Inspired by Marvin Gaye’s 1970’s hit song, these 5-Minute Plays are set during the uprising in Los Angeles and the world that’s followed the murder of George Floyd by Police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The unrest, like in 1992, has sparked widespread protests, looting, assault, and arson, all during a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic that has killed over 143,000 people in the United States alone. These plays address not just one aspect of what we’re going through, but rather speak to what happens when you add civil unrest to a pandemic, racism to a quarantine and a mask to social media?
Since 2008, Company of Angels has presented a select group of diverse writers that embrace and reflect on a different City of Angels theme. Past festivals have featured stories from L.A.’s history to its contemporary concerns. Themes have explored L.A hunger, gentrification, the economic recession, the 20th year anniversary of the civil unrest of April 29, 1992, and silent film legend residents of the historic Alexandria Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. In 2019, our theme tomorrowLAnd explored the idyllic concept of a tomorrow land and the idealism that nurtured the origins of modern Los Angeles and its eventual future blossoming or decay. Our now postponed 2020 production titled: It's All Relational was to explore the intricacies of human intimate relationships and how living in Los Angeles colors those relationships.
Concerned Citizen Los Angeles
In the midst of the recent riots over the killing of George Floyd, a concerned citizen literally calls for the help.
Written by Zury Ruiz
Directed by Sylvia Cervantes Blush
Starring: Rebekah Boroughs, Elizabeth Covarrubias
A Black & A Brown
While we rage and a plague spreads, A Black and A Brown fill out an online Marxist questionnaire on interpellation and state-mandated death.
Written by Ricardo A. Bracho
Directed by Bruce Lemon
Starring: Alex Alpharaoh, Rogelio Douglas III
Performance by: Deja Thompson
A poem about her purpose as a black artist.
Deja, a young Black woman on her way to a BLM protest finds herself at a familiar place and is confronted by a memory that has haunted her throughout her life.
Written by Kimba Henderson
Directed by Keiana Richàrd
Starring: Jasmine Ashanti, Matt Callahan, Bernadette Speakes
The Diciest Timeline
Steve watches as Sarah is rolling the dice on the future when an unexplainable event happens.
Written by Howard Ho
Directed by Joyce Liu-Countryman
Starring: Victor Chi, Julianna Stephanie Ojeda
Be Ready Engage Actively Thy Heart Essential
Believing that the greater good demands sacrifice, a father lies about not having the virus so that his daughter will leave him to actively protest in the streets.
Written by Tim Lounibos
Directed by Lia Fahkouri
Starring: Rafeal Clements, Tahirih Moeller
Performance by: Atiya Walcot
Reciting “As John To Patmos” a poem by Derek Walcott, dedicated to the class of 2020
A well-meaning couple joins the movement.
Written by Judy Soo Hoo
Directed by Daniel Muñoz
Starring: Rudy Marquez, Silvia Tovar
In the year 2035 Shae and Loren look for hope in human connection.
Written by Diana Burbano
Directed by Julianna Stephanie Ojeda
Starring: Analisa Gutierrez, Taylor Hawthorne
night 2 | august 8, 2o2o at 8pm pst
Sock It To Me
Two socks try to save themselves from racism.
Written by Henry Alexander Kelly
Directed by Justin Huen
Starring: Danny Huen, Te'Juana Johnson
As Los Angeles mirrors an uprising that took place nearly three decades before, so does an encounter between a young protester and shop owner in a K-Town convenience store.
Written by Carene Rose Mekertichyan
Directed by Jacole Kitchen
Starring: Jully Lee, Charlotte Williams
Spoken Word Performance by Sherrick O’quinn
My Fucking Prima
During Zoom drinks with a friend, a Latina unloads about her South Texas cousin trolling her for posting about police brutality and using the hashtag Black Lives Matter.
Written & Directed by Mauro Flores Jr.
Starring: Alejandra Jiménez
Stay With Me
A screenwriter who plans to tell his life story and offer career advice on a podcast is forced to come to terms with everything that's going on in America and unwittingly exposes how it has affected his life and family during these uncertain times.
Written by Ronald McCants
Directed by Jeff Torres
Starring: Luis Kelly Duarte, Cairo Spencer
Two best friends prepare to attend a Rams football game
Written by Lui Sanchez
Directed by Heather McLane
Starring: Bruce Lemon, Jeff Torres
A couple quarantining separately decide to get married.
Written by Tamadhur Al-Aqeel
Directed by Kila Kitu
Starring: Justin Huen, Nakasha Norwood
Performance by Nona Johnson
Free verse narrative piece on the world outside my window
How’s The Store?
Two Korean brothers from Torrance deal with the uprisings.
Written by Mildred Lewis
Directed by Jully Lee
Starring: Edward Hong, Gavin Lee
The Stimulus Check
Beto spends a small eternity at a bank deciding what to do with his stimulus check. Raul, a bank-teller, attempts to help him and keep the line moving.
Written by Israel López Reyes
Directed by Armando Molina
Starring: Richard Azurdia, Xavi Moreno
meet the playwrights
meet the directors
meet the cast
What’s Going On? is free and open to the public, but donations are encouraged.
During this unprecedented time, young people across our region are experiencing the world in new and unexpected ways. CoA is continuing to provide high-quality arts education experiences through distance learning and online creative writing programs that support our students in processing today and healing for tomorrow.
CoA is embracing this moment as a time to evolve in the ways we support our community. We are building adapted distance learning initiatives and new play development opportunities that will broaden our reach and continue to inspire our community to realize the power of their voices.
In this frightening time— If you believe, as we do, that the power of theatre can provide precious light in times of fear and darkness, we need your help. If your family has been enriched by the stories CoA brings to the stage, please help ensure they will be there for future audiences.