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Meet Lennon Hobson and Jackson Kendall of BoomStick Theater

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lennon Hobson and Jackson Kendall.

Jackson Kendall and Lennon Hobson met working on Evil Dead the musical at their alma Mater, Loyola Marymount University, in 2012 under director Kevin Wetmore. The two continued to work together in both theater and film projects in Los Angeles following graduation and found themselves looking around at all the talented artists they had surrounding them and their work. Everything from the amount of writers wanting help producing their work for the first time, to actors and dancers wanting to mount productions for performance showcase, both Jackson and Lennon found themselves leaders in part of this growing artistic community.

They found themselves asking how they could best facilitate new works in Los Angeles and bring theater a new life in a town where film is the dominant medium. They wanted a place to be able to help satisfy the craving for new and unheard material that they’ve found a lot of Los Angeles has. Thus their mission statement of creating and housing new, lesser known, and cult works, was born. In 2018 Jackson and Lennon formed BoomStick Theater, drawing inspiration from the first musical production they worked on together, Evil Dead the Musical, named for Ash’s gun. They launched publicly in 2018, debuting their first season of productions last year in 2019. Their first season included a new works festival with spotlight on local play writes in their inagural Spotlight Series, as well as an appearance at the Hollywood Fringe festival, a world premier, and ending their season with “Toxic Avenger the Musical” at the Zephyr Theater last fall.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being a theater company, especially one in Los Angeles, has potential for a lot of hardships. So far the ride as company directors has been smoother than we anticipated but has not been without its speed bumps. Finding funding is always a dilemma for a theater company no matter how big the name. Finding funding for new works and local artists can be even harder, and we struggle to find the balance of fundraising to mounting productions. Fundraising is its own art form and we’re still learning that process. Our productions on the other hand have gone much smoother than we planned for. In Theater, there are always fires and everything is always down to the wire, Luckily our years of theater experience and production planning have led to successful even joyful tech weeks and fully produced shows. We attribute much of that smoothness to the teams we put together on every production. We have a company of about ten producers who do everything behind the scenes from stage management to set design that comes together no matter the timeline or scenario to make each production unique to BoomStick and professional in quality. We are incredibly lucky, as we have had an influx of talent both behind the scenes as producers and designers and on the stage performing new works who’ve wanted to work with us and support our mission. Nothing in theater happens with just one person and it is because we have a whole network of amazing movers and shakers behind us every step of the way.

Please tell us about BoomStick Theater.
BoomStick Theater provides unique, original, and diverse storytelling in theater for the Los Angeles community. We are dedicated to producing and giving a platform to original and lesser known works from the Los Angeles community. Boomstick is committed to diverse storytelling in all forms of theatrical expression. ​Currently, we’re making our name as a theatrical production company who facilitates the workshopping process. We allow new authors, directors, and creators whose voices need a home to have a platform to be heard. Our ability to co-produce and collaborate with other companies, individuals and venues set us apart from other theater companies at large.

Currently, we’re co-producing with another production company in Los Angeles, Accidental Jacket, who’s medium is mostly film, and they specialize in Movie Musicals. We’re working closely with their team to bring their script to life on the stage and it involves a lot of artistic collaboration as well as business collaboration. This is a new way to approaching Musical Theater in that it’s a simultaneous stage production as well as Accidental Jacket’s film production. We’re working together to bridge the gap between film and theater in Los Angeles wherein we have a staged musical that is also part of the process of a film production. BoomStick’s co-partnership with Accidental Jacket is marrying two production teams to develop a single vision and it’s been so exciting for Jackson and Lennon to be at the forefront of.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Hopefully, the Los Angeles theater scene will continue to grow and expand. We want to be a part of the theater boom happening in LA. Theater has been growing here in Los Angeles over the last decade and we’ve seen the potential of things such as the Hollywood Fringe festival come into its own. Our hope is that this trend continues over the next few years and that we are a part of the renaissance of theater in a town mostly known for film. There is so much exceptional talent in this city, and we want to utilize it.

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Image Credit:
Joy Tenenberg-Cook, Denise Leitner, Bryan Forrest

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