EVERYMAN THEATRE GR E AT STOR I ES, W E L L TO L D.
A NOTE FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR By Vincent M. Lancisi, Artistic Director
urturing the creation of new works is an important commitment Everyman Theatre is making to writers today. We want to contribute to the future of the art form. We are excited about breathing life into new plays and musicals. You can count on seeing a balanced mixture of new plays and classics at Everyman in our future. Often great masterpieces of the stage don’t blossom until their second production. Many theatres clamor after world premieres wanting to be the first one to birth a play or musical. But often writers learn a lot from their world premieres and as a result have a new vision for what the piece really should be or could be. This is why here at Everyman we are just as happy to work on new plays in different stages of development be it first, second, or third productions. Having the writers in the room is critical and it allows for innovation to occur and collaboration to flourish. Hearing that Ellen Fitzhugh (book and lyrics) and Michael John LaChiusa (composer) wanted to revisit their musical Los Otros with Noah Himmelstein directing intrigued me. Upon learning of their vision for the production I was determined to provide the opportunity for them to fully realize it. The musical was first produced at the Mark Taper Forum in Los
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Angeles back in 2012. The entire structure for the piece was completely different from what it is today. In the original, Lillian sang about her life all the way from childhood through adulthood. Then Carlos did the same with a song together at the end. The writers have abandoned that framework and now both characters’ stories are intertwined like their lives. The past meets the present through the use of memory and melody. The piece has a new book and some new lyrics and the stories are more immediate and affecting The process has been fascinating. First we commissioned the re-writing. Then we held a workshop of the new version in New York. The writers learned a lot about the piece—what worked and what they might want to further improve. Then the rehearsals began. Two incredible singers and actors brought their talents and lives to the table. Director Noah Himmelstein and Musical Director Jon Kalbfleisch began their interpretive work on the piece. Most importantly, the creators, Michael John and Ellen, were in the room to adjust, rewrite, and respond to the performers’ contributions. Always sharpening, honing, and digging for the truth, the show got richer and richer. Before we knew it, enhancements were being made both inside and outside of rehearsals to both the book and score in the musical. The creative process thrived. You are about to witness a new musical. It’s totally original, unique, and beautiful. You now add your voice to the mix. The show will interact with you and the conversation, from artist to audience and back again, will flow.
Vincent M. Lancisi, Founding Artistic Director Jonathan K. Waller, Managing Director
Book and Lyrics ELLEN FITZHUGH | Music MICHAEL JOHN LaCHIUSA Director NOAH HIMMELSTEIN Carlos............................................................................. PHILIP HERNÁNDEZ* Lillian.........................................................................................JUDY MCLANE* Set Design
AMANDA M. HALL*
JON KALBFLEISCH Guitar
EMILY GRISHMAN MUSIC PREPARATION/DAVID HORNE Time: 1938-1995; Place: California and Mexico | This production will be performed in one act with no intermission. PLEASE TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES. NO TEXTING. NO EATING IN THE THEATRE. “Tres Niñas,” one story of Los Otros was originally commissioned, developed, and presented by Premieres in New York City; Paulette Haupt, Artistic Director. Los Otros was fully commissioned and produced by Center Theater Group/Mark Taper Forum; Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director; Charles Dillingham, Managing Director. Los Angeles, California. The videotaping or making of electronic or other audio and/or visual recordings of this production or distributing recordings on any medium, including the internet, is strictly prohibited, a violation of the author’s rights and actionable under United States copyright law. *Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States Musicians employed in this production are represented by The Musicians’ Association of Metropolitan Baltimore, Local 40-543 of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Susan W. Flanigan | PRODUCER'S CIRCLE Beth Goldsmith, Gina & Dan Hirschhorn, George Roche, Shen Family Foundation, The Stockman Family Foundation, Lawrence Yumkas & Miriam Fisher
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THE PLAY SETTING
Beginning in the 1930s and ending in the mid-1990s, Los Otros is set in a number of locations in Southern California, including Burbank, Carlsbad, and the California-Mexico border.
Through a series of beautiful and intimate vignettes, Lillian and Carlos reflect on profound moments from the past in which their individual experiences as a white woman and Latino man are linked by a collective sense of “otherness.” This work captures a universal story of love, risk, and revelation through the lens of two people’s lives.
Carlos (played by Philip Hernández) is a Californian of Latino descent, who chronicles his journey of sexual identity, defining and finding love, and honoring culture.
Lillian (played by Judy McLane) is a complex divorced woman living in different parts of Southern California. She explores the many roles she plays in life as friend, mother, wife, caretaker, and lover. Her memories highlight the challenges combating her own prejudice and the search for love.
CHARACTERS NOT SEEN ON STAGE Arturo: A man with whom Lillian has a sexual encounter that leaves a lasting impression. George: Carlos’ partner Lillians’ Daughters: Lillian has two daughters in the play who are referenced, but never by name
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Magdalena: Lillian's housekeeper who Lillian quickly comes to look at as family Paco: Carlos’ friend with whom Carlos begins to explore his sexuality
THE NEW PLAY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS: THE CONTINUED LIFE OF LOS OTROS
Composer Michael John LaChiusa invites Noah Himmelstein to read a play he has been working on with lyricist/book writer Ellen Fitzhugh called Los Otros. The story has two acts and features a white woman on a couch reminiscing and a man in a shower at the beginning of the play reflecting on his Mexican heritage. Michael John LaChiusa and Ellen Fitzhugh
NOV 2016 & JAN 2017
Conversations start around potentially producing a musical as a part of Everyman Theatre’s next season, but which one? Noah suggests to Vincent M. Lancisi (Vinny), Everyman Founding Artistic Director, that he read Los Otros. Vinny reads the play in its current iteration and agrees that this piece has potential and would be a good fit for Everyman’s season.
With Michael John, Ellen, and Noah on board they all agree that the next step is to workshop the play, continuing to mine the depths of the story to celebrate its potential. Michael John continues to build the connections between the characters, musically. The play becomes a full length, one act piece with the actors onstage for the entirety of the piece.
The workshop is cast and Los Otros, in its current form, is rehearsed and performed over the course of a week for the collaborative team to learn and grow together. Critical Everyman staff are present for the experience. Additions, changes, and edits are an ever present and necessary part of new play development and each step of the process provides helpful information on the direction of the story and structure.
Auditions are held in New York City for the two actors in Los Otros. On January 18, 2017, the cast is set and a press release is sent announcing the casting of Judy McLane and Philip Hernández for the spring production.
Philip Hernández and Judy McLane
Rehearsal begins for Los Otros at Everyman with Michael John, Ellen, and Noah in the room along with actors Judy and Philip. The actors learn the music and staging and, together, the creative team continues to make adjustments to the music and text to hone in on the characters’ truths. This process lasts four weeks.
Everyman Theatre officially premieres the newly re-imagined Los Otros.
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THE COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIP Read on to learn about the relationship between the director, the composer, and the lyricist & book writer when working on developing a new musical, like Los Otros.
oah Himmelstein grew up in Pikesville, Maryland and began his deep dive into theatre when he attended Carver Center for Arts and Technology for high school. During his time there, Noah attended performances at Everyman Theatre through his acting class. It was at this very theatre that he was exposed to the influential works of Edward Albee, August Wilson, and Arthur Miller, which was “pretty mind blowing stuff.” After graduating high school, Noah attended Emerson College in Boston where he studied acting and directing. Upon receiving his degree, he moved to New York City to pursue his theatrical career.
From Left: Noah Himmelstein and Michael John LaChiusa in rehearsal for Los Otros at Everyman.
In 2014, Noah decided to reach out to Everyman’s Artistic Director, Vincent M. Lancisi (Vinny), to introduce himself, let him know that Everyman had provided many memorable experiences for him, and that he was still working in theatre. Noah invited Vinny to travel to New York where he was directing a piece being performed at Lincoln Center, starring Kristin Chenoweth. Not long after, he was invited to direct An Inspector Calls at Everyman as part of our 2015/16 Season. In 2016, Noah was invited to become Everyman’s Associate Artistic Director. Los Otros will mark his first show at Everyman under this new and exciting title. Noah is also working on a new project that is being developed in both Korea and New York, called What I Learned From People. He describes it as “a romance set in the future that gives hope to a return to humanity, working through the current state of isolation with our devices [and] features an Asian-American company and musicians.”
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In Noah’s Words: On growing up in Baltimore and how this experience informs his work... I have always been exposed to a great wealth of culture through my parents, like the Baltimore Museum of Art (particularly The Cone Collection), from a young age. In first grade, a guest teacher brought in Matisse posters and told us about impressionism, which coincided with my first theatrical experiences at the, now gone, Mechanic Theatre. I was lucky to grow up in a very diverse city and be exposed to a vast array of people and ideas. Baltimore is just a few hours from New York, where I visited regularly. My Dad took me out of school later that first grade year to visit the Matisse retrospective at MoMA in 1991. Painting and theatre are closely connected for me. On how mentors have impacted his artistic life... I met Michael John LaChuisa in 2006 when I was at Emerson College. He was receiving an award for his colossal contribution to students studying musical theatre and we made an immediate connection. Shortly after, I directed one of his shows, the last of many shows I directed in college. Over the years we’ve stayed in touch and, as fate would have it, Los Otros and I found each other. On Michael John LaChiusa’s artistry... Michael John’s work is farreaching—he’s interested in stories from the past, world stories and making cross-cultural connections. His pieces range from his take on Medea in 1890s New Orleans (Marie Christine), to a family in 1930s Spain (Bernarda Alba), to post-9/11 New York City (Little Fish). There is an enormous palette there which is inspiring and gratifying for both his audiences and collaborators. On the collaborative partnership that allows Los Otros to grow and thrive... It comes down to my deep respect for Ellen and Michael John. The actors, designers, and I are interpreting something personal that they created together in the privacy of their home, with their computer and piano. They’ve done that brave thing of passing it on to others to realize their story in living, malleable space. I find that the best writers leave space in their work to be filled in by all the other theatrical elements. Unlike a novel, where the author has colored in every nuance, much is left for us to make a complete act of theatre. The process is not complete until the audience comes in. They fill in the story even more, each person a little differently. It’s all of these contributions, in that moment, that make the experience come to life.
MICHAEL JOHN LaCHIUSA
Life is harsh,” Michael John LaChiusa explained.
It began that way for him, the oldest of three boys in a lower middle class, Italian Catholic family in Chautauqua, New York. “My father was not the nicest guy on the planet to me,” Mr. LaChiusa said. “He coached football, and owned some businesses, and wasn’t particularly interested in where I was headed—let me put it this way—as a gay man, and in music.” It was his mother who most encouraged his cultural ambitions, who bought the player piano on which the seven-year-old Michael John (only called Mike when being scolded) taught himself to play by chasing the ghostly impression of long-gone hands. Michael John LaChiusa was born and raised in New York state, eventually moving to the city when he was 18 to pursue a job in music. Joining the BMI Lehman Engel Musical theater Workshop in the mid-1990s, he was able to strengthen his songwriting skills with the help of the program’s mentors. This skill-strengthening would eventually pay off significantly, in 1994, when the Lincoln Center in Manhattan produced one of his plays, Hello Again. The play was a success and LaChiusa’s book, music, and lyrics were all nominated for Drama Desk Awards, an annual ceremony presented by The Drama Desk Organization, in recognition of achievements in the theatre among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions. Over the years, he has become one of the most prolific figures in the world of musical theatre. Best known for his Tony nominated adaptation of Joseph Moncure March’s narrative poem, The Wild Party (for which he wrote the book, music and lyrics), LaChiusa has also worked on musicals such as See What I Wanna See (which starred Idina Menzel of Wicked), Bernarda Alba (starring Phylicia Rashad and original cast member of Rent, Daphne Rubin-Vega) and First Daughter Suite, a musical examining the women in the lives of presidents Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, and Bush. He teaches at Columbia University and in the Graduate Musical theatre Writing Program at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts.
In Michael John’s Words: On the role music plays in bringing a story to life… Music for the theatre can work on two levels, sometimes both at the same time. On one level, it can cause the heart to beat faster and make us want to get up and shake your ass. On another level, it can make us feel things that spoken word by itself cannot. Music can be simply entertainment—delight the ears, tickle us into tapping our feet, rock and roll us—but it also can make us feel things deeply, feelings like loneliness, desire, heartbreak, or love. For me, music is solely about character: character-defined music, not interchangeable with another character’s music and specific to time and place, though, of course, filtered through my own perspective. On drawing inspiration… I believe that inspiration can and will be found in the most unusual places: on a subway car, on a street corner, in a school cafeteria—anywhere people are living and breathing and correlating in real time. That’s where the study of character begins: observing your surroundings and how humans relate. Of course, there’s also plenty of inspiration to be found within the arts, in the political and scientific arenas, books and ballet; in poetry and philosophy; even from the speeches our politicians make—or tweet— even the magnificent observations from telescopes circling the earth and peering into the universe. I’m a firm believer that inspiration is more often than not found from the outside, not always from inside. The medieval concept that “genies” (from where we get the idea of “genius”) live in the walls of our houses and sometimes rush through a room, waiting to be grabbed by their ghostlike tails, really appeals to me. I always tell my students to be alert to your surroundings for you never know when a brilliant idea might go flashing by. On the “semi-autobiographical” nature of Los Otros and reason behind sharing this story now… I love the themes the show presents: the curious effect “the others”—those outside our personal ethnicities, races, cultural and sexual identities—have on our lives. How powerful it is it to share one’s stories and how we learn to accept and, ultimately, love, through the sharing of those stories. I think that’s a potent idea, especially in America, which today seems to be a spiritual and moral crisis in regards to race and ethnicity. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE...
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CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE... On advice for your high school self… Don’t feel defeated if others don’t understand you. There is always, always someone in this vast world who will. Someone or someones who WILL love you for what/ who you are. Never give in to loneliness or despair. The world is so big and there are so many people like you out there, people who are going through the same troubles and feelings you’re going through. Go and find them—and let them find you by raising your lantern and shining as bright as you can. Don’t let money or your background hold you back. If you have a talent, let the world know it, dammit. If you have something to declare, yell it loud and clearly and uniquely. On Noah Himmelstein… I’ve known Noah since he was, literally, a child. He was a thoroughly ambitious, creative young student at Emerson College in Boston, determined to make his mark in the music theatre. I don’t think the thought has ever crossed his mind that he’d be doing anything else but working in the theatre. That reminded me of me. It’s like he’s meant to do what he does; he doesn’t question it. He takes on challenging experiences and grows with each experience. He’s attracted to interesting, unconventional
storytelling; he’s young and willing to learn. And best of all, he’s got a great sense of humor that never lets anything get him down or angry—very important to have in this business of show. It was a perfect moment when I asked him if he’d like to look at Los Otros: it seemed a very good match for these reasons. He’s been a fine leader of this project and I can’t imagine anyone else I’d want having to direct this re-examining of this particular show. On the value of mentorship… I was very lucky when I was young to have had some key mentors in my life: great teachers, terrific classmates—oh yes, you can and should learn from your peers and they from you—and extraordinary mentors in the business, like my collaborator, Ellen Fitzhugh, who took me under her wing when I was first starting out writing in New York. Ellen taught me the extreme importance of craft—through learning the craft of songwriting, by studying the American songbook and absorbing its richness, you learn through the exercise of craft to discover your own voice and how to remain true to yourself.
LYRICIST & BOOK WRITER ELLEN FITZHUGH
Everyman Theatre: Where are you from originally and when did you first develop an interest in theatre? Ellen Fitzhugh: I am originally from Los Angeles and first discovered an interest in theatre in the seventh grade when I was cast as a Wicked Witch for a Halloween performance. Everyman: When and why did you decide to pursue theatre professionally? How has your background shaped your career path? Ellen: I moved to New York City in 1980 once I realized that’s where I needed to be professionally. Not much in my background would have led anyone to think I’d wind up where I have, but I draw greatly on my
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background as source material. I draw on memories of poverty, which ain’t fun to live through as a child, but along with the poverty there were high spirits among my older siblings, and great inventiveness. As for higher education, I was kind of successful in high school in competitive speech and debate, so I got a scholarship offer from the University of Southern California (USC), but I didn’t take it. I figured their expectation would be that I’d go into law/politics, and I wanted no part of that. I married young and had two girls. Everyman: What role do you think music can play in bringing stories to life? Ellen: Music can elevate and intensify storytelling in so many ways, and it can also provide emotional cues to actors and directors.
Everyman: How do you connect to Los Otros? Ellen: Much of these stories come from my personal experience. I guess most of us would rather do almost anything rather than go see a therapist, so this was my choice. I hope the show shares with an audience that each and every one of us is deserving of a loving relationship. Everyman: What has been the value of mentorship in your life?
better ones may have been given to me by the composer, director or an actor. Usually for me, the composer is closely involved in the word-writing process, though I’ve also written to pre-existing music. The director has the whole thing in their hands, and it’s best to pay attention to what the director is saying and doing because they can lift the work to the heavens or condemn it to hell. Try to be of one mind about the work, and talk, talk, talk to make sure you’re together in what you want.
Ellen: Michael John flatters me in calling me his mentor. He and I, and probably everyone in theater, have had several “mentors”—people who believe in us and care about us and open to us whatever doors they can. Everyman: Acknowledging it can be different for each story, can you share your process for writing the book and lyrics for Los Otros? What was your inspiration and how has the story progressed? Ellen: The impetus for doing this sort of sung monologue came from Artistic Director Paulette Haupt, who wanted to try such a form for her company, Premieres. We had known each other for many years, and she just came up with the idea on her own and asked me if I’d try one so she could see if it would work; if so, she could present an evening of three such pieces, each done by a different pair of writer/ composers. This she did, and has subsequently done several more.
Clockwise from left: Ellen Fitzhugh, Noah Himmelstein, Judy McLane, Philip Hernández
Everyman: How has this Los Otros story evolved? Ellen: It went from one of the three pieces in Premieres, as Tres Niñas, to a “two-hander,” with the second story entirely separate from the first, to the current version, wherein the two stories, segmented, are alternated, showing the links between the two characters as the evening moves along. Everyman: You have been a part of the rehearsal process for Los Otros. What are you looking at during rehearsal and how do you interact with your fellow collaborators?
Everyman: How do you find work as a playwright in this way? Ellen: If you mean how do you get your work done, there are too many pathways to mention, but, unfortunately, also many stumbling blocks. It may be difficult to get a commission as a brand new unproduced writer, but it’s good to take advantage of any opportunity to showcase your work—you never know who might be there. Everyman: What other types of work outside of theatre do you do?
Ellen: I’m looking for what seems to be “working” and what doesn’t. I love the rehearsal process, which always demonstrates what needs to be re-written. What needs to be written better? Is this a “problem” in the material or could it maybe be solved by a note taken or given by or from an actor or the director—the terrific Noah Himmelstein. Fellow collaborators come in all types, and the trick is to recognize their particular needs where you’re concerned.
Ellen: Well, in the past I’ve been a service representative, a cocktail waitress, a bartender. Those have been paying jobs but I’ve also done sewing, gardening, mothering, all of which have brought dimension to my thinking.
Everyman: What challenges does this piece present for you? Any fun facts or insider tidbits you can share that you want to draw our students’ attention to words?
Ellen: I suppose it helps to love language in all its permutations, and to have a grasp of how human interaction can create innumerable tensions and resolutions. Sometimes I think I just lucked out.
Ellen: The embarrassment of it being largely autobiographical is something I’m gradually getting over, but baring one’s soul in this way can save a lot on psychiatric bills. We’re also so very fortunate to have two bright, game, funny, caring professionals as our cast.
Everyman: What has been your favorite project to write for?
Everyman: What is the book/lyric writer’s relationship to the director? What other relationships are critical to your work? Ellen: I’m responsible for all the words, even though some of the
Everyman: What skills should one focus on cultivating in order to write for the stage?
Ellen: My favorite is always the one I’m working on at the time. Everyman: What advice might you give someone interested in pursuing the profession of writer for musicals? Ellen: Attend them, read them, listen to the scores, think about how you would have done that scene or song differently.
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Sophie Hinderberger in The Glass Menagerie at Everyman Theatre during the 2013/14 Season. Photo by Stan Barouh.
EMOTIONAL MEMORIES: WHEN PEOPLE AND EVENTS REMAIN WITH YOU By Mary C. Lamia Ph.D., Psychology Today
emembering an event, a situation, or a person can evoke a shiver of excitement, the heat of anger, or the anguish of grief. Although emotion that is activated by a memory may not be felt as intensely as the actual experience, the recall can be enjoyable or painful nonetheless. Emotional memory adds credibility to the notion that thoughts can trigger emotion just as the activation of emotion can create cognitions (Lerner & Keltner, 2000; Lewis, 2008). How fortunate that the mind can summon emotional memories of exciting and unsullied love, pride in endeavors, or joy that was felt at an amazing moment in time. You may muse about the past because you want to recreate a satisfying emotional experience, if only fleetingly, through a daydream. But memories can also activate more negatively experienced emotions such as anger, shame, jealousy, envy, disgust, or guilt. Unfortunately, such memories of things weâ€™d rather forget seem to have greater intensity than the pleasant ones. In response to a cue in the present that evokes an emotional memory, anger, for example, can occupy your thoughts in ways that may seem far more consuming and compelling than can the pleasurable recall of a past loving relationship. Anger makes you want to take action to protect yourself, to retaliate, or to right whatever wrong was left
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unresolved; whereas recall of a past love is less likely to incite a need to respond. Most emotional memories are the result of cued recall. While walking past the perfume counter of a department store, you may remember someone who smelled delicious, or, on the other hand, a person whose overuse of scented products was repugnant to you. A certain place may evoke a memory of being there in the past and the pleasant or unpleasant emotions attached to that experience. Your visceral response to a particular song may be a reminder of the emotion you felt toward someone with whom it is associated.
Trigger: a psychological term referring to a stimulus such as a smell, sound, or sight that triggers feelings of trauma or a strong emotional response.
Holding onto certain possessions may be a way to activate the recall of emotion. Lit is not simply emotional memory that is triggered by an object, but also the connection you had with the person represented by it. For example, I happened to open a box that had been stored away for many years and found something that had belonged to my mother. Along with elation, momentary sadness was activated in me, as though I had somehow connected with her again. In a study of
cherished objects as memorabilia, researchers found that most of the identified cherished objects were cherished for reasons other than their value as inducers of reminiscence, and as specifically as reconstructive symbols (Sherman, 1991). Discarding certain relics of the past may serve to deactivate recall and symbolically dispose of the person. When relationships are over, people sometimes want to discard vestiges of the past that represent their attachment to another person; including memorabilia, gifts, photographs, and anything else that can potentially trigger once lovely emotional memories, now tainted. Having a great memory for recalling events may not be a virtue, but may instead require that you control an efficient memory system that delivers information in the form of memories that may interfere with current goals (Levy & Anderson, 2002). So if everything seems to trigger a memory for you, especially ones that activate emotional responses, you can become derailed from the path you are taking and instead focused on the memories. Imagine, for example, every time you pursue a romantic relationship you are reminded of incidents in which you felt betrayed or hurt. As a result, you may try to ignore the memory or refocus attention--a response-override situation that requires executive control to stop retrieval itself--but such suppression of memories and controlling the direction of thought also interferes with their recall when they are desired (Levy & Anderson, 2002). Thus, there may be times when your emotional memories are correctly informing you to be cautious, and it is in your best interest to listen to them, but at other times they are simply a misfire. Emotional memories are powerful and serve to guide and inform us as we navigate the present and prepare for the future. If youâ€™ve ever had a drink or taste of something spoiled, you know that emotional memory protects you from doing that again. Unfortunately, you might unintentionally apply that same principle to relationships, where an implicit or explicit emotional memory cautions you and interferes with your pursuit of having love in your life. However, sometimes your emotional memories are informing you of a truth that you donâ€™t want to acknowledge. The interpretation you make when an emotional memory is activated, in any case, has to be left to your good judgment.
Philip HernĂĄndez during Los Otros rehearsal.
Judy McLane during Los Otros rehearsal.
Comprehension: What are examples of triggers provided in this article? How do these memories impact us and inform our experiences? Reflection: Lillian and Carlos share a series of memories stimulated by different triggers. Define these emotional triggers from the play. How have these memories impacted their life choices and their perceptions?
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(From left) Ryan Carlo Dalusung and Sharon Hope in Dot at Everyman Theatre during the 2016/17 Season. Photo by Kiirstn Pagan.
STRUGGLING WITH CULTURAL IDENTITY: DEFINING IMMIGRANT GENERATIONS By Miranda Carnes, Jessica Ho, Nadia Guaman, Zeke Gutierrez, Georgetown University
hroughout history, we have seen that immigration is an unavoidable and, in fact, necessary concept that greatly impacts both sending and receiving countries. However, we often overlook the inherent personal strife that migrants face through the process of assimilation. This process varies significantly between Generations 1, 1.5, and 2. In the context of this exhibit, first generation immigrants are people who were born in one country and relocated to another. In terms of assimilation, first generation immigrants generally face an immense culture shock when relocating. As such, assimilation is an immediate challenge; between learning a new language, adapting to new customs, and using new technologies, first generation immigrants are overwhelmed by such a quick and drastic change. Generation 1.5 is a little more difficult and often unnoticed. This term is used to define the population of immigrants that migrated to a new country before or during their early teens. As a result, they have a strong aspect of their identity tied to their native culture and their parents, but also a strong aspect of their identity tied to the culture of the new country into which they
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have assimilated. Their peers at school, for example, may encourage them to adopt the habits of their new country while, at home, their parents attempt to continue the traditions of their native land. School districts play a very influential role when it comes to assimilation. This generation tends to fly under the radar, yet faces struggles just as difficult as Generations 1 and 2. Second generation immigrants are those born in one country with at least one foreign born parent. A large problem that second generation immigrants encounter is a direct result of their parents. If the parents of second generation immigrants are undocumented, for example, their children must live with that secret and in constant fear of the potential deportation of their parents. Another problem that second generation immigrants face is that of assimilation versus preservation, similar to Generation 1.5. However, history has proven that, many aspects of native cultural identity are lost through the second and third generation, especially language. This shows that second generation immigrants have to deal with the precarious balance between preserving what their parents worked hard to maintain and allowing themselves to successfully integrate into the society that they were born into. At the end of the day, whether first generation or fifth generation, all immigrants face the distinct struggle of coexisting with other people of diverse backgrounds and customs.
#GrowingUpHispanic The sentiment expressed in this tweet is one that we see come through in both second generation immigrants and in generation 1.5. Members of these groups feel conflicted at times because their two identities pull them in different directions. In this Tweet, we see the American side pulling a person towards speaking English, an apparent norm in many families as well. Yet, at the same time there is an influence in families to keep heritage and culture alive by learning Spanish, a native tongue for many Hispanics. There is an expectation for these generations to be fluent in both languages, to be American and Hispanic, and to be able to juggle both lives perfectly. Hispanics who are the children of immigrant parents are most likely to be bilingual. For many of them Spanish is how they communicate to their elders, and English is for their professional life. According to a 2013 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 50% of these Hispanics are bilingual. The survey also found that 23% of Hispanics with U.S. born parents are bilingual. When asked, 95% of Hispanic adults who took this survey responded by stating that they believed it is imperative that future generations of U.S. Hispanics be able to speak Spanish. With all the media coverage on Hispanic immigration in the past decade, it is no surprise that Hispanics are directly related to immigration in contexts like the classroom. These generations often find others looking at them with caution when such matters arise, as seen in the Tweet. Whether you are generation 1.5 or a second generation immigrant, you have some ties to immigration and often feel at ease when these matters are discussed in the public world such as a classroom. Ultimately, it is clear that assimilation is very difficult for immigrants, yet it shows up as a different problem for each generation. For first generation immigrants, assimilation manifests itself through learning new technologies and traditions, and learning how to overcome culture shock. Generation 1.5, however, encounters the precarious balance between preservation and assimilation, which second generation immigrants continue to face. This is seen most vividly through language and schooling.
Comprehension: How does assimilation effect the three generations interviewed for this study differently, and what challenges are similar? Reflection: Los Otros tackles the universal experience of otherness. Where and how do we see the complexity of the relationship between immigration, assimilation, and identity dramatized in this piece?
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(From left) Brayden Simpson, Joy Jones, Alan Bomar Jones in August Wilson’s Fences at Everyman Theatre during the 2015/16 Season. Photo by Stan Barouh.
TYPES OF FAMILY STRUCTURES By Michelle Blessing, Mental Health Professional, family.lovetoknow.com
amily structure has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. The “Leave it to Beaver” family is no longer the standard, and several variations on family have been created. There are six specific types of family structures identified by society today. Family Structures The following types of families exist today, with some families naturally falling into multiple categories. For example, a single parent family who lives in a larger, extended family. While these types of families are distinct in definition, in practice the lines are less clear. Nuclear Family The nuclear family is the traditional type of family structure. This family type consists of two parents and children. The nuclear family was long held in esteem by society as being the ideal. Research shows children in nuclear families receive strength and stability from the two-parent structure and generally have more opportunities due to the financial ease of two adults, though there are exceptions. According to U.S. Census data, almost 70 percent of children live in a nuclear family unit. Single Parent Family The single parent family consists of one parent raising
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one or more children on their own. Often, a single parent family is a mother with her children, although there are single fathers as well. The single parent family is the biggest change society has seen in terms of the changes in family structures. One in four children is born to a single mother. Single parent families are generally close and find ways to work together to solve problems, such as dividing up household chores. When only one parent is at home, it may be a struggle to find childcare, as there is only one parent working. This limits income and opportunities in many cases, although many single parent families have help from relatives and friends. Extended Family The extended family structure consists of two or more adults who are related, either by blood or marriage, living in the same home. This family includes many relatives living together and working toward common goals, such as raising the children and keeping up with the household duties. Many extended families include cousins, aunts or uncles and grandparents living together. This type of family structure may form due to financial difficulties or because older relatives are unable to care for themselves alone. Extended families are becoming increasingly common all over the world. Childless Family While most people think of family as including children, there are couples who either cannot or choose not to have children. The childless family is sometimes the “forgotten family,” as it does not meet the traditional
standards set by society. Childless families consist of a partnership, living and working together. Many childless families take on the responsibility of pet ownership or have extensive contact with their nieces and nephews rather than having their own children.
THE FAMILIES WE CHOOSE
Stepfamily Over half of all marriages end in divorce, and many of these individuals choose to get remarried. This creates the stepfamily, which involves two separate families merging into one new unit. It consists of a new partner and their children from previous marriages or relationships. Stepfamilies are about as common as the nuclear family, although they tend to have more challenges,, such as adjustment periods and discipline issues. Stepfamilies need to learn to work together and also work with their exes to ensure these family units run smoothly.
We got to the house in the middle of the night, our five cramped bodies spilling out of the car and onto the driveway. It was Fourth of July weekend and we’d gone to a friend’s house in upstate New York. The leaves in the driveway swirled in front of the headlights of the car. We threw our bags inside, sat at the kitchen table, and passed around a bottle of whiskey until it was empty. The night blurred greasy lamplight across my vision at the edge of the morning. It somehow felt momentous being there that weekend, all of us having agreed to go away together. I thought how a scene like this one was the closest thing I knew to what I mean by the word “family,” sitting around a kitchen table late at night and believing that there’s nothing in the world from which the people you’ve gathered here can’t keep you safe.
Grandparent Family Many grandparents today are raising their grandchildren for a variety of reasons. One in fourteen children is raised by his grandparents, and the parents are not present in the child’s life. This could be due to parents’ death, addiction, abandonment or being unfit parents. Many grandparents need to go back to work or find additional sources of income to help raise their grandchildren. Variety of Structures There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to what is the best type of family structure. As long as a family is filled with love and support for one another, it tends to be successful and thrive. Families need to do what is best for each other and themselves, and that can be achieved in almost any unit.
Comprehension: What is the single greatest change in family structure trends? How many children, based on national trends, are raised by their grandparents? With different structures, can you identify the benefits and challenges inherent in each? Reflection: Family structures can overlap. Using Los Otros and your own personal life, discuss the variety of structures we see or experience in the world of the play and today.
By Helena Fitzgerald, catapult.co
We spent the weekend running around pelting each other with water balloons in an absurd game we’d created. No one could remember the rules, so everyone just threw as many water balloons as they could, shrieking and dodging Romances, couplings, marriages: all of these contain pre-made signposts and triumphs. The proofs of legitimacy are built in, like points on a map between which one can drive cleanly, staying on the wide highways, the well-lit roads. We know when we have reached the next plot point and we know what it means when we get there. Friendship, however, has no such reassuring signposts, and no answering congratulations upon arrival. Friendship is the catchall for otherwise nebulous relationships—acquaintances, crushes, coworkers, people you’ve hooked up with, people you’ve only met on Twitter, people to whom you haven’t spoken in years. Friendship is a grey area, and this very lack of definition, this space beyond category, is what has always drawn me to it, made it feel bigger and more consequential than other relationships. Friendship offers an undefined space that can be made new without expectation.
Read Helena Fitzgerald’s full article, The Families We Choose, at tinyurl.com/chosenfamily
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GLOSSARY Ava Gardner: An American actress and singer, successful in the 1950-1960s, who was once called “the most beautiful woman in the world.”
MG: The MG Car Company Limited was a former British sports car manufacturer founded in the 1920s by Cecil Kimber. Best known for its two-seat open sports cars.
Babe Ruth: A baseball player of the early twentieth century, known for hitting home runs. He hit sixty home runs in 1927, a record for a 154-game season that stood until the late twentieth century. Born and raised in Baltimore.
Mohair: The long, silky hair of the angora goat.
Bakelite: An early form of plastic Barrio: A Spanish word meaning neighborhood Bracero: A Mexican laborer allowed into the U.S. for a limited time as a seasonal agricultural worker Close Encounters: A shortened name for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the 1977 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a blue-collar worker in Indiana, whose life changes after an encounter with a UFO. DDT: A synthetic organic compound used as an insecticide General MacArthur: An American general who commanded the Southwest Pacific in World War II (1939-1945), oversaw the successful Allied occupation of postwar Japan and led United Nations forces in the Korean War (1950-1953). Hiroshima: A city of southwest Honshu, Japan, on the Inland Sea west of Osaka. The city was destroyed in World War II when an American airplane dropped the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare (August 6, 1945). IBM: Short for International Business Machines, one of the largest computer companies in the world. Johnny-On-The-Spot: A person who is at hand whenever needed. Lalique: Used for an elaborate French art glass typically made by a combination of pressing, blowing, frosting, and cutting. Loquat: A small yellow egg-shaped acidic fruit. Mairzy Doats: A novelty song composed in 1943, by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston. Merchant Marines: The Merchant Marines are a group of ships which carry imports and exports during peacetime and become naval auxiliaries during wartime to deliver troops and war material.
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The O. J. Simpson murder case: The O. J. Simpson murder case (officially titled People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson, or People v. O. J. Simpson) was a criminal trial held at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, in which former National Football League (NFL) player and actor O. J. Simpson was tried on two counts of murder for the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend and restaurant waiter, Ron Goldman, that occurred on June 12, 1994. The trial spanned eleven months, from the jury’s swearing-in on November 9, 1994. Opening statements were made on January 24, 1995, and the verdict was announced on October 3, 1995, when Simpson was found not guilty of murder on both counts. Simpson’s celebrity status, racial issues, and the lengthy televised trial riveted national attention on the so-called “trial of the century”. By the end of the criminal trial, national surveys showed dramatic differences in the assessment of Simpson’s guilt or innocence between black and white Americans. Nicole Brown Simpson: The ex-wife of former National Football League (NFL) player and actor O. J. Simpson. Nicole was killed at her home in Brentwood, a neighborhood in the Westside of Los Angeles, California, along with her friend, a restaurant waiter named Ron Goldman. Rattletraps: An old or rickety vehicle. Rwandan genocide: The Rwandan genocide was a mass slaughter of Tutsi in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority government. An estimated more than 800,000 Rwandans were killed during the 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994. Sable: A marten with a short tail and dark brown fur, native to Japan and Siberia and valued for its fur. Transient-ischemic Attack or (TIA): A brief stroke-like attack that, despite resolving within minutes to hours, still requires immediate medical attention to distinguish from an actual stroke. Tilde: An accent (~) placed over Spanish n when pronounced “ny” (as in señor). Vengeful: Seeking to harm someone in return for a perceived injury.
LOCATIONS MENTIONED CALIFORNIA, U.S.
Map of California
Burbank: A city in Los Angeles County in Southern California.
Carlsbad: An affluent seaside resort city occupying a sevenmile stretch of Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County, California. National City: A city located in the South Bay region of San Diego, California. Santa Rosa: A city in and the county seat of Sonoma County, California, U.S., About 50 miles north of San Francisco.
Carlsbad National City Map of the U.S. and Mexico
Map of Mexico
MEXICO Ocumicho: A town in the state of Michoacรกn, Mexico. Tijuana: A border city in Mexico, just south of California. Map of the U.S. and Mexico
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THEATRE ETIQUETTE: PREPPING TO SEE A PLAY The beauty of live theater is that the audience is just as much a part of the action as the performers. When you come and see a play, remember... Respectfully enjoy the show. While we encourage you to laugh when something is funny, gasp if something shocks you, and listen intently to the action occurring, please remember to be respectful of the performers and fellow audience members. Please turn off or silence all electronic devices before the performance begins. There is no texting or checking your cell phone during the show. The glow of a cell phone can and will be seen from stage. Photography inside the theatre is strictly prohibited. Food and drinks are not allowed in the theatre. Food and drinks should be consumed in the Everyman lobby before or after the show, or during intermission. Be Present. Talking, moving around, checking your phone, or engaging in other activities is distracting to everyone and greatly disrupts the performance’s energy. Stay Safe. Please remain seated and quiet during these moments. Should you need to leave for any reason, re-entrance to the theatre is at the discretion of the house manager. In case of an emergency, please follow the instructions shared by Everyman staff members.
DEEPER DIVE ON MICHAEL JOHN LaCHIUSA…
• Listen to the songs of LaChiusa: tinyurl.com/lachiusamusic • Read the New York Times’ full article on LaChiusa: bit.ly/MichaelJohnLaChiusa
ON MUSICAL THEATRE…
• Explore the profession of the Musical Librettist: tinyurl.com/musicalbookwriters • Discover the many steps it takes to create a new musical: tinyurl.com/musicals101
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Take a closer examination of the world of Los Otros by visiting these helpful and fun resources...
• Learn more about family structure. This article features many graphs and charts that help to visual data on different the living arrangements of families with children under the age of 18 in the U.S.: bit.ly/FamilyStructure • Learn what it was like as a Latino serving in WWII with the help of the National WWII Museum: tinyurl.com/latinoswwii • Strengthen your understanding of the DREAM Act and how it works: tinyurl.com/thedreamact • Whether you’re a beginner or just someone looking to polish their Spanish speaking skills, Duolingo, a fun and educational language learning program, is here to help you out! And best of all, it’s free! www.duolingo.com
From left: Michael John LaChiusa and Ellen Fitzhugh work together at the piano during rehearsal for Los Otros
Be the Lyricist Think about a favorite memory from your own life. Using the structure of Los Otros as inspiration, focus on the images and emotional response you had to this memory. Frame this in the context of you, as a character, onstage sharing this memory. It does not have to be linear but convey the essentials you feel the audience will need to know to share in that experience. This becomes your lyrical poem. Share. Ask a fellow collaborator to listen and pull out one image, phrase, or the emotional response they experienced and do the same activity— but using your lyrics as inspiration. They will create a new lyrical poem to share. This can be done in pairs, as a class, or as an individual exercise to practice the skill of unfiltered writing and piecing the poetry of language together to create a compelling form of drama. Be the Composer You do not have to play an instrument to start to explore the mindset of a composer. Using these lyrics from Los Otros (at right), identify at least two pieces of instrumental music from two different genres. Play these underneath the words as they are read aloud. How does this change the interpretation of the language? Use what you have around you to play with rhythm, sound and beat. How is the piece different when the words are married to the music in time or are out of sync? What can you create musically to bring this part of the story to life?
LILLIAN: Carlos... It is never a question of love... We know we love each other. It’s only why and how That makes the trouble. It is never a question of love... And one way or another We’ll dig for signs of love Beneath the rubble... -Los Otros, Scene 9: Los Otros
See the back of the Play Guide for final project!
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POST-SHOW QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION Theme and Content • Los Otros translates to “The Others” in English. Why does this piece hold that title? • Reflect on moment(s) when you identified as “The Other.” What about these experiences led you to discover your uniqueness? • Our country is currently in a time of great change. How do you see themes and situations in this play (which takes place between the 1950s and 1990s) reflected in our modern society? How would this play be different if it took place in the year 2017? • Has there ever been a moment in your life that seemed insignificant at the time but, as you’ve aged, it now feels more signifcant? Why and how do these small moments begin to define our life story? • Do you have special items that hold important memories to you? Have you had an experience of recall brought on by a sensory trigger? • Have you experienced firsthand or witnessed the struggle to preserve cultural identity and embrace a new way of life? Characters • What do we learn about Lillian’s values as they evolve over the course of Los Otros from care taking for the immigrant family as a young girl to becoming emotional support to Carlos at the end of the play? • What conflicts arise in Lillian as she ages? Discuss the nature of the relationship with Arturo and the men with whom Lillian takes up company. • How does Carlos define love over the course of the play? What factors complicate his acceptance and understanding of his own capacity for love? • Reflect on how each character relates to Latino culture. What is important for Carlos to maintain, and what does he discover are challenges in reconciling his cultural identity? Production • What is the audience experience of watching a two-hander that uses music and lyrics performed recitative to portray a story? • The characters in this play portray themselves from adolescence to late adulthood. How do these characters’ choices reflect where they are in life?
Recitative: musical declamation of the kind usual in the narrative and dialogue parts of opera and oratorio, sung in the rhythm of ordinary speech with many words on the same note.
Other questions I’d like to ask the artists when I meet them at the post-show workshop:
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CURRICULAR TIE-INS Common Core State Standards CCSS. ELA-Literacy, CCRA. SLS 1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussion (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners and topics, texts, and issues building on other’s ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. CCSS. ELA-Literacy. RL. 11-12.3 Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g where the story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed) CCSS. ELA-Literacy. CRA RS Lit 1 Determine two or more themes of internal ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account. National Core Arts Standards TH Re 7.1 Perceive and analyze artistic work. TH Re 8.1 Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work. TH Re 9.1 Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work. TH Cn10.1 Synthesize and relate knowledge and TH Cn10.2 Relate artistic and cultural ideas and works to societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
SOURCES Page 5 • http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/theater/newsandfeatures/so-many-musicalsto-write-so-little-time.html
Page 14-15 • http://family.lovetoknow.com/about-family-values/types-family-structures • https://catapult.co/stories/the-families-we-choose#
Page 10-11 • https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intense-emotions-and-strongfeelings/201203/emotional-memories-when-people-and-events-remain • http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/trigger • Lerner, J. & Keltner, D. (2000). Beyond valence: Toward a model of emotion-specific influences on judgment and choice. Cognition and Emotion, 14(4), 473-493. • Levy, B. & Anderson, M. (2002). Inhibitory processes and the control of memory retrieval. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 6(7), 299-305. • Lewis, M. (2008). Self-conscious emotions: Embarrassment, pride, shame, and guilt. In M. Lewis & J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (3rd ed., pp. 742-756). New York: Guilford Press. • Sherman, E. (1991). Reminiscentia: Cherished objects as memorabilia in late-life reminiscence. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 33(2), 89-100.
Page 16-17 • Ford, Andrea; Newton, Jim (November 4, 1994). “12 Simpson Jurors Are Sworn In : Trial: The eight-woman, four-man panel is predominantly black. Fifteen alternates will be added in coming weeks.”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 30, 2012. • “THE O.J. SIMPSON MURDER TRIAL : Excerpts of Opening Statements by Simpson Prosecutors”. Los Angeles Times. January 25, 1995. Retrieved January 30, 2012. • “O. J. SIMPSON”. truTV. Retrieved December 6, 2008. • 1995: OJ Simpson verdict: ‘Not guilty’ BBC; On This Day • “Confusion for Simpson kids ‘far from over’”. USA Today. February 12, 1997. Retrieved December 5, 2008. • “Race factor tilts the scales of public opinion”. USA Today. February 5, 1997. Retrieved December 5, 2008. • Maps from Google Maps: www.google.com/maps
Page 12-13 • https://apps.cndls.georgetown.edu/projects/borders/exhibits/show/cultural-identityimmigrants
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DESIGN YOUR OWN PRODUCTION IMAGERY For each production at Everyman, our Marketing Department works with an artist to create imagery that conveys a visual story. You can see the Los Otros imagery on the cover of this guide. Now itâ€™s your turn! Design your own production artwork here...
Published on Mar 9, 2017
This Play Guide was created for Everyman Theatre's high school matinee program to provide to Baltimore City students before experiencing the...