May 23, 2009
I found Christopher Knight's piece about the National Endowment for the Arts politically naive ["Can He Bring the NEA Out of Hiding?" May 14]. The NEA has its critics and most of them fail to appreciate that the Endowment currently enjoys its highest level of bipartisan support among elected officials in many years. This is precisely because the former chairman, Dana Gioia, understood that the Endowment is funded by taxpayer dollars and therefore has the responsibility to support art that speaks to as broad a patchwork of American people as is possible.
August 7, 2011 |
Before there were trendy lofts, coffeehouses and bacon maple doughnuts on the streets near Los Angeles' skid row — back when graffiti wasn't considered "art" in downtown Los Angeles — Ben Donenberg had the idea that theater could improve the neighborhood. "In New York, no one would normally walk in Central Park after dark because it's dangerous," the then-30-year old impresario told this newspaper in 1987. "You put up a Shakespeare festival and thousands of people flock to the park.
July 8, 1990 |
What's a nice Jewish boy like Ben Donenberg doing with a crush on William Shakespeare? "Shakespeare is my obsession," admits the actor-turned-entrepreneur. "I don't care if he really existed or not; I just love his plays."
July 17, 2007 |
Don't show up late to Shakespeare Festival/LA's vibrant new production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," now playing outdoors on the plaza of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. You'll miss the fabulous opening number: the entire cast tearing up the stage to the fierce syncopation of Lionel Hampton's "Central Avenue Breakdown."
November 4, 2006
Renewed: Showtime has ordered a second season of its drama "Dexter," starring Michael C. Hall. The new batch of 12 episodes will premiere in 2007. Arts advisors: Ben Donenberg, artistic director of Shakespeare Festival/L.A., and Frank Price, former Columbia and Universal studio chief, have been nominated by President Bush to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts.
October 29, 1992 |
What's in a Name: The upstart Shakespeare, L.A. group, at odds with the more established Shakespeare Festival/LA over the similarity of the two names, has changed to the Los Angeles Shakespeare Company. Does that satisfy the bigger group? Its director, Ben Donenberg, said the company's lawyer pointed out that the new moniker could be shortened in headlines to LA Shakespeare, so before pronouncing the dispute dead, he'll consult with his board and with that lawyer, who is now on vacation.