Barbara Beckley, pencil thin and fiercely emphatic, sits in an armchair in the living room-style lobby of the Colony Theatre in Burbank. Sounds from the stage indicate that rehearsals are underway for the second show of the Colony's 38th season: the West Coast premiere of John Morogiello's backstage comedy, “Blame It on Beckett.”
The Colony's artistic director and longtime leader is looking back, tracing her company's trajectory from an actor-driven, 99-seat venture in Silver Lake to its transformation into a 276-seat, full Equity theater. Founded in 1975 by a group of Los Angeles actors, the Colony Studio Theatre, as it was called then, earned considerable critical acclaim and audience loyalty during its first 25 years in “the land that time forgot,” as Beckley puts it.
“We called it Silver Lake because that was cool,” she said, “but actually we were in this hole between Silver Lake, Echo Park and Glassell Park. Our nearest competitors were the Dodgers.”