Lucy Pollak, Stephen Sachs, Deborah Lawlor, Simon Levy, Karen Kondazian, William Sachs
Stephen Sachs’ stage adaption of Citizen: An American Lyric won the Stage Raw Theatre Award for Best Adaptation at last night’s ceremony at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Created, developed and produced by the Fountain Theatre, Citizen earned rave reviews in an extended run in 2015.
The Stage Raw Awards at the Los Angeles Theatre Center
Launched in March 2014, by Los Angeles theater critic and playwright Steven Leigh Morris, Stage Raw is a digital journal dedicated to discovering, discussing and honoring L.A.-based arts and culture. The 2016 Stage Raw Theatre Awards recognize the artistic accomplishments of intimate theatres in Los Angeles for the 2015 calendar year.
Adapted from the internationally acclaimed and award-winning book of poetry by Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric is a lyrical and provocative dramatization of everyday racism in this country. Stage Raw declared it “a transcendent theatrical experience” and theLos Angeles Times hailed it as “powerful”, highlighting it as Critic’s Choice.
Stephen Sachs is the Co-Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre and the author of thirteen plays. His plays are produced in regional theatres across the country, have been made into a CBS TV movie, and are translated into other languages and produced worldwide.
Sachs’ adaptation of Citizen: An American Lyric will open June 3rd at the Pure Theatre in Charleston, SC, just four blocks from Mother Emanuel Church, as the city and the nation marks the one-year commemoration of the tragic shootings there. Future productions of the play are planned nationwide.
Director Stephen Sachs shares his vision with the company.
Wicked Fun in New Play About a Mountain Witch
Do you believe witches can be real? We had a delightful one with us at the Fountain this Saturday for the first meet & greet rehearsal for our upcoming West Coast premiere of the new play Broomstick by John Biguenet, starring stage/film/TV veteran Jenny O’Hara. In this funny and poignant new solo play directed by Stephen Sachs, Jenny O’Hara plays an eccentric old woman who may, in fact, be a witch.
Set in Appalachia and written entirely in verse, this charming and mesmerizing solo play is about a wacky old lady living in a odd little shack who just may happen to be a witch. Jenny O’Hara (Bakersfield Mist) returns to the Fountain in this funny, poignant and spell-binding tale of the magic of the human heart.
‘Broomstick’ set design by Andrew Hammer
First rehearsal was this Saturday, August 23, and a good time was had by all. Director Stephen Sachs spoke about his vision for the play and producer Simon Levy guided the company through the production paperwork. Also present at the first reading were co-artistic director Deborah Lawlor, associate producer James Bennett, designers Andrew Hammer and Misty Carlisle, dialect coach Tyler Seiple, technical director Scott Tuomey, stage manager Terri Roberts, box office manager Jessica Brout, intern William Sachs, and publicist Lucy Pollak. Once the opening business was done, actress Jenny O’Hara read the script marvelously. Jenny, of course, is well known and loved by Fountain audiences for her memorable performance in the smash hit Bakersfield Mist, and recently earned rave reviews in 4,000 Miles at South Coast Repertory.
Preview performances of Broomstick start October 2nd. The West Coast Premiere opens at the Fountain Theatre on October 11 and runs to Nov 30. More info and order tickets.
Summer Internship Ends But a Fountain Home Remains
by Gabby Lamm
How do I possibly I write a blog post that encapsulates all that I’ve learned at The Fountain this summer? Without it being 100 pages and then some.
I could make a list of all the technical skills I’ve learned from the tutelage of Stephen, Simon, Barbara, James, Scott, and Deb over the past 10 weeks. Among many other things: I now know the ins and outs of soliciting: the necessity of following up, the intricate art of phone calls, messages, and emails, and all oh-so-crucial thank you note. I have practiced reading and evaluating plays, I have attended performances on behalf of the theatre, and I even helped to plan and execute The Fountain’s first ever Student Night. I have fought with my fair share of printers, and actually won some of those battles. These are all things that I can (and most assuredly will) list on my resume.
Gabby, Barbara Goodhill & Alice Kors
But that will not be my answer when I’m asked what I learned during my summer internship at The Fountain Theatre.
What will my answer be? Thanks for asking!
I learned how to work as part of a team. I learned about determination, about not giving up even when everything indicates that I won’t succeed. I learned the value of optimism and positivity when dreaming up a project. I learned how important it is to work through anxiety and self-doubt, and the amazing things that will then follow after putting those feelings aside and trusting that I can rely on my team if something goes wrong. I learned some really great jokes.
Best of all, I am now able to call a group of amazing and inspirational people my family.
Thank you to Stephen, Simon, and Deb for allowing me to go beyond what was outlined in my job description to experience the wide variety of responsibilities involved in working a theatre.
Alice, Gabby, William, Barbara & Scott
Thank you to Barbara for the incredible lessons you taught me, not only regarding fundraising and event planning, but also general life skills that have already begun to have a tremendous impact on my life outside of work.
Thank you to James for putting up with my near constant questions, whether about the box office and our patrons or the devil machines (also called printers), and for listening to my awful jokes and pretending they were funny.
Thank you to Scott for making me laugh at jokes even more terrible than my own, for showing and explaining the technical aspects of theatre not involved in my desk job, and for fixing my necklace that one time and my glasses that other time.
Thank you to William for bringing a smile and a positive presence every time you came to the office.
Gabby & Misty check their lipstick at ‘Forever Flamenco’
Thank you to Licia for enduring front row seats to the intern desks every time you were in the office.
Thank you to Terri for letting me watch the show from the booth (which is most certainly not built for 3 people, and making it work anyway).
Thank you to Misty for your truly invaluable help and support during Student Night and Forever Flamenco! at the Ford, and for letting me use your lipstick.
Gabby Lamm & Alice Kors
And, last but certainly not least, a huge thank you to Alice, my partner in crime and lunchtime, for working with me day in and day out; for encouraging me when I doubted myself; for providing endless entertainment, jokes, and snapchat opportunities; for modeling what it looks like to be passionate about your dreams and how to believe in a goal until you make it happen. Oh, and also for that s’mores sandwich on our last day of work. Yum.
I am very sad to have to leave my post at The Fountain, but I know that I will be back for every show and event that happens when I am in town. I am proud to call myself a permanent member part of the Fountain Family.
Students gather in the Fountain Cafe before the performance.
Students See ‘The Brothers Size’ with Q&A and Party After
Was that fun, or what? Last night was our first Student Night at the Fountain. And judging from the energy it created, it won’t be our last. Created and launched by our two fab interns Alice Kors and Gabby Lamm, Student Night targeted young audiences to encourage them to see our acclaimed LA Premiere of The Brothers Sizeby Tarell Alvin McCraney. The evening also included a Q&A discussion with the cast and director followed by a party upstairs in the cafe.
For many students, this was their first visit to the Fountain Theatre. For one student, it was the first play she had ever seen. “It was wonderful,” she beamed. “Theatre is better than TV! Now I want to see more.”
Our interns Alice and Gabby worked very hard creating, producing and hosting the event. Their enthusiastic labor paid off last night and well into the future: Student Night will now become a regular ongoing program at the Fountain.
Directed by Shirley Jo Finney and starring Gilbert Glenn Brown, Matthew Hancock and Theodore Perkins, our Los Angeles premiere of The Brothers Size is earning rave reviews everywhere. It is highlighted as Critic’s Choice in the LA Times and is “Ovation Recommended’. This powerful, joyous and deeply moving production has been extended to September 14.