The Publicists of Los Angeles Theater

Our very own Amy Tofte  - though it’s hard to tell lately (Amy?) – has a nice write up over at LA Stage Times on some of the top Los Angeles Theater Publicists, namely, Ken Werther, Lucy Pollack, Judith Borne, David Elzer, Phil Sokoloff, Jerry Charlson, Libby Huebner, Sandra Kuker and Laura Stegman. There are some other hard-working reps out there, of course, but there is no doubt that these guys are the creme-de-la-creme in Los Angeles Theater at the moment.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting most of them – I think – and they are really the class of LA Theater when it comes to this vitally important element of theater production.

When I produced theater I never had the cash for a professional publicist, so I made one up. I’m not going to tell you that made up person’s name because that would kill it for me in the future, but I will say this, it was hard work, but incredibly crucial to getting your show into the public’s conscience.

Love these quotes from some of the peeps interviewed:

“The question I constantly ask prospective clients is: Who is the audience of your show? ” says PR veteran — and occasional actor — Phil Sokoloff. “If it takes the producers longer than 15 seconds to come up with an answer, the project is in trouble already.”

“I read the scripts,” says professional actress-turned PR aficionado Borne. “I think about how it engages me and what kind of angle I could pitch that would bring something to the table for [a client]…and if it doesn’t really interest me or I’m not the right person, I’ll turn a project down.”

Pollak takes pride in the craft of developing a great press release. “I believe the press release is so important,” she explains. “It really is the calling card for the production and the company. I work very hard to brainstorm what goes into it and work all the angles, even if it’s subtle.”

Elzer, whose company DemandPR provides a one-stop publicity and marketing shop, sums it up. “Know what you’re selling,” says Elzer before emphatically repeating “and target, target, target.”

These people are as passionate and creative as the artists who do the work. And if you are a producer of theater you should read this article and get to know them.

And a quick question: why are there no awards for Best Publicist? Just wondering…

Now if only Amy would write something for us again.

Might have to hire one of these publicists to get her back into the fold.

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Colin Mitchell About the Author: COLIN MITCHELL: Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Father, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Broadway veteran, Marvel comics scribe, Van Morrison disciple, Zen-Catholic, a proud U.S. Army Brat conceived in Scotland and born in Frankfurt, Germany, currently living in Los Angeles and doing his best to piss off as many people as possible.

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