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Sacred Fools Theater Company Heading to Theater Row in Hollywood

After nearly two decades, Sacred Fools Theater Company announces a departure from their East Hollywood birthplace of 660 N. Heliotrope Drive, and immediate relocation to Theater Row in Hollywood as the resident theater company for the space formerly known as the Elephant / Asylum Complex at 1076 North Lillian Way at Santa Monica Boulevard. Sacred Fools will be occupying and managing the entire establishment, including all five theater stages, beginning January 1, 2016.


A combination of rising rent and production limitations, making it increasingly difficult to continue the kinds of spirited theatrical productions for which they were known, had Sacred Fools actively seeking a new residence for nearly two years. Initially focused on rentals, the search for a space that combined affordability, flexibility and location proved to be a daunting task in the Los Angeles market. This summer, the company's foremost and longest-standing patrons, Patrick and Carlyn Duffy, in their continued support and love for Los Angeles Theatre, stepped in with a generous solution.

Sacred Fools Board of Directors President, Bruno Oliver, says, "Patrick and Carlyn expressed a willingness to make a full investment in the right real estate property if one could be found in the right location for the right price. This opened up the opportunity to not only find a new venue for performance, but also a creative 'home' in which to grow and mature. The entire Fools membership and organization is humbled by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Duffy."

When the Elephant / Asylum complex suddenly became available again in early November, Oliver and Managing Director, Padraic Duffy immediately toured the property and recognized the tremendous opportunity to move the company forward by taking residence of a landmark location that had been recently forced to close its doors. Patrick and Carlyn Duffy agreed, and when the sale closes this week, will be the sole owners of the property and Sacred Fools Theater Company will take residence and assume responsibility for management of all performance spaces through a 10-year lease agreement.

This weekend's performances of Miravel (Friday and Saturday 8pm) and Serial Killers (Saturday 11pm) will be the Fools final public performances at the Heliotrope Theater (660 N. Heliotrope Drive). The move from Heliotrope to the new location will be complete by late December.


Sacred Fools encompasses a large and endlessly creative (and transforming) membership. Their new home allows them to continue the bold and "theatrical" productions that their audiences expect but also allows them to grow in new directions and develop more long range plans. It's an opportunity for the Fools to expand their audience and form new relationships with other theater companies.

"One of the traditions of Sacred Fools is to think more broadly than our environment and means has allowed," says Bryan Bellomo, Lead Artistic Director. "We're only beginning to brainstorm the artistic possibilities available to us with the Lillian [or the former Elephant and Asylum spaces]. It's thrilling to imagine what our resident artists will conceive, or the many new ways we can engage our community."

The immediate plan for the new home is to focus the company's energies on the Lillian space in preparation to restart their nineteenth season with minimal interruption. The first show will be the World Premiere of Past Time written by Padraic Duffy and directed by Jeremy Aldridge, starring French Stewart, Leon Russom and Ruth Silveira. Past Time will begin previews February 12th and open on February 19th, only one month behind its original premiere dates. Past Time will be billed as, "Sacred Fools at The Lillian Stage."

Following the initial transition, Sacred Fools intends to prepare other spaces in the property to be able to host productions during the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Details on rentals, venue names and all subsequent Fools programming is currently being considered.


When the city officially dedicated the area Theater Row at a ceremony this past Summer, it was no coincidence that Sacred Fools members were among the largest contingents cheering on the occasion - and not only because company member French Stewart was among the speakers. Sacred Fools has long sensed that the future health of small theater in Los Angeles will be improved by making all theaters, individually and as a group, more visible. And one way to make that happen, as new LASA Exec Director Steven Leigh Morris pointed out in his recent interview with American Theatre Magazine, is to gravitate theaters together geographically. It is a prime reason why the Hollywood Fringe Festival has grown so successful.

Sacred Fools is thrilled, awed and humbled by the opportunity to become one of only a small group of full-time resident theater companies in the neighborhood and will strive to become not only a welcome addition, but an artistic anchor to Theatre Row. They hope, and they strongly suspect, that they will not be the only established (or up and coming) theater company that feels the pull to be a part of a true "Theater Destination" within Hollywood and Los Angeles.

Managing Director Padraic Duffy is quick to add that Sacred Fools will do everything it can to ensure the region's success, "With so many esteemed theater companies being affected by the market, we recognize our extraordinary good fortune in finding a home that allows for long-term stability and programming. We hope to forge alliances so that this win for our company, extends to the greater small theater community for years to come. Sacred Fools fully intends to be a remarkable neighbor."


Sacred Fools Theater Company was founded in 1997 by John Sylvain and a handful of fellow artists, mostly recent transplants to Los Angeles, seeking to spark a community of artists supporting each other to create vibrant, challenging art - and in those acts of creation would be the nutrients to sustain and nurture that ever evolving community. Sacred Fools attracts and brings together theater artists who think that the hard work of creating good theater is fun and that joy in creation and collaboration has continued for almost two decades. Multiple generations of Fools have walked in the doors, hammered nails, learned lines, fallen in love, wept and cheered and overcome the daily impossible task of creating theater. As put by Sylvain, "The success of Sacred Fools is measured in friendships and marriages and children as much as in awards and accolades. Theater creates a community that creates theater. This is how the most ephemeral art staves off its long predicted demise."

Run solely by the ensemble artists, the company's 19th season continues its ongoing commitment to the development of new plays and projects that challenge traditional expectations of the theatrical experience. Its goal is to produce work that invigorates, enlightens and entertains. And in doing so, Sacred Fools 100+ Mainstage productions have earned 95 Awards, 162 Nominations and 39 honorable mentions.

Some notable previous World Premieres include Stoneface: The Rise & Fall & Rise of Buster Keaton (which went on to be produced at the Pasadena Playhouse); the award-winning musical Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara (subsequently produced by the Geffen and also in Chicago); the award-winning action-comedy Watson, The Last Great Tale of Sherlock Holmes (winner Saturn and Ovations Awards and now produced by other companies around the country); Absolutely Filthy (winner of multiple awards both here and in the NY Fringe Festival); and the recent hit The Behavior of Broadus (co-produced with The Burglars of Hamm in association with Center Theater Group.) Among the many other notable and lauded productions include Taste; Astroboy and the God of Comics; Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep; Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere; Endgame; Hamlet Shut Up; and Forbidden Zone Live in the 6th Dimension.

Sacred Fools is also known for it's late-night and off-night programming such as Fast & Loose, Ten Tops, Serial Killers and the recent hit The Box. Serial Killers, their always-changing, hit late night Saturday show in its 11th season was named an LA Weekly Best of LA 2015, recognized for its history as an incubator for plays that go on to make waves in the Hollywood Fringe Festival and beyond.

In 2015 Sacred Fools was awarded The Theater Arts Award from the Hollywood Arts Council and also an Arts Innovation and Management grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.


Previous owner Matthew Quinn will continue to produce under the "Asylum" name at various venues in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He will also continue to be an active player in the Fringe with new venues and the ENCORE awards, which he produces. Sacred Fools wishes to thank Quinn for his generous help in the transition.

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