24th Street Theatre takes flight

by Colin Newton

Don’t you hate it when people talk down to you? Debbie Devine, artistic director of 24th Street Theatre, does. It was one of the reasons she started up the company, which is an artistic outreach to the surrounding community that specializes in sophisticated family theater.


“We’re like children’s theater for adults,” Devine told Giive a (bleep).


Debbie-Devine-HeadshotTake Man Covets Bird. Back by popular demand, the 65-minute drama is performed by two actors, one reciting words and the other playing music, all to a chorus of ever-changing line drawings projected around the audience. It’s a story of boy meets bird, becomes a man and runs away from home when his parents no longer recognize him.


Then there’s the bigger message of being unafraid to love who you love and to share that with the world, Devine said.


“It’s hugely metaphoric,” she added.


That’s some pretty mind-blowing stuff for family theater.


Donors and volunteers can contribute to the company’s outreach programs. 24th Street Theatre provides after-school programming for about 10,000 kids a year and hosts events for the community, including a Day of the Dead celebration, Devine said.


And the doors stay open for anyone in the community to come in and have a cup of coffee, she said.


“It’s a big part of our mission,” Devine said, “That our doors are always open.”


Man Covets Bird plays every Sunday, from Feb. 14 through March 20, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $24 for adults, $10 for kids under 16, $15 for students, seniors and teachers and $2.40 for residents of the North University Park neighborhood. For more information, call 213-745-6516 or visit www.24thstreet.org.


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