Category Archives: Fountain Theatre

VIDEO: Marlee Matlin hails ‘Arrival & Departure’ at Fountain Theatre as “magic” and “brilliant”

Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin enjoyed seeing the Fountain Theatre’s world premiere of Arrival & Departure, hailing the innovative romantic drama as “magic” and “brilliant.”  After the performance, Matlin congratulated the cast and company and sat down with Abby Guerra of Fountain Films to share her excitement about the new play.

Written and directed by Stephen Sachs, Arrival & Departure stars Deanne Bray and Troy Kotsur. Highlighted as Critic’s Choice in the Los Angeles Times, the acclaimed production runs to September 30th.

More Info/Get Tickets 

Advertisements

Book Club…for Plays @ The Fountain Theatre

On July 19th, the Fountain Theatre witnessed it’s inaugural “book club” reading series WEDNESDAY’S @ THE FOUNTAIN and  needless to say, it was a treat. WEDNESDAY’S @ THE FOUNTAIN is a new program run by yours truly, Dionna Michelle Daniel.  The group meets once a month to read contemporary new plays by a carefully curated selection of diverse playwrights.  It’s basically a book club…for plays! As the new Outreach and Educational Coordinator, my goal is to acquaint high school & college students to the new voices of the American Theatre. Most of the works we will be focusing on are the works by women, POC, and LGBTQ playwrights.

IMG_0217

Our last session began with a meet and greet of the participants. Pizza, snack and refreshments were served to kick off the night. Then we dug into the Afro-punk meets spaghetti western world of Aleshea Harris’s epic play Is God Is. Laughs were shared and we delved into a lengthy discussion on the plays many biblical references. All in all, we left full and feed by the words of a great playwright that the world is just now becoming acquainted with.

The inspiration to build a program like this has been rooted in a couple different life experiences of mine however, the most defining moment was from my senior year at CalArts.  While I was a student at CalArts, I took a class called American Drama Now with Los Angeles Times theater critic, Charles McNulty. We read and discussed contemporary plays that were breaking new barriers in the American theater. That class brought plays to my attention such as The Humans by Stephen Karam and Father Comes Home from The Wars: Parts 1,2, & 3  by Suzan-Lori Parks. Having a class like that was such a valuable experience for me as a young playwright because I needed to know what was happening in the theater world today! Too often the theater world produces the same works over and over. It’s imperative that we lift up all playwrights. We must lift up the ones who have long been part of the canon and the ones contributing today.

WEDNESDAY’S @ THE FOUNTAIN will meet once a month for the remainder of the year. Below is our current list of plays and playwrights we will be reading and discussing.

August​Sugar in Our Wounds by Donja R. Love

Website-500x350

“Sugar In Our Wounds” by Donja R. Love. Recently produced at the Manhattan Theatre Club.

Donja R. Love is an Afro-Queer playwright, poet, and filmmaker. He has won countless awards such as: 2017 Princess Grace Playwriting Fellow, a Eugene O’ Neill 2017 National Playwrights Conference finalist, and The Lark’s 2016 Van Lier New Voices Playwriting Fellow. Sugar In Our Wounds premieres at the Manhattan Theatre Club in June.

 

 

September​The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez

​Matthew Lopez is a queer latino playwright who is best known for works such as The Whipping Man and The Legend of Georgia McBride. His new play The Inheritance, is being heralded as the new Angels In America. The Inheritance premiered at the Young Vic theatre in London during the Spring of 2018.

October– ​Queens by Martyna Majok

queens

“Queens” by Martyna Majok at The Lincoln Center

Martyna Majok is a female playwright who is known for her works such as The Cost of Living & Ironbound. Queens was most recently showcased at LCT3/ Lincoln Center. This play follows two generations of immigrant women whose lives collide while living in a basement apartment in Queens. A production of Majok’s The Cost of Living will be having it’s West Coast premiere at the Fountain Theatre in October.

November​- BLKS by Aziza Barnes

​Aziza Barnes is a black, queer, female playwright & poet. She is most known for her poetry but her production of BLKS at Steppenwolf received great reviews this past winter. BLKS portrays a day in the life of four young black women discovering life’s uncomfortable truths in New York City. ●

December​- Mr. San Man by Christina Quintana

​Christina Quintana is a New York based playwright with Cuban and Louisiana roots. She is currently a Van Lier New Voices Playwriting Fellow at the Lark. Mr.San Man follows a devoted Latinx sanitation worker grappling with the decision to transition and facing the end of their relationship with their live-in girlfriend. All the while, the “epitome of trans* masculinity” provides comfort and chaos in dream and song. It is an exploration of gender and love, at home and in the workplace.

 

**If you or someone you know may be interested in joining our monthly meetings, please direct questions to the Fountain Theatre’s Outreach Coordinator, Dionna Michelle Daniel at dionna@fountaintheatre.com .

***Reading List is subject to change due to rights/availability of scripts.

NOW HIRING: Fountain Theatre seeks a new bookkeeper

bookkeeperThe Fountain Theatre seeks a friendly, motivated individual to fill a part-time position as a Bookkeeper. Must be a team player with a positive attitude who understands and enjoys the non-traditional work environment of a non-profit theatre arts organization. The ideal candidate will possess experience in essential bookkeeping functions, such as managing accounts payable and receivable and preparing payrolls, invoices, and financial reports, reconciling bank accounts, and have a solid proficiency with basic accounting principles. Qualifications include proficiency with QuickBooks Online, a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and an ability to work within a team setting. Ultimately, the Bookkeeper’s responsibilities are to accurately record all day-to-day financial transactions and reporting requirements of our organization.

PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Handles general bookkeeping and accounting tasks and maintain related documentation files, including, but not limited to: * Setting up new customers and donors as needed * Posting cash receipts * Preparing invoices and customer statements * Setting up new vendors as needed; requesting W9s as required; sending out 1099’s * Receiving invoices, bills, check requests and expense reports, reviewing for completeness and compliance with client policy, routing for approvals and posting * Entering payroll and preparing associated journal entries * Preparing cash disbursements and routing for approvals * Preparing bank account and other account reconciliations * Preparing schedules for monthly close and associated journal entries * Completing tax and compliance forms for government entities * Performs client communication, report or status submissions and requests for information. * Organizes, creates and maintains up-to-date files. * Maintains a strict level of confidentiality in all aspects of the job. * Fulfills other duties and responsibilities as requested or as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Education and/or prior experience in general accounting/bookkeeping, receivables, payables and payroll. * A familiarity with or a willingness to learn about nonprofit accounting. * Computer literacy: a proficiency in Quickbooks, Gmail, MS Office and a capacity to learn other programs as needed. * Ability to effectively communicate verbally and via email. * Ability to deal with problems in a positive manner and find effective solutions or know where to seek assistance. * High level of attention to detail and accuracy of work. * Punctuality and dependability. * Ability to work independently in an efficient and effective manner. * Solid time management and organizational skills with the ability to adapt to change, multi-task and be flexible. A friendly personality and ease in working closely with others in a small office. A good sense of humor is a plus.

Job Type: Part-time (10 hours per week)

Salary: $20.00 /hour

Experience: Bookkeeping 5 years

Email resume and cover letter to: info@fountaintheatre.com

Walking the walk: Art for art’s sake is simply not enough anymore

spotlight

by Bobby Steggert

About two years ago, I completely turned my back on an acting career that I had spent twenty years building. I found myself increasingly discontented by the lack of control that every artist must submit to, and I found myself nauseatingly self-concerned in a job that threw me off balance enough to never quite feel stable. That, and as the world spiraled into the surreal chaos that continues to swirl around us today, I found it harder and harder to justify my contribution as enough to make a significant difference.

The classic argument for the necessity of art (and a deeply legitimate one) is that is holds a mirror up to the human condition. It asks the important questions and gives voice to the voiceless. I suppose my goal in leaving the theater was to make a difference that felt more practical, or somehow quantifiable — instead of giving metaphoric voice to the voiceless, why not up the ante and work to give them a voice directly? And so I have spent the last two years pursuing a master’s degree in social work. I’ve been given a crash course in anti-black racism, in the horror of our immigration and criminal justice systems, in the forces behind gender and sexual discrimination. I’ve met some incredible social justice warriors — people putting all of their heroic energies into fighting to inspire essential shifts in the cultural fabric.

And may I unequivocally stress, I still believe that artists of all kind — playwrights, painters, musicians, and actors — wield equally powerful heroism in the same aim. In fact, the irony of walking away from the arts is that I am now more convinced than ever as to the necessity of you, the artist. But here is my ultimate argument, and hear me out– you are more powerful than the work you do under the proverbial lights. In fact, it’s only a part of why we need you.

Let’s face it — it is too late and the world is too far gone to celebrate art for art’s sake. It’s simply not enough anymore. We as a collective culture have forgotten what true greatness is, as the paradigm shifts and we are bombarded with the most toxic and pathetic expressions of selfishness masquerading as strength. But here’s the good news — all humans are outfitted with potential greatness, and yours far outstrips your craft. It is a superpower in this ever isolated and polarized world, and it is your responsibility to use it. Many of you already do.

The greatness I speak of is your bravery in offering authentic compassion in the flesh — a space of physical, emotional, and ideological vulnerability that, though out of fashion in our current climate, is the only thing that can save us. Lots of people practice empathy, and every human is endowed with it, but fewer have the experience you have in using it so flexibly.

bobby-steggert

Bobby Steggert

At the risk of getting too personal, this is another reason I felt I had to leave acting — it was easy for me to bare my soul under the safety of the blinding lights and a two-hour time limit. What was far more challenging for me was to translate that freedom of expression into daily life. The most distilled version of my disappointment was that, in my deepest knowledge, I wasn’t walking the walk. I was proclaiming an artist’s social responsibility whilst hiding everywhere but onstage. I was vulnerable and brave at work and I was stuck and afraid elsewhere.

Ultimately, I did what felt necessary to create a chance at more sustainable balance in my own life, and I don’t have any regrets today as I work towards something happier. And in no way do I argue that anyone in an artistic life should change course. Instead, I am simply urging you to look at what you have in the moments when you feel frustrated and powerless — the enormous opportunity in every moment of your waking life, regardless of the audition you just aced, the job you just booked, or the brilliant performance you just gave. And equally important, the higher purpose you have despite the audition you just bombed, the job you just lost, or the brilliant performance you wish you had the opportunity to offer the world. You (like all of us) are bigger than your job, but it just so happens that your job has prepared you for the war ahead.

You are trained through your exceptional sensitivity to be generous of heart. You are more comfortable with the vulnerability of emotional expression than most anyone else on Earth. You can look deeply into the eyes of another human without flinching from the terror of being exposed. You understand that silence and stillness are not passive, but radical acts in the digital world of never ending status updates. You realize, even beneath the tidal wave of “self expression” that powers our culture of narcissism, that to listen is the only way to truly honor another’s humanity.

Crowd-movie-theater1-1008x515

These qualities are not unique to actors, but they are ones that you have spent a lifetime cultivating. You are also in an industry that threatens the very qualities that brought you here. It surely did mine.

Whether your work reaches dozens or millions, it can only represent life. It cannot stand in for it. I have to believe, from experience, that a “tortured artist” is someone who is unable to integrate their work and their life, so that the only place they feel understood is in the privacy of their work. But I have come to realize that the work is just as much to understand as it is to be understood. And as the world becomes increasingly disembodied and dehumanized by fear and greed, it is your flesh and blood — your eyes and breath and heart — that can bring change to every space you enter. You must remind others, whose gods are money or fear or status or fame, that their worship is futile.

Do not compromise in using the gifts that make you special. Do not allow an industry that asks you to be selfish to take away your generosity. Create no boundary between the stage and the street. Look up from your screens and feel the power you already contain. There are people fighting the good fight at every turn, but it just so happens that your special skills are applicable anywhere you go. When it comes to professional contribution alone, a surgeon is limited to saving lives in the operating room. You are not.

Strange, that I had to completely reroute the entire trajectory of my life to learn that I already had everything I needed to make a difference. My master’s degree will be a piece of paper, but my life as an artist will make me a great social worker, this I know. And if I ever return to acting, it will be with this knowledge (and I hope it reminds you of of your own possibilities) — that the work does not stop when unemployed — that you are an artist every day, if you so choose — that art is an obligation, and that it must be lived, not simply offered to those who have paid the price of admission.

Video and Photos: Opening night party for romantic world premiere ‘Arrival & Departure’

A&D Opening Night 1

Playwright/Director Stephen Sachs celebrates with the crowd on Opening Night. 

Love was in the air on Saturday night for the opening of our world premiere of Arrival & Departure, the funny and poignant new play inspired by the classic romantic movie, Brief Encounter. Written and directed by Stephen Sachs, Arrival & Departure  focuses on a Deaf man and a hard-of-hearing woman, married to different people, who meet accidentally in a New York City subway station. Their casual friendship soon develops into deeper feelings they never expected.

Saturday’s Opening Night performance compelled a sold-out audience to leap to its feet in a standing ovation. Afterward, a catered reception was held in our cafe. The warm summer weather was perfect for our invited guests to enjoy the cafe’s cozy outdoor balcony. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The cast includes Jessica Jade Andres, Deanne Bray, Adam Burch, Brian Robert Burns, Shon Fuller, Kyra Kotsur, Troy Kotsur, Aurelia Myers, and Stasha Surdyke. They were celebrated at the party by Fountain staff, members of the press, members of the Fountain Theatre Board of Directors, and family and friends. The guests were impressed by the dazzling performance, many commenting on its power and poignancy.

Arrival & Departure is performed by Hearing and Deaf actors in a fully integrated, unique blend of Open Captioning, American Sign Language and Spoken English. In this short video clip, Deaf actors Troy Kotsur and Deanne Bray address the party guests.

Get Tickets/More Info

Fountain Theatre earns 7 Stage Raw Theater Award nominations

Runaway-Home_6

Camille Spirlin and Maya Lynne Robinson, “Runaway Home”

The Fountain Theatre has earned 7 Stage Raw Theater Award nominations for our world premiere production of Runaway Home by Jeremy J. Kamps, directed by Shirley Jo Finney. The Fountain production of the funny, moving, and powerful new play about community and the power of family, set in New Orleans three years after Hurricane Katrina,  received the following Stage Raw Theater Award nominations:

  • Production of the Year 
  • Ensemble – Leith Burke, Jeris Poindexter, Armando Rey, Maya Lynne Robinson, Camille Spirlin, Brian Tichnell, Karen Malina White 
  • Playwriting – Jeremy J. Kamps
  • Leading Female Performance – Camille Spirlin 
  • Supporting Female Performance – Maya Lynne Robinson, Karen Malina White
  • Supporting Male Performance – Jeris Poindexter

The 2018 Stage Raw Theater Awards celebrate excellence on the Los Angeles stages in venues of 99-seats or under. This fourth annual edition includes productions that opened between January 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018.

The Awards ceremony is slated for Monday night, August 20, at Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. 

Full list of nominees

Piano man on Fountain Avenue

We put an old piano out front on the sidewalk hoping someone would take it. Instead, people in the neighborhood are playing it. This guy from NY was driving by, saw the piano on the sidewalk, got out of his car, and began to boogie.