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About City Garage

Hammering Man

The company at City Garage has been producing innovative, award-winning theater in Santa Monica for more than 25 years. It was founded in 1987 by Artistic Director Frederíque Michel and Producing Director Charles Duncombe. It creates and presents original works that explore contemporary ideas and issues in a distinctive, strongly physical, highly visual, multi-disciplinary style.

It has had more than two dozen “Critic’s Choice” or “Pick of the Week” productions. It received four L.A. Weekly Theatre Award nominations for its production George Sand: An Erotic Odyssey in Seven Tableaux (1998, four more for MedeaText: Los Angeles/Despoiled Shore (2000), and another two for Frederick of Prussia/GeorgeW’s Dream of Sleep (2001). Its staging of The Empire Builders (2004) by Boris Vian was nominated by the Weekly for Production of the Year, while its revival of Ionesco’s The Lesson (2007)received nominations in both direction and performance categories, winning the award for Best Direction. Heiner Müller’s The Battle: ABC was nominated for Best Direction and Best Ensemble in 2006 and won the Ensemble award. In 2007, its Three by Mee season received four LA Weekly nominations, including Production of the Year for Agamemnon. The season as a whole won in the Production Design category. In 2008, the company received seven nominations in six categories, including Best Ensemble (one-act) and Best Comedy Ensemble, and took home awards for Best Direction (one-act) and Best Performance (one-act). In 2009, the company earned six nominations including one for Best Ensemble  and Best Adaptation for The Mission (Accomplished). In that same year, company founders Frederíque Michel and Charles Duncombe won the LA Weekly’s “Queen of the Angels” award for decades of contributions to L.A. theater. Its new versions of the Moliere classic The Bourgeois Gentillhome (2009) and Beamarchais’s The Marriage of Figaro (2010) were both “Critic’s Choice” in the LA Times, as was its recent original work about human rights atrocities in Darfur The Trojan Women: LA/Darfur Dreamscape.

The company’s work with Fassbinder texts has been featured in two German documentaries: Fassbinder in Hollywood, and Fassbinder: Love, Life, and Celluloid. Three of its Heiner Müller productions have been discussed in the book Müller in America published in New York in 2003. In the summer of 2004, in New York, the company received an Otto, a national award for political theatre (past recipients include Laurie Anderson, Bread and Puppets Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, and Heiner Müller). It was honored that year alongside Robert Wilson, El Teatro Campesino, and Charles Mee.