Cover image by Andrew Ruthven,
courtesy of Main Street Theater

…And L.A. Is Burning

Y York

Enter total users
Winner of the 2008 Smith Prize


A tender, quirky play about two white women and a black man living in Seattle in 1992, as the nation and the media are transfixed by the trial of four Los Angeles police officers accused in the beating of Rodney King and the outcry of protest after the verdicts.

Production Info

Cast: 3 total (2 female, 1 male)
Full Length Drama (about 90 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“… [an] unassuming gem … A comedy with serious implications, Y York’s neatly crafted play explores the impact of preconception and miscommunication upon a Seattle Environmental Protection Agency office worker, her black colleague and her new neighbor, an East Coast visitor researching a book on ‘hidden prejudice’ in America. The action unfolds in 1992, with the media dominated by the trial of Los Angeles police officers for beating Rodney King and the subsequent riots after the ‘not guilty’ verdict. Yet while that is the backdrop, the play is so low-key it would be easy to overlook just how much it has to say and how well it says it. Though treating weighty issues, York doesn’t clobber you with them, instead maintaining a light touch. While her theme may be familiar, she has found a fresh and individual approach to it. Best of all, by accurately capturing the quirks of human attitudes and interplay, York keeps the play consistently funny, unflaggingly true and, at times, surprisingly touching. The central factor in its success is a memorable protagonist: the unglamorous, opinionated and outspoken Haddie. She’s the sort you’d instantly peg as a bit of an oddball, likely a loner: the type who blurts out opinions and random pronouncements; who offers unsolicited advice to strangers at the supermarket (‘buy this one, not that’); and who conducts long, heartfelt conversations with a pet fish in a plastic bag. She has taken as her own (and parrots) many notions she heard on TV or read somewhere, without thinking them through. Naturally, a lot of these ideas have a touch of paranoia about the inevitable ‘they’ who make all the world’s trouble. Haddie is eccentric, exasperating, yet so desperate to connect that she’s strangely endearing. Despite its early-’90s setting, this astutely observed play’s themes are absolutely relevant. York gets exactly the way many people view issues of race and class, how people adopt any overheard opinions that sound reasonable enough, how the ‘big story’ at any particular moment colors our everyday perceptions. AND L.A. IS BURNING makes you laugh, then leaves you with plenty to ponder and discuss.” —Everett Evans, Houston Chronicle

About the Author


  • Y York

    Y York's works include: LATE IN THE GAME, …AND LA IS BURNING (recipient of the 2008 Smith Prize from the National New Play Network), BLEACHERS IN THE SUN, FRAMED, THE GAME OF LIGHT, WOOF (Houston's Buzzy for best new play), IT COMES AROUND, KRISIT, THE NEW DARK CLARITY, THE SNOWFLAKE AVALANCHE, THE SECRET WIFE, GERALD'S GOOD IDEA, RAIN. SOME FISH. NO ELEPHANTS., THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF NOW, and numerous works for families. Y York's plays has been recognized with 2004 Hawai'i Award for Literature, the 1997 Berilla Kerr Award, and the New Dramatists' 1992 Joe Calloway Award. She has been supported by grants from TCG/Pew Charitable Trust, AT&T Onstage, King County Arts Commission (Washington), Seattle Arts Commission, and Artists Trust (Washington). Y York is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and an alumna member of New Dramatists.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 8/15/2011
Pages 64
ISBN 9780881455052

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

Premiere at Main Street Theater, Houston

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
…And L.A. Is Burning is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC