How to run a theatre company with no theatre

by jenthorn

MOXIE does rehearsal/reading for first production Dog Act at E Street Cafe in Encinitas

MOXIE does rehearsal/reading for first production Dog Act at E Street Cafe in Encinitas in 2005

All you need is somewhere for actors to perform and an audience to sit right?  MOXIE is in the process of discussing what we need in the theatre space that may or may not be built for us in Encinitas in the future.  We got the first round of plans back from the folks who will be funding this elusive venture.  No office space.  No rehearsal room.  This made me reflect on how MOXIE has been running a company without a  theatre “building” to speak of for the past 5 years.  Here are a list of places we have run MOXIE from and held meetings including: designer consultations, interviews, production meetings, auditions, board meetings, season planning meetings and sometimes rehearsals.

  • Coffee shops Favorites include Twiggs on Park Blvd, Lestats on Adams, Starbucks in Horton Plaza.  Much of The Treatment was rehearsed in coffee shops with people watching.
  • Cars  We have done really productive business on the way up and down from Encinitas in Jo, D or my car as we made our way to and from city council meetings. We actually did the first read through of WET in the car on a road trip to San Francisco to see Dog Act.
  • Living rooms MOXIE was conceived in Liv’s living room and grew up in D and Jo’s place. Chairs were rarely involved but food was almost always present.
  • Mexican food restaurants Favorites include Valentines downtown, El Zarape on Park Blvd and that place near the old Actors Alliance…what’s it called? Many rolled tacos were consumed in the process.
  • On the phone  Delicia and I have probably talked for 30 minutes to an hour almost every other day for 5 years. Today we worked on casting, discussing budget, planning donor asks all while I scrubbed poop out of my daughter’s cloth diapers in the bathroom. I love multitasking!
  • Near dumpsters We have had to do nearly everything ourselves for years, including taking out the trash.  Dumpsters that have witnessed important decisions include the dumpster in the alley behind Diversionary Theatre and the dumpster hidden in the bowels of Horton Plaza.

This is just what comes to mind.  I am sure the list is much more extensive…so why do we need a building right?  Aren’t we doing just fine? Truth is kids…we’re a little tired of not having a place to call our own but I bet you even when we get it, and we will one day soon, we’ll still find ourselves discussing the future of MOXIE over a toilet stall in a public restroom.  MOXIE is a part of who we are and it exists wherever we go (no pun intended).