A great article from this past August by French Stewart (a Sacred Fool) about all of the great intimate theater here in LA. I’m so happy that I jumped aboard this summer and started volunteering on sets. I’m perpetually covered in paint, but I’m having a blast! I’ll share some details on two recent shows in the coming weeks, but until then I hope this encourages you to check out a small theater near you. It’s sure to be an adventure…
LA Small Theater — Weird Little Pirate Ships
About 25 years ago I did my first play in L.A., in a stinky dump called Galaxy Stage near Western and Santa Monica. We were required to clean toilets, mop the floor and not ask questions about money. At night they used our set to film porn, and on your way out of the theater, a certain “pant-less gentleman” might pee at you. Yes. At you!
It’s pretty common in the world of small theater. It’s what you’d call “local color.” With no centralized drama district to speak of, our theaters float in weird neighborhoods like weird little pirate ships. Over the years, just outside some of LA’s small theaters, I’ve been lucky enough to witness (and this is true) – an angry Honduran man whipping a crack-head with jumper cables, a shirtless octogenarian “looking for a date”, and a raccoon who walked upright to intimidate people.
On the up side, I’ve seen a 70-year-old actress have a stroke at intermission — and still finish the show. I’ve seen a tech staff perform electronic miracles (when all hope was lost) and a sick actor vomit in his hat and still get his laugh. Ta-da!