Cornerstone Theater Company will say goodbye to its longtime home in downtown L.A. on June 30. (Photo courtesy of Cornerstone Theater Company)

Cornerstone Theater Company to Leave Los Angeles Home

The company will move out of its longtime home of 20 years, citing rent hikes.

LOS ANGELES: Cornerstone Theater Company announced today that it will let go of its space in the downtown Los Angeles Arts District. The company has called the building at 708 Traction Ave. its home for 20 years.

“We feel this is an exciting opportunity for the company to rethink how we do our work, but we also recognize that changes like this one don’t come without growing pains,” said artistic director Michael John Garcés and managing director Megan Wanlass in a joint statement. “Our work has always been focused on community- and site-specific art-making, and we were some of the earliest ‘creative place-makers’ – long before that phrase became trendy. Embracing our nomadic history and thinking forward to a more flexible and nimble future, this feels like the right moment for us to focus on what’s most important.”

In a press release, Garcés and Wanlass said that the company has been contemplating the change for the past few years, and cited the changing landscape of the downtown Los Angeles neighborhood and the recent significant increase in rent as reasons to leave the space. The company plans to move out of the old space by June 30.

Moving forward, Cornerstone will now collaborate with communities on-site in New York City, Watts, Calif., and Arizona to produce its shows. The company has rented a warehouse space to store production equipment and the current staff and ensemble will work remotely from shared office spaces throughout neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Founded in 1986 as a traveling ensemble, Cornerstone Theater Company is a Los Angeles-based theatre company known for creating theatre in collaboration with local community members. Because of its reputation for roving, the company did not perform out of one main venue, but in different locations around the state.

“We will be carefully considering what and where we want our next physical home to be—what makes sense for a unique organization like ours?” Garcés and Wanlass said in a statement. “We are galvanized around this question, and very curious as to where our process, and the future, will take us.”