THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Clarissa Burt Headshot

Creating Originals: Theatre Artists Who Make It Happen!

Posted: Updated:
Print

2012-08-13-_MG_0270.jpeg

While living in the land of "hurry up and wait," I have noticed that today's actors, writers, and directors are creating their own vehicles for success. They arrive in Los Angeles with dreams of working in the entertainment business. Ideas are plentiful - they are creative types after all - so, they create their own opportunities. Instead of waiting to be discovered, they meet with other artists and develop their own projects. Instead of hoping for someone to cast them, actors find writers to work with. If the writers don't get the job they want, they write one and continue working on their craft until they are just too good to be ignored.

Fifty-five actors, seven writers, and seven directors have done just that, and will presenting a theatrical feast of new works in Los Angeles from August 10th - September 16th at the Skylight Theatre Complex, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont, LA, 90027. No waiting required.

The artists were brought together through the Katselas Theatre Company's Playlab, and the writers developed entirely original works from the ground up. The only requirements...they must start with something they hadn't already been working on, and be willing to discuss their ideas in front of the group prior to setting pen to page. In this way, all lab participants would become partners in the development of one another's plays.

Producing Artistic Director Gary Grossman and the Director of PlayLab, Shem Bitterman explain "what the audience will see is a result of that collaborative process. It had always been the hope to see all the plays produced upon completion, to give a sort of snapshot to the audience of where a variety of writers are coming from at a specific point in time. Because of the long lag period in premiering new works, pretty much every play you see on a stage these days, even many world premieres, are at least five to ten years old. The seven plays premiering in LAb Works 2012 are literally 'new' plays, conceived of, developed, and executed in the last 12 months."

What a positive inspiration for artists everywhere. I hope to catch a glimpse of all the new plays. Who knows, the next generations Arthur Miller, Lorraine Hansberry, August Wilson, or Tony Kushner may be in this group!

As diverse as their writers, the works include Dusty De Los Santos by Boni B. Alvarez and directed by Thomas O'Leary (a Fillipino household is forced to cope with the family baggage,; Flim Flam by Doug Cooney and directed by Randee Travitz a stage farce set at an independent film festival; Focus Group Play by Carrie Barrett and directed by Eric Hunicutt a dark comedy about a focus group gone awry; Harry and the Thief by Sigrid Gilmer and directed by Jose Casas a comedy about traveling back in time to deliver arms to Harriet Tubman; Sympathy for the Devil by Lynn Manning and directed by Joel Polis after a failed marriage a playwright is driven to find a theatrical way to share the story of Dr. J. Marrion Sims, America's "Father of Gynecology."; Wild Geese by Ron Burch and directed by Mark Bringleson contentious heirs divide up an estate; plus a bonus staged reading of Death by Papercuts by Tim Furlong and directed by Jan Munroe. a drama examining the blossoming relationship between two Alzheimer's patients.

For reservations: 702-KTC-TKTS (702-582-8587) or online at http://www.katselastheatre.com. Tickets are $17.50 and up. PlayPass is your very own "fast pass" to savings! For $99 you can see all 7 plays or reserve multiple seats for just one or two shows. That's a $23.50 savings on Advance Sale tickets or a savings of $76.