If theater is given any thought by most visitors to our lights-camera-action city, it's an afterthought. That's a shame, because, pssst — those television and movie workhorse actors aren't always filming, and when they aren't, they tend to return to their first love, the stage. Rogue Machine regularly scoops up some of those venerable performers, usually with stunning results. With his portrayal of a grown man who engaged in a sexual relationship with a child in last year's Blackbird, Sam Anderson brought tears of (gasp) sympathy to our eyes. Even without the reliably excellent turns from silver-screen fixtures, that emotional intensity characterizes most of the work at Rogue Machine: After undertaking risky scripts, a precise directorial vision produces intricately layered performances, and nuanced production details are icing on the cake. Its spaces are intimate; you can almost feel the breath of the actors. Sometimes we don't even check to see what's playing on their stages — we just go. 5041 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City. (855) 585-5185, roguemachinetheatre.com.

—Rebecca Haithcoat

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