The Mark Taper Forum

The Mark Taper Forum is a prestigious theater situated in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, California. This 739-seat venue, part of the Los Angeles Music Center complex, opened its doors in 1967. The theater carries the name of Mark Taper, a renowned real estate developer whose philanthropic contribution made the establishment of this creative space possible. Known colloquially as the "Taper," the venue is architecturally unique, designed in a striking circular fashion that offers impressive views from every seat and fosters an intimate ambiance.

The Taper is a leading player in the L.A. theater scene and serves as a cultural beacon, showcasing a broad spectrum of performances and offering a rich mix of plays, musicals, and staged readings. The Mark Taper Forum has a reputation for embracing diverse and innovative productions, many of which grapple with significant social and political themes. The theater's commitment to boundary-pushing works has earned it critical acclaim but has also seen many of its productions make the leap to Broadway, garnering numerous Tony awards in the process.

As part of the Center Theatre Group, alongside the Ahmanson Theatre and the Kirk Douglas Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum contributes significantly to L.A.'s vibrant theatrical life, offering compelling performances year-round.

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Why visit the Mark Taper Forum?

  1. Experience groundbreaking theater. The Taper is renowned for staging cutting-edge performances that push the boundaries of theater. These productions often tackle complex social and cultural issues, delivering a transformative and thought-provoking experience to audiences.
  2. Immerse yourself in high-quality performances. Every aspect of the productions at the Mark Taper Forum, from the intricately designed sets to the powerful performances, exhibits unparalleled professionalism. The theater regularly hosts distinguished actors, renowned directors, and esteemed playwrights.
  3. Step into the footprints of theatrical legends. The Mark Taper Forum has been the launching pad for numerous productions that have made theater history. Visiting the venue is like walking through the pages of a theatrical history book.
  4. Witness exceptional architecture and comfort. The circular design of the Mark Taper Forum guarantees excellent visibility from every seat. In addition to providing a comfortable viewing experience, the theater offers comprehensive accessibility services, including assisted listening devices and open captioning performances.
  5. Expand your knowledge. The Taper often organizes post-show talks and discussions, as well as special events that provide a behind-the-scenes look into the world of theater. These educational opportunities can offer valuable insights for theater enthusiasts, students, and anyone interested in the arts.
  6. Explore downtown Los Angeles. The theater's downtown location presents an excellent opportunity to explore the city's diverse cultural and culinary scenes before or after your theater visit. Attractions such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Broad contemporary art museum, and a variety of restaurants and shops are within proximity.

Best places to visit near the Mark Taper Forum

  • Los Angeles Music Center. Home to the Mark Taper Forum itself, the Music Center also hosts the Ahmanson Theatre, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, making it a great place for performing arts lovers.

  • Grand Park. Just steps from the Taper, this beautiful 12-acre park is perfect for picnics or relaxing in the middle of downtown Los Angeles.

  • The Broad. Located just a short walk away, this museum is home to an impressive collection of post-war and contemporary art.

  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Just across the street from The Broad, MOCA has an acclaimed collection of contemporary art.

  • Little Tokyo. Located just a short walk away from the Taper, this historic neighborhood showcases Japanese culture, food, and shopping.

  • Los Angeles Central Library. This beautiful library building is a historic landmark and also hosts rotating exhibits.

  • The Last Bookstore. This iconic independent bookstore is known for its creative use of books as decor.

  • Grand Central Market. This historic food hall features various vendors selling all sorts of delicious food.

  • Angel's Flight Railway. This fun, historic, and fully functioning funicular railway offers unique trips up and down the steep incline of Bunker Hill.
  • 1
    What are the most interesting and unique facts about the Mark Taper Forum?
    • Over the years, the Mark Taper Forum has staged numerous groundbreaking and award-winning plays, including Tony Kushner's Angels in America, which premiered there in 1992.

    • The Mark Taper Forum has five Tony Awards to its credit.

    • The Taper underwent a major renovation in 2007–2008 that not only improved the facilities and patron amenities but also increased the theater's commitment to environmental sustainability.
  • 2
    What is the dress code for the Mark Taper?
    As with most theaters, there is no specific dress code enforced. However, it's generally accepted that attendees should dress smart casual or business casual. You might see people in everything from jeans and a nice shirt to dresses or suits. It really depends on the production and the individual's personal comfort level.