The Actors Coalition Network of Los Angeles is a strong non-profit collaborative arts, education, counseling, and entertainment industry training company. But it is often difficult to explain what else the company is to someone who is not part of it. Here some of the associates talk about what the company is all about in their own words.
"An ACN Los Angeles Dinner Theater show is a fun experience from beginning to end.Randall Gray clearly knows how to create and mount an enjoyable, successful production."
Evelyn Zupka, Santa Ana, CA
"I was dead in my own skin, incomplete, and a male survivor of childhood abuse.
I went looking for something in the screens and stages of NYC and LA. I was examined like a prized horse on a trajectory to awards and fortune. I was invisible, yet others praised my name as I traveled the world. Like hamlet, no amount of wealth or fame could balance the weight of bad dreams. My life was a cold, calculated measure of how much people wanted from me- against how much they paid for me. Few people cared to know me.
I didn’t enjoy this- I simply survived, feeling the deep and nagging cry to heal. At the cusp of this time in life, I met another who shares a deep faith that the art form of drama was intended for more than a conveyor belt of stages; drama is where we find a home in ourselves and each other.
Randall was the first person I told about my survival, simply because he showed up. He listened. Working and welcomed beside others in this journey created the space I needed to discover my scattered, lost, and broken pieces. In this world confined by institutions and limited by labels, it scared the hell out of me; I didn't even know I could trust someone to see me.
I survived an industry that, like the gaslighting abusers of my childhood, wanted to sell my body and my talent. Randall offered me a place to lay the foundation for a group of people who would share in the goal of what I needed: to feel like I had power to make something of value for others.
I was strengthened when I joined this important work by a fellowship community of artists; those who affirm one another and bring these stories into the light. A place to share and witness scars. It has been years since I served as a member of the actor's coalition network. The trajectory of my life changed from helplessly scratching at broken system doors to an empowered artist with the potential to create opportunity for the things others and I value in art and community.
My journey began here, with an opening to speak and work beside other performers as they move towards healing, growth, and adventure. No other action appeases the ache of love to flourish besides seeking to nurture that love in others. If what I share resonates and you are in a position to offer financial support to this community-building artist network, I invite you to become a part of changing wayward lives. I am a survivor, I am not alone, and I am joyful."
Alexander Nifong - ACN Member Emeritus
“I have attended several of the Actor's Coalition Network of LA performances. I have attended plays in various locations, not in my neighborhood areas, I have traveled to be able to see their performances. Every single play I have attended has had interaction with the audience which is one of the big reasons I love them. It gives the audience the chance to not only participate, but ‘ham it up’ and ‘be a part of the fun.’ All performances have been professional, well-choreographed and had an interesting storyline that held your interest. I have thoroughly enjoyed every performance I have had the pleasure to attend, and will attend as many more in the future as I can.”
Jan McGovney, Orange, CA
"Attending and ACN Dinner Theater show is a true highlight for my family and I. We have seen five of their productions in various locations all over Southern California, and are always more than happy to travel to be able to do so. We always know that we are going to enjoy an amazing meal, a truly intelligent and ingenious theatrical production, and are always going to enjoy our time immensely."
John Abbot - San Bernadino, CA
“One of the best theatrical experiences my wife and I have ever had. Truly interesting and intellectual, not the typical ‘murder mystery’ event; we will be back again and again.”
Troy Richards – Pasadena, CA
“It is rare that I not only enjoy myself but I also learn something. Great job to the writer/director Randall Gray, and to an amazing team for a job well done. Can’t wait to see the next production.”
John Williams – Northridge, CA
“What an experience! Thanks for an amazing show with a splendid cast.” Angela Truesdale – Moorepark, CA
“Consider my husband and I permanent following members of the ACN Dinner Theater. Let us know where your shows will be performed, and we will always be there. Truly one of the most intelligent productions we have ever seen. Thank you for and amazing show.”
Veronica Englas – San Dimas, CA
“I have been following Director Randall Gray for several years now, and have seen numerous productions he has put forward, both regular theater shows and dinner theater shows. I have never been sorry that I attended one of his shows, as each and every production I have seen has been entertaining, engaging, and often enlightening. I find myself waiting (often impatiently) for the next production Dr. Gray presents, and whether musical or straight theater, they are always great!”
Carolyn Mills – West Covina, CA
“Excellent production ACN Dinner Theater team, can’t wait to see the next one. Powerful, provocative, and entertaining!” Nathan Stout – North Hollywood, CA
“Working with Dr. Gray and the ACN Dinner Theater has been one of the easiest and entertaining experiences I have had in special engagements and events planning. Dr. Gray spells out exactly what is to be expected, and delivers without missing a beat. The production was fantastic, and our members seemed to love the experience. Can’t wait to do it again.”
Commodore Ryan – Long Beach Sailing Club
“Nothing like the typical murder mystery dinner theater show I have ever seen; the ACN Dinner Theater presents high quality productions that are fun, unique, enlightening, and professionally delivered. Most murder mystery productions I have seen in the past are created for hype and comedy only; this group delivers something completely different, and definitely better. Great job group!”
Michael Signer – Costa Mesa, CA