LA gets all organized to make a play for . . . plays.

A couple of years ago now, I held a “Get Your Show Off the Ground” Seminar in Los Angeles as well as a “social.” And in those few hours, I heard a heck of a lot about the LA theater market.

And what I heard, was not so good.

I heard complaints about a decentralized market . . . a producing Wild West right in the middle of Hollywood . . . without a lot of cooperation.

It was disappointing for me to hear, because on paper, with the talent and the money that are in those there hills, LA should be the #2 city in the country for emerging theater.  Right now, Chicago has got it beat . . . and maybe even Minneapolis, Boston, and San Fran as well.

But, I also heard something else from the people I spoke to at my seminar and at my social:

Optimism.  Intelligence.  And Determ-a-f’in-nation.

And earlier this week, we saw an amazing sign of those characteristics when LA Theatre Producers met and voted unanimously to establish a trade organization to represent the issues of theatrical producers of all shapes and sizes in the City of Angels.  (Remember when Jonathan Tisch talked about how Associations and Organizations were good?)

You can read a bit about it here (the article includes a link to get more info on joining if you’re an LA Producer – and you should).  One of my former seminar participants, and a POG, Rick Culbertson, was in attendance and had this to say about what went down:

It was a thrilling moment when about 80 producers, all of whom have very different producing models, came together and voted unanimously to form a Los Angeles Producers’ organization.  What made the evening even more exciting was the idea that we are moving forward as an open and transparent group that will invite all ideas and voices to be heard.  There is still a lot of work to be done to build a structure and elect leadership, but I am optimistic that we can do it, and become a stronger producing community.

Banding together is the first step to change and progress.  Of course, it takes great leadership to then march that group forward, but I have no doubt that LA has the passionate people to help it recognize it’s theatrical potential.

I predict that in the next 5 years, as a direct result of this coordinated effort to add structure to the commercial and non-profit theater scene, will see a new musical or play on its way to Broadway  that was born at one of the many LA 99 Seaters.

#2 with a bullet.

Go get ’em, guys.

Oh – and writing this blog just made me realize that I haven’t been to LA in awhile.  I know a bunch of you were interested in when I was having my next “Get Your Show Off The Ground” – LA, so here it is!

On Saturday, July 14th at 2 PM, I’ll be in LA!  Click here for info on how to register.  See you there!



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  • Erika Jenko says:

    I loved this. It’s about time this happened. I’m a California native getting ready to move to NYC by the end of the year. With all of the potential of California, I wish this has happened sooner but so glad that it is happening now. One of the fantastic and semi-new traditions of la theatre is Hollywood fringe. Producing my play there as its final Cali production. Can’t wait to experience the theatre scene in NYC.

  • As a Hollywood Fringe veteran, I have to agree that they’ve really helped cultivate a new generation of producers here in LA. I don’t know if the Ben Hill knows just what kind of monster he’s created, but it’s impressive. 🙂

    I was at the meeting Sunday night. Lot of passionate people in there looking to make something big happen. I honestly think this is the turning point where LA theatre will finally come into its own.

    Interstingly enough, it seems like there’s a gap between Fringe community of young turks (like my company) and the “established” LA theatre producers and companies. One of the first things I want to do is reach out to my fellow Fringers and encourage them to participate in the shaping of this new organization, as a lot of these folks will inherit it when the older generation decides to step back. At the same time, I want to get the established companies to embrace the Fringe and truly make it reflective of the entire small theatre community of LA.

  • Regena says:

    This is a topic that is near to my heart… Many thanks!
    Exactly where are your contact details though?

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