‘Finding Your Roots’ Films at The Ebell with Viola Davis

from Erika Newman, Theatre Business Coordinator

March 15, 2022

Find Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr

Finding Your Roots, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

A Hopi proverb says, “When the grandmothers speak, the earth will be healed.” Though many of us forget or do not have the privilege of knowing our ancestors, we recognize that through discovering them, we are able to connect and listen to their wisdom. Each year, new efforts are being made to discover our grandmothers, and their grandmothers, and their grandmothers, and so on.

One such effort is in the form of a documentary television series called Finding Your Roots. Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and his team search through documents, records, and DNA to help their guests reconnect with lost knowledge and discover surprising connections. After finding our hidden gem here in Los Angeles, production manager, Lauren Hom, was excited to bring this show to our beautiful Theatre.

Viola Davis, the subject of Finding Your Roots, filmed here at The Ebell

On Saturday, March 5, Lauren and her team walked on to our stage and waxed lyrical as to its beauty. With great care and attention to detail, they set up for the filming of their episode. Our staff assisted when needed to provide an excellent experience for the talent and crew.  Later in the day, actress Viola Davis graced our stage and learned of her own ancestral history. Behind the scenes, we were able to discover with her, learn about her upbringing, and understand her better.

From beginning to end, this experience was absolutely wonderful for all involved. Our beautiful building has such a rich history of its own, this production fit like a glove. We look forward to working with PBS more in the future as Finding Your Roots continues to discover the voices of our ancestors and how we all connect to one another.

The PBS edition of Finding Your Roots with Viola Davis will air early 2023.