AVE 43 creator JUSTIN TANNER has been deemed “L.A.’s coolest, grooviest playwright” and “remarkably prolific” by the LA Times – and the “slacker auteur” of L.A. theater by Vanity Fair. He has written an epic number of acclaimed world-premiere productions including Oklahomo!, Wife Swappers, The Tent Show, Teen Girl, Bitter Women, Happytime Xmas, Coyote Woman, Heartbreak Help, Day Drinkers, the late-night cult phenomenon Zombie Attack! (co-written with Andy Daley), Space Therapy (Ovation Award nominee) and Pot Mom, which received L.A. Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly and Pen West Writing Awards — and was also given a staging at Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago starring one of Tanner’s most recognizable muses, Laurie Metcalf. In 2016, Steppenwolf revived another of his plays —Voice Lessons starring Metcalf and French Stewart, recreating their roles from the 2009 L.A. world premiere. Over the years, Tanner’s plays have been instrumental in launching the careers of many successful film and TV actors, including French Stewart and Mark Ruffalo. Tanner has also served as a staff writer and story editor on the hit television shows Gilmore Girls and My So Called Life as well as the short-lived cult favorite, Love Monkey.
Justin Tanner is also the mad mastermind behind the lurid low-budget comic web series AVE 43. He served as writer, producer, director, cameraman and editor. AVE 43 premiered on YouTube in 2009, and Tanner consistently conjured up new episodes over the following 10 years, making it one of the longest running web series in history. In the press, it was named one of “The 25 web TV shows you need to see” by The Guardian and called “Scandalously funny” by LA Weekly. The show is set in the L.A. hipster haven of Highland Park, and is virtually entirely shot in the Ave 43-adjacent home that Tanner shares with his boyfriend, artist-composer Kristian Hoffman (founder of NYC punk-rock legends The Mumps, and frequent music contributor to AVE 43). Rooms within their historic 1911 Craftsman home magically transform to serve as the myriad of locations populated by the many debauched residents of AVE 43.
The talented 40+ member ensemble of actors features well-known names like Todd Lowe (True Blood, Gilmore Girls), Dale Raoul (True Blood, Under the Dome), John Quale aka Prince Poppycock (America’s Got Talent), Mo Collins (Parks and Recreation, Mad TV), Constance Forslund (River’s Edge, The Way We Were), Sab Shimono (Hawaii Five-O, Jackie Chan Adventures) and a host of other instantly recognizable faces from film, television and the L.A. stage.
Plotlines on AVE 43 frequently revolve around sex, drugs, witchcraft, Satanism, split personalities, blackmail, murder, ghosts, space aliens, telekinesis, time portals to other dimensions, half-naked men…and one particularly naughty cat puppet. Yeah, it’s twisted.