Ghost Road Company Premieres John Guerra’s The Dry Years

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After being developed in a workshop with the Ghost Road Company, The Dry Years performs at the Broadwater in Los Angeles through Saturday, March 4, 2023. The new play is written by John Guerra (Theater MFA 15) and directed by Christine Breihan.

The cast and creative team of this new play features multiple CalArtians, including The Ghost Road Company’s artistic director Katharine Noon (Theater MFA 90) as Ellen Faye, Brian Weir as Binney, Ronnie Clark (Theater MFA 96) as Hatfield, and Cricket S. Myers (Theater MFA 03) as sound designer. 

Based on the true story of pseudoscientist and “rainmaker” Charles Mallory Hatfield, The Dry Years chronicles the story of how a rural California community was robbed of their land and water. When lawyers arrive and buy up their useless land, slowly bleeding them dry by building aqueducts, Hatfield arrives and brings the drought-ridden community rain.

The Dry Years is a story about people who refuse to give up despite drought, economic depression, and environmental disaster, so it is apropos that it has been developed by a group of artists who also refused to give up, despite the onset of a global pandemic,” Breihan and Guerra said in a statement.

Playwright Guerra’s work has been performed on stages across LA including at A Noise Within, The Blank Theatre, Coin & Ghost Theatre Company, The Fountain Theatre, Rogue Artists Ensemble, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, the Vagrancy Theatre Company, and Pomona College. A member of the Dramatists’ Guild, he has collaborated with Ghost Road Company multiple times as one of their core members, along with Noon, Weir, Clark, and Myers. 

Along with serving as artistic director, Noon also directs and teaches performance as theater faculty at Loyola Marymount University. Her work has been performed internationally, including at the Geffen Playhouse, Getty Villa, Atwater Village Theatre, South Coast Repertory Theatre, NaCl in New York, Amherst, Arcata Playhouse, and multiple venues in Poland. 

With many theatrical credits under his name, Weir has been a collaborator with Ghost Road Company since 1995 and a creator, director, and actor. Along with performing at many theaters across Los Angeles including Hudson, Odyssey, and Playwright’s Arena, he also runs the improv company Those Meddling Kids !@#$. 

A veteran of the stage and screen, Clark has collaborated with Ghost Road Company as well as with the Getty Villa, South Coast Repertory, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, La Jolla Playhouse, A Noise Within, Theatricum Botanicum, Moving Arts, Arizona Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare on the Bluff. His screen credits include multiple films, as well as HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death and Netflix’s On the Verge.

A Drama Desk Award winner, multiple Ovation Award nominee, and Tony Award nominee, Myers has worked with Ghost Road since 2008. She is also a recipient of the Ruth Morley Design Award and the USITT Young Designers Clear-Com Award for sound design. Myers serves in leadership roles with the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association, Western Board of United Scenic Artists Local 829, and Local Union Executive Board of USA.

Tickets for The Dry Years are available online for $35, with a senior price of $25, a student price of $20, and “pay what you can” on Feb. 9 and 12.

—Ishika Muchhal

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