Locals make their mark on Playwright's Conference

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Photo by Dean Zatkowsky

Perla Batalla performs “Blue House” Aug. 11 in the Matilija Auditorium. 

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter

Local singer/songwriter Perla Batalla premiered her original musical, “Blue House,” to a sold-out audience Aug. 11 during the Ojai Playwrights Conference (OPC) Summer New Works Festival.

The musical, an ode to Frida Kahlo and her relationship with Diego Rivera, was inspired six years ago, when Batalla and her songwriting partner, David Batteau, were asked to write a piece for an L.A. County Museum of Art exhibit on the “women of surrealism.”

“The more I learned about Frida, especially looking at her journal, something just jumped out of the pages at me. And it happened. We did it. We wrote five songs instead of one, inspired by their love story.”

Batalla knew immediately the songs could be the foundation of a theater piece, but had never written for the theater.

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