Sixty-one years after Bertolt Brecht's observation, Los Angeles—which now has more small theatres than any city in the United States—often offers plays that venture beyond the strict confines of realism and naturalism. In Hollywood, however, these forms have maintained a stranglehold on film and television production since the advent of the talking picture in the late 1920s. While many of the theatre artists who work here are quite capable of performing in non-realistic plays, producers of TV dramas and feature films remain primarily interested in realism. Thus, many theatre actors in Los Angeles prefer to utilize realistic acting techniques even, at times, when the play calls for a different approach. Working in a style that will help one to advance in 'the industry' is if anything practical because artists cannot pay the rent by working in low-budget, 99-seat theatres which compensate Equity actors about eight dollars per show (rehearsals not included) and often pay less (or nothing) to non-Equity actors, directors, and writers, although the influence of Hollywood—a formidable, globalizing force whose reach seems almost unlimited these days—is not the only reason for the predominance of the realistic acting style which, after all, began way back in the mid- to latenineteenth century, as Ibsen's dramas, along with the realistic mise-en-scènes of directors such as Saxe-Meiningen, Andre Antoine, and, a bit later, Konstantin Stanislavsky, forever altered theatrical form.
Keywords: Play, drama, theatre