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Home / Life! / Entertainment / IAMA Theatre explores family fault lines, isolation in ‘Radical’

IAMA Theatre explores family fault lines, isolation in ‘Radical’

by Staff
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How could I have known you were feeling so alone? IAMA Theatre Company kicks off its ‘Sweet 16’ season of world premieres by Los Angeles–based playwrights with the company’s first production of an IAMA-commissioned play. “Radical or, are you gonna miss me?” by Isaac Gómez is the sweeping story of three women on the Mexican-American border who, more than anything, desperately want to be seen — and who will do anything in their power to make themselves known, no matter how great the cost. Jess McLeod directs for a Nov. 16 opening at Atwater Village Theatre, where performances continue through Dec. 11. Low-priced previews begin Nov. 11.

What do you do when the people you call family are the ones who hurt you the most? In Radical, Gómez — recently named by the Los Angeles Times as a member of “LA Vanguardia: The Latino innovators, instigators and power players breaking through barriers” — explores the political divide within one Mexican American family, a personal look at the nuances that exist within communities we often view as single-minded.

When Belinda (Elizabeth Ramos) is bailed out of jail by her estranged sister, Rosalie (Anna LaMadrid), she must reconcile the person she was with the person she feels she’s destined to become — that is, with the help of new friend Erica (Kim Griffin). Ramos has performed off-Broadway at New Light Theater Project, Primary Stages, Classic Stage Company, INTAR and more. An IAMA ensemble member, LaMadrid most recently appeared in Echo Theater Company’s “Crabs in a Bucket” and recurs on Hulu’s “This Fool.” Griffin is best known for “Cursed Friends” on Comedy Central and for her best supporting actress-nominated role in “A Lotus Til Reckoning” at the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.

“I wanted to explore how two sisters could grow up in the same family, yet hold a completely different set of values and political beliefs,” says Gómez. “The pandemic created an opportunity for those of us who didn’t previously have time to sit with our families and learn about them. I found out that my brother is a conservative, and I had a hard time understanding why he held these values. But this is not a play about politicization. It’s about loneliness. And it’s a play about how the antidote to loneliness is love. So many of us find ourselves estranged from our families. How does this happen? Why? We need to stop shouting at each other and start listening.”

“I couldn’t be more proud that our first production of an IAMA-commissioned play is with Isaac,” states IAMA artistic director Stefanie Black. “Their fearlessness and curiosity about what makes us human has made us long fans of their work. We are so grateful to be in partnership with them and Jess McLeod on this important new play.”

Radical or, are you gonna miss me? opens on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m., with performances thereafter on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 8 p.m., and on Sundays at 2 p.m. through Dec. 11 (dark Monday Nov. 20 and Friday, Nov. 25). All tickets are $40, except previews, which are $25.

The matinee on Sunday, Nov. 19 will be followed by a live panel discussion with artists, activists and politicians about the issues addressed in the play.

Atwater Village Theatre is located at 3269 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039. Free parking is available in the ATX (Atwater Crossing) lot one block south of the theater.

For reservations and information, call (323) 380-8843 or go to iamatheatre.com.

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