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Letter from Michelle
Long Range Plans


Michelle Danner
Executive Artistic Director

Larry Moss
Artistic Director

Brian Drillinger
Creative Director

Deb Lavine
Director of Creative Affairs


Jason Alexander
Kate Capshaw
Browne Greene
Leanna Greene
Patricia Heaton
David Hunt
Elaine Joyce
Jerry Katell
Dr. Richard Marrs
Neil Simon
Steven Spielberg
Richard Ulfvengren
Michael Napoliello, Jr.




Theatre, dance, music, film, and visual arts come together in one place. Students and seasoned professionals perform side-by-side--their work is a culmination of workshops, rehearsals, and collaboration across disciplines. This is the purpose and the realization of this Center for the Arts.

We provide a physical environment that nurtures the creative process and encourages collaboration between writers, directors, actors, musicians, dancers, and visual artists. Because our focus is on the creative process, our classes and productions actively mix together people of all ages and levels of experience to create an environment of learning. We invite the community to observe, engage, and interact, to add its voice to our creative discovery. Children will grow up at Edgemar and people of all ages will take risks, and find their artistic voices. At a fundraiser, Neil Simon, a member of our Honorary Board, said the national trend has been that theatres go out of existence. It is truly remarkable that we can witness and support the birth of the Edgemar Center for the Arts. We hope you will join us.

Michelle Danner

Executive Artistic Director

ABout us

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ECA serves as collaborative rehearsal and performance space open to artists of all disciplines and experience levels. It is a space in which professional and classical theater productions, dance performances, visual arts and films collaborate with independent, experimental, and student works in various stages of development.

Additionally, ECA serves all facets of the Westside community by offering public arts programs. The programs include ticketed performances and educational outreach courses for children and senior citizens.


ECA serves as collaborative rehearsal and performance space open to artists of all disciplines and experience levels. It is a space in which professional and classical theater productions, dance performances, visual arts and films collaborate with independent, experimental, and student works in various stages of development.

Additionally, ECA serves all facets of the Westside community by offering public arts programs. The programs include ticketed performances and educational outreach courses for children and senior citizens.

• TO PROVIDE a physical environment that nurtures the creative process and encourages collaboration between writers, directors, actors, musicians, dancers and visual artists.

• TO INVITE the community to observe, engage and interact, to add its voices to our creative discovery.

• TO CREATE a learning environment for children and adults

Edgemar Center for the Arts hosts ticketed performances, educational classes for children and seniors and a collaborative workspace for artists of all kinds.

An actor on break sits in the courtyard running lines by Tennessee Williams as Flamenco dancers practice on the steps for their dusk performance. A group of fifteen third graders hum their way single-file through the Center's sculpture-filled lobby into the rehearsal room. A small group of eighth graders is busy upstairs in the video editing suite offered by a neighbor business owner. Their friends and family will attend the screening at the Center's film festival in June.

long range plan

Creativity & Personal Growth
Looking forward, we see children who have grown up at the Edgemar Center for the Arts. We see high school graduates who have performed consistently in front of audiences on a state-of-the-art stage in a well-known venue. They sing and dance, spill their thoughts onto canvas and in clay… in other words, they communicate their talent through creative endeavors. The challenges they have faced from stage fright to memory block to writer's cramp have helped them grow up to be leaders. They have risen from intro classes to group leaders to mentors, plowing their creativity back into the programs that taught and nourished them for the benefit of their younger siblings and adoring students. We also see adults who have developed in themselves talents they had only suspected. Raising families, holding down jobs, passing into retirement—Edgemar Center for the Arts provides a constant and reliable place to observe, engage, and interact with the artistic community.

Unparalleled Physical Plant
The facility is new and it will need to keep up with technological innovations. The facility surpasses the best Equity-waiver theatrical venue in the Los Angeles region. We are committed to building the Center's offerings and pace technological advances in the field.

Effective Outreach
The Center works with elementary through high school students, presenting a variety of artistic disciplines. Programs based on California’s curriculum frameworks will teach students to harness their creativity and improve their reading, writing, critical thinking, and social skills.



Our 7,500 sq. ft facility houses two professional stages (65-seat and 99-seat), rehearsal and classroom space, offices, and a large lobby gallery. Nestled between a café, salon, retail shops, and an annex of the Museum of Contemporary Art store, the Center is the anchor of the Edgemar complex on Main Street in Santa Monica. The interior courtyard provides a hub for activity and a convergence of artists, businesses, residents, and visitors to this beachside destination. The complex is a stop on the tour of local gems designed by architect Frank Gehry.

The Los Angeles region has a wealth of small "black box" theatres, many in older structures, but relatively few of this size, that are state-of-the-art and designed for the challenges of modern stage productions. The Westside, in particular, has only a handful of theatres and the Edgemar Center for the Arts complex stands alone as the only such center in its class.

Artistic Partnerships
Our goal is to attract other arts organizations as partners to develop programming that will benefit the widest range of people in the community; the quality of our facility bears a direct relation to our future success.

Diverse Programming
Theatre, music, dance, film, and visual art house found a home in the diversity of spaces throughout the center, which has been specifically designed to integrate all disciplines. We host as well as produce ticketed performances, education classes for children and adults, and an on-going, collaborative workspace.


To inquire about space availability for screenings, film locations, special events or private parties please call 310-399-3666 ext 1

To take a tour of our premises. Contact us or visit our rental page.



Michelle Danner
Executive Artistic Director

Michelle Danner’s career in arts production, administration and promotion began in with the European tours of the hit shows Saturday Night Fever, West Side Story and Bubbling Brown Sugar (1979). She produced and promoted tours for international stars such as Julio Iglesias (South America); Van Halen, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the world tour of the Harlem Globetrotters (1985-88), which broke box-office records, making it the most financially successful of all Globetrotters productions abroad.

As the founding Artistic Director of the New York Theatre Company (1983-87), Michelle produced eclectic seasons of French classics including the works of Anouilh, Sarte, Moliere and Marivaux. In 1990 she moved to Los Angeles where she produced the critically acclaimed Four Thought, followed by Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo, which ran to rave reviews and generated five Drama league awards. She is the founder of Edgemar Center for the Arts and in the year 2000 raised 1.3 million in Capital campaign which went to the construction of the two theatres and the art gallery.

In the Winter of 2003-04 Michelle directed at Edgemar the critically acclaimed Outloud, written and performed by Christine Dunford. Following the success of Outloud, Michelle directed Employed, a one-act pilot for Naked TV, Counting for Thunder, and produced Night of the Black Cat which was the winner 2005 Best Musical of the year at the LA Music awards.

At Edgemar Michelle has performed in The House of Yes directed by Brian Drillinger and Bright Ideas directed by Neil Kinsella. She created and directed the ongoing series, Scene Bites, a multi-media evening featuring students from the Larry Moss Studio. In the summer of 2007 she directed and produced the world premiere of Mental the Musical which also got raves and critics pick and is moving to New York in 2009.

Michelle produced and acted in the award-winning short Dos Corazones, directed by Larry Moss which toured several film festivals; Palm Springs, Nashville, New York, and won Best Cinematography & Audience Favorite at the Malibu Film Festival.

In 2006 Michelle made her feature film-directing debut How to go Out on a Date in Queens, which was nominated for five and won four LA Film Awards; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Lead Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and an Audience Favorite. It starred Jason Alexander, Esai Morales, Ron Perlman, Kimberly Williams, Rob Estes and Alison Eastwood. After being theatrically released it’s now available everywhere on video.

She has coached actors such as Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek, James Franco, Marcia Cross, Common, Brian McKnight, Christian Slater, Michael Pena, Catherine Bell, Isla Fisher, Gavin Rossdale, Rick Fox, Justine Waddell, Justin Chatwin, Gabrielle Union, Brenda Strong, Kate Beahan, Zooey Deschanel and many more, both privately and on-set. Michelle was the acting coach expert on comedy on the WB show “The Starlet”.

She is currently preparing to direct Songs for a New World, by Jason Robert Brown and is in preproduction for a movie, The Will To…, which will be filmed in the late Spring of 2008.


Larry Moss
Artistic Director

Moss studied his craft with Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner and Warren Robertson. He began his career at New York’s famed cabaret Upstairs at the Downstairs and went on to appear on Broadway in numerous productions.

After teaching in New York at Julliard and Circle in the Square, he moved to Los Angeles and founded The Larry Moss Studio. It was here that he directed and developed Pamela Gien’s THE SYRINGA TREE, which had its world premiere at ACT in Seattle. THE SYRINGA TREE opened in New York in September 2000 and won the OBIE AWARD for BEST PLAY of 2001, the DRAMA DESK AWARD AND THE OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD for OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE.

Moss developed and directed Bo Eason's one-man show, RUNT OF THE LITTER, which opened in New York at Manhattan Class Company in January 2002 and was voted one of the top ten plays of the year by New York Daily News. It was bought by Castle Rock to be made into a major motion picture.

In 1998, Moss directed the award-winning short film DOS CORAZONES. He will direct the film THE LILY FIELD by Pamela Gien, which will be produced by Matt Salinger. His new book on Acting “THE INTENT TO LIVE” was released by Bantam Dell in 2004. He directed Michael Raynor’s WHO IS FLOYD STEARN? Off-Broadway last season and directed Richard Kalinoski’s BEAST ON THE MOON off-Broadway this season. He is currently directing RFK by Jack Holmes at The Cultural Project and will be directing CLINT HOLMES LIVE AND ON TIME On-Broadway this Spring 2006 and SUGAR by April Daisy White off-Broadway.

Moss coached Helen Hunt in AS GOOD AS IT GETS (Academy Award); Hilary Swank in BOYS DON'T CRY (Academy Award) MILLON DOLLAR BABY (Golden Globe Award and Academy Award) and in her upcoming movie BLACK DAHLIA; Michael Clarke Duncan in THE GREEN MILE (Academy Award Nomination), Hank Azaria in TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE (Emmy Award), Jim Carrey in THE MAJESTIC, Tobey Maguire in SEABISCUIT and Leonardo diCaprio in the Martin Scorsese movie THE AVIATOR (Golden Globe Award and Academy Award Nomination) and in his upcoming movies THE DEPARTED and BLOOD DIAMOND.

Moss is a founding director of the Edgemar Center for the Arts - a new two-theater multi-cultural complex encompassed in Frank Gehry's architectural landmark building, which opened in Santa Monica in September 2003.

Deborah LaVine
Director of Creative Affairs

Deborah LaVine is an award winning director who works in theater and film. She has directed over 200 professional theatrical productions in venues far and wide including, Scotland, Alaska, Pennsylvania and California. Deborah has received many prestigious directing awards including the coveted Ovation Award, a Los Angeles Critics award, the NAACP Image Award Citation, 16 Drama Logue awards, plus many others. She has created work for Deaf West Theatre, The Strasberg Institute, The Odyssey Theater, The Road Theater Company, The Mark Taper Forum, The San Fransisco Theater Festival, Edinburgh Theater Festival, and a list of companies too numerous to list. Deborah directs in a diverse array of genres. She is an avid fan of Tennessee Williams having directed THE ROSE TATTOO and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. Her productions of LEIPZIG, A SHAYNA MAIDEL, KINDERTRANSPORT and THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI, have dealt with topics relating to the WW2 era and its aftermath. Deborah has directed many world premieres, as well as established scripts from acclaimed authors such as Sam Shepard, and John Orlock. She is an experienced director of classic works from Shakespeare, (HAMLET, MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM) and Moliere, (THE MISER, THE IMAGINARY INVALID), while her staging of musicals include OLIVER, MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and FOUR LOVE. In the world of film, Deborah has worked for James Forsher Productions, a documentary production company, and served as a consultant to the former Amblin Studios. Deborah is currently working with Susan Hegarty on the film adaptation of Ms. Hegarty's one woman show, WHAT CAN I DO WITH MY HEART, as well as the short film, MAX. Deborah is currently the Co-Head of The Film Directing Program at the prestigious California Institute for the Arts (CALARTS.)


Alexandra Guarnieri
Managing Director

Born in Paris, Alexandra moved to the U.S. at age 11, fluently speaking 4 languages (French, Spanish, Italian, and English). She graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University with a degree in Political Science. Upon graduation, Alexandra spent several years working in television, first at CNN then MSNBC. After spending 3 years as the Managing Director of the New York Theater Company she moved to Los Angeles. Currently, Alexandra is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Edgemar Center for the Arts (ECA).

Alexandra co-produced the movie, “How To Go On A Date In Queens” (Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Supporting Actor: L.A. Indie Awards). She has been the driving force behind many productions, including the widely popular French Cabaret show, “Night of the Black Cat” (Best Musical: 2006 L.A. Music Awards) and the ongoing series “Scene Bites” (Featured in Daily Variety). In 2007, Alexandra produced the critically acclaimed play by Henry Jaglom, "Always But Not Forever”. Later that year she was associate producer of the world premier musical, "Mental". She just finished producing the cutting edge political comedy, “You’re On The Air”. Currently, Alexandra is producing the world premier, zany comedy, “Desperate Writers.” and a musical tribute to Quincy Jones and his humanitarian work.

Alexandra is an active member in the community. She has created and shaped various outreach programs for underprivileged children, teens, and the elderly. With a passion for art, she also curates the ECA art gallery.