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Theater on the spot

May 08, 2003

Cornerstone Theater company, founded in Boston, arrived in Los Angeles in 1992 with the mission of building bridges connecting communities. Its location work is "part of our ongoing quest to make the theater event as immediate as possible," says Artistic Director Bill Rauch.

Cornerstone's locations have included the decommissioned St. Vibiana's Cathedral in downtown L.A. (for "Crossings," stories of Catholic immigrants); the Angelus Plaza senior housing cluster on Bunker Hill (for an adaptation of a Sanskrit epic); shopping malls from Pasadena to Santa Monica; the East Los Angeles Skills Center; an empty store in Baldwin Hills; the Los Angeles Central Library, which housed a production of "Candidate" featuring city employees. These kinds of productions are central to the company's identity, Rauch says, but he admits that there are projects -- particularly those that feature the company's own acting ensemble, rather than those for which community members are recruited -- that might be much easier if the company had a theater to call home.

Is that in the cards? That, says Rauch, is "part of an ongoing identity crisis for us. The Cornerstone ensemble is actively wrestling with that question."

In the meantime, the players are also looking for new spaces. They have a Muslim community collaboration scheduled for fall, and a Jewish collaboration scheduled for spring and, so far, no venue for either.


Info:; (213) 613-1700.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday May 09, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
Library play -- An article in Thursday's Calendar Weekend incorrectly referred to a 1996-97 production staged in a library by Cornerstone Theater as "Candidate." The correct title was "Candude, or the Optimistic Civil Servant."

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