The Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble presents the West Coast premiere of ELMINA'S KITCHEN, written by award-winning playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, directed by Gregg T. Daniel. This gut-wrenching drama is set in the notorious "Murder Mile" section of London's East End. ELMINA'S KITCHEN examines the bitter clash of values between three generations of black men and its effect on their family and community. The play runs August 11 through September 9. Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 4pm. The Lost Studio, 130 S. La Brea, Los Angeles, Calif.
Gregg T. Daniel, LDTE Artistic Director and the director of the west coast premiere of Elmina's Kitchen said of the play, "This insightful play plumbs the depths of the human condition while affirming universal themes shared by all. A cautionary tale, Elmina's Kitchen is about choices, and the influences which govern those choices and their consequences. The play examines the disintegration of a family over generations and the attempts of one man to bind it together."
Elmina's Kitchen was listed in the "best new play" category at the 2004 Laurence Olivier Awards.
The Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble (LDTE) is a company of seasoned professionals who work in TV, film, and on stage. Founding company members Gregg T. Daniel, Jason DeLane, Yvonne Huff, and Veralyn Jones came together to explore the idea of founding their own company, a theater home that supports family, career and craft. Their shared beliefs moved them to found the Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble. LDTE's inaugural production was the well received 2010 U.S. Premiere of Three Sisters After Chekhov, Mustapha Matura's penetrating adaptation of Anton Chekhov's classic play set in 1941 Colonial era Trinidad.
LDTE is working to create future seasons of classical, contemporary and original material from some of the world's finest playwrights, showcasing not only great writing but excellence in the craft of acting as well. Their aim-to explore the truth and reality that lies beneath the lower depth of our existence.
Kwame Kwei-Armah is an award-winning British playwright, director, actor, and broadcaster. His plays include Seize the Day, A Bitter Herb, Blues Brother Soul Sister, Big Nose, and his triptych of plays chronicling the struggles of the British African-Caribbean community in London-Elmina's Kitchen, Fix up, and Statement of Regret-which each premiered at The National Theatre between 2003- 2007. With Elmina's Kitchen he became the first Black Briton to have a play produced in London's West End; Elmina's Kitchen and Let There be Love each had their American debuts at Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. In addition, he penned the 2010 teleplay, Walter's War, about the first Black commissioned officer to lead British troops during WWI.
He has been named a Writer-in-Residence at the Bristol Old Vic and for BBC Radio drama, an Associate Artist and board member at The National Theatre of Great Britain and London's Tricycle Theatre, as well as being named an Associate Artist at Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE, where he made his directing debut with Naomi Wallace's Things of Dry Hours, and in 2011 was named CENTERSTAGE's new Artistic Director.
Gregg T. Daniel (Director, Artistic Director LDTE): a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts his most recent directing credits include the critically acclaimed COBB by Lee Blessing at the Group Repertory Theatre. Also, for GRT, he directed Tom Stoppard's translation of HEROES. Other credits include the U.S. premiere of Mutapha's Matura's THREE SISITERS AFTER CHEKHOV, the world premiere of solo performance artist Joyce Guy's WAR STORIES for the Los Angeles Theater Center and Sybyl Walker's BENEATH RIPPLING WATER for the Fremont Center in Pasadena. For Theatre 150 in Ojai, Gregg directed the 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner, I AM MY OWN WIFE by Doug Wright, STOP KISS by Diana Son and Athol Fugard's SIZWE BANSI IS DEAD (NAACP Theatre nom.). He is a visiting guest director for USC's School of Theatre. He has been a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Lab in both New York and Los Angeles. For the U.S. premiere of Afro Caribbean playwright Mustapha Matura's, THREE SISTERS AFTER CHEKHOV Gregg traveled to Spoleto, Italy to participate in LaMaMa's International Directors Symposium working with renowned directors Anne Bogart and JoAnne Akalaitis. He holds membership in the SDC (Stage Directors and Choreographers). This summer, Gregg is mounting a staged reading of Alice Childress' WEDDING BAND for the Antaeus Company's ClassicsFest 2012 of which he is a member. He is the current Artistic Director and founding member of Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble.