You’re given money to write a play. Now what? This insightful interview series puts the spotlight on SCR’s commissioned playwrights for an intimate look at how new plays get developed. In this episode, Artistic Director David Ivers sits down with Playwright José Cruz González. When the two first met over 15 years ago, González had led SCR’s Hispanic Playwrights Project, directed on our stages (including La Posada Mágica) and become a published playwright. Ivers, a seasoned actor/director, was about to take on the position of artistic director—first at Utah Shakespeare Festival, then Arizona Theatre Company, then SCR. Years later, while working on González’s American Mariachi—their bond was cemented. González received SCR's first commission of 2021, marking an exciting new chapter in a growing artistic collaboration.
Watch the video here.
This event is part of SCR commUNITY:
SCR commUNITY is South Coast Repertory’s new digital platform dedicated to amplifying the artists and narratives of our region by producing stories inspired by or about the rich diversity of people living in Southern California. Using “virtual/digital” platforms, SCR commUNITY creates free play readings, interviews, radio plays and original innovative content. SCR commits to engaging Southern California-based writers, actors, directors, composers, designers and other artists to collaborate on these projects that lift our community, celebrate the human kaleidoscope and ensure that all see themselves in our work.
José Cruz González is the writer of numerous plays including Under a Baseball Sky (The Old Globe, commission), American Mariachi (South Coast Repertory, Dallas Theater Center, The Goodman Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, The Old Globe), Sunsets & Margaritas (Denver Center Theatre Company, TheatreWorks), September Shoes (Geva Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company), The San Patricios (PCPA), Among the Darkest Shadows (Wharton Center for Performing Arts), The Long Road Today (South Coast Repertory), The Sun Serpent (Childsplay). He has written for “Paz,” the Emmy Award-nominated television series produced by Discovery Kids for The Learning Channel. The Astronaut Farmworker (La Jolla Playhouse) was a 2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award finalist. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). A collection of his plays, Nine Plays by José Cruz González: Magical Realism & Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences, was published in 2009 (University of Texas Press). He is a professor emeritus at California State University, Los Angeles, a member of The Dramatists Guild of America and Theatre for Young Audiences/USA.
David Ivers is responsible for the overall artistic operation of Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, where he started in 2018. In addition to artistic leadership, he is active as a director at the theatre. In April 2019, he directed a concert reading of the new musical, Prelude to a Kiss, during the Pacific Playwrights Festival, a national showcase of new works. In 2020, he directed She Loves Me, his production directorial debut as artistic director. He spearheaded the re-branding of SCR’s renowned new play development programs in 2020, as The Lab@SCR, which enhanced and expanded the theatre’s commitment to a more rigorous development of new American musicals, commissions for playwrights at various stages of their careers, playwright residencies and additional in-house readings and workshops. The Lab@SCR includes the new Pinnacle Commission, a grant to a major U.S. playwright. The Pinnacle’s $60,000 inaugural commission was given in partnership with Playwrights Horizons (New York City) and is among the largest in the U.S. from a theatre to a playwright. 2020 also saw the creation SCR CommUNITY, a new digital platform dedicated to amplifying regional artists and narratives by producing stories inspired by or about the rich diversity of people living in Southern California. Announced for 2021 is Outside SCR, featuring repertory performances under the stars in different outdoor locations in Orange County, Calif. No stranger to SCR, in 2015, he directed the SCR-Berkeley Repertory Theatre co-production of One Man, Two Guvnors. Prior to SCR, Ivers served as artistic director for Arizona Theatre Company. Before that, he served more than 20 years as an actor and director at Utah Shakespeare Festival, with the last six as artistic director. For a decade, he was a resident artist at Denver Center Theatre Company, acting in and/or directing more than 40 plays and has helmed productions at many of the nation’s leading regional theatres including the Guthrie Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and South Coast Repertory. He taught at the University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Southern Utah University and Southern Oregon University. Ivers earned his BA from Southern Oregon University and his MFA from the University of Minnesota.