|Briseyda Zarate Brings 'Poetry of Emotion' to Forever Flamenco this Sunday, Aug 5th! |
Smash Hit Flamenco Series at the Fountain
|Briseyda Zarate|Artist Line-Up this Sunday, August 5th: Acclaimed dancer Briseyda Zarate and an all-star company of artists will explore and express the raw passion of 'Poetry of Emotion' in Fountain Theatre's Forever Flamenco! series this Sunday, August 5th at 8 pm.
"Flamenco is the Poetry of Emotion," says Zarate. "The poetry of feelings, not written or spoken out loud, the ones we feel silently in our hearts and express through our bodies, our skin, our fingers, hands, feet, face, torso, hips ... every inch of ourselves. Very much like making love, I would say ... vulnerable, bare and revealing.Poetry of Emotion will exemplify what is at the core of flamenco: emotion, rhythm, and artistry. It will delve into the cante y baile jondo, the most demanding and deeply moving variety of flamenco and will show the duality of the female dancer: her prowess/strength and her vulnerability/femininity."
Created and produced by co-artistic director Deborah Lawlor, The Fountain Theatre's Forever Flamenco! series is now in its 9th smash year. Each performance features a roster of world-class flamenco dancers, singers and musicians drawn from the rich pool of flamenco artists in Southern California, with additional guest artists brought from around the country and Spain. Named "L.A.'s most significant venue for flamenco" by the LA Weekly, the Fountain, with only 78 seats in 4 rows, is the perfect setting in which to enjoy the art form up close.
|Gabriel Osuna |
Artist Line-up Sunday, August 5th: Dancers: Briseyda Zarate, Mizuho Sato
Cante: Jesus Montoya
Guitar: Jose Tanaka, Gabriel Osuna
Artistic Director: Briseyda Zarate
|Briseyda Zarate Flamenco Dance Company |
Smash "Cyrano" Ends Sold-Out Run
|TV Show Changes Hearing Role to Nab Deaf Actor|
|Troy Kotsur|A remarkable thing - perhaps even historic - happened in a Hollywood casting office last month. The team for the TV show "Criminal Minds" took the extraordinary step of rewriting a character in an episode from a hearing role into a deaf role solely so they could hire a deaf actor. The "Criminal Minds" casting director had seen deaf actor Troy Kotsur on stage in our smash hit production of Cyrano at the Fountain Theatre and was so blown away by his performance that he convinced the TV team to change the role in the upcoming episode from a hearing character to a deaf character just so they could hire Kotsur.
As Troy tells it:
I walked into the casting director's office and saw about 10 hearing actors in the waiting room. They were auditioning the same role as I was going for.
After I auditioned, I felt great with the choices I made to present the character and how I went with the flow with the Criminal Mindsteam in the room.
At first, I assumed they did not know much about Deaf people. During the process, I thought: Did they understand anything I signed? Could they tell if I played the way they wanted the character to be? Did they see the details I brought with my face, eyes and body language for the character? Could they tell the difference between hearing actors and Deaf actors? Is there a difference? Or could only an expert, who knew both cultures, catch the differences? Did the team know what they were looking for? Most teams don't know until they see what the actors bring in the room.
Deep down inside, I was hoping they wouldn't hire me because I was Deaf. I wanted to believe they would hire me because of the skills, nuances, and the specifics of what I was able to give for my character, for their story. Good acting.
After I auditioned, I felt that it was possible that they did see the specifics and moments. It was a positive experience.
I learned later that originally the character had lots of action and no speaking lines. They gave the character to a hearing actor,Matthew Jaeger. Matthew has worked with Deaf West Theatre in the past with Deaf and hearing actors. He asked the Criminal Minds team to give Deaf actors a chance to show their work because they can do this character just as well. I'm grateful to Matthew Jaegger who encouraged the Criminal Minds team to give Deaf actors a chance.
This all wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Matt.
I also learned that the casting director saw Cyrano at the Fountain Theatre. I had no idea. It's wonderful to have casting directors and writers see plays at the Fountain and Deaf West for the opportunity it gives for more jobs for Deaf actors. It's challenging for Deaf actors to get jobs because there aren't many written roles for Deaf actors to play. Non-speaking roles or Deaf characters are roles I usually audition for.
The Criminal Minds team decided to give it a shot. They did a re-write after they saw my audition. What a journey and a blessing.
Troy's agent, Liz Hanley with Bicoastal Talent, was thrilled.
"I have had the pleasure of repping many deaf artists over the years," she says. "I always count it as a great success when a deaf client lands a 'hearing' role. I have always submitted deaf actors for roles they were right for, whether the breakdown called for a deaf actor or not. Through hundreds of submissions, I have only convinced a casting office or producer four times to see a deaf actor for a role that wasn't labeled "deaf". All four times resulted in a job."
"If only Hollywood was more willing to see deaf actors on all roles. Thanks to the awesome Cyrano production, a Hollywood mind was opened."
"L.A.'s Most Significant Venue
for Flamenco!" - LA Weekly
"Being the sensual, intimate art form that it is ...
the way you feel after a Forever Flamenco
performance is pretty darn fabulous."
- LA Splash
9th SMASH YEAR! (323) 663-1525
Fountain Season 2012-13
West Coast Premiere!
El Nogalar ("The Pecan Orchard")
by Tanya Saracho directed by Laurie Woolery
World Premiere! A co-production with Deaf West Theatre
by Stephen Sachs directed by Simon Levy
To Celebrate Athol Fugard's 80th Birthday!
US Premiere of his Newest Play! Limited Run! August
Los Angeles Premiere! A Theater Event! Acclaimed New Play!
"Something rare, a new authentically original vision" - NY Times In the Red and Brown Water
by Tarell Alvin McCraney directed by Shirley Jo Finney
Play #1 in "The Brother/Sister Plays" Trilogy * October 2012
An American Masterpiece
A Moon for the Misbegotten
by Eugene O'Neill directed by Stephen Sachs
starring Morlan Higgins * January 2013 Join Us! Become a MEMBER Now!
| Why Is This Man Smiling?|
Because He's Saving $41!
He's Kato Cooks. He's a
That means he's saving
big bucks big time. Plus:
- Free Parking
- Preferred Seating
- Ticket Flexibility
- Other Discounts
The best deal in town to the best theatre in town.
| On the Blog |
Over 42,000 People Have Visited the Blog So Far!
Have You? Check it Out!
Fountain People, Places & Things * Fountain Family Profiles * Behind-the-Scenes Stuff * Posts About Current Shows * Cool Photos & Videos * Gossip, Opinions & Chat
| Passings: LA/NY Theatre Producer Joan Stein| Joan Stein
passed away on August 3rd, of cancer. Prior to launching the Fountain Theatre with Deborah Lawlor in 1990, I worked at The Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills with producers Joan Stein and Suzi Dietz for almost two years. Joan was terrific, a friend and mentor. A great, classy, smart, gutsy lady with a fabulous sense of humor.
One of the great ones. Joan was a Tony Award winning producer who produced and/or general managed over 80 plays and musicals, including
TABLE SETTINGS, THE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST , THE MIDDLE AGES, PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE, SIDEMAN (Tony Award), LOVE LETTERS, FOREVER PLAID, THE LONESOME WEST, RUTHLESS!, ENRON, BASH and HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH. She was the Managing Director of the historic Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Executive Director of The Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills, and Theatre Producer for the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen.She created and managed 2 theatrical investment funds, served on the Board of Directors of NY Theatre Workshop, and Women in Film, helped launch Broadway Cares and was a member of The Broadway League for 22 years.
Joan's passing is a blow to the LA Theatre community and a painful personal loss for many of us.
- Stephen Sachs
|US Premiere of Athol Fugard's New Play, "The Blue Iris" starts Aug18th|
Fountain Celebrates Fugard's 80th Birthday with Special Limited Engagement!
Continuing its 12-year relationship with Athol Fugard, The Fountain Theatre celebrates the master playwright's 80th birthday with the U.S. premiere of his newest play. Directed by Stephen Sachs and starring Morlan Higgins, Julanne Chidi Hill and Jacqueline Schultz,
Described by Time magazine as "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world," Athol Fugard celebrated his 80th birthday on June 11, but the prolific writer shows no signs of slowing down. On June 28, The Blue Iris premiered at The National Arts Festival in his native South Africa to rave reviews. "Vintage Fugard... riveting theatre that will evoke whispering echoes in the heart long after the show has ended," wrote Cue magazine.
The Blue Iris is set in Fugard's beloved and desolate South African desert, the Karoo. In a burnt-out farmhouse, a widowed farmer, Robert Hannay (Higgins) and his housekeeper, Rieta (Hill) sort through the fire-ravaged debris of their lives. The discovery of a miraculously undamaged painting of a flower - a blue iris - created by Hannay's deceased wife (Schultz) unlocks long-forgotten memories and hidden secrets. Fugard digs deep into the human heart, and the result is a love story full of tender, soul-touching and surprising revelations.
"We should be going into people`s lives, their souls, their ways of life. Everything I have written is an attempt to share secrets with you," says the playwright.
The Blue Iris is achingly beautiful, a heartfelt play that brings to life the tender honesty and deep complexity of human relationships," says producer Deborah Lawlor. "We cherish Athol's 12-year friendship and artistic association at the Fountain, and we're thrilled to celebrate his 80th birthday with this remarkable work."
The author of over 30 plays and recipient of countless accolades including the Academy Award, Obie Award, and Tony Award, Athol Fugard is best known for his plays about the frustrations of life in contemporary South Africa and the psychological barriers created by apartheid. Widely acclaimed around the world, his plays include Boesman and Lena
(Obie Award, Best Foreign Play), Sizwe Bansi Is Dead
(Tony Award, Best Play),
A Lesson from Aloes
(New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Best Play), the semiautobiographical
Master Harold...and the Boys (Writers Guild Award, Outstanding Achievement) and The Road to Mecca (New York Drama Critics Circle Citation, Best Foreign Play, London Evening Standard Award, Best Play). The first white South African playwright to collaborate with black actors and workers, some of his works, such as Blood Knot, were initially banned in South Africa. In his first two post-apartheid plays, Valley Song (1995) and The Captain's Tiger (1998), Fugard addressed more personal concerns, but in Sorrows and Rejoicings (2001) he focused on the complex racial dynamics of South Africa's new era. In 2005 his novel, Tsotsi (1980) was adapted for the screen, winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2011, Mr. Fugard was honored with a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater. Even though this prolific playwright, novelist, actor, director and teacher now lives and works in San Diego, he continues to be inspired by the dynamics in his land of birth.
"The Road to Mecca" (2000, LA Premiere)
The Fountain Theatre's special relationship with Fugard began when co-founder/co-artistic director Stephen Sachs directed the L.A. premiere of Fugard's
The Road to Mecca
in 2000. Fugard was so impressed that he offered the company world premiere rights to an as-yet-unwritten new work. When Sachs directed the world premiere of
Exits and Entrances
in 2004, it received recognition for Best Production and Best Director from both the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (garnering a total of five awards) and the Ovations (receiving a total of three awards). Mr. Sachs went on to direct acclaimed regional productions of Exits and Entrances around the country, an Off-Broadway production at Primary Stages, and the UK premiere at the 2007 International Edinburgh Festival. Since then, he has directed premieres of Fugard's plays at the Fountain including the American premiere of Victory (two LADCC awards and four LA Weekly nominations, and named "Best of 2008" by the Los Angeles Times); the West Coast premiere of Coming Home (three LA Weekly awards including "Ensemble" and "Direction," LADCC award for "Lead Performance")and the U.S. premiere of The Train Driver (three LA Weekly awards). Athol Fugard has stated that he "considers The Fountain Theatre his artistic home on the West Coast."
Morlan Higgins starred in Fountain Theatre productions of Athol Fugard's Exits and Entrances, Victory and The Train Driver, as well as in Shining City by Conor McPherson (LA Weekly Award), After the Fall (Ovation award for Best Production) and The Boys in the Band. Other credits: Forgiveness (Black Dahlia Theatre), King Lear (Antaeus), Dealing with Clair, Water Children, Mad Forest, The Birthday Party (The Matrix Theatre Company); Dylan (Skylight Theatre); Equus (Pasadena Playhouse), A Skull in Connemara (Theatre Tribe), Hughie (Eugene O'Neill Foundation at Tao House); and numerous other plays on local stages. Morlan has received multiple Ovation, LADCC, LA Weekly, Back Stage Garland, Drama-Logue, and Ticketholders Awards. He was nominated for the Lucille Lortell Off-Broadway Actor of the Year Award for his performance in Exits and Entrances at Primary Stages in NYC, He was nominated for a Carbonell Award for E and E at Florida Stage and received a New Jersey Tony for E and E at New Jersey Rep. He is also the recipient of Santa Barbara Indie Awards for Hughie and Victoryat SBT. Morlan also plays Celtic music in the local band Staggering Jack.
Julanne Chidi Hill is a graduate of the prestigious SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film and was classically trained at Oxford University where she studied extensively with John Barton (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Katie Mitchell (Royal National Theatre). She has worked at the McCarter Theatre, Seattle Rep, Mark Taper Forum, Stages 52, McCadden Stages Theatre, Ebony Rep and Kirk Douglas Theatre, and she most recently appeared at the Celebration Theatre in the Ovation award-winning Women of Brewster Place. Television credits include guest-starring on the Jerry Bruckheimer drama The Whole Truth (ABC) and FX series The Shield, and recurring roles on NBC's My Name is Earl and Showtime's Weeds. Feature films: Crank: High Voltage (as "Dark Chocolate"), Barbershop 2, and alongside Tom Everett Scott and Lee Tergesen in 2nd Take,
directed by John Suits.
Jacqueline Schultz was last seen in the critically acclaimed production of Park Your Car in Harvard Yard at International City Theatre. She costarred in the West Coast premiere of String of Pearls at both North Hollywood's Road Theatre Company and the Santa Barbara Theatre, appeared at the Pasadena Playhouse in the world premiere of Open Window, and starred in the critically acclaimed L.A. premiere of Lee Blessing's Going to St. Ives at the Fountain (Best Actress nomination, NAACP Theatre Award), later reprising her role for the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Other leading roles at the Fountain: After the Fall (Ovation Award for Best Production), The Road to Mecca; The Night of the Iguana; The Darker Face of the Earth; Fighting Over Beverley (LA Weekly Award); Duet for One (Ovation Award nomination, Best Actress); Ashes (Drama-Logue Award); The Golden Gate (Drama-Logue Award); and Orpheus Descending. Other theater credits include To Kill a Mockingbird and Awake and Sing! (International City Theatre) and Sorrows and Rejoicings (Mark Taper Forum). She has appeared at the Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre (NY) and the Mark Taper Forum's New Works Festival. TV credits include The Practice, ER, My Wife and Kids, 7th Heaven, Crossing Jordan, Judging Amy, the HBO movie Tyson, and many more.
The Blue Iris
Limited Run! August 18 - September 16 Buy Tickets
| My Peek into the World of Casting |
by Fountain Intern Jessica Broutt
Now a few weeks into interning at The Fountain, I have been able to do some very diverse tasks. This happens every few days when someone, usually Stephen, announces that they have a "project" for me. I have learned that project can mean a lot of things. Sometimes it is prefaced with, "this project is a really horrible boring job" and can be as mundane as organizing check stubs. Other times, like last week, it can mean something really exciting like working in our casting department. This was one project I was dying to be a part of. I would be scheduling times for actresses to audition for a role in our upcoming play, the US Premiere of Athol Fugard's The Blue Iris.
When thinking about working in the entertainment industry, obviously casting is a big part of it, but it is also a facet of running a theatre in which I have had no experience. I soon learned that it really is a world unto itself, populated with agents, assistants, and actresses, complete with its own language with which I was all together unfamiliar. Despite some brief coaching from Stephen, I felt a little unsure about how I could survive in this world . But, armed with my new-found knowledge of "sides" and "breakdowns" I put on my most confident voice and called agencies and actresses alike.
Sometimes it was easy. I got to speak to the actress herself, we picked a time, she said she would be there and it was done. Other actresses were not so easy to track down or I found myself talking to the second assistant of their agent. It was quite nerve-wracking to remember who was represented by Lisa from Momentum or who would be out of the country through the week. It definitely gave me a new-found respect for anyone who has ever worked in casting.
Still, one thing that really amazed me was how nice everyone was when I called. Every agent and assistant seemed more than happy to speak with me, e-mailed me back right away, and much to my amazement, seemed to believe I knew what I was doing. And the same was true with the actresses, each one was more polite than the next. I was surprised at how easy it all seemed. It was then I realized that I had a little bit of power. These actresses were grateful for my call. They wanted this role. And by being nice to me, their chances of obtaining it remained intact. I was so worried about them calling my bluff as a casting director, that I failed to realize that they wanted this audition even more than I wanted to not embarrass myself scheduling it.
|Julanne Chidi Hill|
If I thought calling everyone to arrange the auditions was exciting, it was nothing compared to having all the actresses come in the day of the audition. My job sounded fairly simple: have the actresses sign in, take a copy of their resume and headshot, and escort them into the audition room. But then there are the things that no one tells you. Like how some actresses will come a mere moment before they are expected while others will come one hour before and size up the competition. I also had no idea that Calvin Klein jeans were the unspoken uniform for auditions. Or how different every actress's method of preparation is. Some remained very calm as if waiting for a doctor's appointment and sat patiently in the waiting area until they were called. And then there were others, like the actress Julanne Chidi Hill, who would rather not sit just outside the audition room and feel the tension. Instead, she went elsewhere and practiced. And not just outside the theatre but a block away, to truly distance herself from the competition. So far away in fact, that I was afraid she had left all together. Yet, her unorthodox method obviously paid off, because she walked away as the newest addition to our Fountain Family, and with the role of Reita.
When auditions were over and the role had been cast I thought my job was done. I commended myself on everything going without a hitch, and considered my venture into the world of casting over. But I forgot something very crucial: I had to call all the other actresses and inform them that they did not get the part. The thought of making those calls seemed awful but in practice, it wasn't really that bad. The few actresses who I spoke to were painfully nice about it, and thanked me for the call. The agents seemed to take the news as nothing out of the ordinary. And I was blessed with speaking to many voicemail boxes, who all seemed to take the news extremely well.
After the last "the role has been filled" phone call, I was actually done with this project. Instead of breathing a sigh of relief, as I did when I filed away the last check stub, I felt a little sad. While it might have been a bit scary to arrange auditions, it was also very exciting. Now when I get to see The Blue Iris this month, I will know that I helped to make it happen in some way.
Just as my many other projects have taught me, there are so many different jobs in running a theatre and countless people who work behind the scenes to make it run smoothly.
This was definitely one of my favorite projects thus far. I look forward to my next!
Members of the Cyrano company celebrate a magical run after the final performance.
Simon Levy and Michael Hill (Ben Bradley's brother) enjoy a visit in Washington, DC.
Happy Birthday to our fabulous intern, Jessica Broutt!
Splashes Around the Fountain
Bob Hiltermann (Aug 1), Abby Walla (Aug 2), John Wesley (Aug 3), Lou Liberatore (Aug 4), Timothy Douglas (Aug 5), Dennis Gersten (Aug 8), Tene Carter (Aug 12), Stephen Sachs (Aug 14), Tony Pasqualini (Aug 15), Suanne Spoke (Aug 19), Candy Brown (Aug 19), Tracie Thoms (Aug 19), Elna Kordijan (Aug 26), Mark Melnick (Aug 28), Fanny Ara (Aug 29), Briseyda Zarate (Aug 29), Elizabeth Karr (Aug 30),
Cyrano co-stars Troy Kotsur and Paul Raci are in pre-production for their indie film, Deaf Ghost. Paul wrote the script and Troy directs ... Playwright Tanya Saracho (El Nogalar) just got hired as a staff writer for the new TV series Devious Maids ... Julanne Chidi Hill (Blue Iris) just shot the final episode on the series finale of Weeds ... Daniel Blinkoff (Opus) and Joe Delafield (Photograph 51) can be seen in Macbeth at Antaeus Theatre Company ... Lisa Pelikan (Milk Train) and Casey Kramer (Four by Tenn) co-star in The New Electric Ballroom, extended at Rogue Machine ... Morlan Higgins (Blue Iris) is in Ireland for 10 days on a long-planned vacation. He returns and then opens the new Fugard play here at the Fountain ... Daniel Durant (Cyrano) will be appearing in Police Deaf Near Far at TerpTheatre in Michigan ... Auditions are underway at the Fountain this month for our LA Premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney's In the Red and Brown Water directed by Shirley Jo Finney ... Simon Levy is back from Washington DC where he directed a reading for the NNPN/Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights Workshop ... The Fountain recently hosted about 50 LA theater folk for an Ovation Voter orientation meeting for LA Stage Alliance ... Stephen Sachs has been nominated for the 2012 SDC Zelda Fichandler Award, honoring outstanding directors in the Western United States.
Fountain Birthdays this month:
Nora Armani (Aug 31).
See the DVD of the CBS-TV Hallmark Hall of Fame movie version of the Fountain play Sweet Nothing in my Ear
by Stephen Sachs, starring Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin and Jeff Daniels. Buy Now!
Read the play Sweet Nothing in my Ear
(Fountain Theatre, 1997) by Stephen SachsBuy Now!
Read the play What I Heard About Iraq
(Fountain, 2005) by Simon Levy. Buy Now!
Read the play Exits and Entrances
(Fountain, 2004) by Athol Fugard Buy Now!
Read Gem of the Ocean
(Fountain, 2009) by August Wilson
Read the play Coming Home
(Fountain, 2009) by Athol Fugard Buy Now!
Read the book The Temple of Man
by R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz, translated by Deborah Lawlor Buy Now!
Read the play Opus
by Michael Hollinger (Fountain 2010) Buy Now!
Read The Train Driver
(Fountain, 2010) by Athol Fugard
Great Summer Reading! The historical novel The Whip
by Fountain actress Karen Kondazian Harvest the Dust
by Fountain actor
adapted for the stage
by Simon Levy
|Swipe Your Card and Support the Fountain!|
You have to buy groceries, right?
SIGN UP NOW -- each time you shop and swipe your Rewards card, Ralphs will donate a percentage of each grocery bill to the Fountain Theatre.
It costs you nothing!
Click here and click "Services" and "Community Contribution" and "enroll". Select "Fountain Theatre" by name or organization #84796.
Special Fountain Thanks to Rashida Anderson, Erinn Anova, Janvie Cason, Michael Davidson, Joyce Ellenson, Marilyn Fried, Christine Frederickson, Gaye Funk, Shann Hunt, Marsha Jackson, Denise Kassar, Kerry Krenzin, Simon Levy, Terri Roberts, Stephen Sachs, Jacqueline Schultz, Mike Sullivan, Thomas Thomas.