Features

Letter: 99-Seat Plan to Equity Contract – The Data

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[The database discussed in this letter has since been updated.  Details may be found here.] I just spent about a year of researching 99-Seat productions that moved to contracts. And here’s what I found (with help from the Los Angeles Theater Community): At least 127 productions that began in 99-Seat theaters graduated to a level where the actors received Equity contracts. 917 Equity contracts were ...

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Letter to Editor: Plaintiffs’ Response to AEA President (Part 2)

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“And the other is that – and I think this is one of the things that guided the Council – the idea that a mid-sized theater could open at this point, or even a smallish theater, could open at this point in Los Angeles when they had to compete with the 99-seat business model (which is much more cost-effective) is kind of preposterous.”  ~ Actors’ ...

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Letter to Editor: Plaintiffs’ Response to AEA President (Part 1)

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We thank Dakin Matthews, Steven Leigh Morris and many others for their eloquent, considered responses to Kate Shindle’s recent statements during her interview on The Producer’s Perspective. As Mr. Matthews said we also think “she is an admirable, trustworthy, and hard-working president,” and we “don’t for an instant question her integrity or her motives.” Like Mr. Matthews, our concern is with ideas and actions. We ...

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The Anonymous Creator

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If you’ve ever walked through a museum like LACMA or the Norton Simon, it’s likely you’ve run into art objects from antiquity.  These objects are not signed.  There’s no clue as to the artisan’s name.  They are of anonymous origin. And yet the objects are undeniably true works of art, representing aesthetic sensibilities and skills requiring years to develop. I was reminded of this anonymous ...

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Orson Bean: ‘The Most Lucky Fella’

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Just ask yourself every morning when you wake up, ‘Are you or are you not the luckiest son of a bitch you know?’ It’s funny.  Here I was scheduled to meet with cultural icon Orson Bean minutes post a Sunday afternoon performance of his solo show, Safe at Home: An Evening with Orson Bean, at the Pacific Resident Theatre and the one thought that crammed ...

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Writing For LA Theatre-Land

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During a ’shoot from the hip’ L.A. theatre chat, TV writers (also producer & director respectively), David Castro (Married with Children, Bobby’s World, HBO) and Stan Zimmerman (The Golden Girls, Roseanne, Gilmore Girls) opened up about what it’s been like writing for stage after having lengthy and successful careers in network television. For David, theatre has been a life-long passion since attending Broadway matinees as a ...

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A Classic Tradition

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In the Oxford Dictionary, the first definition of the noun, “classic,” is classic (noun): A work of art of recognized and established value. The inclusion of the words “of art,” however, makes this definition unnecessarily narrow.  Here’s a better one: classic (noun): A work of recognized and established value. It’s necessary to widen the definition because works of science can also be classics.  Examples include ...

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Steve Julian: An LA Presence

The City of Angeles is the land of the motored commute.  And so it’s not surprising that many in Los Angeles are accustomed to the radio sound of Steve Julian, the Morning Edition  host of Southern California’s NPR affiliate KPCC (89.3 FM).  His voice, after all, is boomed from the antenna atop Mt. Wilson and reaches all of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.  But many ...

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Sheldon Epps Talks Diversity and LA Theater

Sheldon Epps has been the Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse since 1997. He came to that position with a great many credits, including being the Assistant AD at the Old Globe, the founder of several theatre companies, and a noted director on and off Broadway. His television credits read like a who’s who of Hollywood.  We talked just before his announcement to step down ...

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Actors’ Equity 2015 Membership by the Numbers

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Actors’ Equity, the union for stage actors and managers, released some interesting membership data today.  According to their analysis: “Over the [2005-2015] decade, paid membership has increased by almost 8%… The ten cities with the largest numbers of Equity members… comprised the same ten cities ten years ago, but Washington DC/Baltimore and Philadelphia have exchanged positions over the decade.  All ten cities have seen their ...

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