Of course there’s good theater work being done in LA. It’s just undersupported, balkanized, segregated and self-marginalizing (Hollywood, anyone? ). But putting that to the side, I want to send a shout out to four theaters where I saw at least three plays that delighted me in ’12.
The Actors Gang
… for an unwavering commitment to making theater accessible. The Taper Forum has one minimally publicized pay what you can day per run. The Actors Gang provides the hook up every Thursday, not to mention its ongoing Prison and Dead Man Walking School Projects. The company’s production of Hélène Cixous’ Oy was spectacular. And Tim Robbins is a fellow Stuy Hi grad.
… I have fond memories of EST in New York. I did a good bit of my directing training there. Artistic Director Gates McFadden shares some, but mercifully not all of Curt Dempster’s leadership qualities. She has a vision for creating adventurous, multicultural theater. EST/LA shares its newly built digs with Circle X in Atwater Village. By far, the membership company has done some of its most engaging work in the small cabaret space. Theater scene, anyone?
The Garage Theater
…This theater collective is never, ever going to start on time. But these mostly CSULB grads produce some of the best experimental and progressive theater in SoCal. Lots of interesting West Coast premieres. LOLOPERA was hysterical.
Ebony Repertory Theatre
… A necessary theatre company for African Americans in LA. Its headed by some very smart, very talented, long standing professionals. Fraternity needed some judicious cutting, but I haven’t been in a theater where an audience gasped and laughed without irony in a really long time. It made me recommit to writing plays with authentic black heroes and heroines.