kennedy Center and The Ebony Rep. She enjoyed originating the role of Taylor in Stickfly at The Mcarter in New Jersey, then bringing it to The Matrix in Los Angeles which garnered quite a few awards and nominations as well as her role in Of Equal Measure at the Kirk Douglas. Some of Ms. White’s latest film credits include: Lyla and Eve starring Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez with an early 2015 release along withThe Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes in which she plays the lead role of Dr. Myes. She is excited to be participating in this well written political drama, Noms De Guerre.
Pia Shah (Hasina) is a recent graduate of the USC School of Dramatic Arts MFA Acting Program. She made her LA stage debut in Lina Patel’s Sweet Life at Circle X’s Holiday One Acts and was most recently seen on stage at South Coast Repertory’s 2014 Crossroads project in These are my Drawings of Orange County, by Aditi Kapil, directed by Jessica Kubzansky. She appeared in the 2014 Ojai Playwrights Conference in Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt. Other recent readings include Body Politic by Jessica Goldberg, directed by David Warshofsky (Goddard College) and A Nice Indian Boy by Madhuri Shekhar, directed by both Robert Egan (USC New Works Festival) and Nico Raineau (East West Players). Upcoming projects include indie feature films Grass and Big Baby. FILM credits (selected): Disney’s Planes, Grant St. Shaving Co; Pretty to Think So; Canada; Bollywood’s 8 X 10: Tasveer. TV credits: ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D; HBO’s The Wonderful Maladys (pilot); NBC’s Mercy; PBS’ Futurestates PIA. Pia has also worked with indie filmmakers at the Center for Asian American Media in San Francisco (CAAM), in conjunction with CPB/PBS, and at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.
Jacques C. Smith (Douglas) is honored to be a part of this HotHouse reading. He was most recently seen on stage in L.A. in Chalk Rep’s, Lady Windermere’s Fan. He was last seen at the Pasadena Playhouse in Twelve Angry Men. He has appeared on Broadway as Benny in Rent. He has performed at the La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Goodman Theater (Joseph Jefferson nomination), South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse (FRED Award, NAACP nomination), Cleveland Playhouse, and Paper Mill Playhouse, among others as well having toured internationally. Some of his television credits include series regular on “Oz” (HBO), “Eagleheart”, Issa Rae’s “The Choir”, “General Hospital”, “CSI: Miami”, “American Masters”, “Law & Order”, and “The Division”. He received his M.F.A. from University of California, San Diego and his B.A. from Princeton University.
Danielle Mone' Truitt (Leeda) is thrilled to have been a part of the Pasadena Hot House Reading Series for the 3rd time now. Originally from Sacramento, Danielle studied acting at Sacramento State University before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Television and film. She is an Actor, Singer, Dancer and is known for her work on DISNEY ANIMATION'S THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG as the Video Reference Princess Tiana and the voice of Georgia. Most recently Danielle was seen Guest Starring on ABC's SUPER FUN NIGHT and can also be seen on the new FOX sitcome MULANEY coming this fall! Some of her stage credits include IN THE HEIGHTS, The West Coast Premire of THE MOUNTAINTOP, NEAT, AIDA, and A RAISIN IN THE SUN. Danielle is also apart of the For The Record Company here in Los Angeles. She has performed in FOR THE RECORD: Baz Lurhmann, Tarantino, Scorsese, Coen Brothers, and John Hughes. Danielle is most proud of her One Woman Show "3: BLACK GIRL BLUES" that she has been developing over the last 4 years and will be performing again in 2015. She is also starring in the FOX Digital Feature Film ETXR now available on Netflix.
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I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!