The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Charles Dillingham, Interim Executive Director) announced that its 2011 – 2012 season has concluded, with the closing performance of August Wilson's JITNEY.
The overwhelming success of The Playhouse's season was highlighted by two world premieres: Hershey Felder'S LINCOLN - AN AMERICAN STORY (a special presentation) and South Street; along with four hit revival productions: BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY, ART, THE HEIRESS and August Wilson's JITNEY.
Each and every production exceeded attendance forecasts for a season total of nearly 75,000 patrons. Total ticket sales for the season grossed over $2.2 million and single ticket sales exceeded goals by 35%. During this same period, its subscriber base increased by 20%. These financial successes continue into the upcoming season with subscriptions currently at nearly 25% over the 2011-2012 season. Towards the end of the 2011-2012 season The Playhouse launched a national search for a new executive director which should conclude this summer.
The talents behind the scenes and in the spotlight were also some of Broadway's and Hollywood's best and brightest, including The Playhouse's own Sheldon Epps directing the much-lauded blues for an ALABAMA SKY starring Robin Givens and Kadeem Hardison. Emmy Award-winner Bradley Whitford, Tony Award-winner Roger Bart and Academy Award nominee Michael O'Keefe along with art director David Lee (nine-time Emmy-winner, FRAISER). THE HEIRESS stars Richard Chamberlain, Heather Tom and Julia Duffy along with gorgeous scenic design by the acclaimed John Iacovelli. South Street stars Valerie Perri (EVITA) along with Playhouse alum Harrison White (SISTER ACT, Ray Charles LIVE!).
"I want to personally thank all of the gifted artists and our hard working staff members who have been a part of our just concluded season," said artistic director Sheldon Epps. "They have made this stunning success possible. And I am also grateful to the enthusiastic audiences who have filled our theatre and have received the work on our stage with tremendous energy, acclaim and numerous standing ovations throughout the season."
Charles Dillingham, interim executive director added, "This turnaround is indeed impressive, and it has been an enormous help attracting candidates for the permanent position of Executive Director. The board search committee is currently considering a number of very experienced managers, and hopes to be able to announce a selection within the next two months."
Nationally, The Pasadena Playhouse is represented on Broadway with the current production of Sister Act which will have run for over a year and a half when it closes next month and begins a US tour this fall. It was also recently announced that Looped, starring Valerie Harper, will begin a US national tour in 2013. Looped grew from a Hothouse at The Playhouse staged reading to the main stage in 2008 – it then was presented on Broadway in 2010. UNCHAIN MY HEART, The Ray Charles Musical, which premiered at The Playhouse, is scheduled to open on Broadway in the 2012-13 Season.
The Pasadena Playhouse was established in 1917 and was designated the State Theatre of California for bringing national and international renown to the state as a center for dramatic art in 1937. Built on a tradition of innovation and excellence, The Pasadena Playhouse is committed to continue to be the premiere theatrical experience in Southern California showcasing the most exciting theatrical entertainment in the state and being an amazing forum for launching new work onto the national stage. Additional Broadway productions that originated at The Pasadena Playhouse include BABY IT'S YOU! and MAIL.