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CNP Presents World Premiere of Scene with Cranes at REDCAT

CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) kicks off its 20th anniversary season with the world premiere of its latest work Scene with Cranes, an “exquisitely visceral” work written by acclaimed playwright and former CNP resident artist Octavio Solis and directed by School of Theater Assistant Dean Chi-wang Yang (Theater-IM MFA 07). The show, developed under the Duende CalArts initiative, runs three consecutive evenings starting Thursday, Sept. 29 at REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles.

Scene with Cranes follows Lourdes (played by Duende CalArts Director and faculty Marissa Chibás), the mother of a close-knit East LA family who seeks truth by retracing the final steps of her youngest son, who died under mysterious circumstances. Yang’s direction, which “navigates the many avenues of loss,” accompanies Solis’ script paralleling Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ “musical masterwork” from which the production takes its name. 

Solis and Yang both discussed Scene with Cranes on the CNP podcast in February of this year, shortly after wrapping up a three-week workshop for the play (listen below).

“I went home and I rewrote the work some more, and we were going to workshop it again and produce it with you, Chi-wang, at the helm, but the pandemic hit, and so everything went on hold for almost two years, but here it is,” Solis said of the workshop’s immediate aftermath. “The pandemic is still with us but somehow, we are opening up the doors again and finding ways to continue developing and producing theater.”

“One of the things that first struck me when I read the script was that the world is so much a world in transition and in transformation,” Wang noted of Solis’ work. “It starts in a very intimate kind of place of transformation—transformation between the relationship of a mother to her daughter, a son to his parents. And then it starts to expand out and it becomes, the story is also about a transformation of generations, and the powers, the histories, the traumas and the aspirations between the generations.”

Numerous CalArtians lent their talents to the production, across both the cast and creative team.

Creative Team
  • Efren Delgadillo Jr. (Theater MFA 03): Scenic designer
  • School of Theater faculty Christopher Akerlind: Lighting designer
  • Edurne Fernandez (Theater MFA 19): Costume designer
  • School of Theater faculty Cristian Amigo: Sound designer
  • School of Theater Chris Swetcky: Production manager
  • School of Theater Rachel Scandling: Producer 
  • Maria V. Oliveira: Stage manager
  • Rory James Leech (Theater BFA 23): Assistant director
  • Benny Pitt (Theater MFA 24): Assistant scenic designer 
  • Cad Apostol (Theater MFA 24): Assistant lighting designer 
  • Kenzie Caulfield (Theater BFA 24): Assistant lighting designer 
  • Karen Ayala-Gaytan (Theater BFA 24): Assistant costume designer 
  • Clare Marie Nemanich (Theater MFA 24): Assistant sound designer 
  • Zoë Lappin (Theater BFA 24): Assistant video designer
  • Theo Anderson (Theater BFA 23): Assistant stage manager
  • Macy E. Kunke (Theater MFA 24): Assistant stage manager   
  • Nicole Theep (Theater MFA 23): Associate production manager 
  • Rui Xu (Theater MFA 21): Associate producer 
  • Micha Espinosa: Dramaturg/voice coach 
  • Cynthia Santos DeCure: Dialect Coach 
  • Jessica Emmanuel (Dance BFA 06): Movement specialist 
  • Emily Barasch: Intimacy coordinator 
  • Tony Sancho: Fight choreographer/captain 
  • Frances Gramaje: Physical therapist/movement specialist 
  • School of Theater staff Patrick Smith: Props master
  • Natalie Ferguson (Theater MFA 22): Assistant props master 
  • School of Theater staff Victor Sandoval Torres: Costume shop director   
  • School of Theater staff Hunter Wells: Costume shop manager
  • School of Theater staff Grayson Basina: Master carpenter  
  • School of Theater staff Kate DeWall: Master electrician  
  • Alejandro Melendez: Head electrician
  • Alec Anderson-Carrasco (Theater MFA 24): Understudy (Nico, Angel) 
  • Camila Ascencio (Theater BFA 18): Understudy (Ruby) 
  • Cheryl Umaña: Understudy (Lourdes)
  • Oscar Camacho (Theater MFA 14): Understudy (Angel) 
  • Armando McClain (Theater MFA 09): Understudy (Leyva/Ramiro) 
  • Josephine Núñez (Theater MFA 23): Understudy (Yolie) 
  • Jeannette Srinivasan (Theater BFA 23): Understudy (Letty) 

REDCAT general admission is $25 and membership admission is $20. Admission for members of the CalArts community is $13.

Picture of Taya Zoormandan

Taya Zoormandan

As digital content and social media producer, Taya enjoys lifting up the stories and accomplishments of CalArts' students, alums, and faculty. She fancies herself a visual artist but is really more of an overzealous collector of art supplies.

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CNP Presents World Premiere of Scene with Cranes at REDCAT