Elephant Theatre Company

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Coordinates: 34°5′26″N 118°19′39.2″W / 34.09056°N 118.327556°W / 34.09056; -118.327556


The former Elephant Theatre Company stages located at 6322 Santa Monica Blvd.

The Elephant Theatre Company is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Theatre company in Los Angeles. It has around 50 current members including actors, designers, directors, and stage managers.

History[edit]

In 1995, The Elephant Theatre Company was created in downtown Los Angeles. Artistic Directors, David Fofi and Lindsay Allbaugh, along with other graduates from the California State University, Long Beach Theatre Arts program moved into a space at the Angel City Brewery artist complex. The space doubled as a Studio Theater and the loft apartment for the original founders. Focused on their desire to continue their craft after graduation they renovated the space creating a small theatre and living quarters and gave it the name of "Elephant Off Main". The loft was 110 degrees, the tech booth was in a bedroom and audiences sat on couches and beanbags. The mission of the company and its founders was to produce a new brand of quality original theatre in Los Angeles.

In the summer of 1997, the small 45-seat theater could no longer accommodate the advancing production needs or the increasing audience attendance. The Company then moved to Hollywood (and dropped the “Off Main”). David Fofi along with founding member Don Cesario continued to produce Elephant productions in various Hollywood venues.

During their 1998/1999 season, the company moved into its long-term home, located at 6322 Santa Monica Boulevard, in Los Angeles' Theatre Row District. This created five performance spaces (the Lillian Theatre, the Elephant Space, the Elephant Studio, the Elephant ASYLUM, and the ASYLUM Lab), known as The Elephant Stages. With these additions came the necessity to form the business/producing entity called Elephant Stageworks, overseeing both venue operations and Theatre Company endeavors.

In 2015, the theatre building was sold by its landlord to a neighboring school. The last produced show in the Lillian ("The Great Divide" by Lyle Kessler) closed on August 23, 2015. The Elephant Theatre was left without a permanent space, and as of September 2015 was determining whether to continue on as a company. [1][2][3][4]

Name[edit]

As the founders geared up for the first production, an evening of early Sam Shepard shorts, the question arose: “What should we call this thing we have created, this group, this space?” Over a few beers and many terrible suggestions, one of the directors came across this quote:

“When Sam (Shepard) was first starting to write plays, he was writing little, almost chamber plays. Sam was working on something and we were sitting and talking about some scene he wanted to do, and he said, ‘I don’t think that could be done anyway on the stage. There’s no point to doing it.’ And I said, ‘Look, Sam if you want an Elephant to appear on the stage without walking on from the wings, you should just write it and see what happens from it, and then see if there’s a way to do it, or a way to make it.’” -Jacques Levy[citation needed]

This idea spoke to the founding members. The challenge of “The Elephant.” Hence the name, one that conjures theatrical daring, invention and imagination. In that loft the company’s seed was planted.

Staff[edit]

Founding Artistic Director: David Fofi
Co-Artistic Director: Lindsay Allbaugh
Founding Managing Director: Don Cesario
Producing Director: Greg Borrud
Managing Director: Rick Bernstein
General Manager: Tony Foster
Literary Director: Cheryl Huggins
Elephant Cabinet Members: Brendan Farrell, Tara Norris, Laura Harman, Tom Stanczyk, & Ben Belack
Head House Manager: Caryl West

Awards and honors[edit]

Featured Actor in a Play, 'Agatha Nowicki'''' "Parasite Drag": Ovation nominee, 2011

Featured Performance, 'Agatha Nowicki'''' "Parasite Drag": LADCC Award Winner, 2011

Performance in a Play, ''''Agatha Nowicki''''''' "Parasite Drag": Garland Award Winner, 2011

Supporting Female Performance, Winner, ''''''''''Agatha Nowicki' "Parasite Drag": 2011 LA Weekly Awards

Supporting Male Performance, Nominee, 'Boyd Kestner'''' "Parasite Drag": 2011 LA Weekly Awards

Production of the Year "Block Nine" by Tom Stanczyk: LA Weekly Awards, 2010 [1]
Best Direction of a Comedy "Block Nine": LA Weekly Awards, 2010

'Best Male Comedy Performance, 'Jeremyh Glazer'''' "Block Nine": LA Weekly Awards, 2010

'Playwriting, Nominee, 'Timothy McNeil'''' "Supernova": LA Weekly Awards, 2010

Ensemble, Nominee "Supernova": LA Weekly Awards, 2010

Best New Play , Kevin King, " Idea Man " Ovation Awards L.A. Best Direction nominee , David Fofi " Idea Man" Ovation Awards L.A.

featured Actor in a play , Kerry Carney " Idea Man " Ovation nominee 2010/

Best Production nominee , Lindsay Allbaugh "Idea Man " Ovation Awards L.A..

Best Direction, David Fofi "Anything " Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards 2008/2009.

Best Actor Louis Douglas Jacobs "Anything" Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, 2008/2009.

Best New play nominee "Timothy NcNeil "Anything" Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, 2008/2009.

Best Production "In Arabia We'd All Be Kings" by Stephen Adly Guirgis LA Drama Critics Circle Awards 2007/2008.

Playwright, Stephen Adly Guirgis "In Arabia We'd All Be Kings" LA Drama Critics Circle Awards 2007/2008.

Best Set and Lighting Design, Joel Daavid, "In Arabia We'd All Be Kings" LA Drama Critics Circle Awards 2007/2008.

Director, David Fofi "In Arabia We'd All Be Kings" Garland Awards/

Ensemble, "In Arabia We'd All Be Kings" Garland Awards.

Supporting Actor, Tim Starks "In Arabia We'd All Be Kings" Garland Awards.

Best Ensemble Nominee, " One World" by Robert J. Litz NAACP Theatre Awards.

Best New play, Robert J. Litz, and Production nominee " One World " NAACP Theatre Awards.

Voted Best Theatre Company: MyFoxLA.com, 2009 [2]
Voted Favorite Theatre Company to See: Backstage West, 2009
Voted Favorite Theatre Company to Work With: Backstage West, 2009
Voted Favorite Theatre Company to See: Backstage West, 2008
Voted Favorite Theatre Company to Work With: Backstage West, 2008[citation needed] [5]

Notable Productions[edit]

The Elephant Theatre Company presented many world premieres and LA premieres including, Block Nine, The Idea Man, Asleep on a Bicycle, Tooth and Nail, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, Los Muertos, 7 Redneck Cheerleaders, One Fell Swoop, Never Tell, The Sandstorm (with Operation Truth and Mark Seabrooks), Dearboys War, King of Clubs, The Puppet & Muppet Maiden, Love Bites, Holding Cell and Princess and the Peon in addition to published works and restagings that include, Search and Destroy, Serenading Louie and Sam Shepard’s 4-H Club & Red Cross.

Chronology of Plays[edit]

Summer 2015
The Great Divide[6] (World Premiere) Written by: Lyle Kessler Directed by: David Fofi Produced by: Bren Coombs and Shannon McManus

Spring 2015
7 Redneck Cheerleaders (4th Remount) Written by: Louis Douglas Jacobs Directed by: David Fofi Produced by: Bren Coombs

Winter 2014
Hell Cab (Remount) Written by: Will Kern Directed by: David Fofi

Fall 2014 Scene Workshop Showcase of various company members

Fall 2014 Elephant Short Play Fest Short plays written and directed by various company members

Summer 2014 Le Butte 1 One acts written and directed by various company members

Summer 2014
Unorganized Crime[7] (World Premiere, Ovation Recommended) ft. Elizabeth Rodriguez (Motherf**cker with a Hat, Orange is the New Black) and Chazz Palminteri (Bronx Tale) written by: Kenny D'Aquila Directed by: David Fofi

Spring 2014
Derby Day (West Coast Premiere, LA Times Critic Pick ) written by: Samuel Brett Williams Directed by: David Fofi

Winter 2014
Twilight of Schlomo (LA Premiere, LA Times Critic Pick, With Camisade Theater Company NYC) written by: Timothy McNeil (Anything, Supernova) Directed by: David Fofi

Summer 2013
Revelation (West Coast Premiere) written by: Samueal Brett Williams (Derby Day, Woodpecker) Directed by: David Fofi

Spring 2013
The North Plan (West Coast Premiere, Huffington Post's Top 10 LA Productions of the year. ) written by: Jason Wells Directed by: David Fofi

2012
7 Redneck Cheerleaders (Remount) written by: Louis Douglas Jacobs Original Staging by: Amy French
Re-staged by: David Fofi & Louis Jacobs

2012
Collision (East Coast premiere, Rattlestick NYC) written by: Lyle Kessler Directed by: David Fofi

June, 2011
Lovesick (World premiere, with New York City’s LAByrinth Theater Company) written by: Kristina Poe Directed by: David Fofi

June, 2011
100 Saints You Should Know (West Coast premiere)[8] written by: Kate Fodor Directed by: Lindsay Allbaugh

Feb - March, 2011
The 10th Anniversary of Love Bites: 10 Years Together & Still No Ring (world premiere) Annual shorts written and directed by various company members

August - Sept, 2010
Parasite Drag (world premiere) written by: Mark Roberts
Directed by: David Fofi

May - June, 2010
Supernova (world premiere) written by: Tim McNeil
Directed by: Lindsay Allbaugh

Feb - March, 2010
Love Bites Vol. 9 (world premiere) Annual shorts written and directed by various company members

August, 2009 - Sept, 2009
Block Nine (world premiere) written by: Tom Stanczk
Directed by: Emilie Beck (Dames) & Pete Uribe (Fellas)

May, 2009 - June, 2009
The Idea Man (world premiere) written by: Kevin King
Directed by: David Fofi

Feb - March, 2009
Love Bites Vol. 8.0 (world premiere) Annual shorts written and directed by various company members

2008
7 Redneck Cheerleaders (Remount) written by: Louis Douglas Jacobs Directed by: Amy French

July, 2008 - Oct, 2008
Asleep on a Bicycle (world premiere) written by: Tony Foster
Directed by: David Fofi

May, 2008 - June, 2008
Tooth and Nail (world premiere) written by: Gena Acosta
Directed by: Lindsay Allbaugh

Feb - March, 2008
Love Bites VI & VII (world premiere) Annual shorts written and directed by various company members

Nov, 2007 - Feb, 2008
Anything (world premiere) written by: Tim McNeil
Directed by: David Fofi

August 2007
One Fell Swoop [3] [4] [5] [6]
written by: Robert J. Litz
Directed by: Christopher Game

March 7-April 7
Love Bites Vol. V[7]
Annual shorts written and directed by various company members

Jan 07-April 7
In Arabia We’d All Be Kings[8] [9] [10]
[9] Written by: Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by: David Fofi

Dec 06
365 Days/Plays (week 4: Los Angeles)
Written by: Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by: Lindsay Allbaugh, David Fofi, and Christopher Game

August-Oct 06
Seven Redneck Cheerleaders (Revival)[11] [12]
Written by: Louis Jacobs
Original Staging by: Amy French
Re-staged by: David Fofi & Louis Jacobs

March 6
Love Bites
Annual shorts written and directed by various company members

Nov 05-Jan 06
Los Muertos[13]
Written by: Tim McNeil
Directed by: David Fofi

August 5
Seven Redneck Cheerleaders
Written by: Louis Jacobs
Directed by: Amy French

May 5
Never Tell
Written by: James Christy
Directed by: Lindsay Allbaugh

Dec 04
Underwear For Christmas
Written by: Tony Foster
Directed by: Daniel McCoy

Oct 04
Love Bites Harder
Annual shorts written and directed by various company members

June 4
One World
Written by Robert J. Litz
Directed by David Fofi

April 4
21 Stories
Written by: G.W. Stevens
Directed by: Yuval Hadid

Oct 03 One Act Festival
All Men are Whores, and Bobby Gould in Hell written by David Mamet
Not Enough Rope, and Hotline written by Elaine May
Desire, Desire, Desire, ‘Dentiy Crisis and 1-900-Desperate by Christopher Durang

Aug 03
Robbers
Written by Lyle Kessler
Directed by David Fofi
Workshop Production with Lyle Kessler, not submitted for review

April 3
Some Strings Attached
Written by: Amy French and Alexandra Hoover
Directed by: Gina Soto

March 3
King of Clubs
Written and Directed by: David Fofi

Oct 02
Zzyxx
Written by: Don Cesario
Directed by: Kimberly Brooks

Aug 02
Serenading Louie
Written by: Lanford Wilson
Directed by: Christopher Game and Gina Soto

April 2
Love Bites
Series of one acts written and directed by various company members

Dec 01
Red Cross and 4H-Club
Written by: Sam Shepard
Directed by: Chris Game & Dave Fofi

Nov 01
Greystone
Written by: Tony Foster
Directed by: Kristin Hanggi

June 1
Dearboy’s War
Written by: Mike Ambrose
Directed by: Danny LaClair

Dec 00
Underwear for Christmas
Written and Directed by: Tony Foster

Oct 00
The Insanity of Mary Girard
Written by: Lanie Robertson
Directed by: Pat McLoy and David Brown

April 00
Elephant Shorts, a Collection of Vignettes
Written by: Tony Foster
Directed by: E.O.M. Directors

Nov 99
Search & Destroy
Written by: Howard Korder
Directed by: David Fofi & Anthony Roman

May 99
The Actors Nightmare
Written by: Christopher Durang
Directed by: Christopher Game

May 99
Gecko Chestnut Genius
Written by: Jimmie D. Hudson III
Directed by: Don Cesario

April 99
Line
Written by Israel Horowitz
Directed by: Gary Blumsack
Shooting Gallery
Written by Israel Horowitz
Directed by: Andrea C. Robbins
Stage Directions
Written by Israel Horowitz
Directed by: Pat McLoy

March 99
Indian Summer of Our Despondency
Written by: Kelly Wand
Directed by: David Fofi

Aug 98
Halfway There
Written by: Michael Vaez
Directed by: Christopher Game
at the Hollywood Court Theater, Hollywood

July 97
Warmth and Doubt
Written by: David Fofi
Directed by: David Fofi & Andrea Robins
The Princess and the Peon
Written by: Jimmie D. Hudson, Directed by: Christopher Game
Candlefish Theatre, Los Angeles

Feb 97
The Love of Nechron
Written and Directed by: Pat McLoy
Elephant Off Main Theatre, Los Angeles

Nov 96
Criminal
Written by: David Canales
Directed by: Jeff Walsh

Sept 96
Holding Cell
Written by: Mike Vaez
Directed By: Joe Matthews

May 96
Solitary Ping Pong
Written by: Jimmie D. Hudson
Directed by: Lori Lee Bush
My Only Hopeless
Written by: Jackie Apodaca
Directed by: Christopher Game

March 96
King Of Clubs
Written and Directed by: Dave Fofi
Adam and Rhonda
Written by: Matthew Jones

Nov 95
The Galaxy Lily
Written and Directed by: Don Cesario

July 95
Sam Shepard Tribute
Red Cross
Directed by: Christopher Game
4-H Club
Directed by David Fofi
Fourteen Hundred Thousand
Directed by: Kimberly Brooks

References[edit]