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
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Dame Edna's Farewell Tour Comes to McCallum Theatre

With vibrant purple hair, pink and purple high heels, and delightfully blinged out cat eye glasses, Dame Edna Everage’s no holds barred approach to life has kept audiences in stitches for almost 50 years.

Fashion Week El Paseo 2015: Michael Costello Trunk Show

Michael Costello held court as Saxony Fashion Week El Paseo 2015’s reigning king of couture, inviting the public to get up close and personal at his special trunk show March 26.

Fashion Week El Paseo 2015: Saks Fifth Avenue Presents Roberto Cavalli

The anticipation was palpable as patrons readied to preview Italian designer Roberto Cavalli’s Fall 2015 Collection on March 27 at Saxony Group Fashion Week El Paseo.

Fashion Week El Paseo 2015: FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

The premier couture collections from students attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising was an expression of their appreciation for the FIDM program and owning their personal creative perspectives.

Palm Springs Cracks TripAdvisor's Top 10 Most Popular U.S. Destinations

Jumping eight spots from last year, the City of Palm Springs has received the 2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards by TripAdvisor for Top 10 Destinations in the U.S., ranking No. 9, according to the annual ranking.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.
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.
Edit ModuleShow Tags