A Family Affair: The Whitmore Eclectic Theater Company

By Kat Kramer 

James Whitmore, Sr.

 The stars will come out this week for the opening night, red carpet premiere of Sam Shepard’s “True West” at the new Eclectic Lyric Theater. But the event is more than just an opening night; it is the launch of a Hot Theatre Company. 

When James Whitmore, Sr., passed away last year, he was putting the finishing touches on the Whitmore Eclectic Theater Company, his dream and legacy, now run by his award-winning TV director son James Whitmore, Jr., and granddaughter ceative director Aliah Whitmore. James Whitmore Jr. is the in-demand director of NCIS, The Good Wife and the new Hawaii 5-0 TV series. The Whitmore Eclectic has chosen Sam Shepard’s brilliant “True West” to launch the new theatre. The play touches on the classic American questions, “Who are you when all you want is to be somebody?” Shepard, one of the great journeymen and beat-poets of the post modern era, takes us right to the heart of the American family-where loss, alcoholism, fear and desire all live in close quarters. 

This production opens on Sept. 9th and will run until Oct. 3rd. The Whitmore Eclectic troupe was founded to honor the late James Whitmore’s artistic vision and commitment to public education. Many stage and screen stars are expected to participate in the show. The next production will be Orson Welles “Moby Dick. 

According to Aliah Whitmore, “the Whitmore Eclectic is a family-based production company that has been reared in the mulch of the entertainment industry, all of its glory and all its sorrow. So much of what Sam Shepard has written in “True West” reflects the personal experiences of the Whitmore family. The opportunity to produce this play is a chance to share ideas and emotions in which the company as a whole is deeply rooted.” 

To purchase tickets and for more information on season subscriptions, please visit www.whitmoreeclectic.com.

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