Putting the Arts to Work for Homeless Youth in Los Angeles

Mural by Aly Timbuctustate  and Do Art Foundation

    Art is more than entertainment or decoration.   Back in March, this photo caused some tepid online outrage in Los Angeles, and spurred another (too brief) examination of the homelessness crisis in the city.   It served as a snapshot of how relatively wealthy millennials were changing some of Los Angeles’ most iconic neighborhoods and ethnic enclaves into playgrounds of twenty-something decadence, literally stepping over homeless residents to snap a selfie in front of a cheeky mural.  When I saw it, I was immediately upset by not only how indifferent […]

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Not a Review: The Late Late Show at Bootleg

I try to see everything labeled ‘environmental/immersive/ambulatory’ that pops up in Los Angeles because I feel it’s the coolest thing theater has going for it. No other form can make you stand up, walk around, touch, feel, smell and throw yourself into a story or experience like the present art of theater. TV and video games can’t do that, and never will (my apologies to Virtual Boy.) And yet, how do we spend our time at plays?  Silent, seated, hands folded or clutching a program, policing the behavior of other […]

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LACAC and LASA Launch SpaceFinderLA

image003

I’ve written before about the ways that small LA theater companies face daunting financial hurdles that are being overcome by greater cooperation and asset sharing.  I’m very happy to spread the word about another such opportunity.  The first step of production is often to seek out a venue.  The calculus and footwork involved can be daunting, and with the huge number of venues in the city and the somehow also huge rents to pay (and competition for the 5% of venues that are actually worth the money) a show can […]

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ShopLab: A Huge Opportunity for Small LA Theater

[UPDATE: Apparently you can (and must!) vote for ShopLab everyday at the Pepsi Refresh Project. It’s super easy to sign in, especially if you’re already logged into Facebook.  Keep voting and we can win! DOOO EEEEET NNAAAOOOO!] If you have ever produced a low-to-mid-scale play for a nomadic company in Los Angeles, or in any city for that matter, you know how expensive and inconvenient a temporary a shop/storage place can be.  For companies without an existing space to store materials, build set pieces, or ways to move stuff around, these costs can drag down even a healthy budget.  The time spent securing these resources also weighs on a production, and when it’s time to strike the show, there’s that sinking feeling you get when you watch perfectly good lumber, flats, large props or whatever can’t be stuck in the producer’s living room, get thrown in the dumpster and lost forever. The Solution. (click and vote, more below the fold.)

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Why I Stopped Writing Theater Reviews

cat critic

Some of you may know that for much of 2009 and 2010 I was a weekly writer for the upstart online publication LA Theatre Review.  Each week I would accept a complimentary ticket to one of the dozens of live performances that are produced in Los Angeles each weekend, and in return, I would give my honest assessment of the show’s quality, vivacity, and relevance.  And like so many ‘blogger-critics’ in this city, I did my best to distinguish myself from the pack by writing as insightfully and as brutally […]

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