OCPA          
Orange County Playwrights Alliance
ERICA BENNETT

Playwright Erica Bennett is also a tenured librarian at Fullerton College where she teaches information literacy skills. Her short documentary Mendez v. Westminster: Families for Equality (about the 1945-1947 Orange County, CA desegregation case) has aired on KOCE-TV (OC’s PBS affiliate) since October 2010. The film is centered around her play for students El Primer Dia de Clases, which was performed by Fullerton College Mendez Project students for the community and Orange County high school students in 2008-2009. She continues to mentor former and current Mendez Project students. Their most recent performance was a dramatic reading of the Mendez v. Westminster pre-trial testimony for the California Council for the Promotion of History in October 2011. In May 2012, Bennett’s play Water Closet was selected by OCPA Studios for a reading at the Hunger Artists Theatre Company which she directed. Water Closet was was also read by the White Horse Theater Company at the Dramatists Guild of America’s Frederick Loewe Room in New York. Her plays Freed and Jolly and Bean were staged in Southern California in 2009.

Bennett received her B.A. in Theater from California State University, Fullerton and studied acting with Jose Quintero and Stella Adler. She is featured in Benicio Del Toro’s short film Submission, and she worked for nearly ten years in dramatic television production on such shows as The Young Riders, Gabriel’s Fire, Under Suspicion and The Big Easy. Bennett has a Master of Library & Information Science degree from UCLA and is a member of the Society of California Archivists and the Dramatists Guild in addition to OCPA.

Full-length plays

To Granma’s House We Go | in progress

Mon and Brad struggle to maintain their marriage after the death of a child. Comedy, 2w/3m, suggested sets.

Water Closet | Readings, OCPA Studios @ the Hunger Artists Theatre Company and White Horse Theater Company (Dramatists Guild Friday Night Footlights Series)

Following her second tour of duty, a U.S. Army psychologist and interrogator confronts her past. Drama, 2w/2m, suggested sets.

Freed | Staged readings, Laguna Beach New Play Festival and Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Project

As a young woman suffers a mental breakdown, she revisits her male relationships. Drama, 2w/4m, suggested sets.

Shorter plays

A Waffle Doesn’t Help Insomnia | (Brand new)

On his nineteenth birthday Heyzeus H. Christos meets up with his gal pal Mou-Mou on disco night in the ladies room of the Splendid Dance Hall. 10-minute tragi-comedy, 1w/1m, suggested set.

Gonzalo Mendez et al. v. Westminster School

District of Orange County et al. | Staged Reading for the California Council for the Promotion of History, Riverside Mission Inn

Edited from the pre-trial and trial transcripts. One-act drama, multiple roles, suggested sets.

Jolly and Bean | Last produced in Sex, Guns, and Rock ’n’ Roll, Newport Theatre Arts Center

On the road leaving Las Vegas two dead cowboys look for love, and heaven. One-act drama, 2w/5m, suggested sets.

El Primer Dia de Clases | Last produced at the Wilshire Auditorium, Fullerton College

Using archival materials from the celebrated California desegregation class action case Gonzalo Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District of Orange County et al., the play is the foundation for Mendez v. Westminster: Families for Equality, a 28-minute documentary film airing on the PBS/KOCE OC Channel 50.2. One-act drama, multiple roles, suggested sets.

Contact me @ ehbennett-at-gmail-com.