West Coast Ensemble Theatre

West Coast Ensemble Theatre

Over the course of its 30-year history, West Coast Ensemble Theatre fulfilled its mission to produce high-quality intimate theatre that addressed the social, artistic and cultural needs of the diverse Hollywood community, while providing an arena for the development of theatre artists and new works through performance opportunities, training and workshops.

Founded in 1981 by Les Hanson, West Coast Ensemble Theatre began in a storefront as a company of 20 actors, and grew to become a vibrant theatre institution with over 200 theatre artists.  Over its 30-year history, West Coast Ensemble presented over 250 plays and musicals, including world, west coast and Los Angeles premieres. Highlight productions include Gemini, Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks, For Colored Girls …, The Neil Simon Trilogy, Playboy Of The West Indies, Equus, The Manchurian Candidate, Kimchee and Chitlins, Unidentified Human Remains …, The Mandrake, Eleemosynary, Company, Cabaret, Merrily We Roll Along, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill A Mockingbird, Sunday In The Park With George, Two Gentlemen of Corona, Floyd Collins, Zanna Don’t, Assassins, Big The Musical, Anita Bryant Died For Your Sins, and Gypsy.

Major awards include the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Margaret Harford Award for Outstanding and Ongoing Contribution to Theater, The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Charlie Award for Ongoing Contributions to Hollywood, four L.A. Drama Critics’ Circle Awards,10 NAACP Awards, countless L.A. Weekly, and BackStage West awards and the prestigious Jonathan Larson Foundation Award in support of original musical development.

In addition to its reputation as one of Los Angeles’ pre-eminent 99-seat theaters, West Coast Ensemble Theatre provided a foundation of integrity and generosity for hundreds of actors, playwrights, directors, designers and technicians. Through the tireless efforts of its Founding Artistic Director, Les Hanson, West Coast Ensemble created a unique artistic environment for its artists.  This legacy remains an important part of the lives and hearts of all the artists fortunate enough to call West Coast Ensemble home.

To make a secure, tax-deductible donation online, click on the button below. You may also send checks payable to the California Community Foundation, noting that the donation is earmarked for the West Coast Ensemble Theatre Fund. Checks should be mailed to:

California Community Foundation
717 W Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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