Tag Archives: Directors Lab West

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: my involvement with Directors Lab West

Last week I tendered my resignation from Directors Lab West, a group of devoted volunteers who run workshops, round-tables, etc in

Steering Committee & Associate Producers of Directors Lab West 2014, at our last meeting before the 15th Anniversary Lab. Douglas Clayton, Janet Miller, Doug Oliphant, Che'Rae Adams, me and Lil' Pirate Dude, Richard Tatum, Diana Wyenn and Ernest Figueroa.

Steering Committee & Associate Producers of Directors Lab West 2014, at our last meeting before the 15th Anniversary Lab. Douglas Clayton, Janet Miller, Doug Oliphant, Che’Rae Adams, me and Lil’ Pirate Dude, Richard Tatum, Diana Wyenn and Ernest Figueroa.

Los Angeles every May for stage Directors and Choreographers.

As I take a few manual shifts to re-direct my artistic mission, I am sorry to say that this commitment would not get the attention it deserves. If you’ll forgive a dangling preposition, it is also just time to move on. I am very happy with all I gave and all I received during my time and wish the Lab continued innovation and imagination.

My participation in 2008 as a “Labbie” directly contributed to a great step in my career, working at the Antaeus Company (Academy Associate 2008 & Artistic Associate 2009-2010)  as well as friendships and new colleagues too numerous to mention.

Soon after that, the Steering Committee invited me to act as Associate Producer for the 2010 Lab. Being tasked to imagine what our peers need at this specific time in the industry, to motivate “the future of American Theatre,” as Anne Catteneo first said, was daunting, exciting and thrilling. I still remember leading a round-table (my first) with Steve Julian, sitting among some of the most intelligent people I know, who were all hesitant that they could or should use social media to build audiences. Throughout the week, many requested private sessions, and I’m happy to see the fruits of those first meetings in practice today.

When they asked me to join the Steering Committee, it came at a wonderful time in my life (another “shifting time” from Antaeus to freelance outreach consulting) and one blog post cannot contain all of the invigoration, aggravation and new motivation that only four years within the Directors Lab West can offer. I learned so much and grew as a moderator, listener, person, artist. Everyone was incredibly gracious last year as my son’s due date coincided with crunch time for the Lab, allowing me to partake in as much as I was able and always welcoming Lil’ Pirate Dude to meetings, and the eventual Lab.

Zone Rosa Coffee was always there for us, to caffeinate the Lab!

Zone Rosa Coffee was always there for us, to caffeinate the Lab!

Ernest Figueroa, Kappy Kilburn, Brendon Fox, Che’Rae Adams: it was an honor to work beside you all. Different people, experiences and points-of-view are so necessary to this world and our art. You taught me how to handle disagreements gracefully and with more of an open mind than before the Lab.

Doug Oliphant (the “herder of cats,” or Production Coordinator who is also an incredibly talented Director himself): You taught me how gentle and necessary those “gentle reminder” emails really can be. I loved watching your work and career develop to the point where you couldn’t be at the Lab last year, because you were rehearsing!

Courtney Anne Buchan (intern & Co-Production Coordinator): meeting you and subsequently working with you on Gracie and Rose and other projects was a huge pleasure! Thank you for all of your talented work to make our 15th year more visually appealing and the website more……well, just much better!

Doug Clayton, Diana Wyenn, Richard Tatum, Janet Miller: you all stepped up so beautifully as Associate Producers this year, and brought a wonderful energy to my last year. The 15th anniversary would not have been nearly as strong without all your input, support, and very very hard work.

Lab Alum, Guest Artists, Interns: you are all such a special breed of artist. It’s difficult to work in such isolating fields such as directing and choreography. There is usually only one of you in the rehearsal room, and that fact makes it even more exciting and that much harder when there are 30-50 of you in one room.

I needed the Lab every single year to re-invigorate my love of exploration, rehearsal, community; to feel like there is hope for an ever-transforming art; and to meet such passionate people.

Now it’s time for me to take what you’ve given me, and put that energy towards a new vision of our art form.

Thank you.

Indie Art: 1st Responder Tales, Immersive Theatre & More

Welcome to my curated list of excellent Indie Art to see & Artist Opps! Share your own Indie Art through this form 

 or commenting on this post. -CMJ

Symposia Series: First Responder Tales

first responderAbout…Productions in association with Inner-City Arts present First Responder Tales, a FREE 4-part symposia series, which will examine the theater companies who, entrenched in the front lines of their communities, create work in response to the immediate issues of their environs. The series will take a closer look at their unique values, engagement with their chosen communities, and theatrical and survival strategies; and how best to tell the tale of their impact in Los Angeles.
Information on all 4 symposia can be found here or in the attached PDF. RSVP for the first symposium (Wed, Jan. 22nd) on Facebook!
Each symposium will intermix short excerpts of exemplary work by representative local theater companies with conversation and audience dialogue. They will also include small break-out sessions that provide an opportunity for participants to further their dialogue and then report back to the larger group.
Advisory Committee Members include Danielle Brazell (Arts 4 LA), Leilani Chan (TeAda Productions), Dolores Chavez (Inner-City),Theresa Chavez (About…Productions), Terence McFarland (LA Stage Alliance), Rose Portillo (About…Productions), and Mark Valdez (Network of Ensemble Theaters)
Symposium #1
First Responder Tales: a tale of values, vigilance and vivacity will take place on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 6:30pm at Inner-City Arts; 720 Kohler Street Los Angeles, CA 90021
John Malpede of the Los Angeles Poverty Department, will present an excerpt from the companyʼs work; and discuss the companyʼs values and how they are valued; its role in responding to their neighborhood/communityʼs issues and interests; and its impact on life in Los Angeles. Following a brief conversation with Malpede, Leilani Chan of Teada Productions, and Terence McFarland of LA Stage Alliance, attendees will break into small groups to further discuss the distinctive ways FRs operate; their theatrical strategies; and how their depiction of L.A. history/culture has reshaped L.A.ʼs self-perception.

New Playclosely related keys

Closely Related Keys

Closely Related Keys – In this hard-hitting drama about family conflict and clashing cultures, an African-American attorney is shocked to discover she has an Iraqi half-sister.

Written by Wendy Graf
Directed by Shirley Jo Finney
Starring Brent JenningsDiarra KilpatrickJeff LorchAdam MeirSimone Missick
Produced by Racquel LehrmanTheatre Planners
Presented by Hatikva Productions

Previews: Feb. 20 and Feb. 21
Performances: Feb. 22 – March 30

Thursday at 8 p.m.: Feb 20 only (preview)
Fridays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 21 (preview), 28; March 7, 14, 21, 28
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 22 (opening); March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Sundays at 4 p.m.: Feb 23; March 9, 16, 23, 30 (dark March 2)

Lounge Theatre
6201 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038
(just east of Vine)

323-960-7774 or  www.plays411.com/relatedkeys

Fridays and Sundays: $25
Saturdays: $30
Previews: $15

No Proscenium (Immersive Theatre)

Every time I’ve heard about an immersive or site specific production in LA in the past few months I have been too late. The show has either sold out, is already done with its run, or I’m too broke to pick up tickets that weekend. If only I had better intel…That’s where this list comes in.If you, like me, want to experience immersive theatre work–from site specific plays to interactive fictions and everything in between–then this list is for you.Twice a month I will gather notices from the members of this group and other sources in the artistic community of L.A. and then release the No Proscenium newsletter.

There will only be two scheduled emails a month.  The goal here is to make finding the work EASY on all of us, not burying the list with spam.

This will be a managed list with the communications coming to and from no_proscenium@outlook.com an email account established for this venture.

Feel free to send a tip regarding an immersive/interactive/pervasive/experimental theatre experience, arty LARP event, or anything that feels right to you to that address. On the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month I will collect what has been sent, edit the contents into an easy digest, and release the email the next day.

If you would like to be on the list email no_proscenium@outlook.com with the message “Add Me” in either the subject or the body of the message. The first notice will be sent on Jan 15th, 2014.

Best, Noah J. Nelson

Directors (& Choreographers Lab West Applications Open




Directors Lab West Steering Committee is pleased to announce the dates for the fifteenth annual Directors Lab West.  The 2014 Lab will take place May 17-24th in residence at the Pasadena Playhouse.  The Lab will continue its tradition of bringing together dedicated theatre directors, choreographers and master artists for a week of intense discussions and exploration of the art form.

Attendance is by application only and there is no cost to participate in the Lab.  Applications to attend the Lab and further information may be found at:


Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, February 28th by 5:00pm PST.

Directors Lab West fosters an intensive laboratory environment where a community of directors and choreographers inspire each other to dream and create the future of American Theatre.  The Lab, which was spun off of Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors Lab in 2000, seeks theatre directors and choreographers to participate in a week long series of workshops, panels, roundtables, and symposia with some of the nation’s leading theatre artists. In the last 14 years, over 100 acclaimed artists have given their time to the Lab including Jason Alexander, Julie Arenal, Luis Alfaro, Paris Barclay, Cirque Berzerk, Kay Cole, Gordon Davidson, George Furth, Ming Cho Lee, Marc Masterson, Janet Miller, Randy Newman, Vincent Paterson, Carey Perloff, Stephen Wadsworth and Charlayne Woodard.

Contact:  info@directorslabwest.com

facebook.com/DirectorsLabWest   twitter.com/directorslabw


Favorite Teaching/Training Photos

Recently, I taught a lot of workshops. Here are some fun pictures:

The Social Sell at LA Stage Day:

LA Stage Day

Photo Courtesy LA Stage Alliance

And one of the pop-up Social Media Workshops I conducted during lunch at Directors Lab West:


Photo Credit: Evita Castine

Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet Donna Jo from Fringe show Jesus Ride, and re-connect with Fee Doyle, Bob Leggett & Scott Marden (who also has a show in Fringe).  Teaching is a blast and I’m so glad I get to do it.

For hilarious reasons, we also had a kitten join us for a few minutes! Thanks again to Matt Quinn of Theatre Asylum for partnering to bring these workshops to self-producing artists who need it.


Calling all Theatre Directors & Choreographers

I’ve happily served on the Steering Committee for the Directors Lab West since 2010. 

What is that?

DLW no background, 2 line verticle


Directors Lab West fosters an intensive laboratory environment where a community of directors and choreographers inspire each other to dream and create the future of American Theatre.

Applications are open!

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 29th at 5pm PST.

If you have a resume online, please complete and submit this application in full by the deadline.

If your resume must be emailed, please follow the directions below & submit by the deadline:

DIRECTIONS: Answer these questions using as much additional space as needed. Email it along with your resume and the contact information for at least two theatrical references to info@directorslabwest.com as PDF ATTACHMENTS by 5:00pm MARCH 29, 2013 PST.
Return notification of acceptance status will be sent via email two weeks after the deadline. Admission to Directors Lab West does not guarantee or preclude admission to the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us via email: info@directorslabwest.com

Mailing Address:
Phone Number:
Email Address:
Website and/or Blog Address:
Facebook Name:
Twitter Handle:
YouTube or other social media platform info:
Are you currently a student? Yes No If yes, projected year of graduation:
Union Status:
How did you hear about Directors Lab West (please be specific):

List three directors or choreographers you admire and explain why:

If there were any piece you could direct or choreograph, what would it be, and why?

How do you approach your work as an artist?

What themes do you gravitate toward?

Describe a theatrical experience that changed you.

Describe what work you are most proud of and why.

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 29th at 5pm PST.

The 2013 Lab will take place May 18-25, 2013

in residence at The Pasadena Playhouse.

Receive notification of announcements (in the right sidebar) and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


The Lab will continue its tradition of bringing together dedicated theatre directors, choreographers and master artists for a week of intense discussions and exploration of the art form.

Attendance is by application only and no cost is charged to participate in the Lab.

Directors Lab West Retreat

DLW no background, 2 line verticle

Directors Lab West fosters an intensive laboratory environment where a community of directors and choreographers inspire each other to dream and create the future of American Theatre.

Approaching the 14th year of this annual lab, the Steering Committee carved out a day to retreat to San Pedro and strategize for the future. I’ve been a proud member of the Steering Committee since 2010.

We congregated at the Angels Gate Cultural Center, a beautiful military base converted to artists center. Just a taste of the beauty surrounding us. I strongly suggest a retreat setting where you receive a tour of artwork and history. It’s a great inspirational beginning!

You can also follow @DirectorsLabW & on Facebook.

And our last sight as we left for home:



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