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Press Release: Blank Theatre Chooses 2014 Young Playwrights Festival Winners



JUNE 5 — 29, 2014

The Blank Theatre - Young Playwrights Festival LogoNow celebrating its 22nd Anniversary, The Blank Theatre’s Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival has chosen 12 plays by young playwrights aged 16 — 19, from seven different states. These plays will be presented by professional actors and directors in this year’s festival at The Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, June 5 — 29.

“Ever since I acted in the first Young Playwrights Festival, I have always had a special place in my heart for these extremely talented young writers,“ said Blank Artistic Producer Noah Wyle. “The issues tackled, and the depth of emotion and understanding these kids have is remarkable. I wish I knew as much as they do when I was their age!”

This year’s winning plays are: NINE HOURS by Zoe Kamil, San Francisco, CA, Age 18; WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT PLANNED PARENTHOOD by Alexa Derman, Westfield, NJ, Age 17; ROCK CANDY by Gabrielle Greenfield, Dallas, TX, Age 19; BAROPHOBIA by Aiyana White, Encino, CA, Age 18; THE SON ALSO RISES by Patric Verrone, Pacific Palisades, CA, Age 18; PAM by Agnes Nguyen, Anaheim, CA, Age 19; PILLOW TALK by Zoe Cheng, Cincinnati, OH, Age 17; INNOCENCE by Matthew Ubl, Jacksonville, FL, Age 18; THE RUB by Max Friedlich, New York, NY, Age 19; FAIREST by Frank Garland, Seattle, WA, Age 16; THE NOT LESBIANS by Travis Amiel, Millwood, NY, Age 18; and BLACK SHEEP by Robert Gold, Valley Village, CA, Age 17.

This year’s winners join a prestigious club of alumni which includes 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist Stephen Karam, who was a three-time festival winner, and Adam Cochran (a two-time winner in YPF), who was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in NYC for Outstanding Music in a Play in 2011.

A panel of theatre professionals chose from over 200 plays submitted by young writers across the nation. Winning playwrights are next assigned a mentor, and then a professional director who will help them hone their scripts for four public performances with professional actors. This year’s mentors include David Rambo (Revolution, V, CSI), Kelly Miller (South Coast Rep literary manager), Dave Holstein (Weeds, Raising Hope), Todd Milliner (executive producer, Hot in Cleveland, Grimm), Ellen Byron (Just Shoot Me, Wings), Gary Teich (Medium), Michael Jung (Disney), Kit Steinkellner (four-time YPF winner), as well as Bob Lowry, Oahn Ly, and Patrick Burleigh. This year’s directors are (in alphabetical order) Barbara Bain, Andre Barron, Darren Bousman, Nicole Dominguez, Bjorn Johnson, Ameenah Kaplan, Jack Laufer, Michael Matthews, Michael A. Shepperd, Richard Tatum, Jason Weiss, and Constance Zimmer.

Over the past 21 years, The Blank has produced more than 240 plays by young playwrights. Eleven of those plays or playwrights have gone on to be presented on The Blank’s mainstage, including Speech & Debate by Stephen Karam. Additionally, many of the plays have been nominated for LA theatre awards, including an Ovation Award for Best Writing—World Premiere, and an LA Weekly Award for Best One-Act Playwriting. Other alumni playwrights are populating the nation’s theatres and sound stages with their work. Many YPF winners have gone on to successful writing careers creating TV shows, filling regional stages, teaching writing to others, and founding regional Young Playwrights Festivals.

This year’s festival is made possible by The Rosenthal Family Foundation, The Plum Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Blank Theatre’s 22nd Annual Young Playwrights Festival runs June 5 — 29 at the Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood. The performance schedule is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. Each week’s program includes three plays, and admission is $20 for adults and $14 for students. Festival passes, which are good for one ticket each week of the festival, are $68 for adults and $48 for students. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at, or via phone by calling (323) 661-9827.

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Press Release: LA Stage Alliance Announces 2nd Annual LA Stage Day, Sat 5/17


LA Stage Alliance 2014 logoLA STAGE Alliance has announced its second annual LA STAGE DAY, a day-long community event for the greater Los Angeles performing arts community. Generously hosted by California State University Los Angeles, the activities will take place on the campus of CSULA on Saturday, May 17, from 10am – 6pm.

LA STAGE DAY will open and close with mini-lectures from some of LA’s most engaged arts provocateurs. Throughout the day, interactive sessions and workshops will explore various elements of the performing arts community. In the afternoon, a bazaar/expo (free and open to the public) will showcase arts organizations, including LA STAGE Alliance member companies, partners, and affiliates from all over greater Los Angeles.

“We’re thrilled to bring the community together for our second annual LA STAGE DAY,” said LA STAGE CEO Terence McFarland. “Many of this year’s sessions focus on more deeply engaging stakeholders — board members, philanthropists, audiences, and elected officials. I’m certain our provocateurs will challenge and inspire attendees with their wishes for the LA performing arts community.” He continued, “Attendees can expect to walk away rejuvenated by networking with their peers, empowered with practical tactics to engage their community, and emboldened to strengthen the performing arts community through unique partnerships. Our community is filled with brilliance; LA STAGE DAY hopes to shine a light on the best of what we have to offer.”

A multitude of discussions, workshops, and sessions designed to inspire and exchange creative ideas will be offered throughout the day. Some of the categories scheduled to be explored are Arts Philanthropy, Directing Actors in Dialogue Roles, Applying for Local Grant Programs, Digital Marketing, Engaging with Government Agencies, A Director’s Role in Team-Building, and more. A private Marketing Master Class led by Jim Royce and Joseph Yoshitomi will also be offered (for an additional fee). Participants will have the opportunity to engage in marketing case studies specific to their individual organizations.

Scheduled speakers are Bill Ahmanson, Sheri Biller, Danielle Brazell, John D’Amico, Castulo de la Rocha, Amy Edlin Kramer, Olga Garay-English, Jim McCarthy, Joy Meads, Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Seema Sueko, Pamela Vanderway, Craig Watson, Renae Williams Niles, Laura Zucker, and more.

LA STAGE Alliance, a non-profit organization empowering artists and engaging audiences since 1975, is dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and support for the performing arts in Greater Los Angeles by strengthening the sector through community building, collaborative marketing, audience engagement, professional development, and advocacy.

LA STAGE DAY is sponsored in part by Schweickert & Company, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and California State University Los Angeles. LA STAGE Alliance programs are sponsored in part by Actors Equity, The Biller Family Foundation, California Arts Council, California Community Foundation, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, DatabaseWorks, the DEW Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Goldstar, James Irvine Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Bakers Man Productions, Ken Werther Publicity, Live Event Pros, Los Angeles County Supervisors through the LA County Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, 4 Wall Lighting, Pacific Coast Entertainment, The Shubert Foundation, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Check-in for LA STAGE DAY is at 9:30am, and tickets are $40. To purchase tickets and for up-to-the-minute info, go to

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Press Release: Vibrant Voice Awards Benefit Event Raises $40,000 for Celebration Theatre

Celebration Theatre’s
Featuring Betty White
And Her Hot in Cleveland Co-Stars
Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, and Wendie Malick
Reading a Classic Episode of The Golden Girls

Raised $40,000
for the non-profit theatre, now in its 31st year

2014 Vibrant Voice Awards
were presented to
Wendie Malick and Robert Forster

With Special Guests
Sean Hayes, Tracie Thoms, Dan Lauria, Tim Daly,
Max Greenfield, Millicent Martin,
and the legendary Mary Wilson
(of the original Supremes)

On Saturday, April 26 on Sound Stage 19 at CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA, Celebration Theatre’s Vibrant Voice Awards benefit event raised $40,000 for the non-profit theatre, now in its 31st year. The evening featured original ‘Golden Girl‘ Betty White along with her Hot in Cleveland co-stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, and Wendie Malick reading an episode of The Golden Girls (“Blanche and the Younger Man”). The 2014 Vibrant Voice Awards were presented to Wendie Malick and Robert Forster, and there were special appearances by Sean Hayes, Tracie Thoms, Dan Lauria, Tim Daly, Max Greenfield, Millicent Martin, and Mary Wilson (of the original Supremes). The evening was hosted by Michael Burger.

The Vibrant Voice Award is presented annually in recognition of long-term support of Celebration Theatre as well as spreading the word about the work and mission of Celebration. Past recipients of the award are Leslie Jordan and Sharon Lawrence.

Founded in 1982, Celebration Theatre is a community of artists dedicated to presenting innovative, provocative and relevant work that examines the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer experience. It provides a supportive forum for professional and emerging writers, directors, designers and performers, giving voice to the full experience of gay culture. The theatre endeavors to challenge society’s perception of the community and give a vibrant voice to its evolving identity.

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