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In January of 1990 in Los Angeles, actor Barry Heins invited fifteen of his transplanted New York actor friends, homesick for their former theatrical community, to a vacant apartment to do an unrehearsed reading of a play. In April, they began to hold weekly readings, which gradually became more populated, until, that October, having lost the apartment two months earlier, some thirty actors pooled their resources to rent a space where they could express their artistic inclinations on a more formal basis. They began leasing the old Theatre Exchange building on Hart Street in North Hollywood, and it was at that location that "Interact, An Actors' Collective" was born. The first reading on Hart Street was King Lear, on October 8, 1990. One and a half years later, an operating structure was created, by-laws adopted, and on May 1, 1992, the company became an official not-for-profit corporation and producing organization: Interact Theatre Company.

1992 also saw Interact's first production: an independent, member-produced and funded evening of three 1-act plays titledDesperate Pleasures, which received excellent reviews. That winter the company produced its first workshop, and in the spring of 1993 its first full company production: Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood.

October, 1990

Jamie Leigh Allen
Don Fischer
Marilyn McIntyre 
Casey Biggs 
François Giroday 
Stephen Parr 
Rob Brownstein
Steven Hack
Stacy Ray 
David Bryant 
James Harper
Tony Rizzoli 
Amanda Carlin 
Barry Heins 
Dan Southern
Paul Collins
Richmond Hoxie
Robin Strasser 
Winship Cook 
Carol Mayo Jenkins
Joel Swetow 
Rachel Davies 
Margeurite Kelly 
Robert Trumbull
Ben Donenberg 
Sandy Kenyon
Henrietta Valor 
Michele Farr 
Michele Mariana 
Keliher Walsh 


In its Hart Street home, Interact established itself as one of the most respected companies in the Los Angeles theatre community by presenting critically-acclaimed productions of esteemed works such as Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard (world premiere translation) and Three Sisters, Elmer Rice's Counsellor-At-Law, Sean O'Casey's Juno and The Paycock, Gertrude Stein's Yes Is For A Very Young Man, Sheridan's The Rivals; the contemporary writings of such playwrights as Richard Dresser (Splitsville), C. P. Taylor (And A Nightingale Sang), and Gary Richards (The Root); two world premieres, Terri Wagener's Currently Married and Jaime Klein's The Last Gasp, the latter a project developed through the Interact Play Development Lab; and the Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical Into The Woods.

Interact Theatre Company productions have received 78 awards and 150 nominations for Outstanding and/or Distinguished Achievement in Theatre. They include 14 awards and 20 nominations from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, 4 Theatre LA Ovation Awards (16 nominations), 4 LA Weekly Awards (10 nominations), 12 Back Stage West Garland Awards (18 Nominations), 24 Drama-Logue Awards, 11 Valley Theatre League ADA Awards (53 nominations), and 9 Park La Brea News "Maddy" Awards. A full chronological list of Interact's awards can be found on this website's AWARDS page.

The Los Angeles Times cited Interact as "one of the true theatre successes of the '90's", and in January of 2000 Back Stage West praised the company for "sustained excellence in theatre".

In January of 2000, Interact moved to a new space --- on Bakman Avenue, in the heart of the burgeoning NoHo Arts District. The company continued to receive high public and critical acclaim, with such award-winning productions as Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music (2001), and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (2002), as well as Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Marsha Norman's 'night, Mother, the world première of ITC member Steven Hack's Willie's Son, and the immortal Guys and Dolls, by Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling, and Abe Burrows, all in 2003.

In June, 2004, Interact began its next transformation, moving out of the leased Bakman Avenue building, and operating temporarily without a permanent home. In 2004 and 2005, the company presented two series of plays called 2 x 4 and 3 x 4 at the NoHo Arts Centre. And Interact capped its 2006 season with a sold-out run of the Tony-award-winning Urinetown... the Musical, at the Matrix Theatre in West Hollywood, and opened its 2007 season with The Boarding House at Write Act Rep in Hollywood. In 2008, the company took temporary residence at the Victory Theatre Center in Burbank, co-producing member James Gleason's autobiographical one-man show, Actor Under Fire. The 2009 season garnered rave reviews for A. R. Gurney's The Dining Roomand Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker.

2010 found Interact celebrating its 20th anniversary while moving yet again; this time to the Noho Arts Centre on Magnolia Boulevard, where its first production was the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Interact's long-term goal is to find and purchase its own theater, and in the meantime continue to produce its plays at Noho, as well as to present its regular events, the Interact Reading Series, InterACTivity, and InterPlay.

Interact began as a reading group, and that essential core for this unique organization is maintained through the following ongoing activities:

Interact Reading Series (formerly called the Monday Night Readings) - Meets usually on selected Monday or Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m. For the latest information on the program, go to the READING SERIES page on this website, or call (818) 765-8732.

The series consists of member-sponsored evenings of informal, unrehearsed play readings, including classic, contemporary and original plays, screenplays and other literature.

InterACTivity Festival - This festival of rehearsed staged readings and workshops was created in 1994 by Interact member, actor, and director Peter Zapp, as a way of providing an opportunity for the membership to explore more thoroughly the material that interested them. Each company member can put forth one project; the pieces have substantial rehearsal, and the majority of the cast comes from within the membership. Each project is given two public performances.

The first festival had only eight programs, covered a two-week performance period, and involved 35 to 40 actors. Since then, the festival has averaged 13 programs and five performance weeks. InterACTivity '10 was the company's second production in its new home at the NoHo Arts Centre.

InterPlay - Children's Theatre Workshop - In an effort to reach out to the local community and share their knowledge, expertise, and pure love of theatre, and because the theatre has always been surrounded by neighborhood public and private schools, Interact's members added to their regular schedule of readings and productions an annual summer children's program. Created by Interact member, actor, and teacher Sharon Madden, this program was designed to offer the culturally diverse and artistically under-served youth (specifically ages 6 - 12) of North Hollywood an opportunity to explore live theatre through the process of games, storytelling, and improvisation. Developed with collaboration in mind, this program brings neighborhood children, their parents, and theatre professionals together in a summer day camp environment, where the children are able to discover and explore their natural creativity under the auspices of skilled theatre artisans. In 2008, InterPlay celebrates its sixteenth anniversary with InterPlay '10 in July at the NoHo Arts Center.

The UCLA LAw School Series of Dramatic Readings - This series, co-sponsored by the UCLA Law School and Interact Theatre Company, and created by ITC's first Board President and law professor Dan Loewenstein, consists of readings of plays with themes related to justice, government, and public responsibility. Ordinarily, one play will be read each semester. During semesters when the "Law and Literature" seminar is offered at the Law School, the reading will usually be a play studied in that seminar. Audiences consist of students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the Law School and other UCLA departments, as well as members of the general public. The purposes of the readings are to stimulate discussion of the ethical and societal issues raised by these excellent plays, to help stimulate interdisciplinary consideration of law and the humanities, and to entertain. Readings in the series to date have been:

Rosmersholm, by Henrik Ibsen - Spring 1999
Antigone, by Sophocles - Fall 1999
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, by Herman Wouk - Spring 2000
Nuts, by Tom Topor - Fall 2000
Antigone, by Jean Anouilh - Spring 2001
Twelve Angry Men, by Reginald Rose - Fall 2001
The Visit, by Friedrich Dürrenmatt - Spring 2002:
Escape from Happiness, by George F. Walker - Fall 2002
Proof, by David Auburn - Fall 2003
Iphigenia in Aulis, by Euripides - Spring 2004
A Man for All Seasons, by Robert Bolt - Fall 2004
Death and the Maiden, by Ariel Dorfman - Spring 2005
Fathers and Sons, by Deborah Pearl - Fall 2005
A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen - Spring 2006
Doubt, by John Patrick Shanley - Fall 2006
The Winslow Boy, by Terence Rattigan - Spring 2007
Oleanna, by David Mamet - Fall 2007
State of the Union, by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse - Spring 2008
Taking Sides, by Ronald Harwood - Fall 2008
The Memorandum, by Vaclav Havel- Spring 2009

Further information on the company and its programs is available from our business offices at (818) 765-8732. We may be contacted by mail at the following address: Interact Theatre Company, P.O. Box 349, North Hollywood, CA 91603.

Interact Theatre Company is a Not-For-Profit, 501(c)(3), Public Benefit Corporation; therefore, all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. 

Copyright © Interact Theatre Company 2009   All rights reserved.  P.O. Box 349, North Hollywood CA 91603  Call 818-765-8732

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