James Carey, Local Theater Director, Gets Prestigious Opportunity in Zimbabwe

West Adams resident James Carey is taking his show on the road.

Actor-director Carey is founder of the nearby Attic Theatre & Film Center.

Located on Washington Blvd at Hauser, the Attic is a year-round, full-service theatre with a complete season of plays.  With a mission to present West Coast premiers of original works and innovative productions of classical plays, the playhouse also serves as an important venue for local artists-- featuring everything from dramatic readings to rap music.  Last year Carey presented the hit musical “Come Together:  A Beatles Cabaret,” which will now travel to Rome’s Abarico Theatre where Carey will direct it with Italian singers in August. Last year the theatre initiated a regular program of charming children’s plays, and this year they will be offering a weekly children’s acting workshop for ages 6 - 10 starting June 1st. The Attic’s 2012 season includes “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Musical Valentine,” and their national recognized One Act Festival now entering it 21st year.


Raised in Georgia and Tennessee, Carey has lived in the 10th Council district since 2001 and currently resides near Arlington and 25th streets.  He has had extensive training that includes a BFA in theatre, and two MFA’s – in Acting and Directing from UNC Chapel Hill and in Arts Management from CSULB.  Along with his late wife Denise Ragan, Carey founded the Attic Theatre in 1987 which enjoyed the distinction of being the oldest producing organization on the Hollywood Theatre Row until 2003.


But Carey’s scope is international and he is currently preparing to  bring his prodigious talents to Zimbabwe‘s annual Speech and Drama Festival of the National Institute of Allied Arts. Encouraged to apply for inclusion in the festival by a local Zimbabwean ex-patriot, Carey is the first American to be accepted in the event’s 97-year history.   Over 17 days the festival provides 150 workshops in drama, poetry, storytelling, choral speaking, improv, monologues, sketches and plays for 5,000-6,000 students from Zimbabwean elementary, middle and high schools.  During the course of the festival, students are trained, then perform in 20 different categories, and are judged on whether they may advance to higher levels of the competitive event. “There’s nothing like it in the US,” Carey explains.  Carey will serve as an instructor and adjudicator, giving approximately 1,500 students critical feedback and coaching.  “The festival’s purpose is to encourage kids to read, get involved, do public speaking, and build themselves as individuals,” Carey informed TNN.  Native Zimbabwean teachers will also pick up important training at the event as most of the country’s experienced teachers have been driven out by the former Mugabe government.  UNICEF has declared the country’s educational system a “national disaster.”

See http://www.indiegogo.com/Teaching-in-Africa-Directing-in-Roma for more info.  Visit Attic’s website for its call for writers to participate in its annual One-Act Festival at www.attictheatre.org.  The Attic Theatre is located at 5429 W. Washington Blvd., L.A., 323.525.0661.  UPDATE Oct 2018 The theatre is currently closed. 





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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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