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Center Theatre Group Hosts Block Party Kick-Off and Community Conversation


Block Party Will Remount Productions from Celebration Theatre, Critical Mass Performance Group and Playwrights’ Arena March 29–May 20

Co-Hosted With LA STAGE Alliance, Community Conversation is Titled Theatre Destination L.A.—Can Collaboration Build New Audiences?

Center Theatre Group will host a Block Party Kick-Off Event at the Kirk Douglas Theatre to celebrate the remounting of three local productions from Celebration Theatre, Critical Mass Performance Group and Playwrights’ Arena. This free and public event is open to the entire Los Angeles theatre community and will take place on Wednesday, March 7 at 7 p.m. Reservations are encouraged and can be made at

Prior to the event, Center Theatre Group and LA STAGE Alliance will host a Community Conversation titled Theatre Destination L.A.—Can Collaboration Build New Audiences? The conversation will discuss what it would take to make Los Angeles more widely recognized as a global theatre destination as well as tactics to foster new audiences. The discussion will also highlight successful programs and collaborations from theatre communities across the country and will consider how to define success and sustainability in Los Angeles theatre. The conversation will take place in the Kirk Douglas Theatre Rehearsal Room at 5 p.m. and LA STAGE Alliance Executive Director Steven Leigh Morris will moderate the discussion. Panelists will be announced at a later date. Seating is limited, but those who wish to add their name to the waitlist can visit The event will also be live-streamed via Facebook at

The Block Party Kick-Off Event will open with remarks from Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. There will also be activities to introduce attendees to the Block Party visiting companies and their productions, an interactive photo booth, music and exclusive ticket offers for Block Party available. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

The second annual Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre will take place March 29 through May 20 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and will feature Playwrights’ Arena’s production of “Bloodletting” by Boni B. Alvarez and directed by Playwrights’ Arena Artistic Director Jon Lawrence Rivera, Critical Mass Performance Group’s production of “Ameryka” written and directed by Critical Mass Performance Group Artistic Director Nancy Keystone in collaboration with the company and Celebration Theatre’s production of “Die, Mommie, Die!” by Charles Busch and directed by Ryan Bergmann.

Each Block Party production will have a two-week run. “Bloodletting” will take the first slot and will begin previews March 29, open March 31 and close April 8. Next will be “Ameryka,” which will begin previews on April 19, open April 21 and close April 29. “Die, Mommie, Die!” will take the final slot and will begin previews May 10, open on May 12 and close on May 20.

The visiting companies will receive the full support of Center Theatre Group and its staff in order to fund, stage and market each production. Full casting for “Bloodletting,” “Ameryka” and “Die, Mommie, Die!” will be announced at a later date.

“Just in its second year, Block Party is already a favorite tradition for the organization,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. “We cherish the opportunity to work alongside others in the Los Angeles theatre community and look forward to continuing to learn, share and experience with our colleagues by presenting these three vastly different productions of exceptional caliber.”

With Block Party, Center Theatre Group will continue to strengthen its relationships within the Los Angeles theatre community by creating additional avenues for the organization to work with local playwrights, actors, directors and designers. Block Party also helps to foster relationships between Center Theatre Group staff and the staff of theatre companies throughout Los Angeles.

Block Party receives major support from Aliza Karney Guren and Marc Guren with generous funding also provided by Joni and Miles Benickes. This programming is also made possible in part by a Culver City Performing Arts Grant with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Center Theatre Group’s inaugural Block Party in 2017 featured the Coeurage Theatre Company production of “Failure: A Love Story,” followed by The Fountain Theatre production of “Citizen: An American Lyric” and finished with The Echo Theater Company production of “Dry Land.”

Center Theatre Group has a long history of pairing with local theatre companies of all sizes in a multitude of ways. Center Theatre Group presented Deaf West’s production of “Big River” at the Mark Taper Forum in 2002, which went on to Broadway before returning to the Ahmanson Theatre in 2005 as part of a national tour. Center Theatre Group also partnered with 24th STreet Theatre on “Walking the Tightrope,” which played at the Douglas, and with other companies on productions around the city such as “The Behavior of Broadus” (with Burglars of Hamm and Sacred Fools Theater Company), “Birder” (with The Road Theatre Company) and, most recently, “The Hotel Play” (with Playwrights’ Arena).

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Tickets for Block Party are available by calling (213) 628-2772, online at, at the Center Theatre Group Box Office at the Ahmanson Theatre or at the Kirk Douglas Theatre Box Office two hours prior to performance. Tickets for each individual production range from $25 – $70 (ticket prices are subject to change). A Block Party Party Pass is available for $75, which includes a ticket to all three productions as well as a complimentary cocktail (or non-alcoholic beverage) at each performance. The Party Pass is available by phone or in-person now through April 8.

The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA 90232. Free three hour covered parking at City Hall with validation (available in the Kirk Douglas Theatre lobby).

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February 21, 2018