What’s Up with Theater in Downtown L.A.?

Engine 28 reporter Walter Ryce, on loan from the Monterey County Weekly, asks regular folks in downtown Los Angeles about their relationship to (or lack thereof) Los Angeles theater. … [Read more...]

RADAR L.A.: Experimental Mardi Gras

Remixing New York’s Under the Radar Festival for the West Coast, the RADAR L.A. Festival reflects a shift in contemporary theater, colliding international work with the Los Angeles theater scene. Under the leadership of Mark Murphy of Redcat, Diane … [Read more...]

‘Solitude’: Waxing Philosophical, Waning Into Tedium

A stiff but stylish drama inspired by the philosophical musings of Octavio Paz, the Latino Theater Company’s Solitude attempts to imagine a Mexican-American existentialism but achieves only everyday, generalized angst. The action, such as it is, … [Read more...]

‘Hot Pepper’: Downsized Dance by Chelfitsch

Anyone who’s ever worked in a cubicle will recognize the fluorescent-cool pecking order of corporate culture in Chelfitsch's Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and The Fairwell Speech.  The Japanese company opened its dance theater piece which runs through … [Read more...]

‘State of Incarceration’: Locked Up, and a Little Locked Out

You walk down a hallway at Los Angeles Theatre Center and into a large, brightly lit room. But where do you sit? Painted black wooden boxes line a wall and row on row of metal bunk beds with thin, tightly tucked blankets confront you.  You file in … [Read more...]

‘Titus Redux’ Review and Impressions

  My podcast review and impressions of 'Titus Redux' - an update of William Shakespeare's 'Titus Andronicus' by the Not Man Apart and New American Theatre companies. … [Read more...]

Stehlin on ‘Titus’: Finding Narrative in Abstraction

If you indulge in the HBO series Weeds, you know Jack Stehlin. And if you don't know his role as Drug Enforcement Agency Captain Roy Till, you probably know him from any number of "angry cop" roles he's played throughout the years. So perhaps his … [Read more...]

Backseat Drivers: How Moving Arts Ignites ‘The Car Plays’

It turns out that it's not that hard to get car-dependent Angelenos to sacrifice their vehicles for a few evenings. "There's a lot of enticement, because if we use your car, you're going to get the best parking spot," said Steve Lozier, producer … [Read more...]

‘Amarillo’ Climbs the Wall in Search of the Disenfranchised

A man goes into the desert and dies … or dreams. Storywise, that's it. But this spare scenario allows for kinetic visual imagery and a series of bilingual monologues to anchor Teatro Linea de Sombra's Amarillo. The setup merely explains that people … [Read more...]

Pretty Ronnie’s ‘State of Incarceration’

  Ronnie Walker barely moves. He faces a corner of the prison yard, relaxed, swaying gently. When a fight breaks out, the correctional officers bark, “Yard down!” and then begin screaming at him. Why hasn’t he dropped to the ground as … [Read more...]

First Take: The Method Gun

In The Method Gun, Austin-based collective Rude Mechs explores the "cult of acting" as an ensemble, abandoned by their guru, rehearses for performances of a reimagined Streetcar Named Desire.  Minutes after attending the opening night performance … [Read more...]

Relentless: ‘Titus Redux’

Here's a parlor game for all your dramaturg friends: Prod them for their opinions of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. The aesthetes among them will point out that no less than T.S. Eliot called it "one of the stupidest and most uninspired … [Read more...]

Rectangular Anger: ‘2 Dimensional Life of Her’

  Puppets — and menace — in the ballroom 2 Dimensional Life of Her, the first production of the RADAR L.A. International Festival of Contemporary Theater, might better qualify as experimental film than any conventional idea of theater. … [Read more...]

‘2 Dimensional Life of Her,’ Revisited

  Since its Tuesday premiere as part of the RADAR L.A. festival, Fleur Elise Noble’s enigmatic and captivating hybrid experience 2 Dimensional Life of Her -- part film, part theater, and all art installation -- has generated a lot of "you've … [Read more...]

‘The Method Gun’: Rude Mechs Leap, Moving Us

Five actors stand, facing downstage and smiling at the audience.  One is in a brilliant orange jumpsuit.  She holds an old, faded kitchen timer.  On a whiteboard upstage, an overhead projector beams “Training Technique: CRYING PRACTICE.” She sets … [Read more...]

Postmodern Shakespeare, Four Plays, Four Ways

We just can’t get over the Bard. Even at RADAR L.A. and the Hollywood Fringe, dueling festivals devoted to the theatrical cutting edge, the ultimate warhorses are still running strong – though they are, of course, all dressed up in postmodern … [Read more...]

Fear and Brooding: Twain’s ‘Ghost Story’

Read Mark Twain's A Ghost Story and you'll get a hybrid tale that teases readers with all the clichéd elements of suspense but ends with one of the author's signature lessons on human folly. See the story adapted from page to stage in a 20-minute … [Read more...]

Sometimes It Rains Apples: ‘Ground to Cloud,’ ‘Myth and Infrastructure’

Despite its age, the term performance art remains a useful one, if only because no other phrase encompasses so many types of alternative theatrical expression in which you hear so much about "environments." Whatever you choose to call it, a double … [Read more...]

Intro to RADAR L.A. with Laura Spencer

What is RADAR L.A.?. June 14 - June 19, 2011 When Theatre Communications Group announced its 50th anniversary conference would take place in 2011 in Los Angeles, Ca., a festival in the works for nearly five years set a date. RADAR L.A., an … [Read more...]

Chekhov’s Widow Faces Love, Death: ‘Neva’

  A Chilean company finds the bitter side of humor The psychic whiplash inflicted by Teatro en el Blanco’s Neva, one of four plays to inaugurate the RADAR L.A. festival on Tuesday night, goes far beyond the race your eyes must make (if you … [Read more...]