Premiering Monday, November 23 at 8 pm, as a benefit for Emerging Artists Theatre, there will be a staged reading of the new film Pooling to Paradise, written by Caytha Jentis and directed by Alice Jankell. This virtual performance of Pooling to Paradise is s part of a series of reading to benefit the theater group during the pandemic. As has been noted, the theater industry is suffering all over the country and more but they are all finding ways to keep the arts alive. The cost is $10. You can buy a ticket with this link;
Based loosely on Jentis’ own experiences of befriending a Lyft driver, and a bittersweet love story he told of a friend finding love in Paradise, Nevada, this play follows four Los Angeles strangers, each at a personal crossroad, who turn their pooled ride-share into a road trip to Paradise themselves. The characters are loosely based on the friends she was with the night meeting the Lyft driver, and“other older millennial friends of mine who, like them, were grappling with ‘adulting’ existential dread as experienced by their generation: when to give up on a dream, student loan debt, fourth wave feminism, identity, making ends meet in today's gig economy, and finding real connection."
With a cast of four, this play was originally submitted for Emerging Artists’ New Work Series for the spring. Once Covid hit, Jentis believed the play would lend itself well to the new online platform, and she agreed to put it up. “From the limited exposure it's gotten, the story seems to resonate with audiences which is very gratifying. Since central themes are connection and the power of friendship, I think it's particularly topical right now.”
Jentis has sat in on some of the Zoom rehearsals to assist adapting the stage play to this new medium, and she had a hand in casting along with Alice Jenkell whom she met at a NY Fringe Festival. Jenkell and Pamela Grayson had been working on a play that had been incubated at Emerging Artists. They all began supporting each other’s collaborations and individual work and Jenkell was asked to join the Paradise team.
A feature film version of this indie comedy starring Lynn Chen, Jonathan Lipnicki, Dreama Walker, Jordan Carlos and Taryn Manning will be released in the Spring of 2021. This film is also written and produced by Jentis.