Playwright Lisa Kirazian and four young local actors (Elzie Billops, Olivia Espinosa, Shaun Tuazon and Taylor Wycoff) drive that point home with simple eloquence in this series of sketches on angles like the county's overwhelming foster-care caseload, sexual abuse by monsters disguised as heads of foster households and the fortunate few kids who have the wherewithal to emancipate themselves from abusive situations through the courts.
Tuazon is certainly worth a look or two in this Carrie Klewin-directed piece—he's a confident kid with good range, and he's very funny playing a clueless senator who can't stop bobbing his head as he weaves his way around the foster-care issue.
The others hold sway amid their obvious commitment to their play and everything it means.
Playwrights Project, which promotes literacy in county high schools through performance art, is an indispensable element in San Diego's theater climate. Theater is nothing if it isn't a community service—and with its look at foster care, the Project once again demonstrates as much and more. Switch plays April 6, 8, 9 and 10 at the Lyceum Space, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. Staged readings and full productions of scripts written by local youth also run through April 10. $9-$20. lyceumevents.org, playwrightsproject.com
—Martin Jones Westlin
Sordid Lives: When a Texas matriarch dies under extremely humiliating circumstances, her clan is afraid that the family skeletons will come flying out of the closet all at once. Opens April 8 at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista. $14-$16. onstageplayhouse.org
The Book of the Dun Cow: Wyrm takes on all the animals of the world in an attempt to spearhead a global reign of darkness. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it's in previews now and opens April 8 at the Ione and Paul Harter Stage in Coronado. $22-$58. lambsplayers.org
The Great American Trailer Park Musical: Narrated by a Greek chorus of trailer-park divas, this show takes a look at the habits of the double-wide community. Opens April 8 at the Coronado Playhouse in Coronado. $20-$25. coronadoplayhouse.com
The Last Five Years: Time and success move forward, then backward, then forward again for upand-coming writer Jamie and his struggling-actor girlfriend Cathy. Opens April 8 at Patio Playhouse in Escondido. $10-$19. patioplayhouse.com
The Lieutenant of Inishmore: Padraic's and Mairead's sharpshooting skills are about to come in handy amid an Irish mini-revolution over a dead cat. Produced by Ion Theatre Company, it runs through April 9 at BLK BOX @ 6th & Penn in Hillcrest. $25-$29. iontheatre.com
… And Then I Wrote a Song About It: Set to the rhythm of the disco era and beyond, this musical follows an overworked actor-singersongwriter-dancer-secretary as he searches for love and fame in the early 1980s. Through April 10 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. $30-$35. diversionary.org
The Atom and Eve and Bury the Dead: Sen. Eve Baldwin faces a vote on a controversial revolutionary initiative; a group of dead soldiers demand they be allowed to rejoin the living. Produced by Vanguard Theatre, the two plays run through April 10 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Point Loma. $10-$13. westminstersd.org
In the Next Room or the vibrator play: A group of men and women get curious as a gynecologist treats “women's problems” with a newfangled electric vibrator in 1885 upstate New York. Produced by San Diego Repertory Theatre, it runs through April 17 at The Lyceum Theatre, Downtown. $29-$53. sdrep.org
* miXtape: Generation X was torn between disillusionment and hope in this cavalcade of music from the 1980s. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it runs through April 23 at the Horton Grand Theatre, Downtown. $28-$58. lambsplayers.org
* Rafta, Rafta...: Two newlyweds find that starting their life together under the groom's family's roof is no honeymoon. Through April 24 at The Old Globe Theatre mainstage, 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. $29-$70. oldglobe.org
Shotgun Wedding Anniversary: What can happen after 25 years of marriage in a less-than-blissful union? For Basil and Petals, it can mean murder. Produced by Mystery Cafe, it runs through April 30 at Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill. $59.50, including dinner. mysterycafe.net
Cabaret: A cabaret singer, an American writer and the denizens of Berlin's Kit Kat Klub are caught up in the swirling maelstrom of a changing society on the eve of Hitler's rise to power. Produced by Cygnet Theatre Company, it runs through May 15 at the Old Town Theatre in Old Town. $25-$54. cygnettheatre.com