Amid major organizational changes and a shift in its general direction, Sierra Madre Playhouse announces a new slate of shows to carry its programming into early 2015:
August 1- September 6, 2014: “6 Rms Riv Vu.” Written by Bob Randall. Directed by Sherrie Lofton. In this romantic comedy, a man and a woman, both married to others, face temptation while they compete for the rental of a Manhattan apartment.
September 26- November 8: “4000 Miles.” Written by Amy Herzog. Directed by Christian Lebano. 2013 Pulitzer Prize nominee. L.A. Premiere. After suffering a major loss while he was on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo seeks solace from his feisty 91 year-old grandmother Vera in her West Village apartment. Over the course of a single month, these unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder, and ultimately reach each other.
November 28- December 28: “A Little House Christmas.” Adapted by James DeVita from the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Directed by Emily Chase. The classic stories are adapted into a holiday treat about the true meaning of Christmas.
January 16 through February 28, 2015, at Student and Saturday matinees: “Einstein Is a Dummy.” Book and lyrics by Karen Zacarias. Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma. Directed by Mary Jo Duprey. As an adult, Albert Einstein changed our view of the universe. But as a boy, he struggled with the same issues any 12-year-old might—keeping up with violin lessons, impressing the girl next door and, oh yeah, comprehending the fundamental relationship of space and time to the speed of light, of course. As with last season’s “Battledrum,” the Playhouse is offering a musical entertainment that will appeal to an underserved youth audience as well as to its adult patrons, Running in repertory with
January 30 through February 28, 2015: “A Walk in the Woods.” Written by Lee Blessing. Directed by Geoffrey Wade. 1987 Pulitzer Prize nominee. In a pleasant woods on the outskirts of Geneva, two superpowers’ arms negotiators, a Russian and an American, meet informally after long frustrating hours at the bargaining table.
March 20- April 25: “The Odd Couple.” Written by Neil Simon. Directed by Alan Brooks. Hilarity ensues when a slob and a neat-freak become roommates in Tony® winner Neil Simon’s classic comedy.
May 8- June 28: “Always…Patsy Cline.” Written by Ted Swindley. Directed by Robert Marra. Patsy Cline sings 13 of her greatest hits and meets her number one fan. A rollicking good-time musical.
The new season has been assembled by a new management team, announced by the President of Sierra Madre Playhouse’s Board of Directors, Paul Van Dorpe:
“Our newly defined mission evolved naturally from the role the Playhouse has played in our foothill community since it was constructed in 1923. Our new Mission Statement says:
“The Sierra Madre Playhouse is dedicated to the American creative experience. It produces American plays and puts them into a historical context. It celebrates and produces music by emerging artists. It encourages and fosters an appreciation of live performance in people of all ages.
“The management team we trust to bring that Mission to life is comprised of Estelle Campbell as Managing Director, Ward Calaway as Director of Operations and Ben Womick as Technical Director. Finally, and most important for our newly minted mission is the appointment of Christian Lebano as our new Artistic Director – our first in nine years. Christian has been a familiar face on and off the Playhouse stage the past 3 years as the leading actor in To Kill a Mockingbird, Our Town, and God’s Man in Texas and the director of Driving Miss Daisy, Woman in Mind, and Battledrum. As Artistic Director he will be responsible for the overall artistic vision and quality of the theater through the selection of its season and the hiring of directors, designers, and other artists selected for each production. He will oversee both the Field Trip Series and the Sunday Music Series: Emerging Artists at the Playhouse which he created.
“What better place to celebrate the American experience but in the All-American small town of Sierra Madre. Our vision is to make the Playhouse a cultural center of the San Gabriel Valley with a programming mix of wonderful theater, exciting musical performances, and family fare all supported by dramaturgy and special events which put the work in context. We ask you to join us as the Playhouse continues to grow and change.”
Artistic Director Christian Lebano adds, “Every play in the season was written by American playwrights. We’re presenting three Los Angeles premieres, including two plays written by women, and two musicals, alongside popular favorites. We want to offer something for everyone in the community – so that everyone in Sierra Madre and the surrounding cities can claim the Playhouse as their own.” In an effort to ensure top-notch talent and high quality theater throughout the season, the directors have already been selected, in addition to many of the designers. “I’ve gotten really talented artists to sign on with us. Audiences are in for a wonderful ride,” says Lebano.
Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. There is free parking, with several dining establishments just steps from the Playhouse. Sierra Madre is just east of Pasadena
Tickets are available at www.sierramadreplayhouse.org or by calling 626.355.4318. New Five-show passes are available at a 20% discount on the single ticket price and are good for any five shows within a year of purchase (a $5 premium will be added for tickets to Always…Patsy Cline.) A Five Show pass for Adults is now $100 and $88 for Seniors.