I have two children, two sons. Ask any parent what they wish for their child, the most common answer is happiness. “As long as they’re happy.” “I just want them to be happy.” I want my sons to be happy, have happy lives. More important to me is that they have lives that are meaningful. Happiness can be fleeting. Meaning is eternal. It’s why I chose a life in the theatre. I am in the meaning-making business.
A meaningful play tells the story of people overcoming adversity. “Theatre is conflict” is the number one rule of a well-written play. That’s because it is true in life. Buddha’s first teaching was that in life we experience struggle and change. It’s not the adversity itself that leads to meaning and growth. It’s how we respond to it.
In a play, conflict is the engine of storytelling and change is the destination. It’s why we see plays in the first place. We experience, from a safe distance, how people face a life-threatening challenge. We feel what they feel, we watch what they do, what decisions they make, and how they are changed by it. A play can show us how to grow through adversity. That makes each of you who come to the Fountain meaning-seekers.
What does this pandemic mean? I don’t know. For today, we must find the courage to live with uncertainty. And then do the same tomorrow. Soon, the Fountain will reopen, and we’ll explore and express what it means, together. On our stage.
Stephen Sachs is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre
Dinner and a show. The perfect evening, right? At the Fountain Theatre, we got the show part covered. But the dinner part may have seemed less apparent. That’s quickly changing. As East Hollywood continues to revitalize, nearby dining options are blossoming. New restaurants, cafes and bars are sprouting up like delectable wildflowers, nestling themselves beside the longtime local favorites. Here are five we recommended. Each only a five-minute walk from the Fountain.
Found Oyster co-owners Adam Weisblatt and Holly Fox of Last Word Hospitality, Ari Kolender and general manager Joe Laraja. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
A rave review in the Los Angeles Times hailed the seafood created by chef and co-owner Ari Kolender as “excellent” and “irresistible.” Cozy and lively, Found Oyster is fun, funky and the food is delicious.
Established by Lemuel Balagot in 1982, the L.A. Rose Cafe has remained a staple for the local Los Feliz, Silverlake and Hollywood communities to this day. American comfort food & Filipino homestyle favorites served in a relaxed setting.
Listed on Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants, Marouch offers delicious Lebanese Armenian and Middle Eastern Cuisine. Don’t let the mini-mall location fool you. Marouch is a local treasure — not a gaudy banquet hall or a neon kebab palace but a serious showcase for the cuisine’s homier pleasures.
Highlighted on TripSavvy’s List of the 15 Best Pizzerias In Los Angeles. The downright cavernous pizza hall is great for those who want classic Neapolitans with a side of craft beer and sports on big screens. Four side-by-side ovens churn out orders following the strict guidelines of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletna and using ingredients flown in weekly from the motherland.
The outdoor patio at Square One Dining on Fountain Avenue.
Catching a matinee at the Fountain? Grab brunch or lunch at the indoor/outdoor eatery Square One, open only from 8:30am-3pm. A neighborhood favorite. American breakfast & lunch menu uses local & organic ingredients at this low-key hot spot with a patio.
Actors from “Joy Luck Club” and “Hannah” in Fountain cafe.
Ever question if LA has a real theatre community? A true sense of camaraderie? Doubt no more. Last night, members of the cast from the Sierra Madre Playhouse production of The Joy Luck Club swarmed to the Fountain Theatre to support friends and colleagues in our California Premiere of Hannah and the Dread Gazebo. After the performance, members from both companies gathered in our upstairs cafe to celebrate and congratulate each other.
It was fitting that the visit happened on Labor Day, the national observance of the value of work. For people who work in the theatre, there is a fervent dedication to the art form and a palpable cord of goodwill between artists.
The bond between the Joy Luck and Hannah casts — both with Asian actors — began when the company of Joy Luck sent a funny and warm-hearted good luck video from the Sierra Madre Playhouse to the Hannah group days before its opening at the Fountain.
The Hannah company replied, posting their own video to the Joy Luck cast.
Happy opening night to the cast and crew of Joy Luck Club at Sierra Madre Playhouse (Victor S Chi Shar Liu Christine Liao Tim Dang Yee Eun Nam Lee Chen-Norman Grace Shen Christopher Chen and everyone) !!!!! — ❤ the cast of Hannah and the Dread Gazebo at East West Players and Fountain Theatre 🎭🥰👏👏👏👏💐
Last night, cast members from The Joy Luck Club were at the Fountain supporting their fellow players. The Hannah cast will soon do the same. Theatre can be a competitive business. It can also be a haven for friendship and support.