“I was working with an acting coach, and he had me deliver one line, but in several different characters,” said Hitomi Morikawa, explaining the genesis of “Channel: Color of Life,” her one-woman show that has two remaining performances next week.
Written and performed by Morikawa, the production is part of the ongoing Hollywood Fringe Festival. It will be staged Sunday and next Wednesday at the Actors Company-Let It Live Theater, 916 N. Formosa Ave. in Los Angeles.
Morikawa takes on the personas of 10 different television characters, changing suddenly with the switching of channels on an off-stage viewer’s remote control. The roles include a mother and daughter, a high school student, a dancer and even a mafia boss.
As the channels, change, the actress becomes different people in different settings and genres, such as horror, action, romance and family drama.
“By the end of the story, you will see all of the stories are connected,” she said. “I think it takes a short time for the audience to adjust, but they soon understand the concept. Some find it confusing at first, but it becones very clear and they all want to know who has created this idea, so the impact is definitely there.”
The show will be performed in English on Sunday at 4 p.m. and in Japanese on Wednesday, June 25, at 7 p.m.
With the differences in language come varying cultural expectations and understanding of what television is, but Morikawa said she has done her best to ensure the play is universal in its themes and sensibilities.
“I’ve tried not to be too specific with each individual character, so that the themes and emotions are what are understood,” she said.
Morikawa said the show embodies “true emotion, love, happiness, sadness and anger. Being transparent, being able to show your raw emotion is the most challenging piece for any actors.”
This is the first solo outing for Morikawa, 32, who was born in Houston and attended schools in Chicago, London, Kyoto and Los Angeles. She won awards as a student for both her acting and script writing. Her other current projects include a silent movie, for which she is assembling a production team.
Admission is $15. For more information, go to www.hollywoodfringe. org/projects/1723. The theater can be reached at (323) 463-4639.