Rap Dev: Who says new play development for young writers can’t be fun?

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Eager young audience waits for RAP DEV to start.

Get a first look at the work of young, up-and-coming playwrights at Rapid Development (“Rap Dev”), the Fountain Theatre’s free, competition-style reading series designed to showcase the work of previously unproduced, Los Angeles-based playwrights under the age of 30.

Round One takes place over the course of two evenings, Friday,Feb, 12 at 8 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. Each evening will feature one scene from two different plays, with the playwrights choosing the scenes they feel best represent their work. At the end of each night, the audience votes. Kind of like TV’s The Voice or America’s Got Talent.

J & J

James Bennett & Jessica Broutt

Created and produced by James Bennett and Jessica Broutt, the Rap Dev readings are free, rowdy, informal, and followed by a lively party with food and plenty of drinks. Who says new play development can’t be fun? 

No wonder the Rap Dev events have been sold-out successes.

“We’re looking to find new plays and playwrights in the LA area,” says associate producer James Bennett. “And provide a fun and vibrant venue for others to experience them too.”

The Round One (Group A) plays squaring off this Friday, Feb 12, are:

  •  You Belong With Me Because You’re So Vain by Heider Tunarrosa. When a neurotic songwriter accidentally falls in love with his best friend’s ex-boyfriend, and he must decide between losing his best friend or the love of his life, he receives help from the imaginary versions of Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga to resolve this romantic dilemma.
  • The Kennedy Experiment by Amy Thorstenson. Aboard the International Space Station, a young cosmonaut faces an impossible choice. With the lives of his family, his patriotism, his complicated relationship with his war hero father, and World War Three all hanging in the balance, the last thing he needs to deal with is a ghost.  

Two other plays compete in Round One (Group B) Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. The two winning playwrights get to show off a little more of their plays in Round Two, on Friday, March 4 at 8 p.m. The single surviving play wins two performances of a staged reading on the Fountain Theatre stage: Friday, March 18 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 19 at 2 p.m. Free admission to Rounds One and Two; tickets to the staged readings are $5.

Sound confusing? Check out the website.

Rap Dev turns new play development for young writers into a fun social event. Join us this Friday night. Check it out for yourself. Party down with some plays!

NEW VIDEO: Rave reviews for ‘Dream Catcher’

DREAM CATCHER Ovation Rec Twitter copy

Looks like the Fountain may have another hit on its hands. Our world premiere of Dream Catcher by Stephen Sachs is earning rave reviews and has been spotlighted as Ovation Recommended by members of LA Stage Alliance. Broadway World hails it as “an incredible tour de force” and ShowBuzzNYC exclaims that it’s “an emotional rollercoaster thrill ride.”

Directed by Cameron Watson and starring Elizabeth Frances and Brian Tichnell, Dream Catcher is performed in a thrilling in-the-round setting (“Fountain 360”) until March 21.

Enjoy this new video highlighting the fabulous press quotes earned by this passionate production.

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PHOTOS: Parties and standing ovations for ‘Dream Catcher’ opening weekend

Opening Night 360

Packed house in the round for Opening Night of ‘Dream Catcher’

Our world premiere production of Dream Catcher by Stephen Sachs opened this weekend to a flurry of parties, standing ovations and enthusiastic response. A packed sold-out audience on Saturday night was thrilled with director Cameron Watson’s in-the-round staging and riveted by the kinetic performances of Elizabeth Frances and Brian Tichnell. Dream Catcher runs to March 21.

A select group of Fountain donors and board members enjoyed an early look at Dream Catcher Friday night at the final Donor Preview. They included actor Alan Mandell, Lois Fishman, Ejike and Victoria Ndefo, Nick Ullett, Ruth Tavlin, Patty Paul, Bill Butler, Susan Stockel, Dick Motika and Jerrie Whitfield, and Oscar and Nyla Arslanian. They were joined by Director of Development Barbara Goodhill, Co-Artistic Director Deborah Lawlor, producing Director Simon Levy, and members of the Fountain team. After the performance, all celebrated upstairs in the cafe for a catered party with the actors and company.

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After seeing Dream Catcher, actor Alan Mandell beamed, “A terrific performance. Very intense. Exciting theater directed by that master director Cameron Watson. A wonderful script from Stephen Sachs. Don’t miss it.”

A packed sold-out audience filled the theatre on Saturday’s Opening Night. The provocative in-the-round setting — dubbed “Fountain 360” — created heightened excitement and electricity. At the post-show reception, playwright Stephen Sachs was surprised by a special guest in attendance: Louis Sahagun, the LA Times reporter who wrote the original article in 2012 that inspired Sachs to write the play.

LA Times Louis Sahagun Opening Night

LA Times writer Louis Sahagun congratulates Sachs (right) on Opening Night.

Early reviews for Dream Catcher are starting to come in. The Examiner hails it as “Extraordinary! A must see!” LA Splash raves the “Stunning performances.”

Feel it. Full circle. In the round. Experience Fountain 360 for yourself.

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NEW VIDEO! Take a look at Fountain 360

Check it out! Our world premiere of Dream CatcherA hot new experience at the Fountain. Feel it. Full circle. In the round. Fountain 360.

Live theatre like nowhere else in LA.

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PHOTOS: Young actors learn and develop skills at Fountain Theatre

Liz Dennehy class JAN 24 2016 005The Fountain Theatre was home to young actors this Sunday morning as actress/teacher Elizabeth Dennehy led teenage acting students through her inspiring class. The young people explored acting through exercises and monologues and learned how to further develop as young artists. It was an exciting morning of growth and discovery.

Elizabeth DennehyElizabeth Dennehy trained at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and Hofstra University. She is a stage, film and TV actress and acting teacher. She has been featured on many television series, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Seinfeld, Without a Trace and The Young and the Restless, and such films as Clear and Present Danger, Red Dragon, and True Blood. Born into an acting family, she is the daughter of actor Brian Dennehy.

Elizabeth was delighted with Sunday’s experience at the Fountain. “It was magic,” she says. “Really a dream come true.”

The Fountain Theatre is dedicated to providing a nurturing environment where the creativity of young people can develop and flourish. Its educational outreach program, Theatre as a Learning Tool, offers students the many life-enhancing benefits of access to theatre.

Enjoy these photos!

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Fountain Theatre Welcomes Dick Motika and Jerrie Whitfield to its Board of Directors

Dick & Jerrie Motika

Dick Motika & Jerrie Whitfield

The Fountain Theatre is thrilled to introduce two new members of its Board of Directors: Dick Motika and his wife, Jerrie Whitfield.

Dick and Jerrie are avid arts supporters and share a love for theatre, especially The Fountain Theatre and Center Theatre Group.  Fountain subscribers for many years, Dick and Jerrie are eager to dedicate themselves to furthering the growth of The Fountain Theatre in 2016.

Dick received his BA from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Chicago. With over 30 years of banking experience, Dick is a Senior Private Banker for the Beverly Hills region of Wells Fargo Bank.  Jerrie, also with Wells Fargo Bank, is a second generation Angeleno who received her BS from St Mary’s University.

In addition to their shared passion for the arts, Dick and Jerrie are active volunteers at their church, All Saints Episcopal in Beverly Hills, through which they also began their support of The Episcopal School of Los Angeles, for which Dick serves as trustee.  Hobbies for the busy duo include jazz piano for Jerrie; cooking and gardening for Dick.

Welcome, Dick and Jerrie! We’re honored and delighted to have you on our Board.

Fountain Theatre actress and board member sponsors playwriting award

Karen Kondazian

Karen Kondazian

Fountain Theatre actress and board member Karen Kondazian is sponsoring an award to support Armenian stories and artists through the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance.  The Kondazian Playwriting Award for Armenian Stories will be awarded to an outstanding play on an Armenian theme. Karen Kondazian, actress, ADAA Board Member and daughter of Lillian and Varnum Paul, is sponsor of the award and its $2500 prize.

“I am extremely happy to have my parentsʼ The Paul Award, join hands with the extraordinary Saroyan Foundation — to inspire and encourage human justice and dignity thought the eyes of the of playwright with the Saroyan/Paul Playwriting Prize,” says Kondazian. “It is also my honor to present the Kondazian Playwriting Award for Armenian Stories (through my parents’ fund) to encourage playwrights of any nationality, to explore the Armenian heart.”

The Kondazian Playwriting Award for Armenian Stories will be awarded in tandem with The Saroyan/Paul Prize for Playwriting in Human Rights/Social Justice in December 2016, in honor of Human Rights Day, at ADAA’s annual awards event in Los Angeles.

For submission guidelines, please visit ADAA’s website  http://www.armeniandrama.org.