By Sebastian Lopez
Seven time Emmy winning actor Ed Asner and Oscar winning director Mark Rydell will be starring in “Plays In The Park,” written and directed by Santa Monica resident Brian Connors, at Miles Memorial Playhouse Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2.
“Plays In The Park,” a mixture of short plays, Shakespeare and songs, stars Ed Asner, Mark Rydell, David Lockhart, Natasha Blasick and Dahlia Waingort. The event will also feature a live Q&A lead by actor John Heard and a special appearance by gospel singers, the Smith Sistas. Asner, Rydell and Connors have worked together for a number of years all over the country
“It’s terrific to be live with an audience, it’s a wonderful experience to say something that Brian’s written that’s funny and connects with the audience,” Asner told The Mirror.
Asner, Rydell and Connors have had a great time working together.
“Mark Rydell is in the play with me, and it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had,” Asner joked. “It’s a strain on my lineage and my age.”
Rydell jokingly retorted that he had the same thing to share about him as well.
“Ed I miss you all the time, I love working with you and you are a fabulous actor,” Rydell said to break up their banter.
“Plays In the Park,” incorporates Shakespeare, contemporary music, and other talents to create something refreshingly new.
“Expect craziness,” Connors said. “It’s going to be a combination of different kinds of arts.”
This is not the first time the trio has worked together. Connor’s short play, which was turned into a short film, “Good Men” starred Asner and Rydell. This is the first time “Plays in the Park” has made its way to the Miles Memorial Playhouse.
“Do you think you can find your way there Mark?” Asner teasingly asked.
“No someone is going to have to carry me,” Rydell quickly replied.
This event is part of Artistspalooza, a non-profit organization made up of artists, filmmakers and musicians that set up to provide the creative support and resources to help artists develop their careers. It also aims to provide a platform for people of all abilities to create and publish their creative message to the world while at the same time, contributing in a positive way to the community.
“Our mission is to inspire artists to empower the world, and empower our students by the world,” actor David Lockhart said. “No matter what your age is, whether you’re a little kid or in your eighties, we all deserve to be in our authentic, beautiful world and that’s what we’re promoting.”
The show on Saturday, October 1, will begin at 7:00 p.m. and at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 2. There is limited seating.
Tickets can be purchased at the door for $35, or presale tickets can be bought online for $25 at www.eventbrite.com/e/plays-in-the-park-starring-ed-asner-and-mark-rydell-tickets-27372912117.
Miles Memorial Playhouse is located at 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, California 90403.