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  • Taming of the Shrew

    The mission statement of Queer Classics is to produce “Classic stories re-imagined through a queer lens: Art for the LGBTQ Community and its straight supporters.” The company’s entry into this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival is an adaptation of...
  • Merely Players

    Backstage comedies, which are typically valentines to the theater, have a long history of popularity. Community theatre was famously lampooned as far back as George Kelly’s The Torchbearers. With Merely Players, the Color and Light Theatre Ensemble up...
  • 7th Annual One-Man Show World Championships

    Interestingly, poking fun at the stereotypical over-sharing one-person show seems to be a recurring motif in Fringe shows. Even within one-person shows. ...
  • StandUpera

    Based on the title, I walked into the theater expecting the show to be about the vagaries of singing. And, while music plays a central role in Writer/Performer Erin Carere’s life, it is the totality of her life she is exploring in this one-woman odyss...
  • Stupid Songs

      From the moment the cast fills the stage in a parody of Fringe artists to the tune of “Hello” from Book of Mormon, you know you’re in good hands. Irreverent, incisive, and wickedly funny, these songs are anything but stupid. Nor, despite the ope...
  • Marry Me a Little

    In the early 1980’s, just before Craig Lucas transitioned from performer to playwright, he approached Stephen Sondheim about using some of the composer’s trunk songs in a new theatrical context. The result was Marry Me a Little. With his director, N...
  • Matilda the Musical

    The tour of Matilda has arrived at the Ahmanson Theatre with Roald Dahl’s quirky and often nightmarish darkness intact. Also discernible beneath the cartoon sets and costumes is Dahl’s understanding, shared with Dickens, of the vast and often scary ...
  • Enron

    After too long a hiatus, The Production Company is back in business with the local premiere of Lucy Prebble’s Enron. The play, which dramatizes the story behind the most egregious of the financial scandals of the 1990’s, could all too easily devolve...
  • Hydrogen Jukebox

    Did you hear the one about the celebrated composer and the influential poet who met in a local bookstore (they were Greenwich Village neighbors) and decided to work together? That is how both Philp Glass and Allen Ginsberg remember the origin of Hydroge...
  • Comedy of Error

    How has love and dating changed in the digital era? With information instantaneously at our fingertips and a longing for love in our hearts, sordid minds of all kinds will go to great lengths to find fulfillment. In the premiere production of Rene Schey...
  • The Idiot Box

    With The Idiot Box, playwright Michael Elyanow has found an intriguing and ambitious black comedy premise. Previous productions of the play have garnered laudatory reviews. But, judging from the current revival by Theatre 68, the play’s satire is disa...
  • The Idiot Box

    With The Idiot Box, playwright Michael Elyanow has found an intriguing and ambitious black comedy premise. Previous productions of the play have garnered laudatory reviews. But, judging from the current revival by Theatre 68, the play’s satire is disa...
  • Ariadne of Naxos

    It’s hardly surprising that the Pacific Opera Project (POP) would want to bring their uniquely cheeky perspective to Ariadne auf Naxos. Hugo von Hofmannstahl’s libretto offers a witty and satiric look at the never-ending battle between the ideals of...
  • Abigail/1702

    It’s impossible to write about Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Abigail/1702 without mentioning Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Though this is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it must be frustrating to have your play linked with and compared ...
  • Samsara

    Lauren Yee, the resident playwright at the lauded Chance Theater in Anaheim is having the West Coast debut of her topical 21st-century comedy, Samsara. Performed on the Chance's newly inaugurated Bette Aitken stage, Samsara addresses modern-day issues o...
  • A Small Fire

    With A Small Fire, playwright Adam Bock has created a tightly constructed, realistic drama of great poignancy about a catastrophic illness. He has also slyly subverted nearly every expectation a savvy audience member will project onto this scenario. Thi...
  • Row After Row

    In the Los Angeles premiere of Row After Row, playwright Jessica Dickey explores the specialized world of Civil War Re-enactors. Not the battle itself, but the “backstage” passions of the people who spend substantial money, time, and effort to achie...
  • Row After Row

    In the Los Angeles premiere of Row After Row, playwright Jessica Dickey explores the specialized world of Civil War Re-enactors. Not the battle itself, but the “backstage” passions of the people who spend substantial money, time, and effort to achie...
  • Lady in the Dark

    Historians generally point to the 1943 opening of Oklahoma! as the moment when the American Musical Theatre came of age. But two years earlier Moss Hart, Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin created a show that was adult, sophisticated and, within its unique str...
  • Uncanny Valley

    This is not your Chatty Cathy doll or your Roomba vacuum cleaner. This is bigger than that, bigger even than Siri. This is a full-man robot with feelings and senses and, even, OMG, a conscience (sort of). Meet Julian, a 21st Century creation of Claire,...

Spotlight

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.”

ABOUT ELLEN RICHARD

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.