Mar 102017
 
The Cast Of “Into the Woods” At Ahmanson Theatre

Laurie Veldheer as Cinderella, Anthony Chatmon II as Cinderella’s Prince and the cast of the Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods,” which plays April 4 through May 14, 2017, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400.
Photo by Joan Marcus. ©2016 Joan Marcus

 

COMPLETE CAST ANNOUNCED FOR ACCLAIMED FIASCO THEATER PRODUCTION OF

“INTO THE WOODS”

AT CENTER THEATRE GROUP / AHMANSON THEATRE
APRIL 4 – MAY 14, 2017

“Truly enchanting …These are the woods that you want to get lost in, a place you’ll find buried treasures that you didn’t even know existed.” –Ben Brantley, The New York Times

 

The complete cast has been announced for the acclaimed Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods” opening April 5th 2017, at the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre and playing through May 14th 2017, with one preview performance on April 4. This celebrated new production of the Tony Award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, is directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld.

This wildly inventive ensemble piece features versatile actor/musicians who sing, act and play instruments, including Anthony Chatmon II as Lucinda/Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince, Eleasha Gamble as Baker’s Wife, Evan Harrington as Baker, Lisa Helmi Johanson as Little Red Ridinghood/Rapunzel, Bonne Kramer as Cinderella’s Stepmother/Jack’s Mother, Patrick Mulryan as Jack/Steward, Darick Pead as Milky White/Florinda/Rapunzel’s Prince, Evan Rees, Music Director/Pianist, Fred Rose as Mysterious Man, Stephanie Umoh as Witch and Laurie Veldheer as Cinderella/Granny, with Joshua Archer, Sean Peter Forte, Javier Ignacio, Kate Moore and Alanna Saunders.

“The key element in every Fiasco show is the sense of ensemble that the audience sees on stage. What you’re seeing is not a group of individuals, but an actual group — like seeing a band or a choir. We’re really listening, breathing and thinking together,” said Steinfeld, who is also co-artistic director of Fiasco Theater.

 

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Feb 162017
 
“Remote L.A.” Participatory Art Experience

As part of Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum’s 50th season, “Remote L.A.” is a pedestrian-based live art experience that takes place on the streets of Downtown L.A. Created by documentary theatre team Rimini Protokoll, performances for “Remote L.A.” begin March 12 and run through April 2, 2017. Photo courtesy of Rimini Protokoll.

“Remote L.A.” By Rimini Protokoll

Concept, script and direction by Stefan Kaegi

Research, script and direction for L.A. by Jörg Karrenbauer

Celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary Season with a pedestrian-based live art experience. Participants will join a group of 50 people exploring Los Angeles on a guided audio tour that seems to follow them as much as they are following it, directed and produced by award-winning international documentary theatre team Rimini Protokoll. Participants are provided with a soundtrack to the streets, sights and rooftops of Los Angeles. A computer-generated voice sets them out on a trail through the city, guiding the group’s movements in real time. The performance reveals a “secret Los Angeles,” journeying to places normally unseen, places where humans encounter their limits, places where crowds gather, back alleyways, dark hallways and common areas seen through a new lens. At times the group is given tasks—take the Metro or travel at a new pace. Participants are not just audience members, they are actors and spectators, observers and observed, individuals and a pack, all at the same time.

DATES/TIMES:
Previews Sunday, March 12 at 4 p.m.
Opens Tuesday, March 14 at 4 p.m. Through April 2.
Regular Performances: (March 15 – April 2):
Tuesday through Friday at 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
No Monday performances.

*Each performance will begin at La Plaza (501 N Main St) at the times indicated above. Participants should meet at the Ahmanson Box Office a half hour prior to show time.

TICKET INFO:
Ticket Prices: $39 (Ticket prices are subject to change.)

Tickets are available online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, by calling Audience Services at (213) 628-2772 or in person at the Center Theatre Group box office. Advance tickets only. Groups: (213) 972-7231.
LOCATION:
Meet guides at Ahmanson Box Office a half hour prior to show time.
Ahmanson Box Office is located at The Music Center,
135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

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Jan 132017
 
“Fun Home” At The Ahmanson Theatre

L-R: Alessandra Baldacchino as ‘Small Alison’, Pierson Salvador as ‘Christian’ and Lennon Nate Hammond as ‘John’ in the national tour of “Fun Home.” “Fun Home” is part of the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre’s 2016-2017 Season and will be presented February 21 through April 1, 2017.
Photo by Joan Marcus. ©2016 Joan Marcus

“Fun Home”

Music by Jeanine Tesori; Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron;
Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel
Choreography by Danny Mefford; Directed by Sam Gold

Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, “Fun Home” introduces Alison at three different ages in her life, as she explores and unravels the mysteries of her childhood. A refreshingly honest musical, Alison eventually sees her parents through the eyes of a grown-up. Winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Book, Score and Director of a Musical, “‘Fun Home’ is extraordinary, a rare beauty that pumps fresh air into Broadway” (The New York Times).

DATES / TIMES:
Previews February 21 at 8 p.m. Opens February 22 at 8 p.m.
Through April 1, 2017.
Regular Performances (February 23 – April 1):
Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.;
Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. No Monday performances.
Exceptions: Added 8 p.m. performance on Monday, March 27 and 2 p.m. performance on Thursday, March 30.

 

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Dec 182016
 
Heartwarming “Amélie, A New Musical” Is Just Right For The Holidays

Phillipa Soo and Adam Chanler-Berat in “Amélie, A New Musical” at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre. “Amélie, A New Musical” plays through January 15, 2017. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Photo by Joan Marcus. ©2016 Joan Marcus

 

CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S PRODUCTION OF
“AMÉLIE, A NEW MUSICAL”
OPENED AT THE AHMANSON THEATRE

Performances Continue Through January 15

Center Theatre Group’s production of “Amélie, A New Musical” opened on December 16 at the Ahmanson Theatre and continues through January 15, 2017.

Based on the motion picture written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant, “Amélie, A New Musical” will have its Broadway premiere at the Walter Kerr Theatre, beginning performances on March 9, 2017 and opening April 3, 2017.

Amélie captured our hearts in the 2001 French film. Now Amélie (played by Tony Award nominee Phillipa Soo) comes to the stage in an inventive and captivating new musical directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “Clybourne Park”), with a book by three-time Tony Award nominee Craig Lucas (“An American in Paris”), music by Daniel Messé (of the band Hem), lyrics by Nathan Tysen (“Tuck Everlasting”) and Daniel Messé, musical staging and choreography by Sam Pinkleton, musical direction by Kimberly Grigsby, vocal arrangements by Kimberly Grigsby and Daniel Messé, and orchestrations by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin.

In addition to Phillipa Soo in the title role, the cast will feature, in alphabetical order, Emily Afton, David Andino, Randy Blair, Heath Calvert, Adam Chanler-Berat, Alison Cimmet, Savvy Crawford, Manoel Felciano, Harriett D. Foy, Alyse Alan Louis, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Lily Sanfelippo, Tony Sheldon, Jacob Keith Watson and Paul Whitty.

“Amélie, A New Musical” features scenic and costume design by Tony Award winner David Zinn, co-lighting design by Tony Award nominee Jane Cox and Mark Barton, sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada and projection design by Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini.

The musical follows the mesmerizing journey of the inquisitive and charmingly shy Amélie who turns the streets of Montmartre into a world of her own imagining, while secretly orchestrating moments of joy for those around her. After discovering a mysterious photo album and meeting a handsome stranger, Amélie realizes that helping others is easier than participating in a romantic story of her own.

 

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Dec 032016
 
A Screening Of “Amélie” at Ace Hotel

L-R Adam Chanler-Berat, Sam Pinkleton and Phillipa Soo at a workshop for “Amélie, A New Musical,” which will be produced at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre December 4, 2016, through January 15, 2017. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Photo by Joan Marcus. ©2016 Joan Marcus

 

CENTER THEATRE GROUP AND THE THEATRE AT ACE HOTEL PRESENT

A SPECIAL “AMÉLIE” FILM SCREENING SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 AT 7:30PM

“Amélie, A New Musical” Coming to the Ahmanson December 4

 

In anticipation of “Amélie, A New Musical” coming to the Ahmanson Theatre, Center Theatre Group and The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles will present a special screening of the five-time Oscar-nominated film “Amélie” on Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Center Theatre Group’s production of “Amélie, A New Musical” at the Ahmanson Theatre begins previews December 4, 2016, opens December 16 and continues through January 15, 2017. Based on the motion picture written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant, “Amélie, A New Musical” will have its Broadway premiere at the Walter Kerr Theatre, beginning performances on March 9, 2017 and opening April 3, 2017.

Amélie captured our hearts in the 2001 French film. Now Amélie (played by Tony Award nominee Phillipa Soo) comes to the stage in an inventive and captivating new musical directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “Clybourne Park”), with a book by three-time Tony Award nominee Craig Lucas (“An American in Paris”), music by Daniel Messé (of the band Hem), lyrics by Nathan Tysen (“Tuck Everlasting”) and Daniel Messé, musical staging and choreography by Sam Pinkleton, musical direction by Kimberly Grigsby, vocal arrangements by Kimberly Grigsby and Daniel Messé, and orchestrations by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin.

In addition to Phillipa Soo in the title role, the cast will feature, in alphabetical order, Emily Afton, David Andino, Randy Blair, Heath Calvert, Adam Chanler-Berat, Alison Cimmet, Savvy Crawford, Manoel Felciano, Harriett D. Foy, Alyse Alan Louis, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Lily Sanfelippo, Tony Sheldon, Jacob Keith Watson and Paul Whitty.

The musical follows the mesmerizing journey of the inquisitive and charmingly shy Amélie who turns the streets of Montmartre into a world of her own imagining, while secretly orchestrating moments of joy for those around her. After discovering a mysterious photo album and meeting a handsome stranger, Amélie realizes that helping others is easier than participating in a romantic story of her own.

 

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Nov 202016
 
Gordon Davidson

Gordon Davidson. Photo by Craig Schwartz

CENTER THEATRE GROUP TO HOLD MEMORIAL IN HONOR OF GORDON DAVIDSON
MONDAY, JANUARY 9th 2017, AT 7:30 P.M. AT THE AHMANSON THEATRE

Center Theatre Group will hold a memorial in honor of its Founding Artistic Director, Gordon Davidson, on Monday, January 9th 2017, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Ahmanson Theatre. The theatre will open at 7 p.m. The memorial will not be a ticketed event and will be open to the public. (Free admission) Additional details will be released at a later date.

“Gordon Davidson was one of the most renowned and respected artistic directors in regional theatre, in part because he was one of the original founders of the entire concept,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. “He led Center Theatre Group for 38 years and produced one of the broadest arrays of plays, particularly new plays, of any theatre in the country. Without his prolific vision for Center Theatre Group 50 years ago, the theatrical landscape in Los Angeles, and the country, would be very different. He remains one of theatre’s great leaders and I am proud to call him a mentor, friend and colleague.”

From 1967 to 2005 Gordon Davidson was the Artistic Director of the Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum at The Music Center. Davidson was also the Producing Director of the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre for 15 years, and the Artistic Director of the inaugural season (2004-2005) at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. In addition to redefining theatre in Southern California, he was one of the founders of the regional theatre movement and had a permanent impact on theatre throughout the country and the world.

Gordon guided hundreds of productions to the Taper stage while overseeing numerous special projects sponsored by the Taper. This work, and his direction of many plays staged at the Taper, were acclaimed both in Los Angeles and New York, garnering the Taper a Tony Award for theatrical excellence in 1977.

Gordon was born on May 7, 1933, and passed away Sunday, October 2, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Judi; their children, Adam and Rachel; and five granddaughters.

 

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Nov 092016
 

AHMANSON THEATRE’S STUDENT SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR $75CENTER THEATRE GROUP INTRODUCES THE BACKSTAGE CLUB AN AHMANSON THEATRE STUDENT SUBSCRIPTION FOR $75

 

Center Theatre Group is launching the Backstage Club, a new subscription program that allows students ages 12-18 to purchase a three-show season ticket package to the Ahmanson Theatre for just $75.

The Backstage Club will include the following productions from the 2016/17 Ahmanson season: “Amélie, A New Musical,” “Into the Woods” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” For an additional $25, “Fun Home” will also be available as an optional add-on. The Backstage Club subscription will include Orchestra and Mezzanine seating, no handling fees and subscriber benefits including free ticket exchanges and priority seating. Up to two adults will be able to join each student at the same price of $25 per performance.

The Backstage Club subscribers will be given total flexibility to pick whichever performance dates work best for them. There will also be the option to attend designated Student Meet-Ups on select dates and enjoy a pre-show, behind-the-scenes experience featuring artist Q&As as well as raffles, snacks and merchandise.

“Center Theatre Group is thrilled to launch this brand new student subscription program for our 50th anniversary season,” said Deborah Warren, Center Theatre Group’s Director of Marketing. “We hope that the Backstage Club will give young people the opportunity to experience some of the incredible productions we have coming up at the Ahmanson Theatre at a low price and help to build a life-long relationship with the arts.”

The deadline to join the Backstage Club is December 1, 2016.

The Backstage Club Student Meet-Ups are scheduled as following: Thursday, December 8, 2016 for “Amélie, A New Musical,” Thursday, April 6, 2017 for “Into the Woods,” and Thursday, August 10, 2017 for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” The meet-up for the optional add-on “Fun Home” is Thursday, February 23, 2017.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

For further information about Center Theatre Group and the Backstage Club please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/BackstageClub or call (213) 972-4444.

The Ahmanson Theatre is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

 

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Nov 012016
 
centertheatregroup11

L-R: Pablo Santiago, Jenny Foldenauer and Keith Skretch are the finalists for Center Theatre Group’s 2017 Richard E. Sherwood Award, a $10,000 award that provides support for emerging artists living and working in Los Angeles. Photo by Ryan Miller.

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 RICHARD E. SHERWOOD AWARD
Center Theatre Group’s $10,000 Award for Emerging L.A. Theatre Artists

Three finalists have been selected for Center Theatre Group’s 2017 Richard E. Sherwood Award: Jenny Foldenauer, Pablo Santiago and Keith Skretch. Center Theatre Group recognizes and celebrates this year’s finalists for their exceptional contributions to the Los Angeles theatre landscape and their work as innovative and adventurous artists.

Created in memory of Richard E. Sherwood, the $10,000 award aims to cultivate emerging theatre artists working in Los Angeles who push formal and aesthetic boundaries and demonstrate dedication to improving their respective artistic fields.

The winner of the $10,000 award will be announced at the 2016 Ovation Awards on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center. The two additional finalists will receive a $2,000 honorarium.

Jenny Foldenauer is an L.A.-based costume designer and recipient of the 2014 Ovation, LADCC and Stage Raw awards for Best Costume Design for Theatre @ Boston Court and Rattlestick Playwrights’ “Everything You Touch.” Foldenauer applies a variety of influences to her design work, especially considering how found objects and alternative materials can elevate design.

She is currently experimenting by incorporating fiber optics and LED lighting into costumes. She holds an MFA in Theatre Design & Production from California Institute of the Arts and a B.S. in Design from University of California, Davis.

Pablo Santiago is a lighting designer originally from Chiapas, México who designs for theatre, opera, dance and gallery work. Santiago found a home in Los Angeles while he worked in the film industry for 15 years be fore obtaining an MFA in Lighting Design 2017 Sherwood Award Finalists Announced from UCLA and transitioning into live stage design.

Santiago integrates color theory into his designs and surprises collaborators with innovative plots. Santiago is particularly interested in projects that highlight social justice issues and experiment with time onstage. His design in “Premeditation”was nominated for an Ovation Award in 2014 and he won a Stage Raw Award for “Brother’s Size”in 2015. Upcoming projects include the opera “Breaking the Waves” at the Perelman Theater for OperaPhila and Skirball Center in NYC, “Destiny of Desire” at South Coast Rep and Goodman Theatre in Chicago and “Zoot Suit” at the Mark Taper Forum.

Keith Skretch is a video designer that combines practices in video art, installation, interaction design, animation and live performance to craft compelling relationships between image, body and space.

As a theatrical video designer he’s worked with artists including Mallory Catlett, Big Dance Theater, Palissimo, Phantom Limb Company, LA Contemporary Dance Company, Grand Lady Dance House, Son of Semele Ensemble, John Gould Rubin, Jay Scheib, Daniel Fish, Travis Preston and Zoe Aja Moore. His multichannel installations have been presented in New York and Los Angeles, and his experimental short “Waves of Grain” screened internationally and went viral online.

Skretch has been a repeat collaborator of WNYC’s Radiolab and worked as a visual designer for The Hettema Group. He’s received a Bessie and a Henry Hewes Design Award for his stage work, and he holds degrees from the University of Chicago and CalArts. Originally created in 1996, the Sherwood Award has met a vital need in the theatre landscape to support emerging artists.

Richard E. Sherwood was a patron of the arts with a special appreciation for emerging artists who are in the vanguard of theatre. He was president and then chairman of the Center Theatre Group Board of Directors from 1980 until his passing in 1993. The award is established as an endowed fund at Center Theatre Group by his family, friends, colleagues and fellow board members, to honor Sherwood’s passionate commitment to theatre.

Past recipients of the Richard E. Sherwood Award include Los Angeles artists Miwa Matreyek of Cloud Eye Control, Sean Cawelti of Rogue Artists Ensemble, Miranda 2017 Sherwood Wright of Los Angeles Performance Practice, Lars Jan of Early Morning Opera, lighting designer Christopher Kuhl and costume designer Ann Closs-Farley, among others.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

 

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Oct 182016
 

centertheatregroup1

L-R Adam Chanler-Berat, Kimberly Grigsby, Sam Pinkleton, Pam MacKinnon, Phillipa Soo and Doug Baker at a workshop for “Amélie, A New Musical,” which will be produced at the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre December 4, 2016, through January 15, 2017. Photo by Joan Marcus.

FULL CAST IS SET FOR CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S PRODUCTION OF “AMÉLIE, A NEW MUSICAL” AT THE AHMANSON THEATRE DECEMBER 4, 2016 THROUG H JANUARY 15, 2017

Casting has been set for Center Theatre Group’s production of “Amélie, A New Musical” at the Ahmanson Theatre which begins previews December 4, 2016, opens December 16, and continues through January 15, 2017.

In addition to the previously announced Phillipa Soo (Tony Award nominee for “Hamilton”) in the title role, the cast will feature, in alphabetical order, Emily Afton, Alys Alan Louis, David Andino, Randy Blair, Heath Calvert, Adam Chanler-Berat, Alison Cimmet, Savvy Crawford, Manoel Felciano, Harriett D. Foy, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Tony Sheldon, Jacob Keith Watson and Paul Whitty.

Based on the motion picture written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant, “Amélie, A New Musical” will have its Broadway premiere in 2017 with full casting, Broadway theatre and dates to be announced soon. Amélie captured our hearts in the five-time Academy Award-nominated 2001 French film.

Now she comes to the stage in an inventive and captivating new musical directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “Clybourne Park”), with a book by three-time Tony Award nominee Craig Lucas (“An American in Paris”), music by Daniel Messé (“Hem”), lyrics by Nathan Tysen (“The Burnt Part Boys”) and Daniel Messé, musical staging and choreography by Sam Pinkleton, musical direction by Kimberly Grigsby, vocal arrangements by Kimberly Grigsby and Daniel Messé, and orchestrations by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin.

“Amélie, A New Musical” features scenic and costume design by Tony Award winner David Zinn, co-lighting design by Tony Award nominee Jane Cox and Mark Barton.

Sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada and projection design by Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini.The musical follows the mesmerizing journey of the inquisitive and charmingly shy Amélie who turns the streets of Montmartre into a world of her own imagining, while secretly orchestrating moments of joy for those around her.

After discovering a mysterious photo album and meeting a handsome stranger, Amélie realizes that helping others is easier than participating in a romantic story of her own.

In 2015, “Amélie, A New Musical” had its critically acclaimed world premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and topped “Best Theater of 2015” lists in the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times called it “… a sparkling musical comedy,” that “… slyly revels in the infinite possibilities of theatrical merrymaking … The score … flowers with originality.” Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle said, “A dreamy movie becomes a dream of a stage musical … wit crackles and charm fills the house, emanating  from the book, lyrics and melodies.Director Pam MacKinnon creates a seamless blend of visual, narrative and performance delights.”

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

CREATIVE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES

CRAIG LUCAS (Book). Craig’s plays include “Missing Persons,” “Reckless,” “Blue Window,” “Prelude to a Kiss” (Tony no mination), “God’s Heart,” “The Dying Gaul,” “Small Tragedy” (Obie Award), “Stranger,” “Prayer for My Enemy,” “The Singing Forest,” “The Lying Lesson,” and “Ode To Joy.”

His movies include “Longtime Companion,” “The Secret Lives of Dentists” and “The Dying Gaul,” which he also directed. He wrote the libretti for “The Light in the Piazza” (Tony nomination), “An American in Paris” (Tony nomination), “Three Postcards” and the opera “Two Boys” (Metropolitan Opera).

He directed the world premiere of “The Light in the Piazza,” Harry Kondoleon’s “Saved or Destroyed” and “Play Yourself,” and the film “Birds of America.”Craig has received three Tony nominations, the New York Film Critics Best Screenplay Award, the Sundance Audience Award, the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Steinberg Award, three Obies (one for direction), and the Laura Pels Mid-career Achievement Award from PEN; he has been a Pulitzer finalist.

DANIEL MESSÉ (Music and co-lyricist) is the founder and principal songwriter of the band Hem, which has garnered worldwide acclaim over the course of six studio albums.

Starting as a DIY project out of Dan’s bedroom, Hem was signed to DreamWorks Records by legendary music producer Lenny Waronker and has been featured in every major media outlet including the “New York Times,” the “New Yorker,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

In 2009 the Public Theater tapped Hem to score “Twelfth Night” for Shakespeare in the Park (starring Anne Hathaway and Audra McDonald, directed by Daniel Sullivan) for which they earned a Drama Desk Award nomination.Daniel has written four shows for Theatreworks USA (including “Black Beauty” and “Nate the Great”) with collaborator Mindi Dickstein.

They were the recipients of a Jonathan Larson Grant from the American Theatre Wing and were commissioned by Play wrights Horizons to write the full-length musical “Trip” through the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Commissioning Program.

NATHAN TYSEN (Co-lyricist) was represented on Broadway last season with the new musical “Tuck Everlasting.”Recent projects include “Stillwater” with band Joe’s Pet Project at Kansas City Rep.In 2014, Nathan was awarded both the Edward Kleban Prize for most promising lyricist and the Fred Ebb Award for excellence in musical theatre songwriting (co-won with Chris Miller).Work with Miller includes lyrics for “The Burnt Part Boys” (2009 Lucille Lortel nomination for Best New Musical), and “Fugitive Songs” (2008 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Revue), both of which have cast albums available at iTunes and Amazon. Additional work with Miller includes songs for “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company,” as well as two circuses for Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey.

Nathan was a contributing lyricist to the musical revue “Stars of David,” and has written material for the Broadway Inspirational Voices and BCEA’s Gypsy of the Year. He has worked for over a decade writing and directing for the Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts, helping to create over a dozen new musicals with young adults. MFA: NYU Tisch, BFA: Missouri State Univ.

PAM MACKINNON (Direction) won Tony and Drama Desk Awards and received an Outer Critics Circle nomination for her direction of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Other Broadway credits include Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park” for which she won an Obie Award and garnered Tony and Lucille Lortel Award nominations, David Mamet’s “China Doll,” Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance” and Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles.”Her many off-Broadway and regional credits include Bruce Norris’ “The Qualms” (Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Playwrights Horizons), Sarah Treem’s “When We Were Young and Unafraid” (Manhattan Theatre Club), Craig Lucas’ “The Lying Lesson” (Atlantic Theater Company), Horton Foote’s “Harrison, TX” (Primary Stages) and Itamar Moses’ “Completeness” (South Coast Repertory and Playwrights Horizons).

Pam is an alumna of the Drama League, and the Women’s Project and Lincoln Center Theater Cast Set for “Amélie, A New Musical” 4 Directors Labs, and is an associate artist at the Roundabout Theatre, as well as an executive board member of Stage Directors a nd Choreographers Society, and board chair of the NYC downtown company Clubbed Thumb.SAM PINKLETON (Musical staging and choreography) is a New York City-based director and choreographer.As a choreographer his recent work includes “The Heidi Chronicles” (Broadway); “Machinal” (Broadway); “Pretty Filthy” (The Civilians); “Kansas City Choir Boy” (Prototype Festival, with Courtney Love);“Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” (Kazino); “Heisenberg” (Manhattan Theatre Club); “Significant Other” (Roundabout Theatre Company); “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play;” “Fly By Night;” and “Stage Kiss” (Playwrights Horizons); “Marie Antoinette” (Soho Rep); “I Promised Myself to Live Faster” (Pig Iron/Humana Festival);

“HAIR: Retrospection” (Kansas City Repertory Theatre); “The Understudy” (McCarter Theatre Center); “The Lightning Thief” (Theatreworks USA); “Spring Awakening”(Olney Theatre Center); and “Buyer and Cellar” (Barrow Street Theatre/tour). He is an associate artist with The Civilians and Wit-Cartel’s “ONTHEFLOOR.” Sam teaches “Bustin’ Moves” at NYU.

Oct 052016
 
Gordon Davidson Tony Award Winner

L.A. Loses An Icon: Gordon Davidson Died

Center Theatre Group mourns the loss of its Founding Artistic Director, Gordon Davidson, who passed away Sunday, October 2, 2016. Plans for a memorial event will be announced in the coming days.

“Gordon Davidson was one of the most renowned and respected artistic directors in regional theatre, in large part because he was one of the original founders of the entire concept,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director, Michael Ritchie.

“He led Center Theatre Group for 38 years and produced one of the broadest arrays of plays, particularly new plays, of any theatre in the country.

Without his prolific vision for Center Theatre Group 50 years ago, the theatrical landscape in Los Angeles, and the country, would be very different. He remains one of theatre’s great leaders and I was proud to call him a mentor, friend and colleague.”

From 1967 to 2005 Gordon Davidson was the Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center of Los Angeles.

In addition to his role at the Taper, Davidson was the Producing Director of the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre for 15 years, and the Artistic Director of the inaugural season (2004-2005) at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. In addition to redefining theatre in Southern California, he was one of the founders of the regional theatre movement and had a permanent impact on theatre throughout the country and the world.

Gordon guided hundreds of productions to the Taper stage while overseeing numerous special projects sponsored by the Taper. This work and his direction of many of the Taper plays were acclaimed both in Los Angeles and New York, garnering the Taper a Tony Award for theatrical excellence in 1977.

Under Gordon, the Taper was distinguished by having two of its plays “The Kentucky Cycle” and “Angels in America” (Part One – “Millennium Approaches”) receive in consecutive years the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, the first time for plays produced outside of New York. “Angels in America,” when subsequently produced on Broadway, also received in consecutive years two Tony Awards for Best Play, for Part One and Part Two – “Perestroika,” respectively.

In fact, in 1994 when “Perestroika” won the Tony Gordon Davidson Award, three of the four plays nominated for Best Play were Taper plays (with “The Kentucky Cycle” and “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” joining “Perestroika”). Davidson’s direction of “Children of a Lesser God” (which received two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, including Distinguished Production) brought him a Tony Award nomination (one of four nominations for the play) and a New York Drama Desk Award nomination (one of five). “Children of a Lesser God” won three 1980 Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Actor and Best Actress.

In 1977, Davidson won a Tony Award for his direction of “The Shadow Box,” which also won the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for Best Play for its author, Michael Cristofer.

In that same season, Davidson 2 was the recipient of an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Director for “The Shadow Box” at the Morosco Theatre and “Savages” at the Hudson Guild Theatre, and an Obie for his direction of “Savages.” Earlier he had received two Margo Jones Awards for his work in encouraging new plays and playwrights.

Davidson also staged The Phoenix Theatre productions of “Murderous Angels” and “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine,” winning an Obie Award and a Tony Award nomination for the latter play, and he was honored with a New York Drama Desk Award for “In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” staged at Lincoln Center.“The Shadow Box,” “Savages,” “Murderous Angels,” “Oppenheimer” and “Catonsville” premiered at the Taper under Davidson’s direction, whose other credits there include “The Devils,” “Who’s Happy Now?,” “Rosebloom,” “Henry IV, Part I,” “Mass,” “Hamlet,” “Too Much Johnson,” “And Where She Stops Nobody Knows,” “Getting Out,” “Black Angels,” “Terra Nova,” “Children of a Lesser God,” “The Lady and the Clarinet,” “Chekhov in Yalta,” “Tales From Hollywood,” “The Hands of Its Enemy,” “Traveler in the Dark,” “The Real Thing,” “Ghetto,” “Dutch Landscape,” “Unfinished Stories,” “Nine Armenians,”
“QED” and “Stuff Happens.”

For the Ahmanson Theatre, he directed a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” at the Doolittle Theatre, and after supervising the remodeling of the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, he staged the 30th anniversary production of “Candide” in November 1995 as the first production in the new Ahmanson.He directed the first play presented in the new Kirk Douglas Theatre – the world premiere of “A Perfect Wedding.”

The Taper was the co-producer of the theatre portion of the Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles in the summer of 1984. Davidson directed the West Coast premiere of Arthur Miller’s “The American Clock” for the Taper’s 1984 Repertory Festival, which was a participant in the Olympic Arts Festival.

For television, he directed “It’s the Willingness” by Marsha Norman for the PBS Visions series. He also directed the feature film version of “Catonsville” and the television version of “Who’s Happy Now?” for the NET Theatre in America series.

In 1976 he directed “Otello” for the Israel Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta conducting. In Gordon Davidson – 3 1985, Davidson directed the world premiere of Thea Musgrave’s “Harriet, The Woman Called Moses” for the Virginia Opera Association. His staging of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” opened the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and he directed “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream” for the LA Opera. In Los Angeles, Davidson was honored by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle with a Special Award for his outstanding contributions to American playwrights and three Distinguished Direction Awards.

He also received a LADCC Award for the Taper’s New Theatre For Now In the Works festival. He was given The Governor’s Award for the Arts in 1990 honoring his contributions to the performing arts in California, and in 1997 the Founders League of the Music Center of Los Angeles County honored him for 30 years of artistic leadership. He was also awarded the 1993 Casting Society of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Honorary Gold Card membership into IATSE, Local 33, and the “Mr. Abbott” Award for Lifetime Achievement, among many other awards.

In January 2000 Davidson was inducted in to the Theater Hall of Fame on Broadway. Davidson was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by President Clinton and was a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He served as president of Theatre Communications Group and the League of Resident Theatres, and was a board member of several arts organizations including the Non-Traditional Casting Project.

He received honorary doctorates from Brooklyn College, California Institute of the Arts and Claremont University Center. He regularly served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, as an artistic advisor for the Fund for New American Plays, and he was a member of the advisory boards for the Cornell Center for the Performing Arts and the Jewish Theatre Association.

Gordon was born on May 7, 1933, and is survived by his wife, Judi; their children, Adam and Rachel; and five granddaughters.

 

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