SCR commUNITY: Stories to Connect Us

Tania Thompson
 | Jul 27, 2020

How to Watch the Reading

The online reading of MASA is free, but RSVPs are required in order to receive the link to view the live event. Make your reservation here.

Online Food Drive

Between now and mid-September, we’re holding an online food drive in partnership with Second Harvest Foodbank of Orange County. Please consider a donation to the drive to provide help to those having trouble accessing nutritious food during the pandemic. Read more about this on the foodbank’s website.

Our Relationship to Food Takes Center Stage

SCR commUNITY is a new online series of free readings, events, interviews and community-centered stories to engage Southern California with the power of live theatre during the COVID-19 pandemic. The series kicks off on Aug. 17, at 5:30 p.m., with MASA, a live, online fiesta with readings of four short pieces relating to the historical and cultural importance of masa (corn meal).

MASA, curated and directed by Juliette Carrillo, includes selections from​ these works.

  • “The Gardens of Aztlan” (An Acto Hecho A Mano) by Luis Alfaro (from California Scenarios, a 2001 SCR-commissioned work)
  • “El Maiz” from Café Vida by Lisa Loomer
  • “Tejuino” from Tejuino by Amilcar Jauregui
  • The Path to Divadom, or How to Make Fat-free Tamales in G minor by Diane Rodriguez

“I’m thrilled by the launch of SCR ​commUNITY, utilizing our digital platform to celebrate stories that help shape the rich tapestry of Orange County,” says Artistic Director David Ivers. “​Our playwrights, directors and actors—many of whom have a long history with SCR—are thrilled to be a part of the creative process once again and so are we! Tune in.”

Adds Managing Director Paula Tomei: “SCR has always been strongly engaged with the Orange County community. ​During these times, when we’re unable to gather in-person, it becomes even more important that we continue to celebrate our connections to each other. SCR CommUNITY provides us with the perfect venue for this—a virtual gathering spot.”

MASA is the first of three events curated by Carrillo in SCR Comm​UNITY; the trio is collectively titled El Teatro de la Comida (Theatre of Food). The next two events will take place on Aug. 31 and Sept. 14.

El Teatro de la Comida explores how food brings us together, even when we’re forced to stay apart,” says Carrillo. “Our relationship to food in this pandemic demands a different kind of attention and many of us have had to embrace cooking—'slow food’—and the art of preparing a meal. I’m interested in how recipes, smells and tastes live in our DNA; more specifically, in the Latinx community. Since every recipe has a lineage and a story, how do we reach back into the past and embrace the traditions of our ancestors?”

Who’s Who in MASA

Juliette Carrillo (Director, Playwright) has had a long relationship with SCR including both as a staff member and as a director. Among the SCR works she directed were Sidney Bechet Killed a Man by Stuart Flack (1998); References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot by José Rivera (2000); The Countess by Gregory Murphy (2000); Nostalgia by Lucinda Coxon (2001); California Scenarios (2001, site-specific work); Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz (2004); and Jane of the Jungle by Karen Zacarías (2012).

Luis Alfaro (Playwright) is a director and an SCR-commissioned playwright; his current commission is the third for the theatre. He is an associate professor of dramatic writing at the University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts. Among his honors are a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, PEN/America/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award, Joyce Foundation Fellow and a two-time recipient of a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Play Awards. He was Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s inaugural playwright-in-residence from 2013 to 2019.

Lisa Loomer (Playwright) is an actor, playwright and screenwriter whose first play, Birds, was produced at SCR in 1986. Her works for stage and screen include The Waiting Room, Roe, Living Out, Girl Interrupted and Happily Ever After. She has written the long-awaited musical adaptation of Lisa Esquivel’s novel, Like Water for Chocolate. Loomer is the recipient of numerous honors including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics New Play Award, Ovation Award and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

Amilcar Jauregui (Playwright) is an actor and playwright from Orange County, Calif., and a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine. Tejuino is his most recent work that tells stories that are important to him and to empower the Latinx community.

Diane Rodriguez (Playwright) helmed Center Theatre Group’s new​-play production program from 2005-19, part of her nearly quarter-century of work for CTG. Among the works she directed at SCR included two readings of The Beauty of the Father by Nilo Cruz (2002, Pacific Playwrights Festival and Hispanic Playwrights Project); a reading of Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams by Nilo Cruz (2000, PPF); and the production La Posada Mágica by Octavio Solis and Marcos Loya (2001-03). Rodriguez passed away in 2020.

Learn more about MASA and reserve your spot by Aug. 16, 2020.