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What theater leaders are eager to see at others' venues

Geffen Playhouse, Blank Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse officials and more talk shop.

December 29, 2012|By Laura J. Nelson
  • Brian Dennehy will be featured in "The Steward of Christendom" at the Mark Taper Forum in November.
Brian Dennehy will be featured in "The Steward of Christendom"… (Center Theatre Group )

Just because they run their own theater companies doesn't mean they can't look forward to what's ahead on other stages in 2013. We asked some of Los Angeles' theater community leaders what they resolve to see in the new year — at some place other than their own house.

Daniel Henning, founding artistic director at the Blank Theatre Company:

"I can't wait to see 'American Misfit' at Boston Court. I love American history, and I love when we can tell historical stories in the theater, and this seems to be a fantasia on those ideas. It's new — it's not a revival, it's not something we've seen 100 times before. To me, the most exciting thing we can do in the theater is make new theater."

"American Misfit," written by Dan Dietz, directed by Michael Michetti, April 4-May 12, Boston Court Performing Arts Center, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena.

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Jessica Kubzansky, co-artistic director at the Theatre @ Boston Court:

"I'm looking forward to Jennifer Haley's 'The Nether' at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Jen has a lot of strings in her bow, and I'm excited to see what she writes next. She writes in two moods: hard and soft, as she herself describes it. 'Breadcrumbs' was this really beautiful, lyrical piece of writing about a woman who was a writer who was trying to write down her last story before her 'brain turned brown.' But 'Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom' is this really hard-edged thing, showing what happens when a family falls into a computer game. Those styles of her writing were so radically different. They were such radical differences between the soft and the hard-edged, scary Jen Haley."

"The Nether," written by Jennifer Haley, directed by Neel Keller, March 19-April 14, Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City.

Michael Ritchie, artistic director at the Center Theatre Group:

"'Miss Julie' at the Geffen Playhouse, adapted by Neil LaBute. I imagine Neil will bring some new and interesting approach to this classic. [It] should end up feeling like a completely new play."

"Miss Julie," written by August Strindberg, adapted and directed by Neil LaBute, Feb. 26-April 7, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles.

Sheldon Epps, artistic director at the Pasadena Playhouse:

"They always create some of the best theater that comes our way, so I'm excited for the Alvin Ailey company. They're incredibly electric. They have a new artistic director, Robert Battle, and I haven't seen them since he took the reins. Even though it's a dance company, I think of it as a kind of theater: They actually speak to the audience even though their work is through movement."

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, directed by Robert Battle, April 17-21, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles.

Stephen Sachs, co-artistic director of the Fountain Theatre:

"I'm looking forward to seeing Stephen Adly Guirgis' 'The Mother… with the Hat' at South Coast Rep, a play I was eager to do at the Fountain. It's a raw, blunt, blisteringly funny comedy with very serious things to say about love, friendship and the struggle to accept the painful truth that life is a work in progress."

"The Mother... with the Hat," written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by Michael John Garcés, Jan. 6-27, South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.

Randall Arney, artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse:

"I'm very excited for 'The Steward of Christendom' with Brian Dennehy, directed by Steven Robman. I'm interested in seeing it because nearly 30 years ago, I got to see another Irish play that was directed by Steve and starring Brian. We were all a lot younger then. I get to see the fruits of their labor, and what they've learned over the last 30 years. It's such a rare opportunity to get to see an actor and a director work together again after so many years."

"The Steward of Christendom" by Sebastian Barry, directed by Steven Robman, Nov. 26, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014, Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles.

laura.nelson@latimes.com

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