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From the mid-1970’s through the early 1980’s composer Philip Glass wrote three “portrait operas” which revolutionized conventional operatic production. Einstein on the Beach, created with director Robert Wilson, was the first as well as the most influential of the three.

Einstein’s success was followed by Satyagraha, focused on Gandhi, and Akhnaten which presented scenes from the life of the extraordinary Pharaoh who renounced the gods of Egypt and introduced monotheism.


King of the Road: The Roger Miller Story

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Roger Miller was an American original. A gift for catchy melodies and singularly quirky lyrics lifted him from a hardscrabble childhood picking cotton to a television show on NBC in the mid-1960’s. His offhand wit was genial and always surprising. But the laughs were a shield. His professional life was marred by his lack of discipline and substance abuse, while his personal life remained haphazard until he married his third wife.


33 Variations

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Founder and Artistic Director of the Tectonic Theater Project, Moises Kaufman is best known for co-writing the award-winning The Laramie Project with other members of the company. His play Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde also garnered critical acclaim. Actors Co-op's current offering, 33 Variations, is equally lauded with Tony and Emmy nominations, and it secures his reputation as an significant contemporary playwright.

Dr. Katherine Brandt (Nan McNamara) is a musicologist interested in discovering why Ludwig von Beethoven wrote 33 variations of a minor waltz by his music publisher, Anton Diabelli (Stephen Rockwell). She is afflicted with ALS (commonly, Lou Gehrig's disease), and against the wishes of her daughter, Clara (Greyson Chadwick), she travels to Bonn to explore his notes and diaries for clues. She is singularly bloodless in her relationship with her daughter, disdaining her lack of ambition, "You'll always be mediocre at everything."


Stockholm Presents a Troubling Portrait of Obsessive Love

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British playwright Bryony Lavery continues a long line of playwrights since Pinter who can present specific case studies while at the same time exposing universal, social maladies. In her 2008 play, Stockholm, she gifts us with an attractive and  vivacious young couple (Kimblerly Alexander and Jamie Wollrab), who seem to have everything. They express their satisfaction with life in dressing their apartment with the very best of Ikea’s wares, even anticipating their visit to Stockholm by learning Swedish.


1776 Gives a Stirring Re-Telling- One View

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It’s not Hamilton — its music and lyrics (by Sherman Edwards) and the book (by Peter Stone) are much more in the tradition of other standard American musicals than is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s rap-infused story of the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury. Nevertheless, 1776 was the recipient of many critical kudos when it premiered on Broadway in 1969. The show ran for 1,217 performances —earning five Tony Awards, including the coveted award for Best Musical.


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Laguna Playhouse Announces Ellen Richard as its Interim Executive Director

May 3, 2016…Laguna Beach, Calif…Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors announced today that, later this month, Ellen Richard will be joining Laguna Playhouse as its Interim Executive Director. The Playhouse announced late last year that it was undertaking a national search guided by Arts Consulting Group (ACG) for an Executive Director to succeed Karen Wood who had held this position for the past eight years.

Commenting on the appointment Joe Hanauer and Paul Singarella, Co-Chairmens of the Board of Directors, said “In the midst of our search we encountered this wonderful opportunity to engage Ellen while we continue to seek appropriate long-term leadership. To have found someone with the extraordinary qualifications that Ellen has is thrilling. She is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company where she was Managing Director. Ellen also has strong successes in supervising the construction of theatres in New York and also in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theater, a rare and valuable skill set considering the contemplated major remodel and expansion of the Laguna Playhouse.” Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham adds, “We are pleased and proud to have Ellen Richard, truly a rock-star in our field, join us as our interim Executive Director who will help guide the Playhouse during this transition.” Comments Ellen Richard, “I have quickly grown fond of Laguna Beach and the Playhouse. I embrace this extraordinary opportunity to join one of the country’s top regional theatres at this time in its remarkable 95-year history. I look forward to helping the Playhouse and working with their incredible Board of Trustees and Ann E. Wareham.”


Ellen Richard served as Executive Director of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco from 2010 through 2015.  During her tenure, Ms. Richard negotiated a deal to buy the Strand Theater in tech corridor of Mid-Market San Francisco, helped raise the $34,000 million to renovate and operate it and steered the design and construction for the project which opened in May of 2015. The complex featured two performance spaces and has won multiple awards.  She opened the 50 seat Costume Shop Theater, a 49-seat “black box” venue used for the company’s Master of Fine Arts students and for shows by other local companies.  Ms. Richard was also credited with expanding the company’s educational efforts, coming up with programs like the San Francisco Semester, which brings undergraduate acting students to ACT from around the world, and Stage Coach, a community theater mobile unit that reaches into diverse neighborhoods

She was also Executive Director of The Second Stage Theatre in New York City. During her tenure at Second Stage, which began in 2006 (through 2009), she was responsible for the purchase contract of the Helen Hayes Theatre, growth in subscription income of 48 percent, and growth in individual giving of 75 percent, as well as conceptualization of a highly successful gala format and “Second Generation,” a giving program through which donors enable deserving New York City youth to experience live theater. Under Ms. Richard’s leadership, Second Stage provided the initial home for the Broadway productions Everyday Rapture, Next to Normal, and The Little Dog Laughed.

From 1983 to 2005, Ms. Richard enjoyed a rich and varied career with Roundabout Theatre Company. The Roundabout that Ms. Richard joined was a small nonprofit theater company in bankruptcy. By the time she departed as Managing Director, Roundabout had become one of the country’s largest and most successful theater companies of its kind, with net assets in excess of $67 million dollars. Ms. Richard is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer, for Roundabout productions of Cabaret (1998), A View from the Bridge (1998), Side Man (1999), Nine (2003), Assassins (2004), and Glengarry Glen Ross (2005). As producer of more than 125 shows at Roundabout, she had direct supervision of all management and marketing functions. She created Roundabout’s “Theatre-PLUS” programs, which include singles, teachers, family, gay and lesbian, wine tasting, and the 7 p.m. “Early Curtain” series, all of which grew to represent more than 10 percent of Roundabout’s 40,000 subscribers.

As director of design and construction at Roundabout, Ms. Richard was responsible for more than $50 million of theater construction for 11 projects. She conceptualized the three permanent Roundabout stages — The Broadway venues of Studio 54 and the American Airlines Theatre, and the Off-Broadway venue The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre She directed the location search for Cabaret and oversaw the creation of the production’s environmental Kit Kat Klub. Prior to her tenure at Roundabout, Ms. Richard served as business manager of Westport Country Playhouse, theater manager for Stamford Center for the Arts, and business manager for Atlas Scenic Studio. She began her career working as a stagehand, sound designer, and scenic artist assistant.