Cornerstone Theater Company

Bliss Point Plays


Written by Shishir Kurup      Directed by Juliette Carrillo
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In Bliss Point, the fifth play in Cornerstone’s Hunger Cycle, a community of Angelenos grapples with a seemingly uncontrollable whirlwind of substance abuse — and an aftermath of loss, hope and reconciliation. Inspired by Cornerstone’s collaboration with addiction & recovery communities in Los Angeles, Bliss Point takes us into the sometimes frightening realm of the hunger of addiction, where the need for emotional fulfillment—love, respect, connection, spirituality – is “fed” through substance abuse. Our culture’s complicated relationship with drugs is unmasked in Bliss Point, an emotionally gripping exploration of how we use substances to either manage or escape our realities.

Thank you for joining us at Bliss Point!



Shishir Kurup

“I’m interested in exploring how the most basic needs of a human being can get hijacked into a far more dangerous expression of some deeper desire. What is that simple click, gene or chemical process that happens to allow one person to stop and the other to drive headlong into self-destruction?

I’m also fascinated by the idea of functional or functioning addicts-- many of our artists and writers have been-- but even more so by the workaday office person who holds down a job, pays their bills on time, raises kids successfully and is a contributing member of society. What does that do to the morality piece of addiction hysteria in our country?"

Born in Bombay, India and raised in Mombasa, Kenya, Shishir holds an MFA in acting from The Conservatory at University of California at San Diego. He has studied the Suzuki actor training method in Japan with the internationally acclaimed Tadashi Suzuki and was a student of Anne Bogart. Shishir wrote and directed Ghurba, Cornerstone's Arab residency production, as part of the Los Angeles Festival, and directed and composed songs for the site-specific hit Candude, or the Optimistic Civil Servant. He also wrote and composed songs for the Watts production of Sid Arthur and the company's tenth anniversary production of Birthday of the Century. He is a recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Theater, as well as Garland awards for acting and composing. Shishir's many film and television credits as an actor include ER and the film City of Angels.

Juliette Carrillo

For Cornerstone, Juliette has directed community collaborations Los Faustinos by Bernardo Solano (Watts), As Vishnu Dreams by Shishir Kurup, (Hindu community) Touch the Water by Julie Hebert (LA River community), Lethe by Octavio Solis (seniors and their caregivers) and It's All Bueno by Sigrid Gilmer (Pacoima). Juliette was an Artistic Associate at South Coast Repertory Theatre for seven years. She directed regularly in their season and ran the Hispanic Playwright's Project, collaborating with Latino writers across the country. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, she has directed theater extensively throughout the US. Some of her favorite collaborations have been directing the World Premiere of Lydia, by Octavio Solis, West Coast premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner, Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz, the World Premiere of References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot by Jose Rivera, and the West Coast premiere of Sam Shepard's Eyes for Consuela. She has directed for South Coast Repertory, the Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory, Denver Theater Center, Yale Repertory Theater, Arizona Theater Company, Alliance Theatre, TheatreWorks, Laguna Playhouse, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Actor's Theatre of Louisville an as well as workshops in New York theatres such as New York Theatre Workshop, The Public, INTAR and The Women's Project. Juliette is a recipient of several awards, including the prestigious National Endowment of the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Directing Fellowship and the Princess Grace Award. She also participated in American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women, where she wrote and directed her first short film, Spiral, which played in nine film festivals around the country and in Europe, garnering finalist recognition in several. She is currently developing a full-length screenplay and developing several theater projects in the Los Angeles area and nationwide. Plumas Negras is her first full-length play.

Our community partners for Bliss Point include: Beit T’Shuvah, The Hills Treatment Center and United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance (USVAA) .

Beit T’Shuvah is both a residential treatment center and a full-service congregation offering religious services, holiday celebrations and study. Additionally, the treatment center offers outreach to the entire community including prevention programs, family and alumni counseling and support, court advocacy and professional training.

The Integrative Recovery Model at Beit T’Shuvah is a unique blend of Jewish spirituality, cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step philosophy and the creative arts.

Contact info for BTS: (310) 204-5200,
8831 Venice Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90034

The Hills Treatment Center offers a unique educational and therapeutic drug and alcohol rehabilitation experience in Los Angeles, CA. The Hills Treatment Center offers a coalition of the finest minds. Our rehabilitation facility uses the best research practices that alcohol and drug rehab has to offer, including services for co-existing disorders, dual diagnosis, and mental health issues through several psychiatrists whom we are closely affiliated with.

The staff at The Hills understands the need to provide privacy in a supportive setting. Located on a secluded gated private road The Hills maintains three separate houses each full staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Hills provides concierge based treatment. This allows clients to mix and match a full menu of services according to their individual needs. The Hills provides a strong commitment to the protection of the privacy of each client and the utmost care is taken to protect everyone’s confidentiality.

Contact info for The Hills: (800) 705-1909

United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance (USVAA) is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit, multi-disciplinary arts organization. Founded in 2004 by military veterans and artists, USVAA provides opportunities for veterans in the arts by networking with veterans, artists, supportive individuals and organizations within the arts and veterans’ communities to find funding and support for individual artistic projects in theater, film, television and the visual/fine arts and a wide variety of crafts.

In addition to our work with veterans and artists, we strive — as spokespersons in the veteran’s community and in our endeavors as artists — to highlight issues of concern to veterans and their families. These issues include the transition from military to civilian life, education, employment, the effects of wartime and military service injuries such as PTSD, TBI and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and homelessness among veterans.

The last and equally important component of our mission is to honor those veterans of all eras who have distinguished themselves in the arts and humanities. These individuals include, Edgar Allan Poe, Julia Child, Sam Maloof, H.C. Westermann, Lou Rawls, Irving Berlin, Abraham Lincoln, Kurt Vonnegut, James Earl Jones and many, many, others. These individuals inspire us and it is in their spirit that we are able to persevere in our work with the next generation of great American artists.

Contact info for USVAA: Keith Jeffreys (310) 559-2116
10858 Culver Blvd. Culver City, CA