LOS ANGELES -- The movement to mid-size continues apace for several local small-theatre companies that have until now operated under the 99-seat Equity-waiver plan.
Actors Alley's renovation of El Portal Theatre, a former North Hollywood movie house, is moving forward faster since the Federal Emergency Management Agency last month awarded the company an extra $3.8 million for renovation of the earthquake-damaged El Portal.
Actors Alley's plan is to divide the El Portal into 380-seat and 99-seat houses -- and to possibly share the premises with such other local theatre companies as Colony Studio Theatre and Deaf West Theatre.
"I want the El Portal to be a three-ring circus, with something going on all the time," said Actors Alley managing director Robert Caine, who said the El Portal renovations are expected to be completed by the end of 1998.
East West Players is scheduled to move into its new downtown mid-size venue Mar. 12 with a production of Pacific Overtures. The Colony Studio Theatre is also considering moving into a Burbank building that formerly was a satellite of the L.A. County Museum of Natural History.
--By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent