Watts Village Theater Company
Mission: WATTS VILLAGE THEATER COMPANY nurtures and produces original works of theater and educational programming that inspire action and dialogue about contemporary social issues to honor the rich history, cultural diversity and under-served populations of South Los Angeles.
The Watts Village Theater Company (WVTC) serves the Watts and South LA population providing arts and arts-education to a population with little or no other access to live theater.
WVTC was 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. WVTC’s earliest endeavor was to conduct acting and performance workshops for at-risk youth in Watts’ housing projects, culminating in public talent shows. Eventually WVTC started producing original full-length productions which received critical acclaim for examining cross-cultural relations between Latinos and African-Americans in Watts.
In 2010 WVTC began producing “Meet Me @Metro” featuring site-specific works along Metro in South LA in collaboration with over 13 arts organizations and local business throughout LA. The show has been endorsed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and has received national acclaim.
Recognizing its commitment to developing work by emerging LA-based playwrights of color, WVTC began “Black Words on White” pages in 2006. A development process involving collaboration between a playwright, director and actors and culminating in public readings, the series continues twice annually.
WVTC continues to be one of the largest arts providers to the Watts/South LA communities. Establishing in-school residencies, after-school courses in theatre and the recently instituted Quentin Drew Memorial Internship Program, which hires at-risk youth from Watts to assist in the production of WVTC’s shows, receiving training in various aspects of theater production.
In 2011, WVTC received the "American Theatre Wing National Theatre Company Award" as one of the top 10 most promising small theatre companies in the country. WVTC has als received the Second District Human Relations Award for nearly 15 years of mounting productions that focus on inter-group conflict and inter-group relations.