The opening of a group home for troubled adolescents in a quiet suburban neighborhood sparks a firestorm of protest from NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) residents on the street in Judith Thompson’s “Habitat,” a play opening this week at the Los Angeles Theatre Company in downtown Los Angeles.
Habitat is a powerful play about gentrification, youth and what goes on behind closed doors in gated communities. The production is a provocative look at the complex issue of what to do with young people who for a variety reasons, and with varying levels of social capabilities or dysfunction, have no where else to go. NYMBY concerns about property values, safety and criminal issued are not unwarranted, and provide a backdrop for the question of “if not here, where?”
Habitat is directed and produced by the Latino Theater Company’s artistic director, Jose Luiz Valenzuela, who most recently directed “A Mexican Trilogy,” winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle’s Ted Schmitt Award.
It stars Emmy® Award winner and Golden Globe® nominee Susan Clark as Margaret; Esperanza America, cited by the Los Angeles Times (1/4/12) as one of the city’s finest actresses, portrays Raine; Chance is played by Sal Lopez, cited by the L.A.Times as “beyond praise” for his work in “Dementia” at LATC; Nina Silver portrays Janet; and Paul Nguyen plays Sparkle.
Habitat opens Saturday April 20 and will show Thurs.- Sat. at 8:00 p.m., Sun. at 3:00 p.m, through May 12. Tickets are General, $40; LATC Members, Students, Seniors, Veterans, Groups of ten or more, $20; Thursdays, $10- $15. The Los Angeles Theatre Center is located at 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. To purchase tickets or for more information, go online to www.thelatc.org.