Surrounded by sweet songs of bird squawks, a gentle breeze rustling tree leaves & a carpet of grass to tickle toes, audience members are invited to relax and enjoy the park before the play begins. As the story unfolds we are led through the fantastical imagination of a young girl & her team of fairies who transform the park into a magical kingdom. They make powerful potions and encourage the kingdom members to work together to save their land. Through the play we learn the importance of our local parks, the power of community and experiencing life with wonder, imagination & play.
The creation of the play began with a commitment to be part of projects & productions that create a positive impact. With a deep yearning to shine light on dark situations, focus on the positive rather than the negative, co-writers, Heather Mendoza Mertens and Shawn Thomas had a dream to shape a production that would add to the beauty of humanity and to foster a culture of hope and possibility that could move people to action. They chose to focus the story on the power of community since they have seen firsthand how communities are always at the source of transforming neighborhoods, businesses and families. They landed on the topic of parks as both a metaphor and meeting place for communities - connecting people from all walks of life, citywide, statewide, nationwide, worldwide.
People need parks. . . Parks need people.
SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER
Skirball Cultural Center
Thursday, Jul 13
12pm & 2:30pm
Thursday, Aug 16
12pm & 2:30pm
Residential Street Parking
Sunday, Jul 16
Tickets (GA) - Suggested Donation of $10-$20
Limited Seating - first-come, first serve
Feel free to bring a cushion or a picnic blanket
Food, Snacks & Beverages for purchase
Performance is OUTSIDE, please plan accordingly
CAST + CREW
Heather Mendoza Mertens & Shawn Thomas Diefienbach
Heather Mendoza Mertens & Chelsea Taylor
*Ary Katz, **Avya Severy, Audrey Hamilton, Chelsea Taylor, *Fiona Perry, *Gianne Cusick,
Heather Mendoza Mertens, **Jasmine De La Fuente, Mark Hein, **Reynaldo Cartagena & Rose Mattingly
(*Cast July 13 & 16, 2017 // **Cast August 17 - 2017)
A Lincoln City Fellowship grantee, Heather is an artist, actor, educator and community events producer with a deep passion for connecting and activating communities through art, entertainment and acts of service. She is passionate about projects & productions that connect & contribute to a culture of hope and possibility. She teaches yoga & creativity classes through discovery, play & exploration while connecting students to their own unique self-expression.Community is at the heart of her work.Go to link
Chelsea Taylor is an actress, teacher and producer. She teaches the Young Actor’s Program at the highly respected Warner Loughlin Studios where she helps young actors unearth their potential, build confidence, and access their infinite compassion. Chelsea has appeared in various plays around town including ‘When Hope Arrives’ which premiered at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her favorite credits included CBS’s “NCIS: Los Angeles” and the independent film “Bigger than the Beatles”Go to link
Mark has been making theatre for over 50 years, the last 20 here in LA's small (and often homeless) troupes. He is an actor, director, playwright and critic, and artistic director of Actaeon Players, all of which he does tolerably well and enjoys. He's thrilled to be moving with The Park Project family into theatre that wanders the city, going to be with people in fun places.
An actress, vocalist and performance artist from Nashville, Tennessee, Rose Mattingly just relocated to Los Angeles in her pursuit of dreams. She grew up performing in Spanish and English speaking productions, onstage as well for the screen. Rose plays Queen Reina in The Park Project and she is honored to be a part of such a meaningful production. Along with The Park Project, she is currently recording her debut album entitled Retrograde with her music group RoseJarr.
Fiona Perry has been acting since she was seven years old and has worked in TV, film and has been in various plays and musicals at the Canyon Theatre Guild and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Fiona is thrilled to be a part of The Park Project because of its powerful and important message. She would like to thank everyone involved with this play for making this such a fun show and her family for their time, love and support.Go to link
Raised in Dublin, Audrey grew up taking the stage as Eliza Doolittle in 'My Fair Lady' to Big Don in 'The Waiting Room' in some of Dublin's treasured theaters including The Olympia Theatre and Smock Alley. She studied drama in The Gaiety School of acting and studies Shakespeare in the renowned drama school RADA in London. Here she took to the stage in one of her favorite and most challenging roles playing 'Beatrice' in the production of 'Much Ado About Nothing'.
Gianne Cusick is 8 years old and is half Brazilian. Gianne fell in love with performing in plays and acting on TV shows in the Sacramento/San Francisco area and has recently moved to the Los Angeles area to further pursue her passion for acting. Gianne loves acting, singing, playing the piano, swimming and playing in the playground. Gianne is very excited about reading her very first Harry Potter book and loves her 2nd grade graduation present, her first boogie board and wetsuit!
Ayva Severy is 5 years old and has been featured in several commercials like Microsoft and Otezla. Besides acting, she is an avid ballerina and gymnast. She also enjoys physical sports like swimming and baseball. On her free time, she loves to try out new baking recipes on her family and skateboard around the neighborhood. She is a product of park classes and activities, and can be seen often doing cartwheels and swinging in local parks.
Born in Massachusetts, Shawn grew up between the suburbs of Boston and small towns of Cape Cod. He attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where he played varsity football, earned his BA in Economics, and began his studies in theater and film. Upon graduating, Shawn lived in Los Angeles, CA where he had successful stints in theater, independent film, hosting, and voiceover.Go to link
Book Us for your next event.
Imagine a sunny afternoon at your local park. Families across the community are connecting over a picnic and a cast of characters bring the park to life in a way you never imagined before. As the play begins, you will become an active part of a unique story that will only be experienced once in exactly this way. “The Park Project,” will connect you to nature, to your community and the childlike wonder within you.
Book us for your next birthday party in the park, corporate event, fundraiser, nature event or school event!