An Octoroon - June 11 - September 19, 2021

The Fountain Theatre



Welcome to the Fountain Theatre Outdoor Stage


That first summer thirty-one years ago, when Deborah Lawlor and I opened our front doors in 1990, we installed a small wooden stage in the parking lot. Sure, we had just bought a two-story building with a cozy, fully functional theater. We had already opened our first mainstage production. But, we wanted to do something more. To serve the community.  


So, we set up a funky little stage in the dirt where we parked our cars -- years before we got around to having it paved. We hired a troupe of traveling players to perform Puss in Boots in English and Spanish (“El Gato Con Botas”) for the kids in the neighborhood. At showtime, excited children and parents from surrounding blocks swarmed into our dirt parking lot and sat around the tiny stage. The local McDonald’s donated hamburgers and drinks. It was marvelous.


Three decades later, we do it again. This time, a bit fancier. But for the same reason. With the same spirit of service. The Fountain Theatre’s new Outdoor Stage is more than a temporary response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an ongoing gift to the community.  We will assemble the Outdoor Stage every summer hereafter and offer the city of Los Angeles theatre and dance under the stars.


This outdoor urban jewel comes from the generous support, long hours, and back-breaking work of many extraordinary people. Together, they transformed an idea, born from a crisis, into a magnificent actuality. I am forever grateful.  


An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a remarkable play that I have sought to produce for some time. I wanted the Fountain to be the theatre that premieres this bold, funny, and powerful work in Los Angeles. Its outrageous theatricality fills the open air of our Outdoor Stage perfectly, and its skewering of our nation’s racism, past and present, is brutally dead-on.   


Funny, isn’t it? As the Fountain moves forward, it goes back to its roots. All we need is a parking lot, a stage, a few actors, some magic – and you.    



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