Door Number 3: Serving L.A. Theater Audiences by Serving the Story

By Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Artistic Director Tim True is looking to the present, not just for his theater company Door Number 3, but for Los Angeles audiences.

Some of his former Portland group (Third Rail Repertory Theatre) who originally set up shop 10 years ago have made their way recently to Los Angeles with a new name and a very specific producing purpose in mind. Serve the play first.

According to True, Door Number 3 works in a highly collaborative environment that 100% accommodates the story. Company members are asked to check their personal interests and agendas at the door and come into rehearsal to attack the performance. As a nonprofit, they are here to serve the community.

When I asked True what the company had to offer to L.A. theater-goers, he replied,

“Los Angeles is driven by film. And in film right now, we’ve got realism coming out of our ears. I’m interested in producing plays that have really strong theatricality. Plays that would be difficult to have in a film form. Plays that require participation and imagination on the audiences’ part. We want to create theatrical magic employed in the storytelling.”

What excites him is how an audience processes a story…. employing audience imagination by the way a piece is written and produced.

“Talk backs are one of my pet peeves. The work should be done at curtain call. Talking about it and getting everyone to agree and handing an interpretation of the play kills the point. You’re losing the function of art.”

Door Number 3 is set to open British playwright, Philip Ridley’s outrageous, provocative comedy, Radiant Vermin as a visiting production at the Odyssey Theatre on October 19, and it’s likely going to be absolutely fun…in a creepy macabre sort of way.

Mary Poppins meets Flip This House meets Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell Tale Heart.

In this vicious satire flecked with horror, Ollie and Jill want to tell you about their dream home. But some of the things they did to get it… well…you might find them kind of shocking.

“It’s a dark, non-realistic British play, set with absolutely zero props with the house ‘in progress’ with several different levels incomplete.  Three actors move around through time and define everything with their own instruments. It hits this pinnacle where they’re acting out a garden party with nine different neighbors at a breakneck pace and it’s a showstopper. The play just keeps coming at you. You have to see it live. You can’t render that on film.”

Where Radiant Vermin is a commentary on consumerism in the age where enough is never enough, I had to ask, “What’s enough for Ollie and Jill? And what does that mean for the rest of us?”

“Ollie and Jill keep moving the end zone.  They’ll take advantage of an opportunity, but every time… they find they want more.  But it’s never a conscious thing.  Their appetite is unquenchable.  Radiant Vermin is a scary commentary on civilization in general. The allegory of consumerism is a direct metaphor for relationships.  If people have the opportunity to take and take and take… who’s receiving and/or not receiving as a result?”



One response to “Door Number 3: Serving L.A. Theater Audiences by Serving the Story”

  1. […] Tim True’s stated intention for his company is to do plays that have a strong theatricality, in this he has certainly succeeded and Door Number […]