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Rick Mitch

Rick Mitchell

Rick Mitchell has written over fifteen full-length plays. In 2008, Through the Roof was presented as a staged reading at Actors Theatre of Louisville, as part of Juneteenth Legacy Theatre's Juneteenth Jamboree. The play was also broadcast throughout Southern California by Pacifica Radio's KPFK-FM (2007). Mitchell's newest drama, Becoming Herman Melville, will be seen in January, 2009 at Metropolitan Playhouse, New York City. His Brecht in L.A., the winner of the 2002 Southwest Theatre Association National New Play Contest, has been published by Intellect Books (UK), as well as in a literary journal, Xcp: Cross Cultural Poetics. Staged readings of the play have been seen at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival's PlayFest '06 and at Literaforum im Brecht-Haus, Berlin, Germany. Other recent plays include Ventriloquist Sex ("Pick of the Week," LA Weekly), and Personality Crisis (2007). Mitchell teaches playwriting at California State University, Northridge, where he is Professor of English.

 

BRECHT IN L.A.

Set in the U.S. during 1941-1947, features renowned German playwright Bertolt Brecht and the great actor Charles Laughton, who takes one step out of the closet only to find himself compromised by a government operative. In the play, which features a significant amount of comedy, Brecht struggles, with little success, to make it in Hollywood and on Broadway as Hitler marches through Europe, bombs rain on Japan, and the FBI collects information on alleged "subversives." While juggling mistresses, including collaborator Ruth Berlau, Brecht works closely with Laughton on adapting Galileo. The play opens in L.A. and is about to premiere on Broadway, but not before Brecht is called to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee. BRECHT IN L.A. (intentionally) echoes many contemporary themes (there are, for example, striking parallels between HUAC and the Patriot Act) while both incorporating and subverting various "Brechtian" performance elements.