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Thursday, June 1, 2023

L.A. Playwright Directs ‘Hysteria’

“I work hard to get things down, striving to exploit the various facets of theater to create visually exciting and quality productions,” said Alicia Madrid, director of the Little Theatre Group’s upcoming production, “Hysteria.” Madrid comes to Costa Rica with a bagful of talent and experience in both film and stage.
While a college professor and teacher of gifted students, Madrid developed a student film project with the American Film Institute in Hollywood, which ran for several years.
Her student films competed nationwide in the United States and won several awards. Madrid has also written and had produced four plays in the Los Angeles area.
“Shame on the Moon” premiered at the Los Angeles Theater Center and was selected as “critic’s pick” by the trades and press.
The script was also used to create an independent film by professor, producer and filmmaker S. Blumenthal.
The play also workshopped at the Los Angeles Theater Center with dramaturge Silas Jones, and at a workshop for new plays by Latinos at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California.
Other productions by Madrid include “Perla,” directed by Ann-Giselle Spiegler at the Ford Ampitheatre in Hollywood; “Sparkles and the Black Weeping Woman”; and “Xela,” directed by William White at First Stage in Hollywood (Ed Asner’s group, with many notables on the board, including Paul Newman).
“Sparkles” also received a lengthy development process with dramaturge, director, choreographer and violist Jan Lewis, on the short list of top dramaturges in Los Angeles. Written by Terry Johnson, “Hysteria” is a delightful farce with a twist. The New York Times called it “an exuberant surprise, but not only because of its wonderfully skewed, not inaccurate take on a couple of 20th-century icons. Like all good farce, it’s constructed with the precision of a watch, though the work is as unexpectedly resonant as a crazy sonnet.”
Meanwhile, in England, a London Times reviewer raved, “It’s one of the most brilliantly original and entertaining plays I have seen in years: wild, weird and funny.”
Opening Feb. 29 and running through March 16 at the Laurence Olivier Theater in San José (Avenida 2, Calle 28), shows are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. For information, call 355- 1623 or visit
Tico Times contributor Susan Hall Liang is a longtime member of the Little Theatre Group.

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