Announcing: The Blank Theatre Company’s 20th Anniversary Season


The Blank Theatre Company logoHollywood’s Blank Theatre Company (Daniel Henning, Founding Artistic Director, Noah Wyle, Artistic Producer) has announced its 20th Anniversary Season, which will feature plays by Edmund White, David Sedaris, and Marc Blitzstein, plus 12 new plays by inspired teenagers.

The Hollywood theatre company begins its 20th Anniversary season on October 2, with the Southern California premiere of Terre Haute by Edmund White, directed by Kirsten Sanderson. It will be followed by the return of The Blank’s new holiday tradition The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris, starring Nicholas Brendon, directed by Michael Matthews, with performances beginning on November 19.  Last season, Santaland sold out its entire run at The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre, and this year will be presented at the larger Stella Adler Theatre to accommodate audience demand.

In celebration of its 20-year history, The Blank will then revive a production from 1994: the L.A. Weekly Award-winning Musical of the Year The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein. This production also won three Drama-Logue Awards and received two Ovation Award nominations (Best Musical, Best Director of a Musical). This new production will be directed once again by Daniel Henning, and will start performances on February 5 , 2011. A complete recording of the score was released by The Blank in 1995; that recording will be re-released in celebration of this new production and The Blank’s 20th Anniversary.

An exciting new American play will be announced later as the fourth production (which will take place in spring, 2011). The season will conclude with The Blank’s 19th Annual Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival, June 2-26, 2011.

This season’s shows will be presented at two different Hollywood venues: The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Boulevard (on Theatre Row), and the Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Boulevard (at Highland). Full descriptions of the main stage plays follow.

Between October 2010 and June 2011, The Blank will introduce Los Angeles audiences to over 50 new plays through its various programming. Since 1990, The Blank has presented 42 mainstage productions, over 420 fully staged workshops of new plays (in its Living Room Series), and 208 plays by teenaged writers in its Annual Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival. Nearly all of this work has been produced in Hollywood.

The Blank Theatre Company’s productions have garnered rave reviews, audience acclaim, and numerous theatrical honors. Over the years, The Blank has been nominated for 23 Ovation Awards and won 5, including Best Musical, has received 15 L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award nominations and won 13 including Outstanding Production, and The Blank has received 24 L.A. Weekly Award nominations, winning 7 including Musical of the Year. Also, the company’s work has been nominated for 12 NAACP Theatre Awards, winning 4 including Best Production, and The Blank’s work over the last 20 years has won 17 Back Stage Garland Awards.

The Blank was awarded the Hollywood Arts Council’s coveted Charlie Award for “pursuing artistic excellence, nurturing the next generation of playwrights, and challenging itself with a grand vision.” The Drama League designated The Blank as one of the Best Regional Theatre companies in America.

Tickets are now on sale for Terre Haute. Tickets for The Santaland Diaries will begin October 8 and a rapid sellout is anticipated. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call (323) 661-9827.



by Edmund White
Directed by Kirsten Sanderson
October 2 – November 14, 2010

Did you know that Timothy McVeigh and Gore Vidal were pen pals? What would their conversations have been like if they had ever met in person? Famed fiction writer Edmund White has imagined just that: four prison house conversations between the nation’s deadliest domestic terrorist and one of the world’s most famous and opinionated gadflies. The names have been changed, the ideas have not. This intimate and fascinating portrait of two men, both firebrands who say and do as they believe, delves deeply into the idea of what it means to be American and what one believes they must do for their country.

“White has captured the amusingly constricted voices of the patrician novelist and the plebian terrorist cannily and cogently.” -Charles Isherwood, The New York Times


by David Sedaris
Directed by Michael Matthews
November 19 – December 19, 2010

Nicholas Brendon (Criminal Minds, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) brings his critically-acclaimed performance of The Santaland Diaries back to The Blank this holiday season. Santaland is an outrageously funny solo play (by NPR’s David Sedaris) about the author’s experiences as an unemployed writer taking a job as an elf at Macy’s Department Store. At first the job is simply humiliating, but once the thousands of visitors start pouring through Santa’s workshop, he becomes battle weary and bitter, occasionally taking out his frustrations on the children and parents alike. For those who like a little spice with their Christmas sugar, this tale of mass marketing, stressed out sales clerks, drunk Santas, screaming kids and the general insanity of the holidays is hilarious, witty, sardonic and unpredictable; mercilessly cutting through the Christmas spirit to point out what crazy things we do as human beings during the holidays.

“Building comic steam with his deadpan delivery, Nicholas Brendon strikes the ideal mix of cynicism and dry wit to mine the material for maximum hilarity.” -Les Spindle, Back Stage

The Stella Adler Theatre


Words and music by Marc Blitzstein
Directed by Daniel Henning
February 5 – March 20, 2011
Stella Adler Theatre

Corporations and churches use their influence to shape laws to their favor, unemployment hits new heights, and millions of Americans are losing their homes. Sound like the new millennium? In 1937, Mark Blitzstein’s musical called these issues into question with his scathing satire of greed, corruption and politics in the U.S.A. So scandalous, in fact, was The Cradle that the U.S. Government tried to shut it down. But Blitzstein’s humor, music and agitprop parody ruled the day and the public got to hear this terrific, fun, jazzy score. Snappy tunes, wonderful characters and deep questions about our nation will take you on a rollercoaster ride through the American patriotic psyche.

“Sophisticated, witty … Daniel Henning’s insightful staging and inspired performances showcase the enduring brilliance in this under-appreciated watershed musical.” – Philip Brandes, Los Angeles Times

“Blitzstein’s fervent, catchy score and earthy humor complement the piece’s revolutionary politics.”  -Martin Hernandez, L.A. Weekly


April – May 2011
The Blank will present an exciting new American play, to be announced later.


June 2 – 26, 2011
Stella Adler Theatre

If we didn’t tell you the plays were by teenagers, you wouldn’t know. The 12 best plays in the nation are chosen by a panel of theatre professionals from submissions by teenage playwrights. Winning writers are next assigned a mentor and then a professional director who guide their scripts to the stage. We then cast the plays with some of Hollywood’s hottest award-winning actors and present the work in a month-long festival. You have to see it to believe it!