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Meet Emma Toureau and Aaron Castle of The Tower Theatre Company in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emma Toureau and Aaron Castle.

Emma and Aaron, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We (Aaron and Emma) have always been involved in theatre. We both grew up performing and decided at pretty young ages that we were invested in art for life. The two of us met a couple of years ago during our time together at AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts. While we were performing together, we both realized that we had a passion for directing and producing, as well as acting. During class one day, we were discussing the elements of the theatre scene that we wished we could change, and the idea to start a company came to us. How better to fix a system than to become a member of it? There are plenty of companies that are run and operated by young people, so there shouldn’t be any problems with two young artists running one, right? We would meet after school or between rehearsals to discuss productions, budgets, and everything else it takes to put on a successful show (it turned out to be a lot more than we thought!)

In March, we were only three weeks out of our first production; Moonchildren by Michael Weller at the Complex Theatre. Unfortunately, that was the same week that Los Angeles went on lockdown for COVID safety. We are still determined to produce that show, the second we can have people safely back in theaters. For now, Tower is producing digital shows in partnership with cya.live, a new live-streaming website. Our shows range from digital cabarets to readings and so much more! We are blessed to be connected to such a great company and a wonderful team of creatives. This time has also allowed us to create a Film element of our company as well; with tons of amazing short films on the way. We are always looking for new material and artists to bring on board, so don’t be afraid to reach out to us!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Building a company from the ground up has certainly not been the easiest of roads. We both work extensive hours at other jobs in order to ensure that we have proper funding for all of our productions. In the past few months, we have been blessed that so many people have given to our GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/f/tower-productions). All of the donations go straight back to the company and our productions.

In March, we were three weeks out from putting our very first theatrical performance in front of an audience; Moonchildren by Michael Weller at the Complex Theatre. This is when COVID hit Los Angeles. With the whole city staying at home, we figured we would be able to get into the theatre in June at the latest. As you all know, that is not the case. We are still incredible hopefully that our audience will get to see this beautiful story come to life, even if it is in 2021.

In order to keep actors and audiences filled with art and hope during this trying time, we have been producing digital shows as a partner with the website cya.live; a new live-streaming platform. Digital shows are amazing for the time being, but technical difficulties are certainly not easy when you are not in the same room as your performers. We have an incredible team, so we’ve been able to push through! Even with our struggles, we are producing some incredible art with incredible artists, and that’s all we can really ask for.

Please tell us about The Tower Theatre Company.
The Tower Theatre Company is the new age of theatre. We are dedicated to telling the stories people want to ignore. We are a home for the outcasts, the weirdos, and anyone who is dedicated to healing the world through art. Tower was founded because as performers, we discovered that we were entering an industry that was holding on to too much of its not so friendly history. The same plays were being performed by the same people on a cycle. And we aim to break that. We produce plays no one has ever heard before, plays that tell stories that make people uncomfortable, and new works. The only way the industry is going to change is through people actively changing it. That is the mission of The Tower Theatre Company.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There are so many we need to thank. Everyone from the AMDA community. The team at cya.live. Any and all of our donors. All of our performers. Our friends and families for putting up with our crazy schedules and even crazier dreams. All of our audience members. And most importantly, each other. Having a partner on this journey makes it exceptionally easier.

Art is all about community and the people we thank are our community. They have offered time, money, talent, support, energy; everything we have needed to be successful. And they continue to do so.

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Image Credit:

The Complex Hollywood (The Complex Photo)

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