Christian St. Croix’s MONSTERS OF THE AMERICAN CINEMA will make its world premiere at ArtsWest in West Seattle on January 27, running through February 20.
Written by Christian St. Croix, a San Diego based queer, Black playwright who was recently featured in American Theatre Magazine’s “Role Call: People to Watch” installment, the play introduces Remy Washington, a Black man who finds himself both the owner of a drive-in movie theater and a caregiver to his late husband’s straight, white teenage son, Pup. United by their love of classic American monster movies, the two have developed a warm and caring familial chemistry – but their relationship fractures when Remy discovers Pup and his friends have been bullying a gay teen at his school. A haunting and humorous tale about fathers and sons, ghosts and monsters, MONSTERS OF THE AMERICAN CINEMA was called “touching and funny,” “honest” and “engaging” by The San Diego Union-Tribune, and was the winner of the 2021 Carlo Annoni International Drama Award.
“Through my journey as a playwright, I’ve learned to appreciate my story and the stories of other LGBTQ people of color who live on the fringe of society,” says St. Croix. “Black queer people can live incredibly difficult lives. But there are times where we laugh. We can crack the skies open with our laughs. We fall in love, we fall out of love. We dream. I want to share those beautiful things with the American stage.”
St. Croix’s other works include the new play THE FORGOTTEN BEATS; ZACK, winner of the 2021 Young-Howze Theatre Award for Best Comedic Writing; AND ALL THE BIRDS LOVED HER, an audio play commissioned by Blindspot Collective and the La Jolla Playhouse; and FOLLOW THE FIREFLIES, a monologue published in New World Theatre’s 08:46 collection celebrating Black writers.
Seattle staple Lamar Legend stars as Remy Washington and directs the play. A non-binary actor/writer/director, Legend began their career at The High School for the Performing Arts (The “Fame” School/LAG Arts) in New York City. They’ve worked with The Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Seattle Opera, Seattle Repertory Theater, Intiman, Village Theater, Book-It Theater, Teatro Franco Parenti in Milan, and has been honored with a Gregory Award and The Rising Star Award by The Broadway League in New York (producers of The Tony Awards).
Alexander Kilian, an actor and musician from Seattle, makes his ArtsWest debut as teenage stepson Pup. A recent graduate from Cornish College of the Arts with a BFA in Musical Theater (2021), his past favorite roles include Amy in Company, Billy Flynn in Chicago, and Pippin. Additionally, he’s had the privilege of working with a plethora of wonderful companies, like The Scratch, Village Theater, 14/48 and Showtunes.
The creative team features such ArtsWest regulars as props designer Jessamyn Bateman-Iino (We’ve Battled Monsters Before, The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion), and scenic designer Ryan Dunn (We’ve Battled Monsters Before, Saint Joan, Head Over Heels, Skeleton Crew, Death of a Salesman).
Making their ArtsWest debuts are costume designer Maggie Carrido Adams (Hamlet at Seattle Shakespeare Company, Two Sisters and a Piano at Theater Schmeater, and Here Lies Love at Seattle Repertory Theatre), lighting designer Landon Elder (Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, The Yellowstone International Arts Festival), intimacy director Sarah Harlett (Intimacy Directors International, Intimacy Directors and Coordinators, Theatrical Intimacy Education), rehearsal stage manager Shay Trusty (ACT, Café Nordo, Intiman, Seattle Rep), performance stage manager Claire Stark (5th Ave Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre), and assistant director (5th Ave Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre).