The Dragon Tree
By Oliver Mayer
Oct 6-7 2023 at 7:30pm
Swain Hall Black Box Theater
Oliver Mayer’s new play, The Dragon Tree takes us to 1961 in South Los Angeles. White Flight has given African and Japanese Americans the chance to reimagine their rapidly changing neighborhood and set a new standard of building quality for folks of color. But who gets to build it? And who gets to live in it? Set to the music of Nancy Wilson, The Dragon Tree follows the design and construction of a seminal apartment complex off Crenshaw that continues, to this day, to set new standards of beauty and quality in the face of racial housing discrimination, redlining, and a constantly changing city.
liver Mayer is playwright, professor, author, essayist, and screenwriter born and based in Los Angeles. He is a professor of dramatic writing at the University of Southern California and an associate dean. His previous works include Yerma in the Desert, Blade to the Heat, Members Only, and the operas 3 Paderewskis and America Tropical. Playwright and screenwriter Jose Rivera calls Mayer, “a great writer with firebrand dialogue [who] contributes not just as a playwright, but as an educator and a Latino who has kept his roots.”
Sponsored by Performance Studies in the Department of Communication