CalArts Center for New Performance will present the World premiere of Etta and Ella on the Upper West Side by by legendary playwright Adrienne Kennedy with direction by Monty Cole at REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles. Running for three nights from Thursday, February 23 through Saturday, February 25, 2023, Etta and Ella marks the second world premiere production of CalArts Center for New Performance 20th anniversary season.
One of the American theater’s seminal writers, Adrienne Kennedy captures the Black experience in America in the 20th century with a trademark embrace of symbolism, lyricism, and mythic figures. In this world premiere production, Etta and Ella Harrison are talented academics on the Upper West Side – as well as sisters and rivals. After a lifetime of competition, they are on the verge of destroying each other. Next-generation director Monty Cole employs a cinematic approach to this intricate blend of monologue, dialogue, voiceover, and prose in a work that is part experimental play, part narrative thriller.
Director Monty Cole says, “It’s such an honor to direct a first production any writer’s creation, but the legendary Adrienne Kennedy has once again created an incredibly potent and mysterious puzzle made from fragments of her life, her imagined lives. The play’s neo-noir framework and surrealist visuals create such an unforgettable experience. Etta and Ella on the Upper West Side is a shot to the chest”
Taking place at Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in downtown Los Angeles (631 West 2nd Street, 90012), tickets are $25 with discounts available for REDCAT members, students and the CalArts community. For tickets and more information, please visit