Desert Theatreworks Hopes to Put a Little Sizzle in Summer

'Friday Night Lights' writer Bridget Carpenter brings 'Up' to premiere first



Shawn Abramowitz stars as Walter Griffin in "Up" for Desert Theatreworks' first production at the Arthur Newman Theatre inside The Joslyn Center in Palm Desert.

courtesy of Desert Theatreworks

There is a new theatre company joining the desert’s ever-expanding performing arts scene.

Brand new to the Coachella Valley, Desert Theatreworks presents the premier of its first production, “Up”, July 19, at the Arthur Newman Theatre inside the Joslyn Center in Palm Desert.

With just three performances slated, Director Lance Phillips-Martinez wants to test what he believes is a summer audience market starving for more activity.

“We are really trying to fill a gap in the off-season because folks are here and really want to do something entertaining beyond the standard summer fare. We hope our 'Summer Sizzling Series' will become an annual event.”

Phillips-Martinez plans to produce two summer pieces and four more during the traditional theatre season.

The first two summer series plays “offer a unique genre featuring fractured realities that will get you talking,” Phillips-Martinez says.

Both plays deal with common problems both families and couples face, and incorporate fantasy sequences and visual elements to draw audiences into the stage performance.

“Up”, a dramatic play written by Bridget Carpenter, an award-winning scriptwriter for the NBC TV Show Friday Night Lights, opens the "Summer Sizzling Series". The story tracks a man’s search for freedom and his family’s struggle to cope.

“’Up’ is a beautifully crafted piece with a phenomenal cast,” Phillips-Martinez says. “It has both funny and at times sad moments that will leave audiences thinking.”

Phillips-Martinez, who brings more than 30 years of experience in theatre, wants to distinguish Desert Theatreworks by creating “thought-provoking, innovative, and entertaining plays and musicals to the community. I also have a vision bring new and rare titles to the valley with appealing quality works,” he says.

Originally from Fresno, Phillips-Martinez has worked for numerous theatres throughout the state and is a member of GCP (Good Company Players), a highly recognized theatre company in Fresno. He has already left a mark in the desert with his contributions at the Palm Springs Unified School District, the YMCA of the Desert, and College of the Desert.

The curtain rises on “Up” at 7 p.m. July 19 followed by a 7 p.m. show July 20 and 2 p.m. matinee July 21. Tickets start at $23 and may be purchased at www.dtworks.org

The Joslyn Center, 73-750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert. For additional information, call (760) 980-1455 or email Lance@dtworks.org

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

ELLE DECOR Presents The Iconic Iconoclast: Vladimir Kagan

Renowned furniture designer Vladimir Kagan will speak at a Modernism Week event on Feb. 14 at the Annenberg Theater.

Win a Modernism Experience

Enter to win a Modernism Week Experience that includes tickets to two top events courtesy of Palm Springs Life and Modernism Week.

Play It Fore-ward!

The right equipment helps you swing better, and new apparel 
makes you look good even when you don’t.

Artistic Milestone

The Desert Art Collection, a fine art gallery and sculpture garden, will celebrate 20 years on Feb. 5 with a silent auction fundraiser to benefit the Hanson House.

Fair Season Kickoff

The 70th Annual Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival officially kicks off the fair season in the Coachella Valley with a nine-day run, Feb. 12-21.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Winner profiles will be highlighted in a special section in Palm Springs Life’s May 2016 issue. Nominate Your Top Women in Business!
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2016.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2016 Grand Experience
Edit ModuleShow Tags