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