The 24th Street Theater in downtown Los Angeles is not an average local venue that comes to mind when scouting the LA area for good social content however it is safe the say that it is one of the community’s finest and most popular .theater. Commissioned by the 24th theater’s Executive director, Jay McAdams. Artistic Director, Debbie Devine and co-director, Jesús Castañós-Chima, writer, and Olivier Award winner Matt Kenny’s play, Rapunzel Alone garnered the attention of the Wallis Annenberg Center of Performing Arts and returned home after a two-week residency there. It is insightful. Encouraging and not afraid to talk about what we all are going to do, if tomorrow never comes. To increase audience accessibility the play features Spanish subtitles . Centering on Lettie a young girl from London brought to life by actor Tara Alise Cox who with others of her age group is away to the English countryside so to be protected from the bombings of World War II. As Tara struggles to cope with her coming of age, a new life and all of its responsibilities she meets her new guardian and caregiver Miss Pearce from Jamaica portrayed by Jacquelin Lorraine Schofield is the homes caregiver for the young girl who while there encounters an obnoxious goose named Gertrude.
We spoke to Schofield about her role as Miss Pearce and what led her to take on the challenge of performing in Rapunzel Alone. Turns out she had been called previously to play the part however her busy schedule with another productions didn’t allow for it. Within a few weeks came another call this time the actor did the actor have an open schedule for that time the director wanted her for the part.
A strong and meaningful audience appeal the 24th street theatres stands bold and proud set in a neighborhood amongst its own. Powerful and regal the local theater lies hidden within the walls of the not so privileged those in poverty and hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. Not willing to close its doors the theater remained steady slowing down productions to null and offering performances at the unheard of prices of $2.40 to accommodate its loyal fan base of community followers. When hit the hardest McAdams, Chima and Devine took to the phones assuring patrons that all would be well and the community-based theatre would survive. Mike Kenny wrote the piece in a contemporary style as it takes viewers deeper into just about every topic that covers insanity today’s world and how the future looks through the eyes of the youth in it. Theater in its broadest sense is an enactment of timed energy that is in sync with the actors as participants of a play or a performance. There appears to be a surrendering of spirit so that the actor can become that character and defines their character all the more. The mass appeal of hearing the voice of youth is ever more popular with the condition of planet earth significantly out of balance and with the passing away of boomers, even more chaotic. Rapunzel Alone playwright, Mike Kenny did a great deal of historical research tying in a colorful blend of European history in a modern contemporary setting it’s no wonder that he comes holding a prominent Olivier Award. Gertrude the goose is a masterful portray of how to make anybody laugh as she gives the newly found Lettie a run for her money and with a very nasty attitude. We spoke to Jacquelin wanting to know how she felt about getting such short notice about her getting the part of caregiver, Miss Pearce. “At certain times it was a challenge to learn the script quickly she said but as actors we are all challenged to do our best”. “Rapunzel Alone” addresses the needs of youthful expression. Isolation. Hopelessness. Social uprising. War. Climate change and our ever changing moral infrastructure.
Serving over 10,000 people during the year including 6,000 children and youth and 4,000 adults who are below low-income status. The 24th Street Theatre is a multiple award-winning well recognized and respected professional community theater in Los Angeles housed with creatives looking to give all of us an inside look of what it’s like to examine life through the lens of the local community. “Rapunzel Alone” runs from April 9, 2022 -May 1, 2022. Saturdays@3:00PM and 7:30PM. Sundays at 3PM. Ticket prices are $24.00 for adults. $15.00 for students, seniors and teachers. $10.00 for audiences under 18 and $2.40 for residents of the theater who live in the surrounding North University Park neighborhood.
For more information and to look at the upcoming events at the 24th Street theater at 1117 West 24th Street Loa Angeles, California 900007 visit www.24thstreet.org.