I Am LA Theatre: Letting Them Know We’re A Theatre Town

At the #LAthtr meetup, someone brought up that we should collectively publicize theatre in la. Not one company, but just the concept of theatre in LA.

Someone else added afterwards that certain celebrities Jack Black, etc. who market the shows their in saying that they are part of LA theatre.

Instantly in my mind I saw the marketing campaign. Billboards, signs on buses, benches, buildings. The Words “I Am LA Theatre” with a picture of Jack Black on one sign. THe one aroudn the corner has John Lithgow, next block over with Laurence Fishbourne, another with Me, another with you. Celebrities, other public personalities who do and support LA theatre, as well as faces of producers, actors, designers, who won’t be as publicly recognizable. We can be on the smaller signs, that’s fine. The point is illustrating the LA theatre community as a diverse group of people… and they happen to include celebrities.

Where else in the country can you see these movie and TV people LIVE ONSTAGE? Where else has such a huge talent pool creating work that unfolds right there in front of you?

I think we can sell that.

The goal is that the community at large sees these and realize that there’s theatre, and it might actually be cool. So next time someone says “let’s go out tonight,” they respond with “how about some theatre?”

That’d be the day.

Summer Shakespeare Schedule

You might not know this about me, but I’m a HUGE Shakespeare geek. I own 13 Shakespeare related T-Shirts. See? Geek.

Anyway, this summer I’ve decided to see as many Shakespeare shows I can fit into my schedule, and I want you to join me! I’ve picked companies and shows all over Southern California (but mostly around LA) that I can fit into my schedule and posted the schedule and info below for your convenience.

I’ll be going to these shows no matter what, and I’d go alone, but why not share the experience with fellow theatre nerds?

I really like the new community building tools that are becoming available to us and I want to take advantage of this momentum to share our passions and some common theatrical experiences. On my my passions happens to be Shakespeare, so here we go.

Click the company name for more info, and click on the address for a link to Google Maps. The small ones have already passed, but check out the company’s website to see if it’s still playing if you can go some other night.

Performances with a * are in a park and we can get there early and picnic before the show!

**The lower price is a student rush ticket price. See here for The Globe and La Jolla Playhouse. This is the only way I can afford these tickets.

There are undoubtedly other productions going on. So far the list is only ones that I am able to attend, but I’d be happy to post others that you will be going to even if I can’t make it — but I’ll do my best to squeeze it in. Email/tweet me and let me know if you’re coming, and introduce yourself if I don’t already know you!

Now mark your calendars and may the Bard be with you.

Hollywood Fringe Forever

The first ever Hollywood Fringe Festival came to a close this past Sunday. 11 whole days of nonstop art, and the best thing that I’ve participated in all year. Festival Director Ben Hill said before I left on Sunday night that the Fringe was intended to be “a theatre person’s wet dream.” Non-stop [cheap] theatre, a huge community, and a party and drinks every night. Mission accomplished.

The theatre and art was, indeed, non-stop. Over the course of the 11 days of the festival, I saw 18 fringe performances. Plays, musicals, storytelling, one-man shows, stand up comedy, magic, clowning, and more. I also was able to attend 3 panel discussions. Oh, did I mention that I produced 2 shows and saw each of them 2 or 3 times? It was nice to have so much to do. So much to do that I wanted to do.

The community was the best part. Being a part of a company is great, but it’s so easy to lose track of the rest of the world and get caught in our own bubble. That’s not possible at the fringe. With 180 other productions being produced along side mine, I have no room for my own private bubble. My participation with the festival introduced me to several new people that I probably would never have met or interacted with otherwise, but I’m so glad I did. Connections and relationship were created and I plan to do everything I can to make sure they continue. I hate being in my own private bubble. The reason I do theatre is to connect: with the audience, with my fellow actors, and with — because of this festival — a whole lot of the local arts community.

The party every night was an added bonus, but this is where the previous two points meet. These get togethers were great times to meet the aforementioned new people, to learn about shows to go to, and to have fun with the people I had known or just met. Whether drinking, chatting, or dancing together, these connections at the parties were among the most valuable parts of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

I’m very grateful to the Fringe staff for organizing such an amazing festival and introducing the Los Angeles art scene to itself. We performed and shared a lot of art, met a lot of people, and partied a whole lot more. This years festival is over. The shows have ended, but not their effect. Art exists only in the moment, but the new friendships formed can last forever.