A. Rey Pamatmat's award-winning Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them tackles profound issues, including parental abandonment, coming out as a teen and the redefining of family.
“We knew we were taking a risk when we decided to produce this show,” says Artists at Play Founding Member Stefanie Lau. “Our inaugural production, Ching Chong Chinaman, was a comedy that was well received by the Asian American community, a community we had grown very close to. And while this play features Asian Americans, the show really revolves around a lot of gay and orphaned-children issues, a community we are introducing ourselves to.”
“The moment we read the play we knew we had to do it,” says Founding Member Marie-Reine Velez. “My previous work in Center Theatre Group's Literary Department gave me an eye for spotting great writing, and this play and this playwright have talent written all over them. It was a battle to get the rights to produce the Los Angeles premiere, but we won and we're so grateful we get to bring this show to our theatre community.”
“There is so much to love about this play and its characters,” says Founding Member Peter J. Kuo. “Although it is set in the 90s, it is still extremely relevant. It's not uncommon to see kids becoming independent at an early age, especially in single-parent families. Edith and Kenny's mother has passed and their father is practically non-existent. He is only around via telephone calls and to tell them what not to do. The other major theme in the play involves Kenny and Benji's relationship. A. Rey has beautifully recreated what it is like to have a first love, and the fears and dangers of realizing that love as a gay youth. When Benji's mother discovers that he's gay, she throws him out of the house. Seeing every gay teen's biggest fear realized on stage is heartbreaking. But the play's ending is extremely satisfying, if not inspiring.”
“We've compiled an amazing team for this production,” says Founding Member Julia Cho. “The show looks beautiful. And director Jennifer Chang has done an excellent job leading this talented design team and cast. Every time I see a run of the show, they bring me to tears. The acting and the writing are just that good.”
There are only three more weeks left to catch Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them. GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
To dive deeper into the relationship each producer has with this play, check out these personal blog stories:
Julia Cho: “Edith & Me, Growing Past Our Parents"
Peter J. Kuo: “Spirit Day, Coming Out and Edith”
Stefanie Lau: “My Daughter and Edith Growing Up Fast”
Marie-Reine Velez: “Taking Asian Americans Beyond Race/Ethnicity”
Photo credits: Rodney To, Brian Hostenske and Amielynn Abellera in Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them by A. Rey Pamatmat. Photo by Michael C. Palma