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Parenting and gender issues are at fore in IAMA Theatre company’s season opener, the West Coast premiere of Daniel Pearl’s award-winning play.
IAMA Theatre Company opens its 2019-20 12th anniversary season with an award-winning play about a mother and father trying to do right by their son. Jennifer Chambers directs Sarah Utterback (Grey’s Anatomy), Tim Peper (Amazon’s Jean Claude Van Johnson), Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue, Shameless, The Ranch and much more) and Olivia Liang (One Day at a Time) in the West Coast premiere of A Kid Like Jake by Daniel Pearle. Newly revised by the playwright for this production, A Kid Like Jake opens Oct. 3 in a Pasadena Playhouse guest production at The Carrie Hamilton Theatre, where performances will continue through Nov. 3 low-priced previews begin Sept. 28.
Pearle’s acclaimed play is a study of intimacy and parenthood, and the fantasies that accompany both. On the eve of the admissions cycle for New York City kindergartens, Alex and Greg have high hopes for their son Jake — a precocious four-year-old who happens to prefer Cinderella to G.I. Joe. But as the process continues, Jake's behavior becomes erratic and perplexing, and other adults in his life start to wonder whether his fondness for dress-up might be cause for concern.
A Kid Like Jake premiered in a sold-out run at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater, where it was a New York Times “Critic’s Pick”. The play was the winner of the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award and was also awarded the prestigious Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation’s Theatre Visions Grant. Pearle’s feature film adaptation, directed by Silas Howard and starring Claire Danes, Jim Parsons and Octavia Spencer, premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was subsequently distributed by IFC Films. After adapting his play for film in 2017, Pearle decided to revisit the 2013 stage version as well. He is currently in residence with IAMA for this production, with a new version of the play published by Dramatists Play Service.
“When the play was first written, it was before Transparent, before Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox, before ‘gender expansiveness’ was part of our cultural lexicon,” Pearle explains. “But although the language surrounding gender identity and the details of the conversation may have changed, the core of the story remains the same. It’s still about the anxiety of being a parent, of trying to do the right thing for your child, of how hard it is to let kids be who they are without projecting onto them. And I’m very excited that this production is being directed by someone who’s lived that experience firsthand.”
Chambers’ kids are now seven and nine. “So I really get that beautiful, heartbreaking pain that comes with your kid growing up and getting away from that little bubble you live in together when they’re babies,” she says. “What can you do as a mom to protect them, to keep them safe when they go off to school and into the world? I remember that wonderful, magical innocence — but then they differentiate, which is their job, and yet can be very tough.”
"This is one of the best plays I've ever had to pleasure to experience in person,” says Stefanie Black, co-artistic director of IAMA with Katie Lowes. “I've spent the last six years chasing this beautiful story and am so proud and excited for Los Angeles to finally get a chance to see it.”
A Kid Like Jake opens on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m., with performances thereafter on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. through Nov. 3. Three preview performances take place on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. All tickets are $35, except Oct. 3 (opening night) for which tickets are $40 and include a post performance reception, and previews, which are $20. The Carrie Hamilton Theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena CA 91101. For reservations and information, call 323-380-8843 or go to www.iamatheatre.com.
Presenter / Producer: IAMA Theatre Company
Theater > Drama
Event Phone: 323-380-8843
Carrie Hamilton Theatre at Pasadena Playhouse
39 S.El Molino Avenue
Pasadena CA 91101
Pasadena / San Gabriel Valley
Performance Dates: 9/28/2019 - 11/3/2019
Fri., Sat. 8:00 pm Sun. 7:00 pm Preview 10/2,8:00 pm Opening 10/3, 8:00 pm
General Admission $35Opening $40Previews $20
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