by Lorie Lewis Ham
UR Here’s Summer Season is coming up soon, so we took a moment to chat with Jonathon Hogan, their Vice President and a Founding Member of the theatre company, about what they are planning. They also will be doing their first full production this fall.
KRL: Who all are a part of UR Here?
Jonathon: The Founding Members of UR Here Theater are Julie Lucido, Chris Mangels, Diane Fidalgo, and Marc Gonzales. We are joined by Kenney Green, Carly Oliver, and Alexis Elisa Macedo.
KRL: What do you have planned for this summer?
Jonathon: Summer is starting early for UR Here Theater. Our 2nd 222 Test Pilot Series of Staged Readings begins May 14 and will run once a month until August 13. Then in the fall, we will produce our FIRST FULL PRODUCTION!!!
KRL: How exciting! What are the dates, and times for the readings? And where can people purchase tickets?
Jonathon: The 222 Test Pilot Series is on the 2nd Saturday of the month at 2nd Space Theatre starting at 2 p.m. (2…2…2…).
The first reading, Fade by Tanya Saracho, is Saturday, May 14. Followed by The Convent on June 11, Fairview on July 9, and finally Friends with Gun on August 13.
The best bang for your buck right now is a series ticket for $55. That is one ticket to each reading and show- urhere.ticketleap.com/urhere2022series/ Tickets and more information about each show can be found on our website- urheretheater.com
KRL: How do you pick the shows you are going to do readings for?
Jonathon: Our submission process hasn’t changed a lot since we began in ‘The Backyard’. We take in all submissions and suggestions from artists, playwrights, and folks that are just interested in seeing or hearing a new show. We have had dozens of submissions and have been introduced to new and upcoming plays.
Our process of selection comes from reading the material and how it aligns with our mission and vision. Based on that, we start to see patterns and specific messages that are important. Then the series starts to pick itself. This year, our series of staged readings has been chosen by our directors and is very specifically female driven.
This doesn’t mean that the material not chosen gets thrown away. Instead, it is cataloged and available for shows we would like to produce in the future.
KRL: Please tell us about your first full production this fall!
Jonathon: Yes! I am honored to be able to share that our debut first production is Dance Nation by Clare Barron and directed by Ruth Griffin.
KRL: Why did you pick that particular show?
Jonathon: This show resonated as the perfect finale for our all female theme as the piece itself talks about the young female voice into womanhood and topics that affect women.
Not only a fantastic director, Ruth is a strong feminist with a vision to build community through an ensemble piece that weaves the body, the story, and the voice.
To quote Clare Barron- “I wrote this play because I wanted to explore ambition and how that intersects with gender. I was also interested in self-perpetuated ideas of destiny, and our ability (and other people in our lives ability) to determine our fate just by naming us.”
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Jonathon: What started out as a group of individuals looking for a creative outlet during a pandemic to form BYRTL, has grown to be a specific vision to amplify voices, raise awareness, and begin the conversation. UR Here wants to facilitate talk-provoking theater.
Our mission is to produce material that amplifies the voices of underrepresented communities in the arts and beyond. We believe that.
We invite everyone to come sit in on a reading over the next few months and see what we’re about. This is the theater company your grandma wanted you to have.