JU1CE Comes to Grand Central Art Center
by Dana Hammer
First things first. The title. Maybe you’re a very intelligent word puzzle type person who understood the title immediately, but I am not. So, I had to check with the man who titled it, Eric Eberwein. He says, “We call it Ju1ce because these plays come from Orange County playwrights...It seemed like a name no one had used before, so I suggested it. The 1 in the middle refers to the fact that Ju1ce is a one-act festival.”
Now that that’s cleared up, let’s discuss what this show is. It’s a collaboration between The Wayward Artist and the Orange County Playwrights Alliance, presenting brand new one-act plays written by OC playwrights. The plays vary in tone and plot, but there is a common theme that connects them.
According to one of the directors, Anna Miles, “All of the scripts explore the idea of human communication, and/or the breakdown thereof. There's also an interesting conversation that stands out in all of the plays about technology's effect on human communication, and on how the mechanisms by which we communicate change the communication itself. Over the course of the evening, the audience will see this communicative evolution, through lost letters to texts and social media posts all the way up to the speculative communication forms of an imagined near future...I anticipate this theme will make for a vital and relevant night of fresh, new theater.”
And fresh new theater is exactly what we all need. There’s nothing wrong with watching a familiar play again and again, if it brings you joy, but the beauty of live theater is that it’s ever changing and evolving — much like our methods of communication. The Wayward Artist and Orange County Playwrights Alliance understand this, which is why they are committed to bringing new plays to our community.
According to one of the directors, Craig Tyrl, “The Wayward Artist is thrilled to collaborate with OCPA. New work and OC playwrights don't get enough attention, and supporting new work is something quite beautiful. We are truly honored to share in this collaboration and hope that we are starting an annual tradition.”
Eric Eberwein, of OCPA, says, “I think The Wayward Artist is one of the most important theatre companies to launch around here in the last 20 years. They put on inspiring productions, and they embrace new plays, new work is essential to them. That's very exciting.”
This collaboration promises to bring us a night of excellent, fresh, locally sourced entertainment.
The plays are as follows:
Reisman!, by Richard Garcia
State Park, by Walter Simson
LOL, by Craig Holland
Anti-Soulmate, by Alyssa Ahle
I Saw What You Said, by Steven Korbar
Prufrock in the Park, by Gina Shaffer
The Milton Fernsby Story, by Miles Garcia
Coconuts and Candles, by John Glass
The plays are PG rated, suitable for families. According to Tyrl, “All the pieces are lighthearted, warm, full of joy and hope with a dash of the absurd and farcical.”
The show plays January 27th to January 29th at Grand Central Art Center, located at 125 North Broadway, Santa Ana CA, 92701. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on the Wayward Artist website: www.thewaywardartist.org.
Dana Hammer is the author of the horror novel, The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting, an upcoming middle grade novel, My Best Friend Athena, and many plays, screenplays and short stories. She likes orange juice. She lives in Anaheim.