The Electric Lodge, located in Venice Beach, California, is an experience unlike any other visitors have experienced before. This sustainable and community run, and centered performance venue gives just as much back to the community as it takes and that feeling permeates every event at the space.
The Lodge is the only full-service venue in Venice that focuses on both performing and theatrical arts and can be rented for performances or producing needs. Its main goal is to be an “incubator” for both the arts and the environment by combining performance art with civic engagement. The building itself is solar powered, as well as providing five EV charging stations. The goal is to eventually have zero carbon footprint, which is why the Lodge is such an advocate and vocal proponent of raising awareness of the issues surrounding what can be done to make positive change locally, nationally, and even internationally.
The Lodge is a multi-space performance center with a black box theatre which can be configured to seat either 80 or 97 people, as well as a 1100 square foot dance studio and a 400 square foot rehearsal classroom.
The first thing guests will notice when entering the building is the Lobby Art Exhibit. This rotating exhibit changes every six to eight weeks to feature another visual artist whose work focuses on personal growth as well as environmental sustainability. They also try to feature as many local artists as possible, like Ayane Gidada, whose exhibition on Ethiopian art was on display through August of 2017. For visitors who would like their own work considered for future display, there is a form on the website to fill out and staff will contact them with additional questions and information.
As the performances vary greatly, there is not much constant about what guests will see when they visit… which is part of the allure of the space. One frequent occurrence is a monthly offering called High Voltage, which coincides with another local First Friday event at Abbot Kinney. The program is hosted as well as curated by the Associate Arts Director. The name alludes to the electrifying performances that are put on during this program, which features innovative local performance artists doing what they do best. All shows start at 9pm on the First Friday of every month (with the exception of January and July) and there is a cost to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.
Another monthly occurrence at the Lodge is Max 10, so named as 10 performers are given no more than 10 minutes to do whatever performance best expresses who they are as artists. Minimal tech is allowed so the focus is on the artist! After the program, there is a reception held with a selection of affordable beers and wines which allows guests to speak to the performers. Again, this program is health monthly (with the exception of January and July) for a small cost and all performances start at 7:30pm. Check the website for more information.
When visiting, also keep an eye out for Artist Exchange times. While not scheduled, the Lodge allows performers who need performance space or want to work for show tickets to trade their unique gifts and talents.
In addition to the regular events held at the Electric Lodge, it also features a vast selection of workshops, programs, and other special events and performances.
The workshops encompass everything from basic acting skills to self-empowerment, using a collection of different theories and techniques. From the Acting Studio, which submerses actors into the raw intimacy of acting in the moment, to a workshop called Shakespeare Gymnasium which purports to run an almost boot camp-like environment for actors, there is a workshop for every interest and acting skill level.
They also feature a variety of more public classes, which seek to be affordable and help stretch the mind as well as the body and soul of the participant. These classes extend into the fitness realm with Zumba and Tae Kwon Do, as well as music classes, religious meet-ups, and even meditation. Check the calendar on the website for information about dates, times, and costs.
While there are no official dining options when visiting the Lodge, the center is home to a commercial kitchen that is modestly furnished where there will be occasional classes and demonstrations that guests can sample. Many of the performances also are finished up with light refreshments, like snacks and beverages. There are multiple dining options located close to the Lodge as well, some within walking distance.
Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA, 90291, Phone: 310-306-1854