Pictures & Responses: Atwater Village Visioning Summit

Los Angeles Neighborhood Dreams (LAND) is an initiative of L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti. LAND participants are working through a collaborative process to identify priority projects for their neighborhoods that they will work to achieve in the next three years. Here are some responses to the event.

Leave your response or ideas in the comments below.

Attending the Atwater Visioning Meeting was an exciting experience. We met in a unique space at the end of Casitas Ave and even though it was chilly the people inside were warm and friendly. I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and passion the attendees and the administrators had for their community. I am thrilled to be working in such a wonderful community

- Heather Moss-Layman, Marketing Director for Circle X Theatre at Atwater Village Theatre

I loved this day! I came representing my son’s charter school, Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts, that has recently moved into the area. It was like opening a treasure trove of connections to be at the meeting and to realize how many powerfully cool creative things are going on right around the corner from us. Can’t wait to get deeply involved in this community.

The whole facilitated dreaming together process was amazing in how quickly and clearly it allowed a clear picture of what is good and a distilled plan of action to appear organically.

I am inspired by Eric Garcetti and his team truly working on grassroots level to bring people together. I wish all politicians were working in such a genuine and insightful way.

My favorite part was to know that I’m not the only who has been riding along the river bike path and feeling how much potential it has to be an amazing place for people to enjoy. Every time I’m riding I think ‘Oh, someone oughta…’ and the meeting made realize that we can. I am thoroughly charged to get involved!

- Tish Hicks is a vibrantly involved parent at Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts and a powerful voiceover actor and teacher (www.thevodojo.com) who thinks she might want to be a community organizer when she grows up.

Leave your response or ideas in the comments below. More ideas can be shared at the CD13 LAND blog or by using the hashtag #LAND4WRD on Twitter.

Atwater Village’s Weekend in Theater

Friday

8:00 pm EST-LA kicks off the adventurous season of new work with a world premiere by Oscar-nominated writer Nicholas Kazan, who reinvents Franz Wedekind’s Lulu with Mlle. God (January 29 – March 26). Scott Paulin directs Kazan’s outrageous tragic-farce, a paean to sex, art, and living in the millisecond. Not for the faint of trousers! Mature audiences only. Click here for tickets.

8:00 Generated from the Circle X Writers Group, the Circle X Theatre Co. First Annual 10-Minute Play Festival features new short plays from Lee Blessing, James Duff, Fielding Edlow, Leo Geter, Jim Leonard, Timothy Mason, Melanie Marnich, Mike O’Malley and Meredith Stiehm, with music by Beth Thornley and Rob Cairns. Directed by Jim Anzide, Matt Bretz, Heath Cullens, Tom Elliott, Leo Geter, Matt McCray, Kiff Scholl, Jonathan Westerberg and Tim Wright Featuring Larry Clark, Lisa Dring, Fielding Edlow, Suzy Jane Hunt, Jen Kays, Robert Manning, Johanna McKay, Bill Salyers, Jennifer A. Skinner, Doug Sutherland and Tim Wright

10:30pm Violators Will Be Violated A unique, unconventional, nearly wordless theater experience that has more destruction, mayhem, murder, ambition and special effects than an action film but it’s only one guy, with no props or set, relying solely on the physical story-telling of an elastic, adorable, frequently hostile performer. In short, anything you can’t imagine, you just might. Winner of the 2009 LA Weekly Award for Solo Performance and presented at the 2010 NY Fringe Festival and the 2010 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Voted one of the top 10 shows of 2009 by LA Weekly. Created and Performed by Casey Smith. Directed by Jennifer A. Skinner. February 18 – March 26. Fridays at 10:30 pm. Saturdays at 10:30 pm

Saturday

8:00 pm EST-LA Mlle. God Performance. See above.

10:30 pm: EST-LA Crack Whore Galore – LIVE! – ‘Spinal Tap’ meets ‘Ab Fab’ when Danny and Abbey Galore head out to Atwater Village Theatre for a late-night mix of live music and raw adult humor. After meeting in rehab, Danny and Abbey formed the rock band CRACK WHORE GALORE. They married, left the UK behind for Hollywood, swapped out their drugs for extra sex and louder rock-n-roll, and started living their own rock-n-roll dream. This world premiere production, created by Tonya Cornelisse, Ryan Oliver, Danny Roew, Graham Sibley and Gates McFadden, explores the ever popular cocktail of narcissism and desperation that runs rampant in today’s celebrity-driven culture.

10:30pm:Violators Will Be Violated. See listing above.

Sunday

2:00 pm EST-LA Mlle. God Performance. See above.

Ongoing,etc.

Atwater Playhouse holds ongoing classes in Method Acting.

Writing center Wordspace, also located along Casitas Avenue, holds a series of writing workshops practically every day of the week. Click here for the calendar.

If we are missing any events on this notification, please let us know.

Atwater Village’s Weekend in Theater

Usher and see a show for free!

If anyone wants to see EST-LA’s new show MLLE. GOD for free or their late night rock-n-roll comedy show Crack Whore Galore, contact Laura at info@ensemblestudiotheatre.org to usher (pass out programs and take tickets) or work concessions (helping the audience buy food and drink).

Friday

MLLE GOD by Nicholas KazanMLLE GOD by Kazan

At 8:00 pm EST-LA kicks off the adventurous season of new work with a world premiere by Oscar-nominated writer Nicholas Kazan, who reinvents Franz Wedekind’s Lulu with Mlle. God (January 29 – March 26). Scott Paulin directs Kazan’s outrageous tragic-farce, a paean to sex, art, and living in the millisecond. Not for the faint of trousers! Mature audiences only. Click here for tickets.

Saturday

8:00 pm EST-LA Mlle. God Performance. See above.

10:30pm EST-LA Crack Whore Galore – LIVE! – ‘Spinal Tap’ meets ‘Ab Fab’ when Danny and Abbey Galore head out to Atwater Village Theatre for a late-night mix of live music and raw adult humor. After meeting in rehab, DannyCrack Whore Galore and Abbey formed the rock band CRACK WHORE GALORE. They married, left the UK behind for Hollywood, swapped out their drugs for extra sex and louder rock-n-roll, and started living their own rock-n-roll dream. This world premiere production, created by Tonya Cornelisse, Ryan Oliver, Danny Roew, Graham Sibley and Gates McFadden, explores the ever popular cocktail of narcissism and desperation that runs rampant in today’s celebrity-driven culture.
Saturdays at 10:30 pm: February 5, 12, 19, 26; Mar. 5, 12 Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA @ Atwater Village Theatre 3269 Casitas Ave Atwater Village, CA 90039. 323-644-1929 or www.ensemblestudiotheatrela.org . TICKETS$15. Receive a $5 discount with a ticket stub from EST/LA’s Mlle. God (subject to availability) PARKING: FREE onsite.

Sunday

2:00 pm EST-LA Mlle. God Performance. See above.

Ongoing,etc.

Atwater Playhouse holds ongoing classes in Method Acting.

Writing center Wordspace, also located along Casitas Avenue, holds a series of writing workshops practically every day of the week. Click here for the calendar.

New next week

Friday & Saturday nights at 8:00pm, Feb. 25 – March 26. Generated from the Circle X Writers Group, the Circle X Theatre Co. First Annual 10-Minute Play Festival features new short plays from Lee Blessing, James Duff, Fielding Edlow, Leo Geter, Jim Leonard, Timothy Mason, Melanie Marnich, Mike O’Malley and Meredith Stiehm, with music by Beth Thornley and Rob Cairns. Directed by Jim Anzide, Matt Bretz, Heath Cullens, Tom Elliott, Leo Geter, Matt McCray, Kiff Scholl, Jonathan Westerberg and Tim Wright Featuring Larry Clark, Lisa Dring, Fielding Edlow, Suzy Jane Hunt, Jen Kays, Robert Manning, Johanna McKay, Bill Salyers, Jennifer A. Skinner, Doug Sutherland and Tim Wright

Thursdays at 10:30 pm: 17, 24; Mar. 3, 10 EST-LA Crack Whore Galore – LIVE! – ‘Spinal Tap’ meets ‘Ab Fab’ . See listing under Saturday.

If we are missing any events on this notification, please let us know.

National Theater Conference in Atwater Village

With Broadway focused on revivals and musicals based on movies and star vehicles, new plays often go by the wayside. If you are an unknown playwright, it’s nearly impossible to be produced.

Not so at The Arena Stage, however, and they’ve been working intensely for a national dialogue that includes all voices – new playwrights, established playwrights, and the people who decide which plays are produced. Arena Stagey began a New Plays Convening yesterday in DC, and Los Angeles participates on Saturday, in our brand new Atwater Village Theatre!

Circle X Theatre Company and Ensemble Studio Theatre-LA, with the partnership of LA Stage Alliance, will host the New Play Los Angeles theater satellite meetup to coincide with the final day of the national convening, entitled Scarcity to Abundance: Capturing the Moment for the New Work Sector, organized by the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

The Los Angeles event will be held Saturday, January 29 from 9:00 am-1:00 pm. Participants will view the pre-recorded round table discussions from the national convening, and discuss the themes within the context of the Los Angeles theater community.

Dennis Baker, a local actor asked by Arena Stage and 2amtheatre to organize the LA meetup, believes this convening can “continue to bring the LA Theater community together in discussion. Any time there is a reason to dialogue and share, I think it is a good thing.”

Baker highlights more ways people can prepare ahead of Saturday morning:

“There are various degrees participants can prepare. The national convening is four days long, with most, if not all, the round table discussions being live streamed through out the four days.” Click here for the full schedule of those discussions.

Watching any of these will bring context to the two round table discussions, and “Endings” event that we will be watching on January 29.

You can also read the institute’s blog by clicking here.

If you want to dig even deeper, the recent book from the Theater Development Fund, Outrageous Fortune: the Life and Times of the New American Play, has the most up-to-date research on the topic.

The national convening will focus on the following: identifying the rich and vital activity that already exists in the new play sector, exploring the gaps and challenges facing the field and strategizing the means of continued and closer collaboration to advance the new work infrastructure moving forward. This convening will build upon the outcomes and initiatives that grew out of last year’s convenings: Defining Diversity, Black Playwrights: the Stories We Tell, and Devised Work.

Circle X Theatre Company and Ensemble Studio Theatre-L is located at the Atwater Village Theater, 3269 Casitas Ave. There is street parking.

Click here for more information from the Dennis Baker website.

Portions of this article appeared on 1/25/11 in Bitter Lemons.

Cindy Marie Jenkins is a Storyteller and Coach based in Atwater Village. She also contributes to The Inspired Classroom, Bitter Lemons,and the  LA Stage Times.

Is Atwater Village indeed the new arts destination?

Flickr photo by Luis Lopez

Atwater Village Now contributor, active neighborhood council member, and theater lover Cindy Marie-Jenkins published an article recently on Los Angeles online publication Bitter Lemons about Atwater Village’s role as a new theater arts destination.

She writes, “Now with a new development of solar-powered town houses called “The Mews” near completion plus the cultural combination of artists, filmmakers, architects, marketing firms, and yoga businesses greeting new neighbors at Casitas Village – an industrial strip, now an arts center, emerges as a cultural destination.” A recent micro-fest by NET ensembles and hosted by Atwater Village Theatre, for instance, brought over 300 (including many newcomers) to Atwater Village.

Casitas Avenue is located on the northern part of Atwater Village near Fletcher Drive, where you have residential housing on one street facing rows of more industrial-looking warehouses on the other (beyond that, on the other side of the train tracks, bigger buildings like the abandoned K-Mart occupy the land). It’s a bit of an unusual destination for the four warehouses that aim to turn that part of our neighborhood into an arts destination for all of Los Angeles.

Two of the four warehouses are occupied by the Atwater Village Playhouse and the Atwater Village Theater, both of which house theater groups gearing up for a new year of great performances. They also share the row of warehouses with yoga and dance classes, photography studios, the popular writing center Wordspace, and other businesses. Next year, according to the CasitasCulture website, they’ll also be opening up a “bakery/sandwich shop, a curated store for books, music and film, and a live music venue” to hang out in before a show.

So how do you navigate all the warehouses, theater groups, companies and businesses along Casitas Avenue?

In the Green Warehouse you have method acting school and ensemble group Atwater Playhouse, as well as the Mutineer Theatre Company.

The Red Warehouse is where you’ll find all those new food and music spots next year.

Atwater Village Theater is also its own building, housing two 99-seat theaters, now occupied by groups Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles (EST-LA) and Circle X Theatre Company. This is the one, as you may have heard about, spearheaded by Dr. Beverly Crusher, err I mean Gates McFadden, now Artistic Director for EST-LA. While they recently held an open house, productions start in late January.

Check out Cindy’s full article and see what’s going on along Casitas Avenue by clicking here.

NET ensembles and hosted by AV Theatre