If you're looking for a sure-fire retread of a recent New York–anointed stage hit or a comforting reboot of a canonical classic, do not drive out to Atwater Village and lay your money down at Echo Theater Company. Producing artistic director Chris Fields and managing artistic director Drew Dalzell didn't become the city's premier producers of dark and daring new work from emerging playwrights by playing short-odds favorites. Rather, they've perfected unerring early-warning artistic radar for identifying tomorrow's Theresa Rebeck or Stephen Adly Guirgis or Suzan-Lori Parks or Will Eno before they get too agented up and unaffordable for 99-seat economies. Echo's acumen for matching state-of-the-art writing with top-of-their-game actors has already resulted in acclaimed and ballsy world premieres by Matthew Benjamin & Logan Brown, Padraic Duffy , Gary Lennon , Mickey Birnbaum and Tommy Smith. This season they're readying another new play from Smith (writer of this year's acclaimed pedophilic-romance play Firemen) as well as from Houston-based comer Miki Johnson, and are promising more. —Bill Raden
3269 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village, 90039. (310) 307-3753, echotheatercompany.com.