Leela Dance Collective presents ReSound, a 5-day celebration of kathak dance

Leela Dance Collective presents ReSound, a 5-day celebration of kathak dance, featuring street performances and workshops to educate and inspire audiences of all ages. The Kathak (pronounced cut - tuck) dance form can be traced back to the kathakas from 400 BCE who were the traveling storytellers and artists of ancient India. In modern times, the art form has emerged on the presidium stage and traveled outside of India, finding expression in diasporic communities throughout the US and beyond.

One of kathak’s most notable characteristics is the fast, percussive footwork dancers perform by striking their bare feet on the floor using various techniques. In addition, it is known for swift pirouettes, a dynamic movement vocabulary, and compelling character portrayal. Kathak is typically performed with North Indian classical Hindustani music, which provides an exhilarating soundscape and a very collaborative environment for the artists. Dancers wear a string of 150-200 bells around each ankle to ornament their footwork and movements, and to highlight the rhythmic sophistication of the artform.


In Los Angeles, free street performances will take place at such iconic locations as Santa Monica’s 3rd St Promenade, DTLA’s Grand Park, Pasadena’s Memorial Park, Culver City’s Town Plaza, Woodland Hills’ The Village at Topanga, and the Oak Canyon Community Park showcasing kathak dance at its best. The $10 workshops are a great opportunity for individuals to experience kathak first hand, the way that kathak dance can ground the body, focus the mind, and uplift the spirit. Workshops are held at some of LA's most popular studios including Evolution Studios, Electric Lodge, The Vault, and Diaz Studio of Dance in Culver City.

Culver City performances include a Free Pop-up Performance on Sunday, Sept 26, at 5:30 p.m. in Town Plaza, 9500 Culver Blvd, Culver City; with two $10 Workshops: The Indian Avatars on Sun, Sept 26, 3:00-4:00 p.m., at Diaz Studio of Dance, 3816 Culver Ctr, Culver City, in which kids ages 5 and up are introduced to kathak and learn coordination, movement rhythm, music and dramatic expression as they delve into the rich world of Indian mythology; and Movement, Music & Meditation on Sun, Sept 26, 4:00-5:00 p.m., at Diaz Studio of Dance, 3816 Culver Ctr, Culver City, in which participants discover the beauty and dynamism of kathak by being introduced to the technique, movement, music and poetry of the art form woven together into an experience that is meditation in motion. To register for free events and $10 workshops, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/resound-kathak-in-the-streets-los-angeles-tickets-158038416157

The concept and arrangement of the ReSound repertoire is curated by Rina Mehta, senior disciple of kathak legend Pandit Chitresh Das and cofounder of the critically acclaimed Leela Dance Collective, and showcases Das’ original compositions and choreography, while featuring a new generation of emerging kathak dancers trained in his iconic style: Sonali Toppur, Ahana Mukherjee, Carrie McCune, and Ria DasGupta.

After more than a year of living in fear and isolation, we are thrilled to see our neighborhoods and communities start to come back to life. To do our part, we are quite literally dancing with joy - on street corners and promenades and at community parks and outdoor malls across Los Angeles and San Francisco,” shares Rina Mehta, whose work is grounded in the belief that kathak dance can be a powerful tool for empowerment and social change.

Founded and led by women, Leela Dance Collective’s central aim is to advance the voices of women artists and choreographers while providing a space for women to lead and create outside the confines of a traditional male-defined framework of leadership, mentorship, and artistic practice. Through their productions they hope to bring together artists and communities across race, ethnicity, and religion. It is through such exchange that Leela Dance Collective continues to engage with their own artistic tradition, remaking it for contemporary audiences.

For more information, watch the ReSound trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS6eyK09TPs and check out their moves on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/LeelaDanceCollective. View the complete ReSound schedule at https://leela.dance/resound/

Performances - Free

Friday, Sept 24, 12:30 p.m.:  Grand Park, DTLA

Friday, Sept 24, 6:30 p.m.:  The Village at Topanga, Woodland Hills

- Saturday, Sept 25, 1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.:  3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica

Saturday, Sept 25, 5:30 p.m.:  Memorial Park, Pasadena
(featuring performance by Los Angeles’ inaugural Leela Youth Dance Company)

- Sunday, Sept 26, 11:30 a.m.: Oak Canyon Community Park, 5600 Hollytree Dr, Oak Park

(part of the Kathak Karnival featuring additional family activities, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Sunday, Sept 26, 5:30 p.m.: Town Plaza, 9500 Culver Blvd, Culver City

Workshops - $10

- Before Bollywood: Wed, Sept 22, 7:00-8:00 p.m., The Vault Dance Studio, 57 Palmetto Dr, Pasadena Before Bollywood there was kathak,
known for its grandeur, beauty, and elegance. Join us for a workshop that introduces you to the movement, music and expression of this dynamic art form. Students of all levels and backgrounds are welcome.

- Bare Feet Beats: Thurs, Sept 23, 7:00-8:00 p.m., Evolution Dance Studios, 10816 Burbank Blvd, NoHo
Dive into the dynamic world of kathak. Move, groove, jam and slam as you learn how to make rhythm and music with your bare feet. Students of all levels and backgrounds welcome.

From Sensuality to Spirituality: Sat, Sept 25, 10:00-11:00 a.m., Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave, Venice

Radha is one of India's most beloved goddesses. Her love, devotion and yearning for Krishna is a metaphor for our relationship to the divine. As we explore Radha's love for Krishna through the art of kathak, classical dance of North India we explore the eternal human search for the divine. Students of all levels and backgrounds welcome.

- The Indian Avatars: Sun, Sept 26, 12:00-1:00pmOak Canyon Community Park, 5600 Hollytree Dr, Oak Park

In this workshop, kids are introduced to kathak, classical dance of North India. Kids learn coordination, movement rhythm, music and dramatic expression as they delve into the rich world of Indian mythology. For kids, ages 5 and up. Part of the Kathak Karnival featuring additional family activities.

The Indian Avatars: Sun, Sept 26, 3:00-4:00 p.m., Diaz Studio of Dance, 3816 Culver Ctr, Culver City

In this workshop, kids are introduced to kathak, classical dance of North India. Kids learn coordination, movement rhythm, music and dramatic expression as they delve into the rich world of Indian mythology. For kids, ages 5 and up.

Movement, Music & Meditation: Sun, Sept 26, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Diaz Studio of Dance, 3816 Culver Ctr, Culver City

Discover the beauty and dynamism of kathak. Workshop participants are introduced to the technique, movement, music and poetry of the art form woven together into an experience that is meditation in motion.

Family Festival - $10

Kathak Karnival: Sun, Sept 26, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Oak Canyon Community Park, 5600 Hollytree Dr, Oak Park
Enjoy dance, music, food, and fun - $10 admission includes an exclusive performance of ReSound by Leela Dance Collective, with an opening performance by Los Angeles' inaugural Leela Youth Dance Company, as well as kathak workshops for children, youth, and adults. Register now and get unlimited access to family activities including henna art, face painting, photo booths, gift giveaways, and more. Free parking.

Spotlight Series: Meet Costume Designer and Educator Halei Parker Who Makes Art a Part of Her Everyday Life

This Spotlight focuses on Costume Designer and Educator Halei Parker, who I first met in the dressing room at the Clark Library when she showed up with a wonderful variety of cleverly designed costumes for the publicity photo shoot for Lady Windermere’s Fan when I was the publicist for Chalk Repertory Theatre. Halei really opened my eyes to the possibilities for character interpretation that a costume designer can bring to a show.

Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?

“Lady Windermere's Fan” with Chalk Repertory Theatre and the Clark Rare Book Library

Halei Parker (Halei): I'm a freelance costume designer for theatre, opera, dance, immersive experiences, and film. I'm also an educator, and think of myself as a storyteller and world creator. The projects that excite me the most are deeply collaborative and are usually highly stylized and a little weird, especially since I love mixing ideas from disparate sources to create something magical and new.

(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out it needed to immediately be either postponed or cancelled?

“Gallery Secrets” with Chalk Repertory Theatre and the Los Angeles Natural History Museum

(Halei): I was mentoring students and beginning to source and fabric shop for a production of Sweeney Todd at Cal State LA when we were shut down. I was also beginning the design phase for the Getty Villa summer show. This year the Troubies (Troubadour Theatre Company) were going to be performing our new original musical LIZAstrata (think Los Vegas Liza Minnelli meets Aristophanes' Lysistrata meets the Troubies). Thankfully I had just wrapped shooting on a film and closed the show Earthquakes In London at Rogue Machine right before the world turned upside down.

“How The Princh Stole Christmas” with Troubadour Theatre Company

(SB): Here is the link to my review of the multimedia “Earthquakes on London” at Rogue Machine which examined the effects of global warming.

How were the shutdowns communicated with the cast and production team?

George Takei in “Allegiance” with East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center

(Halei): For Sweeney, we heard in our production meeting, two days before the Stay-At-Home order. The Liza news came at the end of March. We all saw it coming, but I was really hoping it would still manage to go on. The world could really use some more Troubie joy about now. It was pretty crushing. At this point, we are looking at postponements for both of those, and thankfully not cancellations.

(SB): I really loved all the outrageous costumes you designed for the Troubies “A Christmas Carole King” which I saw at the El Portal last December.

What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?

(Halei): The whole rest of my year is now in flux, since no one really knows when we will be allowed to gather together again to experience live theatre in a group setting. I'm just trying to keep all my fingers and toes crossed that we can make stories for the world again before the year is out.

“Hairy Ape” with Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

(SB): How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

(Halei): Art is always alive in my home. More than half of my apartment is actually a costume shop, so I'm surrounded by fabrics and my tools. I've been able to keep busy by making hundreds of masks from my eclectic stock of fabrics, and have done a few costume challenges that have proven to be quite fun. I'm trying to curb my use of social media.... somewhat. That is especially true when I am designing and creating costumes for shows.

I'm also feeding my need to make Art for others right now by making a mural for my building on the wall of our little garden.

(SB): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon?

(Halei): Chin up, loves. The world is going to need us more than ever when we are allowed to meet again. Just keep that passion alive in your heart.

You can find my work on Instagram HaleiParkerDesign and me at HaleiPie.

This article first appeared on Broadway World.

Spotlight Series: Meet Christine Joëlle, a Versatile Actor Who Also Runs a Successful Pet Care Service

This Spotlight focuses on Christine Joëlle, an actress I first saw onstage in the summer of 2004 as Madge Owens in Picnic, directed by Gail Bernardi for Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse. Christine and I went on to work together in many productions for the community theatre group, both onstage and on production teams. Since then, I have been fortunate to follow her path across the stages of professional theatre companies all over town, always enjoying her ability to transform herself into a great variety of characters – often during the same show!  And I am also a very happy customer of her pet care service, Movin’ Paws.

Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your own theatrical background? 

Christine Joëlle (CJ): I graduated from James Madison University and attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Since moving to Los Angeles, I have worked in several theaters all around the city, having performed in over 60 stage productions. I am a proud theatre company member of THE ROAD and THEATRE 40 and union member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA.

Jennifer Laks, Lary Ohlson and Christine Joëlle in "Night Watch" at Theatre 40. Photo by Ed Krieger

(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?

(CJ): I was currently working on Mistakes Were Made: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda by Jerry Mayer at The Santa Monica Playhouse. We were on its 4th extension before having to postpone until a future date.

Christine Joëlle in “Mistakes Were Made: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda" at the Santa Monica Playhouse. Photo by Evelyn Rudie

(SB): How was the shutdown communicated with the cast and production team? 

(CJ): Via emails and phone calls. Ultimately, we came to a mutual decision to close the theatre for our and our patron’s safety.

(SB):  Are plans in place to present that production at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?

(CJ): Our producers, Evelyn Rudie and Chris DeCarlo will most likely resume running the show. I have no doubt that all the cast members would be delighted to return.

(SB): I really enjoyed Mistakes Were Made: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda and all the characters you played in it. It’s so much fun to attend a show that keeps you laughing - and crying - at the same time from start to finish at such universal human foibles! Here is my review on Broadway World.

What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown? 

Christine Joëlle in the immersive theatre show “Delusion”

(CJ): I was not planning to be in other shows at the moment. But I do have a strong feeling many fall shows and activities may not happen either. For example, the Haunted Play production staff of the immersive theatre show Delusion will most likely not take place this year because it’s the type of show where you must secure and rent a location by May/June in order for production planning to commence.

Caleb Slavens, Alison Blanchard, Christine Joëlle and Christian Pedersen in "Flare Path" at Theatre 40. Photo by Ed Krieger(SB):  How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

(CJ): I’m definitely becoming a master of ZOOM chats! Ha! And am putting my self-tape skills to good use as well.

I am also the owner and CEO of a successful pet care service called Movin’ Paws. So, I’ve been busy keeping it movin’ during these crazy times. If you need any dog/cat care for your furry ones, we’d be delighted to lend a helping paw. Check out our services at MovinPaws.com 

(SB): My dog Cody, bird Ernie, and I all highly recommend Movin’ Paws for their excellent service and personal care of your pets! 

What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon?

(CJ): Stay Strong and Safe. Without our health, our return to the stage shall take longer. The Arts and our creative community shall never die. We shall need it now more than ever. Keep that creative flow going!

(SB): And in closing to you personally, Christine – windmills!

This article first appeared on Broadway World.

Spotlight Series: Meet Martin Thompson - A Recovering Soap Opera Actor, Official Sherlock Holmes Performer, & Acting Instructor at NY Film Academy

This Spotlight focuses on Martin Thompson, a self-proclaimed recovering soap opera actor who often graces stages as an “Official Sherlock Holmes Performer” and now frequents the stage or directs at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills, and also appears in films and on TV series. And as a distinguished member of the acting faculty at The New York Film Academy, Martin now teaches an Acting for Film class online. Read on to find out more about this talented actor who recently directed an outstanding production of The Manor at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.

Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?

Martin Thompson as Sherlock Holmes

Martin Thompson (Martin): I’m a recovering and repentant former New York soap opera actor (All My Children, Guiding Light, The Edge of Night) with numerous award-winning and critically-acclaimed New York and regional stage performances across the country, which are now most likely forgotten – and perhaps best left to the imagination.

Today, however, I continue my meteoric rise to obscurity by working in Los Angeles Theatre! As a company member at Theatre 40, I was last seen in the American Premiere of Renovations for Six, and reprising my role as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily. In fact, I've been named an “Official Sherlock Holmes Performer” by the Diogenes Club, UK, the International Sherlock Holmes Society, for my numerous appearances as the iconic detective. Remind me to tell you about the time a collector on eBay got more bids for my autograph than for Benedict Cumberbatch’s!


In my spare time, I also enjoy appearing on television and in major motion pictures with many big Hollywood stars who probably don't remember working with me. I co-star with Kevin Costner in The New Daughter, opposite Paul Rudd in Wanderlust, and with Colin Firth in Main Street (the final screenplay by the legendary Horton Foote). My television credits include Lake Effects with Jane Seymour for Hallmark, NCIS: Los AngelesCriminal MindsScorpionComedy Bang Bang, and Uncle Buck: a very short-lived comedy on ABC. And, I’m currently appearing in the first season of the new series Penny Dreadful: City of Angels which premieres on Showtime this month.

Martin Thompson in "Wanderlust" (Universal Pictures)

I'm also a somewhat distinguished member of the acting faculty at The New York Film Academy, where I'm proud to guide a new generation of actors toward their dreams of becoming just as rich and famous as I am!

(SB): You certainly are staying busy!  What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?

Jennifer Lee Laks and Martin Thompson in "Night Watch" at Theatre 40

(Martin): I had just finished directing the Theatre 40 production of The Manor at Greystone Mansion, and we actually closed about two weeks before the "safer at home" order hit. So, we were lucky that we got to finish the run! It was our 18th Season, and we surpassed our 300th performance this year. We produce The Manor under an Equity contract each year, so not only are the actors paid, but one of my former students who I cast in the lead this year, qualified for her Equity card with this production, and is now a proud union member! So, I was happy that we got through the run! (SB) For those who have never attended a performance of The Manor during any of its 18 seasons, here is my 2020 review of the production, which is staged in the actual mansion where the tragic events occurred.

(Martin): Unfortunately, I was also scheduled to begin production this month on a feature film, an audio production for Audacity, and as a potential Series Regular on two TV Pilots! But those are now on hold until an undetermined later date… if they happen at all.

(SB): How were the shutdowns communicated with the cast and production team?

(Martin): One of the TV Pilots had just begun production when the shut-down hit. The producers thought they could still shoot the first episode, but unfortunately, they were wrong. The producers of both pilots, the feature film, and the producers from Audacity reached out to the cast and crew via email to let us know that we would stop production immediately. So, we’re all out of work until we get the all-clear!

(SB): Are plans in place to present any of those productions at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?

(Martin): We’re all in a wait-and-see posture right now. The audio program has been cancelled completely, but the feature film has a chance of coming back, if they can hold on to their investors. The two television pilots will miss the window for Pilot Season, so they may have to reformat their current plans. It’s likely, that if we do have the opportunity to shoot the pilots, that they will not be going to network television but rather be shopped to online distributors, which may change the nature of the series or the number of episodes. We just don’t know right now. I’m just hoping that they’ll reach out to me again, once they get the go-ahead to start production!

(SB):  How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

Mona Lee Wylde and MartinThompson in "Renovations for Six" at Theatre 40

(Martin): I’m fortunate in that I’m still teaching as an Acting Instructor at New York Film Academy here in Los Angeles. The school shut down on March 13th, but we are still attempting to teach classes online with Zoom. It’s admittedly a little weird trying to teach an acting class online, but we’re doing the best we can. Fortunately, my current class is an Acting for Film class, so working on camera (even if it’s a webcam!) still fits into the general nature of the class.

We were supposed to be shooting the students’ final films this month, but those plans are out the window since we can’t go on location, or even be in the same room. So, we’re attempting to shoot an entire film with each student self-taping themselves for their scenes! I’ve got some really bright and talented students who have written an entire script which allows all the scenes to be shot in individual close-ups. It’s sort of a combination of an Agatha Christie murder mystery and a Christopher Guest mockumentary. And it’s very funny!

So, we’re having a lot of fun, and it’s given my students a unique and creative outlet during our quarantine time. I’m not sure what will happen, though, once this semester ends in May. It’s likely that the school will remain closed for much of the Summer, so I may be out of work… again!

(SB): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the LA Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon?

(Martin): This is a strange time for all of us in the creative arts, especially in the Theatre since ours is such a collaborative field. We simply cannot do what we do without everyone else - and especially without an audience! So, being alone in quarantine can easily take its toll. Suddenly we find ourselves with nothing to do, and no one to do it with. It can feel depressing, scary, and even futile at times. I know I’ve felt all of those things in the last few weeks. And, that’s ok!

It’s perfectly acceptable right now to take care of yourself. There’s no need to push yourself to “Keep the theatre alive.” Because right now, Live Theatre is dead since it requires an in-person performance in front of a live audience. Without those ingredients, it simply does not exist. So, let’s not feel compelled to move theatre online, or to force people to watch our new monologues on YouTube. I would actually prefer to binge-watch anything on Netflix right now, rather than to sit through a staged reading of “Uncle Vanya" on Zoom!

(SB): I understand what you are saying about Live Theatre, but I still believe Theatre itself as an art form now lives online in many forms. It’s just the unspoken, interactive, and emotional give-and-take that is missing without the live audience.

(Martin): Certainly many of us are continuing our studies, learning new monologues, reading plays, updating resumes and websites, and doing all of that actor “busy work." But I would urge my fellow actors not to feel compelled to do anything if you don’t want to. Take care of yourself. That’s the most important thing you can do right now. When we come out of this - and we will - things will be much different, and I certainly hope the Theatre will be different! I don’t think we will see the old models of theatre companies and productions as we know them now, especially since many of the smaller companies in LA will no longer exist while many of the larger companies will need to restructure.

And we will all need to ask ourselves “Why do we do this?” and, “Who do we do this for?” Our relationship with our audiences must change in order to keep Theatre alive in the future. We cannot ask them to simply sit numbly and watch us perform. We must realize that they are an integral part of our performance and must find new ways to welcome them in and involve them.

I look forward to seeing a newer and more vibrant Theatre community in the future, with truly innovative and engaging works which speak with a new and compelling voice to our currently shell-shocked audiences. They deserve that from us! And we must listen to their needs in order to bring them back. Then, and only then, can we all move forward together.

I would love to hear from other actors, artists, playwrights, designers, and students who are all in the same boat - or in your own little boats floating around. And, if there is anything I can do to help, encourage, or just listen - I’m happy to do that. I can be found at the following social links, and I’ll look forward to hearing from anyone who’d like to reach out:

Twitter: twitter.com/MartinThomActor

Instagram: instagram.com/MartinThompsonActor

Facebook: facebook.com/MartinThompsonActor

This article first appeared on Broadway World.

Spotlight Series: Meet Jennifer Chang, a Director, Actor and Educator Who Helped Found Chalk Repertory Theatre

This Spotlight focuses on Jennifer Chang, a director, actor and educator who helped found Chalk Repertory Theatre, a production company which matches plays to site-specific locations around Los Angeles. I first worked with Jennifer on Chalk Rep’s production of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan which featured a multicultural cast, performed outdoors throughout the lawns and courtyards at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles where the pre-eminent collection of Oscar Wilde materials in the world is housed.

Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?

Jennifer Chang (Jennifer): I am a director, actor and educator.  I helped found Chalk Repertory Theatre and am currently a Visiting Professor at Pomona College and will return to UCSD this fall and continue my role as Head of Undergraduate Acting. I staged Chalk Rep’s immersive productions at site-specific locations around Los Angeles because I believe architecture affects human psyche, and I’m curious as to how unconventional spaces can illuminate and unpack story, especially since storytelling provides opportunities for communion and conversation for promoting empathy in order to inspire action and change.

The cast of Chalk Rep's production of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan" directed by Jennifer Chang included (from left): Feodor Chin, Scott Keiji Takeda, Allie Jennings, Teri Reeves, Owiso Odera, Amielynn Abellera, Brian Staten, Tess Lina, Peter Wylie, and George Wyhinny
Photo credit: Shari Barrett.

I also believe it is vital to tell stories that challenge mainstream ideas, hold the door to opportunity open to diverse groups of artists, and I hope to dismantle notions of elitism in theater while pursuing rigor and excellence through fun and artful theatricality. I love language – its syncopation, musicality and power. And as a child of immigrants, I am interested in investigating what it means to be an American.

(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?

(Jennifer): We (the theatre company and I) were in the midst of casting The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan at Antaeus Theatre Company when the shelter-in-place orders and subsequent shutdowns were implemented.  While we held out hoping that we might be able to continue or postpone, since rehearsal was scheduled to begin at the end of April, it became evident that the show was not going to be able to proceed as planned and the cast and production team were informed via Zoom, phone calls and emails.

(SB): Are plans in place to present that production at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?

Jennifer Chang in "director mode"

(Jennifer): Its future is currently under discussion by the artistic leadership at Antaeus. The artistic directors and executive director have been absolutely supportive of the show and the vision and want to make sure they are responding to the science and information our state and city leaders are providing and with the longevity of the theatre company in mind. In general, I think only the institutions can really respond to this question, not the individual artists, but even then, it's difficult to predict what will or won't be happening in the next year or so.

(SB): What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?

(Jennifer): I was in early talks for various projects but I have not had follow-up discussions as would be the norm. All institutions seem to be in a wait-and-see stage.

(SB): How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

(Jennifer): I'm still teaching my classes via Zoom and the on-line academic portal Sakai. Zoom has been the tool used for play readings that I've been and will be a part of in the future. Personally, I've been using this time to do many domestic projects that I enjoy that my schedule usually doesn't allow for, including baking, knitting, crafting, and doing my part to help make masks as I think my current state of watchfulness is best soothed by doing with my hands rather than the usual art-making. I've been asked to be a part of others' projects that utilize smart phones but have not initiated projects myself. I think I'm in a grieving period right now and am taking a break from my own personal theatre projects. I'm happy to be contributing to others' work.

Vietnamese refugees hit the road to see America in "Vietgone", directed by Jennifer Chang for East/West Players at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts

(SB): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon?

(Jennifer): We will need to be patient and resilient, and whatever one needs to do to survive the wait is important and good. You can make art or not make anything and that is absolutely alright. If you feel like doing and making something that's awesome, and if you don't feel like doing anything at all, that's awesome too! Theatre has survived multiple pandemics so it will be back as soon as we are able, but the road back will require patience and adaptation and we are all coping in different ways and on different timelines. I think practicing patience for each other will be vital.

We are incredibly lucky to live in an age where content can reach us in our homes, and food and other necessities can be delivered to our doors. My family and I are incredibly privileged to be able to partake in these modern luxuries and to be citizens in a wonderful state and city where science and data are appreciated and heeded. While it is a real challenge to be separated from the various communities we are accustomed to being a part of, I am so very thankful that my family is safe and well and that our quarantine can help our larger community.

Being a theatre practitioner is an incredible training ground for understanding collaboration, care and empathy for others. While our theatre brethren are hard hit in the repercussions of separation and shutdown, we are also uniquely able to understand how our contributions fit in communion with others. A big thank you and virtual hug to everyone!

This article first appeared on Broadway World.

Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar: Virtual Online and Future Shows Now Registered - May 30 - April 5, 2020

Calling all Artists

Better Lemons now includes all Online Live Events in our Calendar!

Online Pre-recorded Events will be posted on our Video page!

To register your virtual theater or performance events that are streaming at a specific time and date on our Event Registration page.

If you have pre-recorded art since practicing social distancing, please send us the link and we will add your show to our Video page.

For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page!

Online Live

Smartphone Theatre

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Rachel Chavkin and Carson Kreitzer in Conversation

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LOCKDOWN - with Kimlai

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Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – February 25 - March 1, 2020

Musicals, Comedy, Cabaret, Immersive, Solo, Readings, Kid-friendly shows, and more now registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

The Serpent

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LA Fest by Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA

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The Bindings

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Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine's

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Soul Trek

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Five Pieces of Paper: Stories my Hungarian grandmother refused to tell me and other family tales. A Love tribute to my Holocaust surviving grandmother

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Dohee Lee: MU/巫: 9 Goddesses

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Transcendients Community Celebration: Challenging Borders

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Beat Bugs JV at Theatre School @ North Coast Rep

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The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

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The Colony Comedy Series – Hosted by Damon Williams

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Sex, Addiction & Love in the 21st Century at The Braid

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Sex, Addiction & Love in the 21st Century at dnj Gallery

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Man of God

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Aleichem Sholom! The wit and wisdom of Sholom Aleichem

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Show Up, Kids! Interactive Family Comedy

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Geronimo: Life on the Reservation

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Theresa Rebeck's "Seminar"

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JOAN OF ART: Under The Big Top, Flamenco, One Women Show With Music and a Seance

This week has a diverse amount of activities...even one of the unworldly kind.

I'll start with one that first appeared in Los Angeles in 1987 during the Los Angeles Festival. It was the opening night of the Festival and since that time Cirque Du Soleil has blown the minds of everyone including myself who has had the good fortune of seeing everyone of their incredible shows.

Well good news is that they are back in town with their new show VOLTA at Dodger Stadium. VOLTA is based on extreme sports; the principal character is a game show contestant named Was. It is the company's 41st production since it began and it's the 18th show presented under the Big Top.

VOLTA tells a spellbinding story about the freedom to choose and the thrill of blazing your own trail. It's the story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one's true potential and the power of the group to make that possible. It celebrates the freedom of movement and creativity. I can promise you that this show will not only be spectacular but as many of their shows do, will tug at your heart strings.

I for one can't wait to see this new production and if you would too then go to CirqueDuSoleil.com/volta for tickets and more information. The Show runs January 18th until March 8th.

Dodger Stadium is located at 1000 Vin Scully Avenue in LA 90012.

Now I absolutely love dance. I've studied modern and jazz for years. The one thing I've never tackled despite my deep admiration of the form is FLAMENCO. Luckily I get to attend The Ultimate Flamenco Dinner Show on Saturday January 18th in Long Beach.

Full of passionate dance and vibrant guitar playing, Andalusia native La Sole-Yvette Garcia's artistically diverse show encompasses the culturally rich, technically intricate art of flamenco.

But that's not all. Along with an evening's worth of exceptional entertainment, you'll enjoy Algeria's delicious Spanish and Latin American cuisine which includes classic dishes and deserts. Food and dance...What could be better?

I've been here before and I can promise the cuisine is delicious and the dancing sensational.

Performances start at 7:30pm and run throughout the year. For tickets and more information go to AlegriaCocinaLatina.com. The restaurant is located at 115 Pine Avenue in Long Beach 90802.

Next the WHITEFIRE THEATRE is presenting SOLOFEST 2020, a celebration of the solo journey. I've been an actress for many years but never even attempted to do a solo show because for me, being alone on the stage, is over the top scary. Having said that, I have incredible admiration for those people that do it and pull it off.

I've seen many one person shows at this theatre and all of them have been excellent. Their first show appropriately entitled LADIES FIRST started on January 4th and will be running on the 18th, 25th, 12th, 19th, 26th and February 1st and 8th.

Ladies First is a one woman musical written by Krisy Dennis and Bob Garret and performed by Krisy Dennis.

The show celebrates 14 amazing women from the original suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst to feminist activists Katharine Hepburn and Nora Ephron. Their monologues are inspired by speeches, quotes and interviews with these great women.

Krisy also sings songs by artists such as Alicia Keys, Kate Bush, and Stephen Sondheim.

The Whiteface Theatre is located at 13500 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks 91423. For tickets and more information go to WhitefireTheatre.com.


Lastly if ghosts are your thing then you must see WHISPERS IN THE DARK where they promise you will find some. This is an Unsolved Murder Séance.

There's a long buried mystery that's been waiting to resurface and they need you to help them solve the crime. This is an immersive experience that will take you on a journey into an unknown world of ghosts and spirits (hopefully friendly ones) that will leave everyone gasping for breath as messages, sights, and sounds emerge from the shadows.

I love to be scared so this sound like the perfect place for me to be this weekend. If you would like a seat at the Séance Table then drive or Uber over to the MAGICOPOLIS located at 1418 4th Street in Santa Monica, where the séance is taking place.

To buy tickets and for more information go to IHearWhispers.com.

Most importantly, whatever you choose to do this weekend, make it a fun one. I know I will.

Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – December 23 - 29, 2019

Theatrical, One-Person, Filmed Theatre, and Immersive and Interactive shows now registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.


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Infinitely Yours

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JOAN OF ART: 'A Christmas Carole King', A Powerful ControversIal Film, Mesmerica -A Visual Music Journey, and Christmas On the Seas

It's the most BEAUTIFUL time of the year and for their 18th annual holiday offering, the ridiculously talented TROUBIES, who I've seen more times than I can remember, is presenting A CHRISTMAS CAROLE KING.

The show adapted and directed by Matt Walker has combined the soulful sounds of songstress Carole King with one of the most enduring stories of our time, 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens and I promise, the result will be so far away from anything you'd expect.

To give you a hint of how it's going to go, Will Ebenezer Scrooge wakes up ONE FINE DAY feeling like a NATURAL WOMAN and eventually we'll find out if he breaks his CHAINS after he's shown what's truly BEAUTIFUL. You get the idea.

The Troubies are an amazing theatrical company and along with the rockin sounds of the Troubadorchestra you will definitely FEEL THE EARTH MOVE UNDER YOUR FEET.

The Troubadour Theater Company continues its 25th Silver anniversary season bringing the Los Angeles audiences a quarter century of mayhem. If you've never seen this incredibly funny, brilliant group now is your chance to be blown away by their creativity, originality, and their talent.

Their fast-paced laugh filled, loose adaptations of classic plays, literature and film, as well as their original productions and hilarious sketch material, make this company an exciting experience for theatre goers of any age.

The show opens Friday December 13th at 8pm and runs through Sunday December 22nd at 4pm at the El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood. Performances are Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm & 8pm and Sundays at 4pm with an added performance on Thursday, December 19th at 8pm.

For tickets and more information go to ElPortalTheatre.com or by calling the box office at 818-508-4200 or 866-811-4111. Don't miss it!

'There is a bomb in Centennial Park. You have thirty minutes.'. The world is first introduced to RICHARD JEWELL (brilliantly portrayed by Paul Walter Hauser) as the security guard who reports finding the device at the 1996 Atlanta Games. It was his quick thinking and swift actions saving countless lives that made him an instant hero. But within days, this law enforcement wannabe became the FBI's number one suspect, vilified in the court of public opinion with his life ripped apart.

There's no doubt that Clint Eastwood, who directed this film, is a brilliant filmmaker. Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm and rest of the cast are all excellent and the story is incredibly gripping and extremely heartbreaking watching Jewell's life fall apart when he was only trying to do the right thing.

My one problem with the movie, and it's not a small one, is Eastwood's inaccurate portrayal of the now deceased, real life reporter Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) who broke the story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He shows her willing to do anything for a story including sleeping with the investigation's lead agent (Jon Hamm).

The Atlanta Journal has said that there is absolutely no evidence she slept with anyone to get the story and they along with Scrugg's family, have
demanded a prominent disclaimer but both Eastwood and Warner Bros, the distributor of the film, has refused their request.

Having said that and even though I completely disagree with Eastwood's politics, I still recommend seeing this powerful, gripping film which opens in theaters Friday December 13th.

Now for something lighter...JAMES HOOD'S MESMERIC 360. This is a unique visual music journey designed to stimulate the mind and senses, bringing together the music of Grammy nominated composer and percussionist James Hood together with visually hypnotic, 3D animated art curated from artists around the world.

This is one of the most successful fulldome music shows ever. You will experience the magic of this 360 degree immersive show at The Vortex Dome in Downtown LA. This family friendly, mind blowing projection and live experience is designed to relieve stress and is suitable for all ages 6 years and above.

I've seen this show before and I know I'll be back many times over. The Vortex Dome is located at Los Angeles Center Studios, 450 South Bixel Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017. It takes place Saturday, December 14th and show times are 5:00pm, 6:30pm and 8:00pm. For tickets and more information you can call 213-534-3720 or go to JamesHood.com/mesmerica360.

Finally what would the Christmas season be without a BOAT PARADE and on Saturday December 14th from 5:55pm to 8pm you can watch a trail of lighted boats cruise through the main channel of Marina del Rey. You should arrive early to grab a spot on the lawn at Chace Park or a good photo spot at Fisherman's Village, two of the most popular viewing places.

Narration on a PA system is available at both locations. This year the parade's theme is 'Kids Make Holidays Bright.' A Brief fireworks show starts at 5:55pm to announce the start of the parade. Admission is free. I've been going to this event for more years than I can remember and it has always been fantastic.

Chace Park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey, 90292.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, make it a fun one people.

JOAN OF ART: An Immersive Nutcracker, Bob's Annual Holiday Office Party, and Santasia - A Holiday Comedy

It's that time of month where most of the events coming up have a holiday theme that has absolutely nothing at all to do with shopping which for me is a good thing. I am so burnt out from hearing about all the sales going on. So if you would like another way to spend your money, here are some suggestions that might add some magic to this holiday season.

First up is an enchanting Immersive Nutcracker Cocktail Fete. Even though the show doesn't start until next Thursday, December 12th, tickets are going fast so I'm adding it to my column now.

It's midnight on Christmas - the most magical hour. The Stahibaum family are fast asleep, all except for Clara, whose waking dream leads her on an adventure alongside mischievous mice, candied royalty and a heroic nutcracker.

Travel back in time to experience the classic story of The Nutcracker like never before as actors, music and creative cocktails transform a 19th century parlor into an enchanting winter wonderland. Join your favorite characters as they use everything in the room including you, to create a comical and intimate take on this timeless tale.

This show is part immersive theatre and part cabaret. Guests will also have the option of choosing three tasteful spiked beverages and themed drinks. You will witness first hand the story coming to life all around you with the help of a selection of costumes to dress up in, parlor games and a cheeky remote controlled mouse. You will also get to waltz with the Sugar Plum Fairy, fence alongside the Nutcracker and find yourself cast in some of the lead roles.

THE IMMERSIVE NUTCRACKER COCKTAIL FETE is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season and indulge in true holiday spirit. This is a 21+ event.

The show will take place from 12/12/2019 to 01/19/2020 and is located at 1039 Olive Street, Los Angeles CA 90015. Tickets are $65.00. To purchase tickets and for more information go to fever.com or NutcrackerCocktailFete.com.

On December 5th through the 22nd, BOB'S ANNUAL HOLIDAY OFFICE PARTY is returning to the Atwater Village Theatre and having seen this show in the past, I promise you a really over the top fun time.

The show has earned a solid cult following with audiences and critics alike. Playwright Joe Keyes and Rob Elk are proud to bring back the longest running Holiday hit. Now in their 24th year, this hilarious and irreverent comedy has become a vital part of every Christmas season in Los Angeles since 1995.

Briefly, every year insurance agent Bob Finhead's whacked out friends and clients stop by his small town Iowa office for their annual holiday bash. The town Mayor, the Sheriff, the twin Farmer sisters, the stoner, the town floozy and the pastor's wife have already RSVP'd for this year's event, but Bob has dreams of a bigger life and wants to escape their narrow minded thinking.

Will Bob be able to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional inventor and move to the big city or will he come to realize how much he is the heart and soul of the town? Will any of this matter once the party starts, the bickering and fighting begins and the drinks hit the floor?

Well you're just going to have to travel to The Atwater Village Theatre located at 3269 Casitas Avenue to find out.

For more information including cast schedule go to BobsOfficeParty.com or call 1-800-838-3006.

Finally a different kind of comedy show... SANTASIA which is now in its 20th year at the Whitefire Theatre. The show includes an extremely creative and dedicated group of actors who take us on yet another journey through their own very unique Christmas imagination.

They will once again entertain us with their delightfully warped and seasonally fueled stories, songs and glorious dance extravaganzas. At its heart, it's a sketch show with claymation and live action films created by brothers Shan and Brandon Loeser which are liberally sprinkled through the evening and some very elaborate dance numbers choreographed by Tania Pearson-Loeser.

But in the end, this show is really all about love - their love for Christmas, their love for each other and their love for giving us their own very hysterically funny version of what Christmas really means to them all. One moment you will be laughing and the next, you will be wiping a tear from your eye from remembering those who will be missed around the tree this year.

For tickets and more information go to Santasia.com. The Whitefire theatre is located at 13500 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks.

Whatever you choose to do this week, make it a fun one.

Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – November 18 - 24, 2019

Theatrical shows, Musicals, Holiday Shows, Comedy, LGBTQ Theatre, Politics, Fundraiser Cabaret, and MORE, now registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Department of Dreams

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Out of the Eclipse

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Twas the Night Before Christms

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The Great Leap

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Nick Rubando's Hollywood Return - Fundraiser Cabaret

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Fifteen Men in a Smoke Filled Room

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Sweeney Todd

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Julius Caesar

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See You at the Funeral

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Dysfunctional Family Christmas

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This Side of Crazy

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It's a Wonderful Life

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The Skivvies: I Touch My Elf

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The Tony Martini Variety Hour

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Bill Morrison's Dawson City: Frozen Time Live!

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Bad Habits

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An Ocean in my Soul

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L.A. Theatre For Halloween: Theatrical Shows and Interactive Experiences

From a Penny Dreadful to family-friendly shows. From comedy and improv to interactive escape rooms. From Death Tours to dystopia, Shakespeare tragedies to Star Trek-Marlowe, improv to interactive escape room, or Chills & Thrills to Masoch and DeSade–the following is a list of theatrical, interactive and immersive experiences playing throughout Los Angeles in time to celebrate the Halloween season.


The Manitou House - October 25 - 26, 2019

Based on his screenplay of the same name, Trace Oakley has adapted "The Manitou House" especially for Culver City Public Theatre and their annual Halloween production. Founded in 1998, now in its 22nd year, Culver City Public Theatre is committed to enriching the community by providing classic, contemporary, and original productions, for audiences of all ages. CCPT is known for its summer performances in the park, as well as for its more edgy and intimate productions the rest of the year.

A successful writer, looking for inspiration, moves back to his boyhood town and into the house where he grew up. After a series of very strange occurrences in the house, he finds it is haunted by the baby-sitter he terrorized as a child...

Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium - October 25 - 27, 2019

Brooke and Zeke, two students thrilled to learn that they’ve won the starring roles in the new school musical — a mysterious production called The Phantom. But when strange, seemingly supernatural events begin interrupting rehearsals, the friends begin to wonder whether the show they’re acting in might be cursed.

In the slightly spooky, family-friendly world of "Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium," Brooke and Zeke must race to find out whether they’re being haunted by ghosts or hoodwinked by pranksters. This show is wonderful for the entire family, ages 4 and up.

Absolutely Halloween - October 26 - 27, 2019

“Absolutely Halloween is absolutely great!,” raves showmag.com. “An absolute family treat!,” Exclaims the Tolucan times. It’s the classic family theatre Halloween musical for kids 2 to 102 – the heartwarming Rudie-DeCarlo tale of the aptly-named Candy, a sweet young girl who learns some surprising lessons about life, love, laughter, and sugar, from a delightful array of characters who take her on a magical All Hallow’s Eve adventure. Help Cattypuss, Patty Patches, Stuffy Steve, Lester the Jester, and Fifika the French Fortune-teller happily save Halloween for one more year.

As witching hour approaches, kids, and parents, too, discover the value of team spirit, friendship, sharing, making choices and moderation, especially when it comes to treats and sweets. Halloween month special: come in costume, and get two-for-one tickets for any future family theatre show. Now an audience favorite holiday tradition and back by audience demand for its 13th October run, absolutely Halloween is one in a series of original Rudie-DeCarlo fairy tale musical comedies that make up the award-winning family theatre musical matinee series for kids 2 to 102 now celebrating its 50th year as it cuts across the imaginary generation gap by providing an experience the entire family can enjoy.

An Excuse to Behave Badly – The Variety Show - October 25 - 27, 2019

"An Excuse to Behave Badly – The Variety Show!" is a one-hour variety show with a mix of stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, and the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival hit and Encore! Producers’ Award-winner "An Excuse to Behave Badly" by Jenni Halina.

The short play is a hilarious tale of four women on Halloween getting into misadventures while waiting for an Uber. Directed by Emily Lappi, the ensemble will feature a diverse group of LA’s top up-and-coming talent. In alphabetical order, they are Farida Amer, Seth Austin, Jenni Halina, Jermaine Jackson, Emily Lappi, Matt Morillo, Nica, Katie Oliver, Jaret Sacrey, Alex Owens Sarno, Yvette Saunders, and Royce Shockley.


Ravenswood Manor - October 24, 2019 – November 22, 2019

Taking a page from the cult classic "Dark Shadows", Justin Sayre's Ravenswood Manor brings audiences the gothic and hilarious goings-on of a small New England town during the spring of 1976. Directed by Tom DeTrinis and Jessica Hanna, Ravenswood Manor is an episodic theatrical event with two new episodes of the ever-unfolding adventure premiering each of the six-week run.

With a cast of comedic heavy hitters that includes, Drew Droege, Sam Pancake, Daniele Gaither, Leslie-Anne Huff, Ryan Garcia, Angela Cristanello, and Justin Sayre. Plus guest stars weekly! Join us this fall for the spooky, the silly, the glamour and the camp.

The Séance - October 24, 2019 – November 3, 2019

About: madam ruby has invited you and a few guests to participate in her séance and step beyond the veil. But who or what will be waiting for you? This is a frightening interactive theatre experience with live actors and special effects. You will be required to interact with your surroundings and others, living or dead, in the room. # of participants- up to 8. This is a public event. There may be people you don’t know in your show. Tickets: $45- $60 per person depending on the date and time of performance. The show is roughly 1 hour long. Ages- only age 16+ admitted.

Warnings- light touching, strobe lights, fog, and smells. The audience must be able to navigate stairs on their own.

The Psych Ward - October 24, 2019 – November 3, 2019

An escape room with a fun twist! The psych ward is an interactive game of deduction, trust, and betrayal with escape room, board game, and immersive theatre elements. About- sane or insane? Trustworthy or not? These are the questions dr. Griffin wants you to answer. He has created a social experiment for a select group of patients. Some of these patients he believes are sane, others, completely insane. Like lab rats, he has put you inside his twisted experiment of paranoia and challenges you to figure out who to trust and who to betray. Difficulty- every game will have one winning and one losing team. # of Players- 5-8. This is a PRIVATE game. We will not put your group with strangers. A minimum of 5 players are required to play this game. Ages- This game is recommended for ages 16+. No one under the age of 14 will be admitted.

WARNING- This game contains loud noises, flashing lights, small spaces, and restraints. This game is not scary but you may be put in tense situations.

Open all year long.

The Hex Room - October 24, 2019 – November 3, 2019

About –this is a real-life adventure game where you are in the center of the action! Can you survive a horror film? This murderous horror movie fan wants to watch you try. Each player will take a quiz before the game to find out which character they are: the nerd, virgin, jock, rebel, prom queen, or detective. Your team will be divided up into separate rooms where you must work individually and as a team. Not only do you need to escape, but you must also survive! Who will live? Who will die?​ Difficulty – very hard. 20% escape rate. 5% survival rate. # of players – 5-10. This is a private game. We will not put your group with strangers. If more than 6 tickets are purchased, some rooms may have 2 players. Having trouble finding enough people for the minimum # requirement? Try finding teammates on our facebook group here. Ages – this game is for ages 16+. This is an extreme horror experience. Anyone under the age of 16 will not be admitted and no refund will be given. Children can not be left unattended in the lobby. If you are under the age of 18 please have a parent/ guardian fill out a waiver before you arrive. Please find waivers at the bottom of the faq page.

​For advanced players – in this game, your goal is to escape and survive! Every player will be given a unique set of puzzles to solve at any time during the game. If the player solves their personal hex puzzle and escapes the room, they will have “survived.”

Open all year long! Wednesday-Sunday.

The Fun House - October 24, 2019 – November 3, 2019

The puzzles can be challenging and are designed to test adults. If your party will have children under the age of 13 we recommend checking out fun house-kids! This is an interactive experience where you are put in the center of the action! Come one, come all! Step right up and see if you have what it takes to become a magnificent magician! In this room filled with trickery and illusions, you and your team will be put to the test. Work to beat the clock as you search for clues and solve mind-boggling puzzles in a topsy-turvy experience of a lifetime! Now all you need to do is ask yourself, do you have the wits of a magician? Or are you as clueless as a clown? Difficulty – medium. 40% escape rate. # of players – 4-8 players. This game is private- we will not group you with strangers.

Ages – The Fun House is open to all ages. Anyone under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult age 18+. The puzzles can be challenging and are designed to test adults.

Open all year long! Wednesday-Sunday.

Night of the Living Dead - October 24, 2019 – November 10, 2019

The Group Rep presents George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead,” adapted for the stage by Gus Krieger, directed by Drina Durazo. Seven strangers barricade themselves inside a Pennsylvania farmhouse, attempting to escape the bloodthirsty, flesh-eating ghouls ravaging the countryside.

Beset by the walking dead outside, and ever-rising interpersonal tensions within, the group begins their desperate attempt to survive the night…October 4 – November 10. Fridays/Saturdays at 8:00 pm. Sundays at 2:00 pm. Special performances, Wednesday, October 30, 2019, and Thursday, October 31, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. Talkbacks after Sunday matinees October 13 and October 27, 2019.

Give Up the Ghost - October 25, 2019 – November 2, 2019

Give Up the Ghost reverses the typical Halloween haunt—here, you play your dead self called back from the shore of Eternity to bear witness to the sorrows and terrors of the living. This is not a gore fest or jump-scare maze. You will interact with characters at the edge of life and death in scenes that can be violent, tragic, intense, and occasionally darkly humorous. The choices you make will haunt you, will change your own story, and just might change the entire narrative. What choices will you make, as your light grows dim?

Each show lasts approximately 80 minutes. Some scenes are open for viewing anytime, others require a Shadow to guide you. Some scenes are for large groups, some are for smaller groups, some are for one person only. You will likely not get to see all the scenes in one viewing, but that's OK, your story is unique. Participants can choose to interact with the actors or not. You can touch some actors (from fingertips to elbow only, not roughly), actors will not touch you.

There will be a waiver to sign at check-in.

A portion of the box office goes both to the First Christian Church of Whittier (501c3) before they convert to low-income senior housing, and The Game Academy, a 501c3 that uses role-playing for education.

Orwell's 1984 - October 24, 2019 – December 7, 2019

Winston Smith hates his job. He works in the Ministry of Information rewriting history to serve the interests of the powerful. Winston’s soul is stirring with rebellion and his heart alive with love. Welcome to a world of no privacy, where electronic screens create paranoia, divisiveness, and hatred for the ‘other’. Here, the state manufactures consent for perpetual war, truth is manipulated, and love itself is an act of rebellion.

Directed by Tim Robbins and adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan, this acclaimed, wildly successful production of George Orwell’s classic returns to The Actors’ Gang Theater after touring throughout the world!

Urban Death Tour of Haunted Theatre - October 25, 2019 – November 2, 2019

Zombie Joe’s underground theatre group proudly presents the 2019 7th Annual Urban Death Tour of Terror: Haunted Theatre Attraction! For ages 17 and up on Fridays & Saturday nights October 4-26, 2019, and November 1-2, 2019, plus Halloween Thursday, October 31, 2019

Warning: graphic content, trigger warnings, and full nudity.

**New for 2019: for ages 8 and up a family-friendly urban death tour every Saturday at 7 p.m. October 5-26, 2019, and November 2, 2019, plus 7 p.m. Halloween night Thursday, October 31, 2019.

Deadly - October 25, 2019 – November 2, 2019

World premiere musical! They were intelligent, ambitious, independent women. It just wouldn't do. 1893. A time of hope and optimism as the World's Fair turns the globe's eyes toward Chicago. But within this cultural explosion of art and technology, a demon lurks beneath. Taking advantage of the modern woman's adventuresome spirit, H.H. Holmes builds a hotel - a murder castle - to entrap and kill unsuspecting ladies new to the big city.

From the team behind the critical and box-office hit Stoneface, playwright Vanessa Claire Stewart (Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara), composer Ryan Thomas Johnson (Watson), and director Jaime Robledo (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play), "Deadly" examines one of the most famous true crime cases in history, through the unlikely lens of the victims' experience.

The Mystery of Irma Vep: A Penny Dreadful - October 25, 2019 – November 10, 2019

Actors Co-op’s Season Opener (Hollywood)

Enter into the longer nights of autumn with Charles Ludlam’s The Mystery of Irma Vep - A Penny Dreadful, directed by Carla Cackowski, a hilarious fright fest, complete with a cast of monsters and an Egyptian princess. This two-actor, multi-character show will spellbind audiences with its nod to the classic Gothic melodramas and early fright flicks of the 30s and 40s.

Macbeth - October 25, 2019 – November 3, 2019

House of Bards Theatre Company has announced the cast of their first production, Shakespeare’s dynamic drama "Macbeth" directed by Michael Richey. The new company, headed by television and film actors and producers Reneé O’Connor and Jed Sura, opens their inaugural show on October 11 at the Grand Annex located in the Arts District of San Pedro, California.

No stranger to iconic roles, O'Connor is taking on the formidable Lady Macbeth. O’Connor is best known as Gabrielle, Xena’s trusted sidekick on the tremendously popular fantasy series Xena: Warrior Princess. Other credits include roles on Criminal Minds, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and NYPD Blue. On stage, she recently starred in the Los Angeles premiere of Steven Dietz’s On Clover Road and played Nurse in the Southern Shakespeare Festival’s production of Romeo and Juliet. O’Connor reprises the role of Lady Macbeth after a 2002 production with Shakespeare by the Sea.

Klingon Tamburlaine - October 25, 2019 – November 9, 2019

The Complex Hollywood and The School of Night are thrilled to announce the return of Klingon Tamburlaine to the Ruby Theater in Hollywood beginning October 12th. The Klingon performance troupe, Gabh ghe’naQ, returns to earth after a sold-out run on Qo’noS to perform their unique take on Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great, parts I and II. Klingon Tamburlaine is an exciting new take on the seldom-produced classic that inaugurated the Elizabethan theatrical renaissance.

Tragedy! Romance! Mighty verse! Great battles waged on land and in space! Honor and glory! Qapla’!

Masoch and DeSade - October 25, 2019 and November 2, 2019

Two archetypes walk into a bar–a bar at the edge of the New World–named for America's first great poet, owned and operated by an African American.
The archetypes in question are, however, profoundly European.

A meditation/horror story on imperialism, paranoia, biblical violence, and perversion in the modern world in the style of Edgar Allan Poe.

Chills & Thrills - October 30, 2019 and November 3, 2019

LFT Company Members handpick a selection of off-beat short plays. They’re creepy, weird, and freaky tales that scream Halloween!

Titus Andronicus - October 31, 2019 and November 2, 2019

This Halloween, Director Mikey Mulhearn, and Intimacy/Fight Director Celina Surniak, transform the space beneath EverBar into an arena of death. Laced with opaque tarp, horrific acts of violence, and inspired by classic Hollywood horror films- Shakespeare on the Deck brings you closer than ever to one of the Bard’s most experimental works.

Returning triumphantly to Rome, general Titus Andronicus brings with him the Goth Queen Tamora and her three sons as prisoners of war. Sacrificing the eldest Goth son to appease the ghosts of his fallen own; his refusal to accept the title of emperor; and his blatant disregard for Tamora’s pleas of mercy–Titus sets into motion a horrific cycle of mutilation, rape, and murder.

Sally Spectre the Musical - November 1 - 2, 2019

The evening will open with a “Costumed. Multi-Media, Concert Reading” of Sally Spectre the Musical. (Book, Music and Lyrics by David P. Johnson) This multiple award-winning Tim Burton-esque musical experience about the ghost of a little girl trying to find her way through purgatory is touching and charming and leaves viewers in a world of imaginative wonder. The presentation will feature video segments to accompany live performers to help tell the story in a very inventive fashion.

Romeo and Juliet in Hell - November 1 - 23, 2019

Romeo and Juliet, dead, wake up to find themselves stuck in their Personal Hell – forced to listen to "West Side Story" music for eternity. To escape, they must suffer through a production of their life story performed by the other inhabitants of Hell – Shakespeare’s dead characters – who butcher the story in hysterical ways! "Romeo And Juliet In Hell" is full of theatre-goer inside jokes, Broadway show tunes, and madcap madness! Recommended for ages 15 and up.

This show returns once again after premiering at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2014.