BWW Interview With Director Heather Chesley
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Director Heather Chesley Talks Anna Karenina

Director Heather Chesley is about to open a rare revival of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina at Actors Co-op on February 8. She talks in depth about the play and why it is rarely seen.

“I think this story holds a mirror up to the human experience. It is a back and forth of faith and doubt. It seems perfect for Actors Co-op in that way.”

Actors Co-op
Richard Israel WINS Ovation Award

We are so proud to announce that Richard Israel won the 2019 Ovation Award for Best Direction of Violet at the Actors Co-op. Watch Richard Israel accept his Ovation Award

For a full list of Ovation Award winners, click below!

Director Richard Isarel wins an Ovation Award for Best Director of a musical for our 2018 production of Violet

Meet the Cast of Anna Karenina

Announcing the cast of
Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina: Eva Abramian
Constantine “Kostya” Levin: Joseph Barone*
Count Alexei Vronsky/Nikolai: Garrett Botts
Kitty/Seriozha: Ivy Beech
Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin: Bruce Ladd
Princess Betsy/Agatha/Governess/Railway Widow: Deborah Marlowe
Dolly/Countess Vronsky: Lauren Thompson
Stiva/Vassily/Bailiff/Petritsky/Priest: Michael Worden

Anna K Cast
Claire AdamsCast, Anna Karenina, 2019
Full List of Nominations 2018 Season

Actors Co-op is thrilled to announce its a list of nominations per show for its 2018 Season:

A Walk In The Woods:

Ovation Award Nomination:

Sound Design: Adam R Macias

Robby Award Nominations:

RAY STRICKLYN AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA: Phil Crowley
SALLY KEMP AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA: Nan McNamara

StageSceneLA Winners:

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A TWO-HANDER
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A TWO-HANDER: Nan McNamara and Phil Crowley
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A TWO-HANDER: Ken Sawyer

A Man For All Seasons:

Eddon Award Winner:

BEST PRODUCTION IN AN INTIMATE SPACE

StageSceneLA Winners:

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A DRAMA (INTIMATE THEATER)  
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A DRAMA (INTIMATE THEATER): John Allee
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A DRAMA (INTIMATE THEATER): Deborah Marlowe, Treva Tegtmeier
OUTSTANDING ALTERNATE/UNDERSTUDY PERFORMANCE: Kevin Shewey
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA (INTIMATE THEATER)
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A DRAMA (INTIMATE THEATER): Thom Babbes

Violet:

Ovation Award Nominations:

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL (Intimate Theatre)
DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL: Richard Israel
LEAD ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Claire Adams
LEAD ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Jahmaul Bakare

Robby Award Nominations:

TERI RALSTON AWARD FOR BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
VIRGINIA CAPERS AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL: Richard Israel
MICHELLE NICASTRO AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Claire Adams
GARY BEACH AWARD BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Jahmaul Bakare, Morgan West
LISA ROBINSON AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Lily Zager
ELAN MCMAHAN AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION: Taylor Stephenson
JOHN IACOVELLI AWARD FOR BEST SCENIC DESIGN: Nicholas Acciani

StageSceneLA Winners:

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL (INTIMATE THEATER)
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION DESIGN (INTIMATE THEATER)
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL: Richard Israel
BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL: Claire Adams
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL (INTIMATE THEATER): Jahmaul Bakare, Morgan West
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE CAST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL (INTIMATE THEATER)
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTION (INTIMATE THEATER): Taylor Stephenson

Actors Co-op recognized with SEVEN L.A. Ovation Nominations for the 2017-2018 Season
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Best Season

The 39 Steps

The Man Who Came To Dinner

A Walk in the Woods

A Man for All Seasons

Violet

Best Production of a Musical (Intimate Theater)

VIOLET

Direction of a Musical

RICHARD ISRAEL , VIOLET

Lead Actor in a Musical

JAHMAUL BAKARE, VIOLET

Lead Actress in a Musical

CLAIRE ADAMS, VIOLET

Sound Design (Intimate Theater)

ADAM R. MACIAS, A WALK IN THE WOODS

Costume Design (Intimate Theater)

SHON LEBLANC , THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER

This year, the ceremony will be held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday, January 28th. Tickets will go on sale Monday, November 26th, and full information can be found on OvationAwards.com.


Actors Co-op
She Loves Me featured in the Los Angeles Times 99 Seat Beat!


ENTERTAINMENT

99-Seat Beat: Genderless space creatures, mythic New Jerseyites, bickering Hungarians, and more

By F. KATHLEEN FOLEY

NOV 02, 2018 | 6:00 AM

‘She Loves Me,’ Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre

The essentials: Surrounded by a colorful coterie of co-workers, two comically bickering shop clerks in 1930s Hungary find a respite from their humdrum lives in an epistolary romance with pen pals they have never actually met. Of course, they later realize that their mysterious mutual admirers are none other than each other, and that all of their abrasive interactions were just the preliminaries to their own slowly simmering love story.

Why this? Miklós László’s 1937 play “Parfumerie” has given rise to numerous adaptations, most notably Ernst Lubitsch’s 1940 film “The Shop Around the Corner,” a deft delight that has become a Christmas perennial. Only modestly received in its 1963 production, this musical has won multiple Tonys in its various incarnations, including a blockbuster 2016 Broadway revival that established its durable appeal for modern-day audiences. Savvy veteran of stage, screen and television, director-choreographer Cate Caplin helms the production, which promises a refreshing plunge into pure nostalgia.

Details: Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre, 1760 N. Gower Hollywood. (On the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.) 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Ends Dec. 16. $39. (323) 462-8460. www.ActorsCo-op.org

Director Richard Israel shares his Co-op story!
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“While I am not a member of the Actors Co-op, I have always felt like a member of the family.”

In 2008, I was asked to direct a production of 1776 at the Actors Co-op. This was my first directing experience outside of my own theatre company, and I was admittedly nervous about taking on such a large show for an unfamiliar theatre organization. In addition, I wasn’t sure how I would be received at a Christian theatre company, and what the working environment would be. There were a lot of unanswered questions as I embarked on my first show 10 years ago.

Our 2008 production of 1776, directed by Richard Israel photo: Ed Kreiger

Our 2008 production of 1776, directed by Richard Israel photo: Ed Kreiger

It’s now 2018, and nine shows later, I am proud to call the Actors Co-op an artistic home. I have had the great honor of directing six musicals and three non-musical plays, including last season’s production of Violet. I believe I hold the record for most shows directed at the Co-op -- a record of which I am extremely proud.

There are so many things that I respect about the Actors Co-op, but I think I can best articulate it like this – the Co-op’s commitment to their faith is equaled by its commitment to the craft of theatre. Producing intimate theatre in a film and TV town is challenging at best. Producing intimate theatre while fulfilling the responsibilities of a church ministry is (I would imagine) an extremely delicate balancing act. But the members of the Actors Co-op do this with grace and respect, and with a true commitment to theatrical excellence.

Our 2018 production of Violet, directed by Richard Israel, photo: Matthew Gilmore

Our 2018 production of Violet, directed by Richard Israel, photo: Matthew Gilmore

While I am not a member of the Actors Co-op, I have always felt like a member of the family. And let’s face it, there’s something to be said for a Christian theatre company whose most frequent director is a guy named Richard Israel. I think this speaks to a warmth and a sense of humanity that is difficult to come by in a big city like Los Angeles.

It’s been my great honor to work with the Actors Co-op over the last ten years, and I hope you will consider supporting the company in any way possible.

Sincerely,

Richard Israel, Director

Actors Co-op
Interview with Ken Sawyer

Check out this wonderful interview with our Rope director, Ken Sawyer!

I have a saying when directing a thriller. “Entertain ‘em. Get ‘em to laugh. Then stab ‘em in the back.” The audience will scream. Then laugh at the fact that they got caught off guard. Then later, if the show was good, ponder why they got sucked in. And why they are a little afraid now of turning out the light. That is the cat and mouse game we play with the audience in a thriller. Humor is always a big part of that.
Claire Adams
2018 SCENIE Awards

The 13th-annual SCENIES celebrate the past year’s outstanding achievements in Southern California theater (based on the 225 productions reviewed between August 1, 2017 & July 31, 2018). Scenies are presented in the following categories:

BEST INTIMATE THEATER
Actors Co-op

THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER: 
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A COMEDY (Intimate Theater)
The Man Who Came To Dinner (Actors Co-op)

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY
Catherine Urbanek in The Man Who Came To Dinner

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY (Intimate Theater)
Greg Martin in The Man Who Came To Dinner

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A COMEDY (Intimate Theater)
John Allee in The Man Who Came To Dinner
Wenzel Jones in The Man Who Came To Dinner
Irwin Moskowitz in The Man Who Came To Dinner

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A COMEDY (Intimate Theater)
Brenda Ballard in The Man Who Came To Dinner
Natalie Hope MacMillan in The Man Who Came To Dinner

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY (Intimate Theater)
The Man Who Came To Dinner

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A COMEDY (Intimate Theater)
Linda Kerns—The Man Who Came To Dinner

 

A WALK IN THE WOODS: 
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A TWO-HANDER

A Walk In The Woods (Actors Co-op)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A TWO-HANDER
Nan McNamara and Phil Crowley

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A TWO-HANDER
Ken Sawyer

 

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS:
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A DRAMA (Intimate Theater)  
A Man For All Seasons (Actors Co-op)

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A DRAMA (Intimate Theater)
John Allee in A Man For All Seasons

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A DRAMA (Intimate Theater)
Deborah Marlowe in A Man For All Seasons
Treva Tegtmeier in A Man For All Seasons

OUTSTANDING ALTERNATE/UNDERSTUDY PERFORMANCE
Kevin Shewey in A Man For All Seasons

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA (Intimate Theater)
A Man For All Seasons

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A DRAMA (Intimate Theater)
Thom Babbes

 

VIOLET:
BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL (Intimate Theater)
Violet (Actors Co-op)

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION DESIGN (Intimate Theater)
Violet (Actors Co-op)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Richard Israel–Violet

BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
Claire Adams in Violet

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL (Intimate Theater)
Jahmaul Bakare in Violet
Morgan West in Violet

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE CAST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL (Intimate Theater)
Violet

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTION (Intimate Theater)
Taylor Stephenson—Violet

Claire Adams
Stage Raw Awards 2018

Congrats to the production and cast on their EIGHT Stage Raw Theatre Award nominations

About the Awards: 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.

LEADING MALE PERFORMANCE
Bruce Ladd, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op

LEADING FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Nan McNamara, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op

ENSEMBLE
33 Variations, Actors Co-op

DIRECTION
Thomas James O'Leary, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op

LIGHTING DESIGN
Andrew Schmedake, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op

MUSICAL DIRECTION
Dylan Price, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op

SET DESIGN
Nicholas Acciani, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op

VIDEO/PROJECTION DESIGN
Nicholas Acciani, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op

A catered nominees reception and Stage Raw fundraiser party is being held at the The Skylight Theatre in Los Feliz, on Tuesday, July 24, 7 - 10 p.m. Tickets are $100 (which includes complimentary admission to the Theater Awards ceremony), in support of Stage Raw. All nominees are invited as complimentary guests of Stage Raw.

The Awards ceremony is slated for Monday night, August 20, at Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles, hosted by Coeurage Theatre Company, directed by Jer Adrianne Lelliott, and celebrating the theme of "community." 

Tickets are $30. You can purchase tickets to the Awards Ceremony Here

For the full list of nominees visit StageRaw.com

Claire Adams
Violet makes it on the BroadwayWorld HOT LIST!

Violet made it onto the BroadwayWorld HOT LIST. See the excerpt below by Ellen Dostal:

"VIOLET - Actors Co-op, through June 17 (matinees added and the show may extend) Another Jeanine Tesori musical is getting a gorgeous revival in an intimate setting at Actors Co-op. The story of a disfigured young woman who travels across the country to be restored by a faith healer is an emotional journey that strikes at the heart of our innate longing to be loved. Among musical theatre circles, director Richard Israel has a well-deserved reputation for crafting memorable performances by bringing out the rich subtleties in a script and cultivating endless nuances of character. The result is an exquisite audience experience that satisfies on every level. VIOLET, starring a luminous Claire Adams in the title role, is his finest work to date. Nicholas Acciani's resourceful set design puts the audience on the bus along with Violet, two soldiers, and a coterie of quirky Southerners who spring vividly to life from the revolving bus seats. Taylor Stephenson's string-based chamber orchestra delicately envelopes the space with the sound of Tesori's folk and bluegrass-inspired melodies. This is another triumph for the Co-op, one with enough tender wisdom in its interpretation to easily restore your own faith in the almighty power of love. Tickets: www.actorsco-op.org"

Claire Adams
Announcing the Cast of Violet

Actors Co-op is proud to announce the cast of the upcoming musical Violet, music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Brian Crawley, based on the The Ugliest Pilgrim by Doris Betts. 

Cast

Violet: Claire Adams
Flick: Jahmaul Bakare
Old Lady/Hotel Hooker: Lori Berg
Lulu Buffington/Almeta (Landlady): Benai Boyd
Virgil/Ensemble: Patrick Cheek
Father: John Allsopp
Billy Dean/Ensemble: Matthew Podeyn
Ensemble: Emuna Rajkumar
Preacher: Kevin Shewey
Musical Hall Singer/Ensemble: Lauren Thompson
Monty: Morgan West
Young Vi: Lily Zager

 

Production

Director: Richard Israel
Producer: Thomas Chavira
Musical Director: Taylor Stephenson    
Choreographer: Julie Hall      
Scenic Design: Nicholas Acciani
Lighting Design: Lisa Katz
Sound Design: Cameron Combe
Property Design: Samantha Ramirez
Hair/Makeup: Design: Klint Flowers
Costume Design: Wendell Carmichael
Stage Manager: Derek R. Copenhaver
Assistant Stage Manager: Jaime Mills
Production Manager: Selah Victor
Publicist: Nora Feldman

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Claire Adams
Introducing the Cast of A Man For All Seasons

We are so excited about our upcoming production of A Man For All Seasons opening March 2 and are proud to announce the wonderful cast:

The Common (Wo)Man -- DEBORAH MARLOWE*
Sir Thomas More -- BRUCE LADD*
Master Richard Rich -- MITCHELL LAM HAU
The Duke of Norfolk -- SEAN MCHUGH*
Lady Alice More -- TREVA TEGTMEIER*
Mady Margaret More -- ELSA GAY*
Cardinal Wolsey/ThomasCranmer -- GREG MARTIN*
Thomas Cromwell -- JOHN ALLEE
Signor Chapuys -- VITO VISCUSO*
William Roper -- ISAAC JAY
King Henry VIII -- IAN MICHAELS

* Indicates Actors Co-op Member

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Claire Adams