Launch Pad Summer Reading Series 2018

Event Date: 

Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 7:30pm
Saturday, September 8, 2018 - 12:30pm
Friday, September 14, 2018 - 7:30pm

Event Location: 

  • AD&A Museum & Studio Theater

Event Price: 


The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 adapted by Cheryl L. West

Based on the book: "The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis

directed by Risa Brainin

Thursday, August 30 / 7:30 PM / UCSB Art, Design, and Architecture Museum


The Survivors/Los Sobrevivientes by Katie Bender

directed by Julie Fishell

Saturday, September 8 / 12:30 PM / UCSB Studio Theater


The Myths We Made by Brian Otaño

directed by Julie Fishell

Friday, September 14 / 7:30 PM / UCSB Studio Theater


The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963

Based on the book: "The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963"  by Christopher Paul Curtis

Adapted by Cheryl L. West

Directed by Risa Brainin

The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 is based on the novel of the same name. The play focuses on a buoyant, loving Michigan family of five who travel south to Alabama during the turbulent summer of 1963, a time of racially motivated upheaval and civil unrest. Ten year old Kenny is conflicted about this family vacation to grandmas, for Kenny tends to get a little anxious about most changes to his routine. Yet, he will soon learn - after a horrific event that will rock the town as well as the country - that he’s more courageous than he ever thought himself capable.

Cheryl L. West’s plays have been seen in England, off-Broadway, on Broadway (Play On!) and in numerous regional theaters around the country. Her plays include Shout Sister Shout, Akeelah and the Bee, Pullman Porter Blues, and Jar the Floor.  She has written TV and film projects at Disney, Paramount, MTV Films, Showtime, TNT, HBO, CBS and is the Webby-nominated writer for the original web series Diary of a Single Mom.  Ms. West is currently working on commissions for Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Children’s Theater, Minneapolis Children’s theater, and Seattle Children’s Theater.


The Survivors/Los Sobrevivientes  by Katie Bender

Directed by Julie Fishell

The Survivors/Los Sobrevivientes is based on the historically documented group of women, children and slave people who survived the battle of the Alamo.  It’s an epic historical drama told by a diverse ensemble of people who didn’t make it into the history books. It’s an intimately drawn look at the surprising alliances necessary to survive the shifting rule of Mexico’s fledgling democracy.

Katie Bender is a playwright and theater maker. Her plays include Still Now, The Fault, One Night Only as well as collaborative work with Underbelly. Her work has been developed or produced at The New Harmony Project, Kitchen Dog, The Orchard Project, Shrewd Productions, New Victory LabWorks, Icicle Creek Festival, Ensemble Studio Theater, ZACH Theatre, Heart and Dagger and The Playwrights’ Center, where she was a 2016-2017 Jerome Fellow. On the 2015 Kilroys List, a finalist for the inaugural Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship, and a 2017 Jerome travel grant recipient, she is currently playwright-in-residence at the Susanna Dickinson Museum. MFA: UT Austin.


The Myths We Made by Brian Otaño 

Directed by Julie Fishell

The Myths We Made: 1977: Linda and Jack, both 16, seek help from Jack’s father after Linda wards off a vicious attack perpetrated by her mother’s boyfriend. When Jack fails to convince his father to intervene, he takes matters into his own hands, setting the stage for an encounter that will forever change the course of his and Linda’s lives.

2019: Sheepshead Bay has disintegrated into a lawless disaster area due to tidal encroachment. Oscar and Gertie Linares remain, clinging to an outdated idea of home and to the ghosts that watch over them. When their son JP and his wife Allison return to Sheepshead Bay, they discover a corpse buried under the family pool, opening a decades-old wound. Gertie and JP must face down the legacy of violence that they share with the ghosts next door and decide whether they will escape Sheepshead Bay and start a new life on higher ground or remain and face their fate.

Brian Otaño grew up in Brooklyn, NY, where he worked as a playwright and a scenic artist at the Metropolitan Opera for nine years before moving to LA. His plays include Tara (podcast recording, The Parsnip Ship), The Dooley Street Trilogy (Atlantic Theater Latino Mixfest, Amoralists' Amoralfest 2014) and Zero Feet Away (Roundabout Underground Series). His work has been performed, developed and workshopped with NYTW, Roundabout Theatre Company, Page 73, Ars Nova, Atlantic Theater Company, New Dramatists, INTAR, LAByrinth, LARK Play Development Center, The Amoralists, The Attic Theater Company, Judson Memorial Church and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Residencies/Fellowships: Disney/ABC TV Writing Fellowship (Alternate), NHMC TV Writers Fellowship, Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group, New York Theater Workshop 2050 Fellowship, New Dramatists Van Lier Fellowship, ArsNova’s Playgroup. Education: BFA, Dramatic Writing (SUNY Purchase).


The department's productions are not targeted to children. | Please contact 805-893-3022 with special needs.
Season schedule subject to change.