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Script Was Read At Scr Conference : Hispanic Play Will Get Full-scale Staging

October 28, 1987|ALLAN JALON | Times Staff Writer

"The Promise," one of three plays read publicly for the first time during South Coast Repertory's Hispanic Playwright's Conference in July, will be given a full-scale stage production at the Los Angeles Theater Center in February, an LATC spokesman said Tuesday.

SCR officials said the production demonstrates the conference's potential to gain exposure for Hispanic playwrights. This is the fifth professional staging for a playwright associated with the annual conference.

At the weekend gathering last July, three playwrights--including Jose Rivera, 32, the New York-based writer of "The Promise"--worked with professional actors and directors who presented public readings of each work.

Besides the chance to work with other artists, the writers come to Costa Mesa with the dream that one of the theatrical producers at the conference will offer a full-scale production. The 1986 conference led to full-scale productions for four playwrights.

Rivera was the only writer at July's conference to get such an offer, SCR officials said. His lushly theatrical play is rooted in the realismo magico style of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and other Latin writers who mix fabulist imagery and events with reality. It tells the tale of a wedding vow that two fathers-to-be make on behalf of their unborn children--and then break.

"Members of our literary department went down (to Costa Mesa) for the whole Hispanic playwrights reading . . . and recognized the value of 'The Promise,' " said Constance Harvey, spokeswoman for LATC.

Harvey said the production will be directed by LATC's Jose Luis Valenzuela, who directed one of the readings at the SCR conference, although not the reading of "The Promise." Valenzuela directed "La Victima," another play with Latino themes, at LATC 1987. "The Promise" will preview at LATC from Feb. 5-11. It is scheduled to open Feb. 12 and will run through March 13. For information, call (213) 627-5599.

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