On Monday, October 24, the American Theatre Wing awardEd Watts Village Theater Company (WVTC) a 2011 National Theatre Company Grant. WVTC was one of 10 theater companies from across the nation selected for this honor.
WVTC Managing Director David Mack and Board Member David Catanzarite attended the event, hosted at a private luncheon at the Glass House Tavern in Manhattan. Upon receiving the award, Mack stated, "this American Theatre Wing National Theatre Company Grant will serve as a
reminder of the value of theater and of our work and as an inspiration and source of pride for the Watts community."
The 2011 grant provides $10,000 for general operating support to companies that have articulated a distinctive mission, cultivated an audience, and nurtured a community of artists in ways that strengthen and demonstrate the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theatre.
Speaking to an audience that included Broadway legends Billie Allen and Lucie Arnaz, Catanzarite advised, "I challenge each of you to continue looking deeper and wider for great theatre across the country."
Earlier in the day, Mack sat down with American Theatre Wing Board Chairman Ted Chapin for a taping of Working in the Theatre to be aired on CUNY TV in November. During the show, Mack spoke about WVTC's commitment to art and youth education in Watts and discussed WVTC's
recently concluded Second Annual production of Meet Me @Metro (M3), a series of theatrical performances endorsed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and sponsored by the LA Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the Metro
Art Docent Council. M3 featured site-specific theatrical productions along Metro in collaboration with six cutting-edge theatre companies throughout LA and New York. Mack reaffirmed WVTC's and Metro's intention to collaborate annually to continue creating site specific performances that engage the diverse artistic partners with intentional and accidental audiences from throughout greater Los Angeles in a journey of creative discovery of our shared communities.
The full list of 2011 National Theater Company Grant recipients includes: Buntport Theater Company (Denver, CO), FUSION (Albuquerque, NM), Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company (San Diego, CA), Pig Iron Theatre Company (Philadelphia, PA), Rude Mechanicals (Austin, TX),
Synchronicity Theatre (Atlanta, GA), TheatreSquared (Fayetteville, AR), TimeLine Theatre (Chicago, IL), Transport Group (New York, NY), and Watts Village Theater Company (Los Angeles, CA).
Watts Village Theater Company
Founded in 1996 by actor and Watts community activist Quentin Drew and actor/playwright Lynn Manning as an outgrowth of Cornerstone Theater Company's residency in Watts, Watts Village Theater Company is a multicultural urban company that seeks to inspire its community with
an appreciation of all cultures through new works about contemporary social issues. WVTC has been a leader in providing acting and theatrical performance workshops for at-risk youth in Watts and South Los Angeles.
WVTC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, is proud to have collaborated with Metro, the Watts Towers Arts Center, LATC,[Inside] the Ford and the Matrix Theatre. WVTC's 2003 production of Manning's "Private Battle" won a NAACP Theatre Award. "Up From the Downs" (2005), and "Ochre & Onyx" (2009) received critical acclaim for examining cross-cultural relations between Latinos and African-Americans in Watts.