After almost a full decade and more than 100 productions, Theatre Unleashed has a lot to celebrate. And we’re doing so by making some exciting changes that will lay the foundation for the company’s future and further cement its place as a leader in independent theatre.
For starters, the company will enter a development period in 2018, both in terms of structural organization and financial planning. During this time, TU will continue to offer high-quality programming, including its participation in the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival with the premiere of the new dramatic work Met Again by acclaimed playwright and longtime TU member Jacob Smith. TU will also offer its signature 24-Hour Theatre Events and of course, its annual tradition, the “Naughty and Nice” holiday rep with crowd pleasers It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play and A Very DIE HARD Christmas.
The company will then re-launch a full season again in 2019, starting with the West Coast Premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s Ada and the Engine, a scintillating, poignant romance about technological pioneers Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage set at the dawn of the computing age, helmed by critically acclaimed director Heidi Powers (Bronies: The Musical). That’s just the first piece of a thrilling season that will be announced in full this April 1st to celebrate the company’s tenth birthday.
To prepare for its future production goals, Theatre Unleashed will establish an Annual Fund, enabling the company to mount bigger, bolder and more exciting productions. At the cornerstone of the Fund will be two major events the company plans to turn into popular annual traditions. On March 31st, the company will host the First Annual Theatre Unleashed Spring Poker Classic, a No-Limit Texas Hold’em Charity Poker Tournament. Then, in the fall, TU will transition from the stage to the screen for one weekend only with the Unleashed Film Festival, honoring the works of enterprising local filmmakers.
Beyond the fundraising, TU’s leadership is using the coming year to re-bolster each and every aspect of the company’s operations, solidifying how we produce theatre. One area where we are already making changes is in the expansion of our leadership. Theatre Unleashed is thrilled to announce the return of Smith as Co-Artistic Director to work alongside sitting A.D. Jenn Scuderi Crafts. The company is also bolstered by the addition of multi-talented theatrical dynamo Beth Scorzato as one half of their Production Management team with company co-founder Erin Moore.
These two key additions to the staff are complemented by a dramatic shift on the company’s Board of Directors, where the company is welcoming stage and screen vet Lisa K. Wyatt, a longtime friend of the company, as the new Board Chairperson. Wyatt has appeared on the Theatre Unleashed stage multiple times over the years, and most recently directed the World Premiere of the introspective comedy CAKE for the company.
Fleshing out the remainder of the Board and filling other key administrative positions will be among the top priorities for the company in the new year. As part of those priorities, the company is also exploring new space options. While extremely proud of the work we’ve done in a theater we built at The Belfry, TU is ready to move on to bigger venues to better accommodate our more ambitious production goals. Further, as of the new year, Theatre Unleashed will officially be a “dues-free” company for our members, accomplishing a benchmark goal we established at the company’s birth.
There will be many other changes and exciting announcements coming in the next several months as we continue our work. We could not be prouder of all that we’ve done in our first ten years and we are looking forward to taking this wonderful company to the next level, truly making our mark as leaders in the L.A. theatre community and beyond.
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