Features

L.A.’s Latino Theater Company Evolves the Narrative

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José Luis Valenzuela and Evelina Fernández are an all-in-one husband and wife theatrical team.  José Luis Valenzuela is The Latino Theater Company Artistic Director and the head of the UCLA MFA Director Program.  Evelina Fernández is writer of The Mexican Trilogy which opens this month with José directing.  The pair recently sat down with me to discuss the evolving role of theater in Los Angeles: ...

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Wendy Worthington’s Tour de Force

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Wendy Worthington is an actor, producer, and founding member of Neo Ensemble Theatre.  She joined Actors’ Equity Association only a few years ago.  Her motivation was to throw in with fellow Los Angeles actors protesting their union’s termination of the 99-Seat Plan – the vehicle which has fostered the development of intimate theater throughout Los Angeles.  Says Wendy: “I had come to Los Angeles to ...

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Dakin Matthews: A Layman Looks at Equity’s Reply to Plaintiffs’ Rebuttal

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Dakin Matthews is a proud member of Actors Equity for almost 50 years. He has worked under many of its contracts, codes, and plans including, recently, five shows on Broadway.  He is also a retired full professor of English with specialties in Shakespeare, linguistics, rhetoric, and grammar.  He is a member in good standing of Equity in the Western Region, but is pretty much bi-coastal ...

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Labor Day for Artists

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There is much in the news these days about how artists, and the personnel infrastructure supporting the artists, need to be appropriately compensated.  Los Angeles theater, of course, has become ground-zero for some of this debate.  Despite claims to the contrary, you’d be hard-pressed to find a stage actor in L.A. who wouldn’t like to be more appropriately compensated.  The issue is defining the term ...

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Letter: Proposed Changes to Actors’ Equity’s Constitution

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Footlights received this letter from actor and Actors’ Equity member Leo Marks.  In it, he references an upcoming Equity meeting on September 12, 2016:  For those of you wondering what the 9/12 meeting is about: I’m attaching the text of the proposals I’ve submitted, which will be voted on at that meeting. I really encourage people to read these for themselves. For what it’s worth, ...

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Counterpoint to a Datapoint

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Under the title “There is Pro99 Data and Then There Are the Facts,” Los Angeles playwright, producer, and stage manager Armina LaManna has published a rebuttal in The Dramatist  to Vanessa Stewart’s earlier article there (a version of which first appeared in Footlights). You may recall that Stewart, aided by Monica Greene, took upon herself the daunting task of capturing the life of any intimate ...

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Equity Exec Director Mary McColl Contradicts Equity Website

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Earlier this week,  I reviewed Actors’ Equity’s new website equityworksla.com.  Equity claims this special site will inform Los Angeles about the coming rule-changes.  Secondarily, the tone on the website is clearly designed to make the changes seem as benign as possible.  As I found in my review, however, the website is riddled with inconsistencies, partial truths, and deliberately misleading graphics.  The site is so flawed ...

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Product Review: Actors’ Equity Launches New Website

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Actors’ Equity has launched a new website, equityworksla.com.  I wondered why a new website?  After all, Equity already has a website and anyone in IT will tell you that maintaining a single website is easier and more efficient than two.  The domain name was registered on May 18, 2015 – two days before voting ended in Equity’s national election.  In other words, the domain was ...

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L.A. Plaintiffs’ Response to Union’s Motion to Dismiss

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In the latest of the legal battle shaping up between a group of Los Angeles actors who are suing their own union, Actors’ Equity Association, comes the official legal response to Equity’s Motion to Dismiss their lawsuit.  The 34-page document, submitted to the court, is a point-for-point rebuttal of Equity’s motion filed on July 21, 2016. These volleys back and forth make clear this legal ...

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Dakin Matthews: A Layman Looks at Equity’s Motion to Dismiss

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Back in October 2015, when a group of LA actors served a lawsuit on their own Union, Actors’ Equity, veteran actor and scholar Dakin Matthews was there to give a layman’s analysis of the legal text.  Now that Equity has filed a motion to dismiss the case, Dakin is back to scrutinize the new document: Again, I’m not a lawyer or a judge, and I ...

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