We had the good fortune of connecting with Weston Twardowski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Weston, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Third Culture Theatre grew out of absence. My co-founders and I had for years wanted to form our own company, and having made friends and connections in Los Angeles we began working with like-minded folks to develop the company we wanted. We were always explicitly interested in centering marginalized voices and creating art that responded to and engaged with the issues we feel acutely in our daily lives: race, class, gender, sexuality, climate change, etc. We wanted to make contemporary art that strives to set lofty goals and create real, on-going conversations about inequity and society. Critically we also wanted to do so in a way that was affordable and accessible to the populations we were speaking to. This vision was very clear from our first conversations and one it’s been one of, if not the, major key to our success: we have a clear mission and we are committed to it. The partnerships we’ve developed are people who are attracted to our goals and want to work with us because they know we are dedicated to fulfilling those goals.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a theatre director with a deep commitment to storytelling. I love to create intimate performances where the “magic” of theatre is on full display–I want to engage audiences in the work and imagine the world together. I am also dedicated to work that educates and engages with audiences to create conversations and opportunities for real action in the issues that my work highlights (e.g., environmental justice, social and racial inequity, immigration, etc.). I love to make work that includes conversational elements or even opportunities to go out into specific locations where audiences and performers can learn and share together about the history of a place.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I mean… my friends’ definitely all want the photo from The Last Bookstore “for the gram”–but I wanna go browse books and buy candles. We’re definitely spending way too much time at Salt and Straw. I love to go to LACMA, but also I’ll take everyone I can to the Broad to see the fantastic Kara Walker pieces there. I love meandering through the Venice canals and just shopping or grabbing a bite around there, and since I grew up in a place with no hiking I love to take friends out for a hike (although I defer to my more regular hiker friends for tips on neat trails depending on the season). Close the night out with a round (or several) at The Varnish which remains a perennial favorite.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Alexis Santiago, Ascend Acting Studio