Lava revolves around a catastrophic event and its effect on survivors. It has humor, warmth and healing. Kendra Rickert is a LA-trained, Albuquerque-based director.
The play explores the difference between being tangibly sad due to the loss of a loved one as opposed to a general sadness that one feels as a result of all the massive problems occurring in the world. Why are some people able to express why they are sad while others can't and is one more valid than the other? How, as friends, as family, and as a community can we support each other in our times of grief? What is it to be a true friend to someone who is suffering? Lava brings up all these questions in a way that will delight the audience with its humor and joy. I am impressed with how well James Fritz has been able to weave humor into such serious subject matter as collective world trauma.
From the Director, Kendra Rickert
During the pandemic lock-downs—I craved the opportunity to return to the theater in person and was left with an inescapable desire to direct a live production. I read many old and new plays, trying to find what play best suited this moment when I stumbled upon Lava. It grabbed me right away with its humor and its ability to grapple with heavy themes with such beautiful moments of connection, of love, and of care.
Growing up in Albuquerque, I performed in a lot of local theater and dance. I received my BFA in acting from the College of Santa Fe. Soon after graduating, I moved to LA where I began writing, producing, and performing in many of the Rachel Rosenthal company productions. I've acted and directed in many other companies in both LA and NYC—such as Theatricum Botanicum, Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Highways Performance Space, and Manhattan Theater Source.
Throughout this time, I also worked as a yoga teacher. I was in the process of applying to a MFA program, when I changed course and decided to deepen my knowledge in yoga philosophy and Tibetan Buddhism. I completed a seven-year course of studies while teaching yoga, meditation, Buddhist logic, and ancient scriptures all around the world.
My husband and I moved to Albuquerque and opened a local yoga studio—Nirguna Yoga. Our studio is now established and, in a place, where I can once again pursue my other passion, which is theater. I am very pleased to direct for The Vortex Theatre, with this exciting cast of talented actors.