Oliver Mayer Preps "Yerma in The Desert" for the Stage

by QLife Staff
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Critically acclaimed Los Angeles playwright & Professor of Dramatic Writing at USC School of Theatre, Oliver Mayer is readying to bring to the theater stage his new work, Yerma in The Desert. 

Inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca's play YERMA, the play brings the story into an immediate present informed by current issues of immigration, racism, sexual identity and gender inequality. 

More than the obvious (local) promotion of the play itself, it is Mayer’s message that is of particular importance and of universal interest - especially at this moment in our American history.

Lorca was murdered in 1936 by Spanish fascists for being gay, and for being a cultural lightning rod for the times who wrote about characters fighting the constraints of cultural and political fascism. It took decades for Spain to finally overthrow its dictators, and for Lorca's work to outlast the memory of his killers. 

Though fascism has not overtaken our country (yet), these themes are back in our daily lives making headlines. Lorca and his plays give us a cautionary tale that reminds us to stand together.

Sexual difference, sexual persuasion, Asexuality, (in)fidelity, generational and child-bearing concerns, changing and hypocritical roles of men and women (particularly among folks of color), Power in the workplace, and Shifting relations between men and women at work and in the bedroom-- these are Mayer's big themes,  and with Yerma In The Desert they fuse with Lorca to speak loudly towards liberating us all from political constraints and cultural extremism.

No stranger to provocation Mayer, already in his 20s ignited a firestorm with his controversial play "Blade to the Heat”  about a 1950's nobody-turned-championship boxer forced to confront his own sexuality after a dethroned champion accuses him of being gay. 

Pop Icon, Madonna had originally bought the rights to the story. Blade will see its sequel come to life next year when Mayer presents his play March/April of 2018.

Mayer himself is no stranger to the world he exposes in his play - a Mexican/American writer who took up boxing as a teen and was more often than not accused/rumored to be gay because of the recurring homosexuality theme in his plays. 

Yet Mayer, who is married to the talented Latina actress Marlene Forte, might not be gay but holds the LGBT community close to his heart and close to home as his mother has been with her partner for over 20 years (since the passing of Mayer's dad).

A talented playwright, Mayer is driven by the dramatic engine of both the world around him and the one constantly turning inside of him. 

Serving the LA Theater community for over 3 decades, Mayer is not only one of the most influential faces of Los Angeles Arts & Theater community but also one of the most singular post-movimiento Chicano voices in American theater.