Actors' Gang to Return to LA with A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM; Tim Robbins to Direct
For a month this summer, The Actors' Gang, the renowned Los Angeles based ensemble theatre company, will perform A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Actors' Gang Theater in Culver City. Tickets for performances can be purchased anytime at www.theactorsgang.com, by calling the box office: (310) 838-4264 or by visiting The Actors' Gang theatre in Culver City (9070 Venice Boulevard). The box office is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Actors' Gang is returning from a three-week-long international tour in China and Italy. Under the direction of Academy Award® winner Tim Robbins, the troupe attracted thousands of attendees to its sold-out performances, drawing 8,000 people to performances in China and 1,800 to those in Italy. Following its mid-summer run in Los Angeles, The Actors' Gang will move the production to Nashville (September 12 & 13) and then Brazil (September 19 - 21).
"I'm so proud of the work this company has done and the joy it has spread with this production overseas. The laughter we experienced from the crowds in Italy and China is a testament to the timelessness of Shakespeare's text and the talent of the performers in the company. We are very excited to bring this new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream home to Los Angeles and then on to Nashville and Brazil."
In one of The Actors' Gangs initial workshop performances in Los Angeles, The Huffington Post said, "The trust that the actors displayed for Tim Robbins' intense vision, the commitment that they made to their roles, and the love and respect that they showed for each other, the language, the play, Shakespeare, the theater in general and their theater in particular, were magical, riveting, and inspiring."
William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a surreal world of fairies, spells, incantations, magic, and disorder made right by the mischief of the night. Fourteen actors from The Actors' Gang working with director Tim Robbins and the company's Co-Artistic Director, Cynthia Ettinger, illuminate Shakespeare's forest with original music, kinesthetic movement, and a fervent approach to the surreality and magic of the beloved and classic play. A Midsummer Night's Dream will be presented with minimal costumes, props, and scenery, relying mainly on Shakespeare's extraordinary text and the creative imagination of its players to realize this magical world.
The Actors' Gang is one of the only true theatrical ensembles in the United States that tours internationally. Ensemble members train together regularly and develop pieces through a rigorous workshop process. The actors in the company, in addition to their training and performance schedule, are also educators in the LAUSD school system and dedicated participants in The Actors' Gang Prison Project.
For over 33 years, Robbins has served as the Artistic Director of The Actors' Gang. In addition to over a hundred and fifty productions produced at The Actors' Gang's Los Angeles base of operations, the award-winning company has toured extensively throughout the United States and to five continents throughout the world with productions such as Embedded, George Orwells' 1984, The Exonerated, The Guys, Tartuffe, Carnage, and The Trial of Catonsville Nine. The Actors' Gang has toured in London, Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Melbourne as well as throughout the United States and Mexico.
Tim Robbins ranks among contemporary cinema's most acclaimed and provocative voices; a multifaceted talent, who has acted in, written, directed, and produced films including Mystic River, Catch a Fire, Dead Man Walking, The Shawshank Redemption, The Player, Bob Roberts, Bull Durham, Jacobs Ladder, Hudsucker Proxy, The Secret Life of Words, and Cradle Will Rock.
In addition, Robbins has worked consistently in the theater for the past 33 years as an actor, director, playwright, and artistic director of The Actors' Gang. Robbins has also been instrumental in the development and expansion of education and outreach programs at The Actors' Gang: arts programs that have reached thousands of children currently without school funding for theater programs. In addition Robbins and several other Actors' Gang members regularly conduct theater workshops with incarcerated men and women in an effort to fill the gap in arts rehabilitation programs in the California correctional system.
For 33 years, The Actors' Gang has received international acclaim for presenting over 150 new, unconventional, and uncompromising plays and dynamic reinterpretations of the classics in Los Angeles, throughout the United States, and on five continents. Guided by Founding Artistic Director, Tim Robbins, and Co-Artistic Director, Cynthia Ettinger, the company was founded in 1981 by a group of likeminded artists looking to create theater relevant to the society we live in and restore the ancient sense of the stage as a shared sacred space.
The Actors' Gang has presented the work of innovative theater artists including Georges Bigot and Simon Abkarian of the Theatre du Soleil, Bill Rauch and the Cornerstone Theatre Company, Culture Clash, Oskar Eustis, Tracy Young, Charles Mee, Ellen McLaughlin, Roger Guenver Smith, Eric Bogosian, David Schweizer, Danny Hoch, Beth Milles, Brian Kulick, Stefan Haves, Namaste Theater Company, Jason Reed, Michael Schlitt, and Tenacious D.
The Actors' Gang ensemble has included accomplished actors such as Jack Black, John Cusack, John C. Reilly, Helen Hunt, Jeremy Piven, Jon Favreau, Kate Walsh, Fisher Stevens, Ebbe Roe Smith, Brent Hinkley, Kate Mulligan, Lee Arenberg, Kyle Gass, and Tim Robbins.
The Actors' Gang began touring its productions throughout the world in 1989, representing the US at the Edinburgh Festival with Carnage, a Comedy before moving to the Public Theater in New York. Since then, the company has toured in Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America and throughout the US with productions such as 1984, The Trial of the Catonsville 9, Tartuffe, The Guys, and The Exonerated and Embedded. In 2004, The Actors' Gang performed its anti-Iraq war satire Embedded to four months of sold-out houses at New York's Public Theater and then went on to a successful run at the Riverside Theater in London. In 2001 Bat Boy: The Musical, developed at The Actors' Gang, won the Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics awards for best new musical Off-Broadway.
The Gang has received many prestigious awards in Los Angeles for its productions including the Margaret Hartford Award for Continued Excellence, and has received numerous commendations and honors for its social outreach, education programs, and prison work.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos