Doors! Are! Open!

Whether you’re an actor or an aspiring actor or musician or a dancer or a visual artist or a graphic designer or a writer or a student or a human with thoughts and ideas in need of putting down/getting out, if you need a place, we want to be a place for you! It is because of our commitment to being that place for anyone who needs it that we are excited to announce that Actors’ Rep will be offering FREE open hours weekly, opening our doors and our available studio/classroom facilities to anyone who needs a place

Open Hours Schedule:

  • Monday: 5pm-10pm
  • Wednesday: 1pm-6pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 10am-6pm

I don’t remember what sparked the conversation, but I do remember being just inches away from Bob’s face, I remember being 15 years old, I am certain it was a Saturday, I am certain he was in that well-worn white t-shirt with the theatre logo emblazoned across it, I am certain I didn’t know that he was changing my life, but that I can remember so clearly, word-for-word, what he said to me is proof it was the inciting incident of the play in which I’m the main character. 

Emma Sue, this theatre isn’t mine, it’s ours. We’re here so there’s a place for actors to work on their craft. If you are ever in need of a place to work on your craft, to put on a play when no one has cast you in one, if you ever need a place, you can always come back to our theatre.

Bob Carter

I probably just said, “thanks Bob,” or something equally insufficient, I had all but forgotten the incident entirely by the time I was 18 and on a plane to St. Louis where I’d (or so I thought I’d) work on my craft and get exposed to the people and places I needed to be exposed to in order to fulfill my lifelong Broadway Baby dreams, and when I left St. Louis just two years later (without the degree I had gone there to acquire, oops), the memory of Bob’s promise to me faded into the background of my mind as the West opened up and stretched out for me outside the window of the stuffed-to-the-brim rented Dodge Caravan that carried me to Los Angeles. It was only after I called my mom (resistant to admitting I was too broke to stay in LA after just 5 months of being there and too broke not to admit it) and she flew me back home, after I put my bags down in the bedroom I once thought I’d left forever and we went to a surprise party for Kat at 1009 North Dixie Hwy, after I walked back in to Actors’ Rep, then 20-almost-21 years old, that I was smacked with the memory recall of that conversation I’d had with Bob. I realized he’d given me a gift, and I’d put it in a drawer, closed it and forgotten it was there, when sitting right in that drawer the whole time (!!)  was the very thing I needed and went looking for in all those other places I’d been. 

Now, I’m 24, and over the last three years, Bob has been gracious enough to forgive my tardy acceptance of the gift he offered me all those years ago; the opportunities presented to me because of which, and the things I’ve been able to achieve as a growing and somewhere-between-emerging-and-early-career theatre-maker in these last few years have only been possible because I have had a place. What a privilege! What 21 year old BFA drop out gets a key to a theatre and the permission & resources to make what they want to make? Theatre-makers face a seemingly endless struggle when it comes to obtaining the most precious resource needed for our work to work: theatre can happen anywhere, it can be in “any place,” but only if that place has people dedicated to making theatre happen there, and there are a disproportionate number of people dedicated to making theatre happen to the number of places willing to give those people what they need to do it, and access to the places that do is disproportionately granted to the most privileged people in our communities, manufacturing scarcity for the people who need these places most, telling us that there isn’t enough money or enough time or resources or interest from audiences to give places to those people so they can make what they want to make when really, there’s PLENTY. Bob has never been under the spell of that illusion and thank goodness, because he knows (and that’s how I know) that no matter how little we may have (and make no mistake, our theatre has never really had all that much) we always have enough to give if we can give ourselves and our place to anyone else who, at any given time, may need us. I’ve needed it, and I’ve been lucky enough to have it, and now, my only mission is to make sure that anyone else who needs it can have it too- it’s the only way to get close to repaying Bob for the gift he’s given me, and, I’m pretty sure, the only way to make a theatre that’s worthy of any of us.