Think local, write local

I continue my discovery of theatres around the Washington DC area and always compare them to our companies in LA. Last night, I saw a new show “Resurrectionist King” by a local DC writer Stephen Spotswood, at a theatre near the University of Maryland called Active Cultures Theatre.

Was it a perfect play? No. Was it a darned good attempt? You betcha. And creatively directed and pretty well acted.

But here’s the thing that impressed me: the play was commissioned by the theatre company Active Cultures.  It was based on a true story that someone had read in the local free weekly paper, about a local “celebrity” – a guy who dug up bodies for medical students to examine. The Resurrectionist King he called himself. And he did a one night show at a theatre near Ford’s Theatre (where Lincoln was shot) showing the audience the art of his craft.

Active Cultures worked for about a year with the playwright, developing the piece.  And then, instead of just a reading, they actually produced it!  What a concept.

The audience LOVED the fact that it was a story about their own community. They could identify with the places and some of the characters.

How many great stories are untold in LA? And why isn’t there a company commissioning local writers to write them?

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