LASA Director on Recent Theater Closings

The new Equity plan will pose special economic stresses on intimate theatersThisStage: LA STAGE Alliance Director, Steven Leigh Morris, continues to espouse his theme of “we’re all in this together” concerning the recent, near back-to-back production suspensions at both the Colony Theatre in Burbank and the Cabrillo Music Theatre in Thousand Oaks.  From the start of his tenure as Director, Morris has consistently spoken about theater in the City of Angeles as one community despite attempts to divide it based on house-size.  Actors’ Equity continues to float the position, without specific evidence, that intimate houses hurt attendance at the larger ones.  The closings will likely be brought up by both sides during the current negotiations between Actors’ Equity and LA actors representing the intimate theaters.  Nevertheless, smaller theaters are also closing and there is plenty of evidence that the larger theaters have easier access to the small amounts of grants and donations available to the city.  In addition, there is significant data to suggest that intimate theater is an excellent place to grow shows that eventually find home in the larger theaters.

LA STAGE Alliance continues to stand behind both the Cabrillo Music Theatre and the Colony Theatre, behind their history and their place in the city. Their plights — though quite different in the way they’ve manifested themselves — are part of a common, larger pattern affecting theaters ranging in aesthetics and ambition, from tiny Echo Theater and Circle X in Atwater Village to the comparatively cavernous halls of Center Theatre Group. We have to remember that despite size and philosophy, all of these theaters operate at a deficit, for a larger purpose.

About Tracey Paleo

Tracey Paleo is Associate Editor at FootLights Magazine. She's also the Founder and Chief Editor of the arts and culture site, Gia On The Move, where she often reviews live performance events.

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