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L.A. Theatre Works celebrates 50 years, honors Marcy Carsey


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L.A. Theatre Works celebrates 50 years of making
waves
, honors Marcy Carsey at gala event

 

SANTA MONICA (May 15, 2024) — L.A. Theatre Works celebrates its 50th anniversary at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage / Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center on June 2 from 5:30 pm. to 8 p.m. with a gala event honoring award-winning television producer, civic engagement advocate and longtime L.A. Theatre Works supporter Marcy Carsey. The festivities will include a reception, formal dinner and an exciting program featuring remembrances by L.A. Theatre Works veterans including Ed Begley, Jr., Hector Elizondo, Susan Sullivan, Karen Malina White, JoBeth Williams and more.

“Marcy Carsey may be best known for producing television favorites like The Cosby Show, A Different World, Roseanne, Grace Under Fire, 3rd Rock from the Sun and That ’70s Show, but she is also an outstanding public citizen who has made a tremendous contribution to the arts, to arts education, and to the public policy sector,” says L.A. Theatre Works producing director Susan A. Loewenberg, who will be honored alongside Carsey at the event. “Her Carsey School for Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire is known for its graduate programs, research, policy education and civic engagement work focused on improving equality and sustainability in communities. Although she’s garnered many awards over the years, this is the first time Marcy will be honored at a gala event like this one.”

Originally conceived as a tool to provide a voice for unheard and under-served communities including incarcerated adults, L.A. Theatre Works was known as “Artists in Prison” when it was founded by Loewenberg and several colleagues in 1974. In the 1980s, the company changed its name and began producing highly theatrical and new works from the U.S. and abroad, introducing Los Angeles to writers such as Steven Berkoff, Jon Robin Baitz, Milton Sanchez Scott, John Steppling, John Godber, Franz Xavier Kroetz, Peter Handke and Timberlake Wertenbaker. During this period, the organization received numerous Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and “Best Production” awards, was in on the first round of Kennedy Center grants for new work, was chosen to participate in the Olympic Arts Festival, toured Murray Mednick’s The Coyote Cycle to Yugoslavia, and sent two plays on to New York. The establishment of L.A. Classic Theatre Works in 1987 led to the audio recording of Sinclair Lewis’ Babbitt, and subsequently to The Play’s The Thing live-in-performance radio theater series, which had its first season in 1989. For the past 12 years, L.A. Theatre Works has produced and recorded at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater in addition to recording plays in-studio at The Invisible Studios in West Hollywood. Among the dozens of illustrious actors who have performed and recorded with LATW are original L.A. Classic Theatre Works members Ed Begley Jr., Richard Dreyfuss, Hector Elizondo, Harry Hamlin, Helen Hunt, Amy Irving, Stacy Keach, John Lithgow, Marsha Mason, JoBeth Williams, Michael York and the late Edward Asner and Julie Harris.

“Although we’ve been around for five decades, L.A. Theatre Works took a leap in the mid-80s in how we bring great theater to audiences everywhere,” Loewenberg says. “While the technology behind how we get theater to millions of global audience members keeps changing, the one constant continues to be great dramatic content. L.A. Theatre Works has an unwavering commitment to presenting and producing the highest quality, most exciting and meaningful plays of yesterday, today and tomorrow with stellar casts.”

L.A. Theatre Works stands apart in its approach to making great theater widely accessible and affordable, bringing an immersive theater experience to a diverse audience of over eight million people each year through a range of programs including a live performance series; national touring; its national weekly radio series entitled “L.A. Theatre Works”; podcasts and online streaming; databases for higher education; audio publishing (available through retail partners and the LATW website); and through its national Setting the Stage for Learning educational program. The L.A. Theatre Works catalog of over 600 recorded plays, which  includes classics, modern masterpieces, and contemporary and original works, is the largest archive of its kind in the world.

Beginning June 1 and coinciding with its 50th anniversary celebration, L.A. Theatre Works will launch direct to consumer audio streaming on the Muvi platform. Listeners from around the globe will be able to access 70 audio plays via a monthly subscription with more titles added over time.

For more information about L.A. Theatre Works, go to www.latw.org.

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