Chalk Repertory Theatre is dedicated to producing classical and contemporary plays in unconventional spaces. Working with a diverse group of artists, we create work that is designed to reach a non-traditional audience and stimulate community discussion. We aim to transform the ideas that non-theatregoers have about what theatre can be, to create work that is intimate, relevant, and accessible to all.
Chalk Repertory Theatre was founded in the fall of 2008 by five graduates of the MFA Theatre program at the University of California, San Diego, who were living and working in Los Angeles. Actor/director Jennifer Chang, actor Amy Ellenberger, director Larissa Kokernot, playwright Ruth McKee and actor Hilary Ward formed Chalk Rep's first "Artistic Circle." The first season kicked off in January 2009 with Anton Chekhov's THREE SISTERS in the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. That first season saw four full productions, including Julia Edwards' FAMILY PLANNING, which earned the company two Ovation Awards: Best Production, Intimate Theatre, and a directing award for Larissa Kokernot.
In 2010, Chalk Rep returned to Hollywood Forever with a production of Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT, brought the one-woman-show FULL DISCLOSURE to homes actually on the market around LA County, and inaugurated our biennial FLASH FESTIVAL where playwrights, actors, and directors come together to create new short plays for a specific space. Through two later FLASH FESTIVALS, at The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, and at a new downtown highrise at 8th + Hope, this model has solidified into Chalk's key program for meeting and working with new actors, directors and playwrights, and planting the seeds for new work.
In 2013, the company experienced a big step forward as we partnered with UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, to create works for their historic spaces. We were honored for our efforts with the title of "Best Gypsy Theatre" in the LA Weekly's "Best of LA" issue. Since then we've continued to form new site partnerships to create work that uses the unique canvas of Los Angeles as our backdrop, allowing us to both shed light of the city around us and invest in artists rather than infrastructure. In the 2015 we entered a three-year residency with St. Johns' Episcopal Cathedral in West Adams, where we produced the world premiere of Tom Jacobson's play Diet of Worms. We also founded a monthly writer's group to support new work by LA Playwrights.
Now a company of fourteen artists, led by a rotating duo of Co-Artistic Producing Directors, Chalk remains true to our original mission working with a diverse group of artists to create works that are intimate, accessible, and an event to attend.