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Writing with a passion

Trio produces an evening of one-act plays that focuses on the effects of war.

August 11, 2010|By Joyce Rudolph,
(Tim Berger )

Three writers have joined forces to create a theater experience with their stories on how war affects soldiers and their families.

Angelique Gross, a student at Los Angeles Valley College and the main producer, came up with the idea for a night of one-act plays. She wrote "Wake" about a year ago and it centers on a family dealing with the loss of a son who died in Iraq, she said.

Gross' brother just returned from a tour of duty with the army in Iraq. She also has several family members who have served in Afganistan and Iraq, she said.

She believes the war is important issue and it needs more focus, the Van Nuys resident said.

"With everything going on in America—the poor economy, people losing their jobs, the health care crisis, people have stopped thinking about the war," she said. "These are important issues, of course, but in July alone Afghanistan has had the most casualites per month since the war began—66 troops. In June, there were 60 casualties."


Gross wanted to create a night of theater with other writers with scripts centering on the themes about war and family, she said. She contacted writer friends and placed an ad on Craig's List in May. One of the respondents was Max Reynolds of Burbank.

Reynolds, 17, who graduated in May from Burroughs, said he wrote the story the next day in school.

"I wrote the script, e-mailed it in and she loved it," Reynolds said, referring to Gross.

His script, "The Music of Mumbai", is about a family in Afghanistan. A terriorist group is trying to recruit the son as a suicide bomber.

"What I was trying to convey with this piece is that not everyone from Afghanistan is a terrorist and wants to kill Americans," he said. "Not everyone hates America over there."

The production is giving him a chance to pursue his dream to become a writer, he said. He never thought two months out of high school he would have a script in a professional production, he said.

"But I'm also helping to produce it, helping direct it and starring in it," he said. "It just adds to my resume."

He's been organizing rehearsals for his one-act play, working with the costume designer and serving as stage manager, he said. He gained experience for producing a show, he said, while at Burroughs where he was in the Power House group of Show Choir.

One of the things he learned in choir was to take notes and he applied the same technique with his script, he said. He was flexible taking suggestions from the cast and director, he added.

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