Tag Archives: social good

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


Tree of Fire [Funding Fridays]

A late Funding Fridays, but The Roots and Wings Project and I tried to schedule something earlier and I dropped the ball. They are now in their last 14 hours of fund-raising and I’d love to give them an extra push.

True Art for Social Good, not just directly but in sharing stories often hidden from sight.

Their indiegogo campaign. If you miss the deadline, there is also a link to donate directly.

20121013224905-TREE_OF_FIRE_Image_no_textTREE OF FIRE 

When a Magnolia tree catches fire in an aged and ominous women’s prison, three female inmates forgotten and left to perish are jolted as their lives are threatened, into memories of their past that inform the truth of their souls and the urgent need to expose the inhumanity of the prison to the world.

Tree of Fire has a rich history with staged readings, excerpt performances and fund raisers at UCLA, Lincoln Heights Jail, Theatre of Note, and S.P.A.R.C. at the Old Jail in Venice. The play was written to be performed in abandoned prisons. We were challenged with the extreme bureaucracy that is housed in these site-specific venues.  The Roots and Wings Project realized the story was being held back. In order to get it told, a collective decision was made to find a new kind home for the play. We now have a home at Inner City Arts’ The Rosenthal Theater opening International Women’s Day 2013. We are raising the funds to mount the play into full production.

By supporting Tree of Fire,  you are a part of giving voice to a timely play that raises critical conversation about gender, race, and the Prison Industrial Complex.  Bringing this piece to stage will allow audiences a peek into the heart of the incarcerated: dispelling myths, raising awareness and getting people informed on this urgent matter. This story is universal, eliciting questions about what make us feel trapped in life and what can set ourselves free from those barriors.

“Tree of Fire” sings and screams for those who have no voice. It’s a modern day “Trojan Women” that leads us on a mythic journey into the minds and spirits of incarcerated women.  We meet women who are separated from their families, from their lives, from time itself.  Never self pitying and often very funny, this piece takes us into the soul of their experience.  Style and content are boldly woven together to give us an intimate encounter with the heart of the imprisoned.” -Leon Martell, Playwright

lincoln heights jail reading

Lincoln Heights Jail Staged Reading


The Roots and Wing Project believes in the power of the past and future to ignite the present, standing strong in roots with vision in wings.  The Roots and Wings Project is a politically charged, socially transformative theatre company that brings attention to truth and gives voice to the unnamed, unspoken and misunderstood through theatrical innovation and multi-media collaboration. Fusing traditional theatre with hip-hop, poetry, music and visual art, the company unites a wide range of artists and audiences from different communities around the world. The Roots and Wings Project is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization.


We need over $30,000 to bring this play to life, moving all those who experience it. You get to be a direct part of making this magic happen. We are asking for $10,000 as a base start to get us going.

Venue: $5,000

Rehearsal Space: $2,000

Casting Director: $800

Publicity and Marketing: $2,000

Social Media: $1000

Administrative Fees including Artistic Director, Development Director, Social Media Consultant: $3,000

Directorial Fees: $1,500

Set Design: $1,500

Music Design:$1,500

Tech Crew: $1,500

Projectionist: $1,000

Costume Design: $1,500

Photographer: $500

Videographer: $500

Panelists: $400

Bonded Security: $1,000

Stage Manager: $1,500

Assistant Director: $800

Lighting Design: $1,000

Actors: $3,000

Printing: $1,000

We have unique rewards such as a signed script, tickets to the theater, CD of the Tree of FireScore, dinner with the writer and producers, t-shirts, acknowledgement in the program, and associate producer credits.


This project is extremely valuable to you and to the world. By helping bring this story to life, you are directly contributing to the critical conversation of The Prison Industrial Complex. Never before in history, here in the U.S. or in any other part of the world, have there been more incarcerated people. Many of these inmates are youth. Light needs to be brought to this emergency of mass incarceration. Tree of Fire does just that, using strong storytelling that weaves humor, magic and music to help tell the tale.
The Roots and Wings Project has an extraordinary track record having sold-out our last site-specific play, A Record of Light, that ran in Los Angeles’ treasured 18,000 sq. ft. cultural hub, The Last Bookstore in Fall 2011. We also sold-out the 99 artist Occupy This! event at the new Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights in 2012. All of our events in support of Tree of Fire have garnished enormous support, drawing large audiences and stellar artists.

After a four-year journey, we are excited to see Tree of Fire bloom into full production allowing artists and audiences to experience the powerful transmutation this play offers.


If you are unable to contribute funds, you are still able to help us in ways that matter.

You can get the word out by letting your community know about the piece and encouraging them to help bring this story to life.

Indie Holiday Gifts Days 5&6

With so many independent artists, there’s a variety of unique gifts you can give. I’ll highlight one a day through the New Year! I got a little behind, but these special treats should make up for it!

Day 5

LA Makerspace Membership

makerspaceWith a successful Kickstarter, White House blog recognition and generally just phenomenal mission/outreach, LA Makerspace is an amazing place for kids and adults to use their hands and minds for fun learning!

These are regular Membership Prices. For a very limited time you can buy any of these Memberships with a ton of extra benefits through their Kickstarter Campaign that runs until January 2nd, 2013. Some deals are limited so pop over there asap!

Purchase Membership Here.

Start with a DAY PASS – $20/day – Under 13 must be accompanied by an adult 18+

Day 6

The Coffee Bean 4 Kids Campaign

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf may not be “Indie,” but their holiday campaign with The Help Group, a nonprofit school serving children with various special needs*, certainly is!

$1 from every purchase of these items goes directly to help the many programs available at The Help Group. There are so many, it’s hard to keep track, but something for everyone.

the coffee bean autism

*DISCLOSURE: I am the Outreach Consultant for The Help Group.

Day 1 – Holiday Gifts by Adam Emperor Southard Photography

Day 2 – HUCK FINN: The Robotic Edition & The Selling, a supernatural comedy

Day 3 – Fund an education Shakespeare Puppet Video in someone’s name

DAY 4 – The Puppet Maker’s Bones by Alisa Tangredi

The Coffee Bean 4 Kids

The Help Group is an awesome client of mine (see thoughts from their Oct Summit at the Skirball Center & hear a parent advocate interview Advance LA).

Please help by dropping by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf tomorrow: $1 fantastic drinks and all the money goes to The Help Group’s great programs! Tag #TheCoffeeBean4Kids and I’ll share through The Help Group’s twitter account.


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