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Jane Fonda and More Set for L.A. Theatre Works' 40th Anniversary Gala Tonight

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L.A. Theatre Works celebrates its 40th Anniversary and honors Geoffrey Cowan, President of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and University Professor at the University of Southern California and the L.A. Theatre Works Company of Artists. The event takes place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Blvd, tonight, March 25th at 6:30pm.

The evening features tributes from the BBC, NPR and Radio Beijing including performances by many of the original founding members Edward Asner, Ed Begley, Jr., Hector Elizondo, Jane Fonda, Robert Foxworth, Stacy Keach, Richard Kind, Marsha Mason, David Selby, Joe Spano, Josh Stamberg, Susan Sullivan, JoBeth Williams and more.

An excerpt from Cowan's play Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers highlights the evening along with a surprise finale!

In perhaps its most ambitious project to date, L.A. Theatre Works is now engaged in harnessing the latest technologies to invigorate middle and high school education with theatre-based apps Setting the Stage for Learning. This very ambitious effort aims to reach every public school in America bringing interactive digital theater tools to classrooms everywhere. "Our theater based education apps are unique, teacher-friendly and have the possibility to re-invigorate arts education in the public school system" says Loewenberg. Proceeds from the Gala will benefit the new digital education initiative, Setting the Stage for Learning.

Single tickets for the 40th Anniversary Gala are on sale NOW beginning at $350.00. Call Lauran Huff at Levy, Pazanti and Associates at 310-201-5033, ext. 3 or purchase online at www.latw.org, Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LATheatreWorks. Follow us on Twitter @latheatreworks.

Founding Members - L.A. Theatre Works Radio Theatre Company: Edward Asner, René Auberjonois, Bonnie Bedelia, Ed Begley, Jr., Georgia Brown, Roscoe Lee Browne, Jack Coleman, Bud Cort, Ted Danson, William Devane, Richard Dreyfuss, Hector Elizondo, Fionnula Flanagan, Robert Foxworth, Harry Hamlin, Julie Harris, Helen Hunt, Amy Irving, Carol Kane, Stacy Keach, John Lithgow, Susan Loewenberg, Nan Martin , Marsha Mason, Richard Masur , Marian Mercer, Joanna Miles, Madolyn Smith Osborne, Holly Palance, Judge Reinhold, Franklyn Seales, David Selby, Ally Sheedy, Joe Spano, James Whitmore, JoBeth Williams, Michael York.

About Geoffrey Cowan - Geoffrey Cowan has played a vital role in growing L.A. Theatre Works' influence and impact as an international voice for theatre, arts education and civic engagement. L.A. Theatre Works relationship with him spans two decades, beginning with our collaboration in 1991 with Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, and continuing with Cowan bringing L.A. Theatre Works to The Voice of America when he served as the Director in the mid 90's.

Cowan has been an important force in almost every facet of the communications world - as a public interest lawyer, academic administrator, best-selling author, distinguished professor, playwright, television producer, and government official. With the late Leroy Aarons, Cowan co-wrote the award-winning play, Top Secret, which won the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Gold Medal for Excellence in Best Live Entertainment.

He is currently President of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and a University Professor at the University of Southern California where he holds the Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership and directs the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy.

About Susan Albert Loewenberg (Producing Director) - Founder and Producing Director of L.A. Theatre Works. Ms. Loewenberg has produced award-winning radio dramas, plays and films in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and London. Under her supervision, LATW has created the largest library of plays on audio in the world, garnering numerous awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Writers Guild, The American Library Association, Publishers' Weekly and others. Ms. Loewenberg also serves as host and is the Executive Producer of LATW's nationally distributed syndicated radio series, "L.A. Theatre Works," broadcast on NPR stations nationwide and in China daily on The Radio Beijing Network. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she has served on innumerable boards and panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, The Fund for Independence in Journalism in Washington D.C.; and was co-chair of the League of Producers and Theatres of Greater Los Angeles. From 1996-2002, Ms. Loewenberg served during the Clinton administration on the Board of Directors for Federal Prison Industries, a presidential appointment, and served for several years as a member of the regional panel of the President's Commission on White House Fellows. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Center for Public Integrity, and a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at USC. Ms. Loewenberg is the author of a number of articles that have appeared in American Theatre Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and various professional journals.

About L.A. Theatre Works - Forty years ago, Producing Director Susan Albert Loewenberg and a small group of artists founded what is now L.A. Theatre Works, formerly known as Artists in Prison. L.A. Theatre Works at its heart is a creative form of theatrical presentation, on stage and over the air has amassed an irreplaceable audio-library of classic and new plays featuring top performers. It has crashed through international boundaries, impacted the world, penetrating schools, theatres, bookstores, your home and the Internet.

Through its 10-play series at the James Bridges Theatre at UCLA and in-studio recordings world class actors are recorded in state-of-the-art sound, complemented by intricate sound designs and on-stage effects, transforming classic and contemporary stage works into intimate, compelling and sound-rich audio plays.

L.A. Theatre Works' Audio Theatre Collection of more than 500 recorded titles is the largest library of its kind in the world. Works by Arthur Miller, Oscar Wilde and Sophocles rub shoulders with contemporary classics by Yasmina Reza, Tom Stoppard Lorraine Hansberry and Wendy Wasserman, as well as newer voices, including Jon Robin Baitz, Kenneth Lonergan, Rebecca Gilman, Lynn Nottage, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Julie Marie Myatt, and Lydia Diamond. L.A. Theatre Works' audio productions have received awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Writer Guild of America, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Audio Publishers Association, among others and is available in over 11,000 libraries throughout the U.S. and abroad and to the general public through its website and in-store and online retailers including iTunes, Audible.com and Methuen Drama Online.

L.A. Theatre Works' weekly public radio show is heard by more than 8 million listeners annually in over 60 markets in the U.S. and is available on-demand, free of charge through L.A. Theatre Works' streaming site at www.latw.org. Through its collaborations with the BBC, Radio Beijing and other international broadcasters, streaming and podcasts, their show is also a regular favorite with listeners across the globe.

L.A. Theatre Works' National Touring Program brings audiences at venues across the country the experience of a "live-in-performance" radio drama. Launched in 2005, L.A. Theatre Works has visited over 250 civic and performing arts and university venues with productions ranging from Neil Simon's Prisoner of Second Avenue to L.A. Theatre Works' original docu-dramas The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial and Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers and is currently touring an adaption from John Ball's In the Heat of the Night.

Through their national outreach programs, L.A. Theatre Works supports the arts and humanities in the classroom and access to the arts for the general public. Alive & Aloud provides selects titles from their Audio Theatre Collection free of charge to 3000 thousand public middle and high schools in over 600 cities in all 50 states. In addition to audio recordings of plays performed by some of the country's most prominent actors, Alive & Aloud provides educators with related classroom instructional support materials, enhancing students' academic experience in core curricular subjects such as science, language arts, social science, and literature, as well as theatre, civics, art, and journalism.

Library Access provides their most popular and new titles to over 2,000 community libraries across the country, which could not otherwise afford to provide audio recordings to their patrons due to limited media budgets - many of these libraries are located in rural areas with little or no access to live theatre.

L.A. Theatre Works' radio theater series can be streamed on demand at www.latw.org and can be heard on the following stations (check local listings for broadcast times): KPFK 90.7 FM, Los Angeles (98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, 99.5 FM in Ridgecrest/China Lake and 93.7 FM in Rancho Bernardo/North San Diego); KALW 91.7 FM, San Francisco; KRCB 91.1 FM, Santa Rosa; KUOW 94.9 FM, Seattle; and in over 60 markets nationwide. For more information about L.A. Theatre Works, click here.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride


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