For Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins, who founded Actors’ Gang and serves as its artistic director, presenting plays that are relevant to our time is paramount for the company. To that end, the Culver City-based theater’s current offering is the U.S. premiere of “Oy,” a tale set in 1995 of two German-Jewish sisters, Selma (Mary Eileen O’Donnell), age 89, and Jenny (Jeanette Horn), age 86, who have accepted an invitation to visit Osnabrück, the town in Hanover, Germany, where they were raised and which they left as Hitler was consolidating his power. Because the sisters are among the dwindling number of survivors with recollections of the Nazi era, the town’s mayor has invited them to come to bear witness to that history for the younger generation.
The Actors' Gang, now in residence at the historic Ivy Substation in Culver City, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The substation, constructed in 1907 by the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad, looks more like a Spanish mission than an electric power facility, strangely appropriate for The Actors' Gang, which is both a theater troupe with a strong sense of mission and a longtime source of power plays and electric performances (and that's as far as I'm willing to stretch this metaphor).