History

History 2017-04-11T21:21:45+00:00

Our History:

In 1989, Cedering Fox, actress, voiceover artist, theatre director and benefit producer, was asked by director and actor Darrell Larson to partner on The Great Writers Series: Literary Evenings at The Met in Los Angeles. The series featured such luminaries as authors Sam Shepherd, Peter Matthiessen and James Ellroy and actors Ed Harris, Holly Hunter and Bill Pullman presenting directed readings of great contemporary literature. This simple but impactful form of theatre played to packed audiences for three years and was broadcast every week on National Public Radio’s KCRW. The station then hired Cedering to direct seven and a half hours of Isak Dinesen stories performed by an all-star cast and scored by composer Jonathan Sacks. Later, while working in film development and announcing promos for the national networks, Cedering partnered with a couple of Los Angeles’ finest literary salons. Recognizing that literature had her heart, she launched her own WordTheatre® in Los Angeles in 2003 with her signature Author/Actor series at Canal Club in Venice. (A full list of featured authors is available on our past events and author pages.) Later that year, WordTheatre debuted in London under the steam of UK Producer Kirsty Peart, a successful writer of animation for film and television. Bi-annual benefits for The Pushcart Prize began in East Hampton, NY in 2006 and the Actor/Author series kicked off a successful run at Manhattan’s Soho House in 2008 with James Franco, Julianna Margulies and Lynn Whitfield reading Jim Shepherd, Amy Hempel and John Edgar Wideman respectively. Since founding WordTheatre, Cedering has created many benefits for other charitable organizations including NARSAD and Autism Speaks, at locations from The Geffen Theatre in Westwood to the Broad Stage in Santa Monica and from Sarasota, Florida to Silicon Valley,  in Northern California, raising millions of dollars for research.

WordTheatre began to take authors and actors into Title 1 Schools in 2011 and began working in underserved schools in London in 2015.

In the UK, WordTheatre has headlined the Literary Arena at The Latitude Festival for seven consecutive years, debuted In the Cosmos with a 44 piece orchestra at The Wilderness Festival in 2013,  and has been responsible for casting and directing actors reading the six stories shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award since 2010. That same year, Peart and Fox launched WordTheatre Writers Workshop and Retreat in England’s Peak District. Designed for 14 participants, this annual week-
long course is lead by an esteemed American author and takes place in one of the most beautiful locations imaginable.

Darrell Larson is an on-going Artistic Associate.

                  WordTheatre brings people together to share stories penned by the finest writers working today. The contemporary writers we feature have put into words what many of us feel but cannot articulate. When a brilliant actor performs a great story the mind creates a movie of the story, rekindling a connection with the imagination. These stories bring people together for they engender empathy and compassion. There is nothing better than getting a “thank you” from a writer who thought an older story of his was a lesser story until he heard it performed at WordTheatre or getting feedback
from our audience members such as, “this is the church I was always looking for,”
 or witnessing a student listen with rapt attention as a great actor brings a story to life. It is as good as it
gets.”

— Cedering Fox January 25, 2013

 

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