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  • Mamma Mia

    Sometimes all the elements are right in a theatrical venture, and the show takes on a life of its own. Such is the case with Mamma Mia, seemingly destined to continue its happy path with ABBA's songs taking center stage. Cleverly scripted by Catherine J...
  • Florencia en el Amazonas

    During a recent trip to the Denver area, I caught my first Opera Colorado production. The company performs in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, a jewel of a re-designed space. Though the capacity exceeds 2,000, the theatre feels intimate and comfortable. ...
  • The Legend of Robin Hood

    Initial references to the character Robin Hood are not found in historical documentation per se, but rather on the rolls of various English Justices from the 13th century. The legend of the able archer and swashbuckling swordsman known for “robbing fr...
  • Tortilla Curtain

    Not to be left out of the current trend in bringing novels to visual artistic life, San Diego Repertory Theatre birthed its world premiere, Tortilla Curtain,  adapted from T.C. Boyle’s 1995 novel and transformed by award-winning playwright Matthew Sp...
  • Easter Catechism

    What’s the difference between a religious fanatic and a faithful devotee? The former will stop short of nothing to convince another of his point of view, while the latter suggests ecclesiastical commitment but not necessarily stoicism or fire-and-br...
  • The Color Purple

    The Color Purple was written in 1982 by Alice Walker, as a novel. In 1985, it won accolades and awards as a Steven Spielberg directed film. In 2005, with the likes of Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey as producers, and a script adaptation by Marsha Norman ...
  • The Color Purple

    The Color Purple was written in 1982 by Alice Walker, as a novel. In 1985, it won accolades and awards as a Steven Spielberg directed film. In 2005, with the likes of Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey as producers, and a script adaptation by Marsha Norman ...
  • Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Announces Winners

    March 19, 2012…Los Angeles… The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle has announced the winners and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County theatre for the year 2011.  The 43rd Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards ceremon...
  • The Breasts of Tiresias and Tears of a Knife

    Surrealism is arguably one of the most significant and influential artistic movements of the 20th Century. Combining, as it does, Freudian theories of the unconscious, free association and dreams with a disarmingly prankish and anarchic spirit. But, exc...
  • A Few Good Men

    Most readers will associate the title with the 1992 film, in which a uniformed Jack Nicholson immortalized the line, “You can’t handle the truth!” But before it was a movie A Few Good Men was a stage play, written by Aaron Sorkin (who later adapt...
  • Charles Dillingham Joins Pasadena Playhouse

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  • Quills

    Doug Wright’s dank, dark drama, Quills, earned well deserved accolades when it premiered Off Broadway in 1995 – including a Village Voice Obie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting. Creepy and unnerving – in the ghoulish tradition of Fr...
  • Fruit Fly

    Though Leslie Jordan is a multiple award-winning actor (including a 2006 Emmy Award as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy for his embodiment of Beverly Leslie on the TV show Will and Grace), he’s one of those performers whose face is more familiar th...
  • Actors Co-op Renames Crossley Terrace Theatre

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  • Simon Boccanegra

    Verdi's Simon Boccanegra was less than rapturously received at its premiere and, though the strength of the composer's name guaranteed subsequent productions, the opera had to be counted as a disappointment. Late in life Verdi revisited Boccanegra, empl...
  • American Night: The Ballad of Juan Jose

    It’s a puzzle why Richard Montoya’s zany, irreverent and ultimately hopeful play is not titled “American Knight: The Ballad of Juan Jose,” for it is a quest tale, albeit a fantastical one similar to that of Don Quixote.  Developed by Culture ...
  • A Raisin in the Sun

    With its title taken from Langston Hughes’ poem A Dream Deferred, the late Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, made its Broadway debut in 1959.  Its plot is centered on one African-American family on Chicago’s Southside. As the stagi...

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.