Company Overview

Founded in 1974, L.A. Theatre Works' mission is to record and preserve great performances of important stage plays, maximizing the use of new technologies to make world-class theatre accessible to the widest possible audience, and to expand the use of theatre as a teaching tool.

In our role as the premier producer and distributor of audio theatre, we bring world classics, modern masterpieces and ground-breaking new works to over 8 million people worldwide per year — the public, educators and students — through live performances and our multi-platform distribution channels. We have a Live Series that records our plays before an audience of nearly 10,000 annually at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater and our National Tour program brings radio-style productions, talk-backs, and panels to universities and civic performing arts centers across the nation. We achieve wide access through distribution of our one-of-a-kind Audio Theatre Collection of over 500 plays recorded specifically for the audio format distributed through our weekly National Broadcast Series carried in over 50 markets throughout the U.S.; free worldwide online streaming; audio publishing (in partnership with retailers such as Audible.com, iTunes and more than 11,000 educational institutions and libraries nationwide); mobile apps; and free school and library outreach programs.

Our reputation draws award-winning actors such as such as Paul Giamatti, Jane Fonda, Neil Patrick Harris, Aja Naomi King, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Rock, Jimmy Smits, John Lithgow, Amber Tamblyn, Calista Flockhart, and hundreds more. As a result, LATW productions have won awards from the Audio Publishers Association, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Publisher’s Weekly, Writer’s Guild of America, American Library Association, and many others, including a Grammy Award nomination.

LATW is an entrepreneurial organization that constantly seeks out new opportunities to achieve our mission. We have nurtured the rise of numerous new playwrights; introduced the community to some of Europe’s finest contemporary playwrights; and, become a global ambassador for theatre, staging live productions in Europe and China, and mounting co-productions with the BBC, Voice of America, CBC (Canada), Radio New Zealand, ABC (Australian Radio) and others worldwide. Most recently, we have developed a new partnership with Voice of America, which will make LATW recordings and related English language learning materials accessible via mobile phones to an estimated 9 million English Language Learners worldwide, with a specific emphasis on Asia and Africa.

Also core to our mission is selecting and maximizing material that sheds light on important issues and stirs debate. For example, our audio recording of Geoffrey Cowan and Leroy Aarons’ Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, a timely exploration of freedom of the press in the post-Snowden world.

Our Top Secret recording won the Silver and Gold awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and we subsequently mounted national and international tours, opening Off-Broadway, touring across the U.S., and then in China with the support of the U.S. Embassy, engaging young Chinese professionals and students in a debate on free speech just a stone’s throw from Tiananmen Square. As a result of our successful international tour, LATW is aired daily on The Radio Beijing Network, which is now working to become the exclusive distributor of our audio recordings in China.

Through our 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 our Audio Theatre Collection free of charge to thousands of 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.

Educational Outreach Programs
LATW’s Setting the Stage for Learning educational program combines the power of professional theatre with the best features of digital and interactive technology to create arts-based educational tools that captivate students’ attention while they learn. It includes:

  • Free Distributions. We annually distribute recordings with complementary curricular materials to more than 3,000 registered teachers across all 50 states. Educational recordings range from core dramatic literature (Shakespeare, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, etc.) to docudramas and plays that address important historical events, as well as a specialized series of science-themed plays to engage students in STEM content, such as Dava Sobel’s And the Sun Stood Still, about the life of Nicolaus Copernicus, and Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, which explores Fermat's Last Theorem and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  • Innovative Apps. Since 2012, we have developed text-audio synced mobile iOS apps that use theatre as an interdisciplinary teaching and learning tool. Able to be used anytime, in and outside of the classroom, these apps give students at all levels and from all backgrounds the opportunity to interact with complex content at their own pace using familiar technology. Titles include Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Importance of Being Earnest. An independent evaluation found that our app made it easier for students to learn vocabulary, made challenging text less intimidating, provided dramatic interpretation of the text, and made the characters and plot understandable, thus bridging students to more complex concepts.

  • Searchable Database. With a grant from the Mellon Foundation, we partnered with Alexander Street Press, a leading publisher of humanities digital database for higher education, to create Audio Drama: The L.A. Theatre Works Collection, a searchable index of 300 plays for use in higher education. More than 100 universities use the database, which enables searching for concepts such as “ethics” or “conflict of interest” so that educators can easily find dramatic scenes that illustrate difficult-to-teach concepts across disciplines. Additionally, LATW has partnered with Bloomsbury Publishing to make our recordings available through their fully cross-searchable Drama Online library. Both collections are sold worldwide to the public, libraries and universities and colleges.

Through our commitment to artistic excellence, outreach to underserved communities, and multiple distribution technologies, LATW is uniquely poised to economically scale our reach and amplify the impact of high quality dramatic literature on our society and in the classroom.

Board of Directors

 

Douglas Jeffe, President
Aviva Covitz, Vice President
Alan Finkel, Treasurer
Vicki Pearlson, Secretary


 


Annette Blum
Hector Elizondo
Jonathan Howard
Gary Jacobs
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe
Linda Lichter

Susan Albert Loewenberg
Karen Rothenberg
Alyson Sattler
David Selby
Beegie Truesdale

Artist Advisory Council

 

 

 


Edward Asner
Rosalind Ayres
Doris Baizley
Ed Begley Jr.
Emily Bergl
Richard Dreyfuss
Hector Elizondo
Glenne Headly
Martin Jarvis
Stacy Keach
Shirley Knight

Marsha Mason
Richard Masur
Alfred Molina
Amy Pietz
Charlie Robinson
David Selby
Josh Stamberg
Eric Stoltz
Susan Sullivan
Jobeth Williams
Charlayne Woodard

Our Staff

 

 

 



Producing Director Susan Albert Loewenberg

Managing Director Vicki Pearlson

Associate Producer, Artistic Development Anna Lyse Erikson

Marketing Director Fritz Meier

Senior Radio Producer Ronn Lipkin

Audio Sales Director Michele Cobb

Creative Services Director Sam McCay

Associate Director of Development Devon Brand

Bookkeeper Teri Allen

Office Manager Cyndi Gonzales


 

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