Shows | Workshops | Reviews and Reactions | Books

“A Star Called Love; The Freedom Stories of Lala”
One woman, three shows, thirty characters
Twenty-six standing ovations. . .and counting!

Imagine Education Emancipation
The Imagine-a-nation of Lalachild
The Education of Lala Girl
The Emancipation of Lala

“The most spiritually significant performance I’ve ever seen.” G.F.

Thanks to Everyone

This past year run of The Freedom Stories of Lala has been a rip-roaring success. 57 Standing Ovations in 60 performances. We thrilled thousands of people in twenty venues from Coast to Coast. Our workshop series was greatly expanded and refined as we learned more and more from those that came to learn. People fell in love with Rivera's written words and bought oodles of books, at the performances, workshops, book readings and later on-line. Thank you everyone for your incredible support and your enthusiasm.

Rivera has gotten so excited about writing that she is devoting the next several months to finishing the novels everyone has been waiting for. See all Rivera's books HERE, and get them HERE, at your local or on-line bookstore or at Amazon.

Coming Spring 2013

Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars is a soaring tribute to the beauty of the human spirit. The ghost of John Henry haunts Jack Dalton, a coal company lawyer, and challenges him to stand up to the steam drills of contemporary America. Meanwhile, young Henrietta Owens, activist and mother, captivates the nation with some tough-loving truth about the environment, the economy, justice and hope. Author/Actress Rivera Sun sings the anthem of our times, rallies us to meet adversity with gusto, and celebrate the courage of the everyday hero.

Coming Fall 2013

The Dandelion Insurrection is the second full-length novel from actress/author, Rivera Sun. Zadie Bryd Gray, aerialist, traveler, and renegade teams up with Charlie Rider, reporter and reluctant poet, in a spirited revolt against the growing police state. Their wild adventure, fanning the flames of human kindness, takes them from a tiny French-Acadian border town in Maine across the diverse American continent, encountering the most uplifting and inspiring stories of humanity along the way.


Spiritual, Epic, Poetic and Profound

“I had shivers running up and down my spine. Tears were impossible to hold back and the audience was inspired and touched beyond compare.” D.S.

Laugh. Cry. Shout for Joy. Rising Sun Dance & Theater’s tour-de-force series of three original, full-length, one-woman dance theater plays about spunky, indomitable, adorable Lala, an African American girl in the 1890’s all-negro town of Lovely, Kansas will thrill you. Join Lala on her journey from girlhood to enlightenment, as she dances, laughs, dreams and jumps full force into the beauty and mystery of life. Through storms and beyond, Lala's great adventure will take you on the rich emotional ride of your life. Her spiritual quest will change your life. You will be transported! And you will have a lot of fun too!

See the 3 plays in any order, as each can stand alone, but you’ll want to see them all.

Rivera Sun Cook

Written, and performed by Rivera Sun Cook and directed by Robin Aronson. "A Star Called Love" is produced by a phenomenal team of over 40 artists and musicians, the show features original music and traditional songs from Tammi Brown, David Rhodes, David Wright, Earl White, and Pipa Pinon. Lighting design by Sylvie Vray.

Rivera Sun Cook

“A Star Called Love, the Freedom Stories of Lala”, brings home the powerful message to look beyond external appearances and listen to the truth that lies within each person. Endearing, enchanting, red headed, dance-theater powerhouse Rivera Sun Cook crosses color, age, and gender lines as she portrays thirty-plus characters with respect, love, and an utterly believable researched depth. Join Rivera as she speaks and dances through the stunning portrayals of a Mexican-American Woman, a Chinese Cowboy, a White Homesteader AND Twenty-Eight African-Americans of all ages, creating for us a once in a lifetime theatrical experience.

The Imagine-a-nation of Lalachild

One Small Child... One Whole World, Wide-Open With Possibility

Welcome to 1890 Lovely, Kansas, a drought-stricken all-negro town, where a Chinese man rides a dust storm into ten year old Lala’s home and wins her Mamalou’s heart, spurring the gossipy shock of everybody else. Lala’s lyrical and imaginative child’s eye lends fresh perspective to ages old racial issues, washing us all with the sweet wisdom of an old soul in a small body. Full of humor and lively dancing, adults and children alike enjoy this gem of a performance.



“Poetic. Moving. How beautiful. How extraordinary.” S.G. playwright, director
“I felt like I was there. And I felt like I was a little girl again. A wonderful experience.” L.C.
“It made me light and happy. I would love for my mother to see it.” D.G.
“It got me out of my seat. I want to dance.” A.G.
“Elucidating, Embracing and just really Great!"
“It's so amazing, in these murky lives of ours, to find a clear point of love like this."
“Day after day, week after week, we need this Message of Unity in Our World."
“plus a full house of Amazings"
“One man was truly dazed and could not speak for 45 minutes"

The Education of Lala Girl

A Turn-of-the-Century Mystic, Turning the World Around

Fourteen year old Lala falls head-long in love with young Lijah James, and they leap full-force into mysticism, spirit, and faith, transforming their entire town. This many-faceted love story contains the sweetness of one’s first love, the poignancy of a mother’s daughter coming of age, the powerful surrender of an old woman’s graceful aging, and the heartache, forgiveness, and passion that sings in us all.

as performed for Pacific Collegiate School students


“There is much to laugh at in these stories, and much to move one to tears. There is the wisdom of old souls and the hormonal foolishness of boys. . .there is small-town pettiness and the overwhelming vastness of a star-filled prairies sky. Cook writes and utters sheer poetry.” –Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 12, 2011

“I hear the voices of my relatives. You have the spirit of authenticity.” G.B. African-American actress
”Thank you for sharing this. I cried and I laughed, then I kept crying and laughing” A.S.
“Really beautiful” S.M.

“Ms. Cook amazingly channels these deep emotions and captures the ineffable experience of spiritual transcendence as the audience is lured into the play’s emotionally-riveting climactic action.”
–Santa Cruz Theatre Reviews

The Emancipation of Lala

America’s Siddhartha

Visionary, powerful, eighteen year old Lala is thrust onto a spiritual quest, as tragedy sends her running from her home-town, train-hopping, parade-crashing, and wandering through ghosts towns of the era, seeking spiritual freedom through the 1898 American West. Utterly transformative, this show will resound in your mind and soul for weeks to come.


“I’m permanently changed. I feel liberated, cleansed, purified.” R.J.
“I feel washed by deep wisdom, touched at the places that want to be touched.” R.G.
“Captivating. Entertaining and deeply moving. I thought about this play for over a week.” F.H.
“This was my third viewing, last time I brought six friends.” R.T.
"One of the most inspiring works of art I've seen in a long time." - A.G.
(Four days later) "Still reeling from the amazing performance." - BH
“Powerful and awe-inspiring, this performance is an absolute must-see.”
“...grabs you immediately, shakes you, and doesn’t let go until the is, ultimately, transforming.” –Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 26, 2011