A new “Shakespeare in LA” segment, featuring Susan Angelo (Theatricum Education Director Emeritus). She’s always worth a listen!
Our own Ellen Geer, Theatricum’s Artistic Director, is featured in this blog!
Sunday, Oct 9, 6 pm! Inara George & Friends: A Tribute to Jackson Browne! The acclaimed singer/songwriter, a homegrown Topanga, and an exciting line-up pay tribute to the acclaimed music icon …more
On Sunday, August 28 at 11 am, Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich’s exciting new play STILL LIFE will take the stage as part of our Seedlings Summer Playreadings. STILL LIFE is a darkly comic look at shared grief. Three people become inextricably linked after a series of subway bombings in an unnamed city, each searching for snapshots of normal to hang onto during the surreal, suspended days following a tragedy.
We were thrilled to find this play and grab the chance to work with Barbara, a Boston-based playwright who’s been on our radar for awhile now. Through Seedlings, we always want to find the best way to serve the writer and material. So at Barbara’s invitation (and with the support of the Dramatists Guild Fund!) we reached out to her so that we could do some exploration before she gets into town to rehearse with director Jen Bloom and our amazing actors: Barbara Tarbuck, Christopher W. Jones, Tania Verafield & Kathleen Leary.
So far, we’ve had a blast. And it sounds like Barbara has, as well:
I haven’t touched down in L.A. yet, but already my work at Seedlings on my play STILL LIFE has begun. Never mind that Theatricum Botanicum is probably the most evocative venue name on the planet. What’s been amazing so far is that once I got the call from dramaturg Jennie Webb, who runs Seedlings, we immediately started to work long distance on STILL LIFE so we could hit the ground running when I arrived. Together with director Jen Bloom, we began an immersive cycle of conference calls, emails, and rewrites that helped accelerate STILL LIFE’S development. This is the kind of creative partnership every playwright craves.
My play is a dark comedy about three lives thrown together in the wake of a terrorist bombing. And, as I believe humor is essential with even the most serious of topics, Jennie and Jen helped me find the balance between comedy and tragedy. They engaged in the world of the play, attentive to the difference between the word on the page and the word on the stage. They asked the right questions, offered cogent insights, and tracked dramatic threads. They were forensic dramaturgs, and I’m grateful beyond measure. I’m heading to Topanga Canyon with a stronger script, and I’m excited to build on the bi-coastal work we’ve done so far. Although I haven’t met Jennie or Jen in person— and even though this sounds full-on corny — I feel like when we finally meet face to face, it’ll be like greeting old friends.
The reading, held in our intimate S. Mark Taper Foundation Pavilion, is FREE. We hope you’ll join us for STILL LIFE, where you’ll enjoy refreshments, meet the artists and share your thoughts and ideas to become part of the new play process at Theatricum!
Leave the kids at home for this one! Join us for a delightfully fun evening of Peter’s songs performed by his friends; actors, songwriters, comedians, storytellers, psychologists … more
Seedlings Summer Playreadings begin Sunday, August 21 at 11 am with Brynne Frauenhoffer’s Bury Me. The working class town of Pacific, Missouri is the setting for this story of unplanned consequences, where seemingly random events reveal very different perspectives of faith, destiny, life choices and women’s bodies as battle-grounds. Brynne’s a young, Chicago-based playwright who was eager to dig into her new play before she arrives on the weekend of her reading. So we invited her to Skype into the first table read of her play, where director Miranda Stewart and the cast explored her play with Brynne observing (and contributing) from a computer screen. (One of those times we love technology!)
Here’s a few words from Brynne about the origins of her exciting play, and her experience with us so far:
Sitting with a legal pad on the driveway of my dumpy college rental house in September 2013, I began pouring the fury of my first-ever heartbreak into my first-ever full-length play. The play started with a story from a friend about her parents’ first pregnancy, to which I added my own post-breakup anguish, religious grapplings, and Missouri upbringing to create a gory, gutsy first draft.
Since then, insightful friends and generous companies have shared their reactions, talents, and stories to help me find more honest portrayals of Josh, Michelle, Christy, Ruth, Mark, and Amy—but the Seedlings program has given me my first extended workshop process. For any playwright, but especially a green one like me, it’s such a gift to be able to come in with new drafts and work with a director and dramaturg committed to bettering your play. Already, the team at Theatricum has helped me to clarify the story’s most dramatic moments. I am so grateful to the company for giving me this chance to continue shaping Bury Me and show it to a fresh audience, which will be the first in California to hear my words!
After hearing the creative team and cast read and respond to my newest draft over Skype, I can’t wait to get in the room with them and watch what they do onstage on the 21st. I hope you’ll join us!
The reading, held in our intimate S. Mark Taper Foundation Pavilion, is FREE. Enjoy refreshments, meet the artists and share your thoughts and ideas to become part of the new play process at Theatricum.
Hope to see you soon!
Four concerts, cool music, cool nights! Featuring: Judy Norton (Sept 1), Little Faith (Sept 8), Tom Allard & Guests (Sept 15), Many Distant Cities (Sept 22) – all in an intimate outdoor setting
Woody Guthrie is celebrated in this unique and engaging musical portrait of the self-described “rambling man from Oklahoma” … more
Our 2016 Season! Five plays to keep you enthralled, thinking, and entertained. Plan to see them all!
Set in present day East Jerusalem, Shakespeare’s timeless tale of love brings new meaning for today’s audience.
“SMART, WELL-EXECUTED… for a classic mix of romance and tragedy, the company’s Romeo and Juliet expertly fits the bill.” —CurtainUp
“FRESH AND VIBRANT. The old story loses none of its power and, indeed, gains a more immediate relevance. I loved it.” — Paul Myrvold, Theatre Notes
“FRESH AND AUTHENTIC… The first act is often funny and ribald, just barely setting us up for the tragic ending… reminds us that prejudice and hatred continue to be prevalent forces in the world.” — Justin Biel, Topanga Messenger
A World Premiere! Artistic Director Ellen Geer adapts Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ground-breaking novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’ in this fresh, critically-acclaimed re-telling.
“BRINGS VISCERAL INTENSITY to the horrors of that shameful chapter in our nation’s history… With depth and nuance, Gerald C. Rivers reclaims the title role from its more contemporary pejorative associations… the sprawling narrative sports ample stellar turns” — Philip Brandes, Los Angeles Times
“BRILLIANT… a moving and kaleidoscopic tale of slavery set in the natural, expansive Theatricum Botanicum amphitheater…. powerfully brings to life a shameful time in American history.” — Elaine L. Mura, LA Splash
“HEARTBREAKING… presciently ponder[s] the plight of Blacks after the Reconstruction Era, but also in our own times” — Ed Rampell, People’s World
“PROVIDE[S] UNIQUE INSIGHT… highlights the true characteristics of the strong, determined, loving “Uncle Tom” alongside the brutal nature of America’s slave-trading past… standout performers… viewing TOM, we are reminded of the importance of the great novel and the impact of literature and art to create social change.” — Justin Biel, Topanga Messenger
Moliere’s comedy rocks the house with laugher! And our gender-bending “take” will leave you in stitches! NEW! Enjoy a catered dinner before the show on Sept 9th!
“[A] SAUCY, FROTHY ROMP… inventive, imaginative, madcap merriment” — Ed Rampell, Hollywood Progressive
“HILARIOUSLY ENGAGING… Perfect comedic timing, energy and just the right dose of disorder.” —Justin Biel, Topanga Messenger