Celebrating Over 80 Years of Accomplishment
at The Pasadena Playhouse


The Way It Was

Founded in 1917 and housed in the present building since May 1925, The Pasadena Playhouse has made an indelible mark on American theatre. During its first four decades, The Pasadena Playhouse produced hundreds of plays, presented 477 world premieres and was the first American theatre to present all 37 of Shakespeareís plays. Its College of Theatre Arts, known during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s as "Hollywoodís talent factory," launched the careers of countless playwrights, directors and actors such as William Holden, Gloria Stuart, Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman. The Pasadena Playhouse was declared The State Theatre of California by unanimous vote of the California Legislature in 1937. In 1969 the theatre closed and the beautiful building began to deteriorate. A decade later, the City of Pasadena, with a grant from the Economic Development Agency, began restoration leading to the grand reopening in 1986. Since that time, The Pasadena Playhouse has regained its stature as a leader in the theatre community and has proven to be a cultural, critical and financial success, attracting more the 1.5 million playgoers. The theatre hosts a year-round season of six plays, with over 300 performances given annually.

Over the last eleven years, more than 100 productions, including 28 world and 26 West Coast premieres, have been staged. Four productions have moved to Broadway (Mail, Accomplice, Solitary Confinement and The Twilight of the Golds); original cast albums of our productions have been produced and distributed world-wide (Heartbeats, Radio Gals and Sisterella); three plays have been made into feature films for television and/or theatrical release (The Boys Next Door, David's Mother and The Twilight of the Golds); and Sisterella toured Europe in 1997 and Australia in 1998 to capacity audiences. The national tour of our production of Steel Magnolias included a Presidential performance and cast visit to the Bush White House. The Pasadena Playhouse has received over 100 Los Angeles Drama-Logue Awards, 8 NAACP Awards, and 2 Los Angeles Ovation Awards.


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