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Friday, December 7, 2012

Elephant Theatre Company's 2012 Season Launch Party

The Elephant Theatre Company has been my artistic home for the last 7 years.  It's a company of wonderful, extraordinarily talented actors, writers, and directors from all over the country, and it's the kind of company you want to be a part of.  The passion for the craft is evident in all the first-class productions we mount, and every member of the company is dedicated to being the very best artist they can be.  It's a family as well, and as challenges confront us all in the course of our lives, I find it absolutely remarkable the outpouring of support and love this company has for each of its members.  Whether it is the loss of a loved one, the pains of addiction, the heartbreak of dissolved relationships, or the death of a member of the herd, there is never a shortage of love and compassion in this company for its members.  This is a group of true artists, passionate for their craft, dedicated to bringing the best theater possible in the Los Angeles area, and they do it not for the money, not for the fame, but because they believe there is a responsibility artists have to create works that reflect the ideas and issues confronting the society at large, and the theater is a way to bring a greater awareness and a conscious, compassionate voice to those issues.

Theater has always had a major role to play in almost every society.  The ancient Greeks saw the theater as a way to elevate the conscious awareness of what it meant to be human, and to debate the social and political issues of the day.  They saw it as a way of teaching others through the re-enactment of stories that spotlighted the tragedies and comedies of life.  There is a cathartic feeling one goes through when attending great theater.  You watch as the characters go through the challenges they face, sometimes it makes you laugh, sometimes it makes you cry, and when its done really well, you experience the breaking of time and space.  You forget where you are.  The story has you, grabs your heart, and takes you for the ride.  This is the quality of the performances we generate at this company.  Since I've been a member, we've won numerous awards for direction, outstanding production, and ensemble performances.  We're a community of artists who believe that art has the power to transform the world.  We are dedicated to the craft, and see the importance of what we do not in terms of what it will put in our pocket, but what it contributes to the community at large.  The stories we tell are new, relevant to the times, and deal with the social, political, economic, and human dramas our society currently faces.  I feel honored to be assembled with such a wonderful group of passionate artists.

This is the Elephant Theatre Company's mission statement: The Elephant Theatre Company is a union of artists including actors, directors, designers, and writers.  Our goal is to offer a satisfying theatrical experience to both new and seasoned audiences throughout greater Los Angeles by cultivating original works, encouraging risk, and bringing contemporary published works to life.  The only demand this company makes of its members is that they commit themselves to the search for new avenues and unconventional ways of realizing their work!

The Elephant Theatre Company began in a loft in downtown LA by graduates of the California State Long Beach theatre arts program.  It sprung from the passion of actors who wanted to continue their craft and bring something new and original to the LA theater community.  Without a theater space to call home, these daring artists performed plays in the loft and invited audiences to come watch.  Their commitment to the craft was unrelenting, and when the opportunity to build a new home provided itself, Artistic Director David Fofi and Don Cesario made the move to their present location on Santa Monica Blvd and Lillian Way.  Since 1999, this has been our home, and where we continue to forge new ground in bringing to life the plays of contemporary playwrights, with courage, love, integrity, and passion.

We spent the last year on hiatus.  We decided to spend a year re-organizing, hired two managing directors, and re-connected to the reasons why we all chose to be theater artists in the first place.  The fires re-kindled, the company is now focused and prepared to open our next season, and as with any not-for-profit theater company, we have to raise money to fund our productions.  This year, our season launch party is set to be the best ever!  The Gala event will highlight a silent auction with over $32,000 dollars worth of items including a Top Gun experience, trips to NYC, Napa and Palm Springs, an African Safari,  and a one week stay in the south of France!  In addition we will be announcing our upcoming season!  It's exciting for all of us.  We have a renewed energy and are more determined than ever to bring high quality, meaningful shows for the Los Angeles audience.

If you're in the Los Angeles area this weekend, there's still time to buy tickets to this wonderful event.  We hope you can join us.  If you are unable to join us this weekend at our Gala and Silent Auction Season Launch Party, but still want to support our 17th season, please consider becoming an elephant donor.  The Elephant is a 501(c)3 organization: all donations are tax deductible.  Please email and we will gladly facilitate your contribution.  Thank you for supporting the Elephant, and we all look forward to serving you on the stage in the upcoming year!