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June 20, 2011


Off Stage with Engine 28: Pasadena Playhouse’s Sheldon Epps, Tate Donovan

by Jesse North

Greetings from Los Angeles, Rushers! I’ve been out here on the west coast for over a week participating in the National Endowment for the Arts’ Theater Journalism Institute, and the website we’ve created—Engine 28—is bursting with theater content, relative to both LA and NY folk. My biggest undertaking in the program was producing a theater webshow, featuring top personalities and burning arts-related issues. Here is the result—Off Stage with Engine 28. In this premiere episode, I sit down with Pasadena Playhouse artistic director (and Baby It’s You! director) Sheldon Epps to discuss his controversial statements about Broadway needing a quality evaluation, as well as the upcoming musical version of Sleepless In Seattle. I also sit down with Good People‘s Tate Donovan to discuss the conclusion of that show’s successful run and his thoughts on the LA theater scene.

What do you think, Rushers? What did Sheldon Epps say that most surprised you? How about his hints that Pasadena Playhouse would shift their season so that Angela Bassett could complete her run in The Mountaintop? What do you think of the term “devised theater”? Do you think Tate Donovan’s evaluation of LA theater is accurate? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jun 20 2011

    I like Tate’s comments on the “post-show blues”. I get those even as an audience member!

  2. Carlos Alvarado
    Jun 21 2011

    This was really great and so different. I really like how you held Sheldon accountable for his statement but cleared it up.

    The conversation with Tate was especially interesting (although distracting because I kept seeing a cartoon character.) I very much agree that everyone in LA theatre just wants to be noticed and the preference would be to work in TV/Film, but I don’t think it’s their sole reason for doing it. I think there is plenty of great theatre out there nationwide and not just in NY. I think most people would be surprised if they really paid attention to regional theatre.

  3. Jun 23 2011

    I know we New Yorkers have a big ego, but I don’t think everyone, even theater folk, are as pretentious as he made them sound. But I understand some people just want to be seen and heard who are toned out from WONDERFUL and GLORIOUS New York theater ;) (I kid, I kid).

    I think I’m deaf because I can’t understand what the man at 9:05 is saying.

    I almost barfed laughing at you trying at dead man/fainting foley. That part was soo interesting.

    What movie was that last guy from? I’ve seen him before but I don’t know what from…

    You really should be on TV. You were meant to be.

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