Plain Wood Productions and The Ebell of Los Angeles will host a staged reading of The Lucky Ones by Lia Romeo on Wednesday, June 29. The fundraising event includes performances from Tina Huang, Roxana Ortega, and Brandon Scott. CHN Support Volunteer Chelsea J. Smith will be featured as part of a talkback immediately following the show. Proceeds from the event will benefit Cancer Hope Network and The Ebell of Los Angeles.
“The Lucky Ones will make you laugh and cry in equal measure and that roller coaster of emotions reflects so many cancer survivors’ stories,” said Sarah Miretti Cassidy, Director of External Affairs. “We are grateful for the creativity and talent that Diana Wyenn and the Plain Wood community are marshalling to benefit Cancer Hope Network and the clients we serve. This performance will uplift and encourage – and hopefully inspire some attendees to consider serving as a peer mentor with CHN.
- Purchase Tickets: HERE
Cancer Hope Network recently sat down (virtually!) with Author Lia Romeo and Director Diana Wyenn to discuss the play and what this performance means to them.
CHN: What inspired you to write The Lucky Ones?
ROMEO: I wanted to write a friendship story that followed the template of a love story, because there are so many stories about people finding – or losing – romantic love, but for many of us – especially women – our friends play an equally important role in our emotional lives.
CHN: Why this play? Why now?
WYENN: The Lucky Ones is one of those unique plays that hit the funny bone and the heart in equal measure. As the daughter of a cancer survivor, I immediately recognized the power of sharing this story about two friends and how their lives are forever changed when one is diagnosed with cancer. We’ve lost so much because of the pandemic. Now’s the perfect time for us to gather, laugh together, and reflect on how important we are to one another when we go through individual and collective health crises.
CHN: The Ebell of Los Angeles has a storied history. What makes this stage and this setting so meaningful?
WYENN: After directing “The Body Female”—a night of music, opera, and theater—at The Ebell of Los Angeles for LA Opera in January 2020, I knew this historic women’s club was the perfect venue for sharing this play which centers and celebrates strong and complicated women characters. The Ebell was founded by women, for women in 1894 and has been uplifting women and advancing Los Angeles through arts, education, and service ever since. And that long legacy means we are in good company! The auditorium where we will perform The Lucky Ones is also where aviation icon Amelia Earhart gave one of her last public appearances in 1937.
CHN: You write about cancer and friendship from a deeply thoughtful place – can you point to a personal experience or influence that helped shape your perspective?
ROMEO: My mom is a cancer survivor, and is still dealing with ongoing, severe health challenges as a result… and I think this play – and a lot of my writing over the past few years – has been shaped by a fundamental sense that things aren’t fair, and an attempt to grapple with that (spoiler alert: have not found any good answers!)
CHN: What do you hope people will take from this performance?
ROMEO: I’d like to make people think about the subtle – and not so subtle – ways that women’s lives are shaped by patriarchy, and how that affects all of our relationships.
WYENN: I hope people take away a lot of great laughs and a stronger sense of belonging to this remarkable community made up of cancer survivors, those currently living with cancer, those who care for them, those who love them, and those who have lost someone. Living with a chronic illness myself, I’m acutely aware of how isolating a diagnosis and ongoing treatment can be. However, I’m also keenly aware of how important and healing having a community and a support network can be. The connections and community created by the Cancer Hope Network inspire me deeply and it means so much to be able to give back with this presentation of Lia Romeo’s The Lucky Ones at The Ebell of Los Angeles. I can’t wait to see folx there!
- Purchase Tickets: HERE