Rogue Machine Theatre trades Hollywood for Venice


Rogue Machine, one of Los Angeles’ more prominent small-theater companies, is heading west this fall, relocating from Hollywood to Venice.

“We’ve been looking for a permanent home for 11 years,” artistic director John Perrin Flynn said with a laugh.

Several factors are behind the move. Most pressing: The company’s current home, the Met Theatre on Oxford Avenue near Santa Monica Boulevard, is for sale and couldn’t guarantee long-term occupancy, Flynn said. At the same time, the 99-seat Electric Lodge in Venice was in search of a resident company and appealed to Flynn as a black-box space with flexible seating arrangements.


Rogue Machine’s new home will have ample parking and valet service, a luxury for small theaters, although Flynn is concerned the company will lose some patrons from Pasadena and Glendale with the move west. He hopes to regain some of the Westside theatergoers that Rogue Machine lost when the company moved from Pico Boulevard in 2016.

“The Met is a hallowed space,” Flynn said. “It has been a theater in Los Angeles for 60-plus years. Sam Shepard did premieres, and all kinds of wonderful theater was done there.”

Before moving, Rogue Machine will present a final production, “Gunshot Medley,” at the Met in September. The company’s last day in Hollywood will be Oct. 1, just days ahead of opening in Venice. Rogue Machine opens the U.S. premiere of “Oppenheimer” on Oct. 6.

“We’re going to have a really jam packed few weeks in September,” said Flynn, who will direct “Oppenheimer.” He called the play “a true epic,” with 24 characters involved in the creation of the first atomic bomb.

“It’s about making the bomb, which changed the world forever,” Flynn adds. “But it’s also very much about Oppenheimer and the cost to all the scientists and wives involved. It’s very timely.”

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