Pasadena Playhouse Announces Winter/Spring Community and Learning Programming

Published : Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | 1:46 PM

Pasadena Playhouse, State Theatre of California, welcomes the community to its campus with a wide variety of programming and activities this winter and spring. In addition to the season productions of Ragtime: The Musical (February 5-March 3) and Tiny Beautiful Things (dates to be announced), the community and learning programs are designed to enrich the experience of theater for children, new and existing patrons, lifelong learners, theater professionals, community members, and more.

In Conversation: Race, Identity and Ragtime | Mondays, January 28 and February 11
Free but ticketed. Tickets available at

In February, Pasadena Playhouse brings Ragtime: The Musical back to Los Angeles more than two decades after its premiere at the Shubert Theatre. To further explore the themes at the core of Ragtime and to look at the real American experience in the 100+ years following the musical, In Conversation: Race, Identity, and Ragtime will be presented with two discussions: The Jewish Experience in America (January 28, 7 p.m.) and Till We Reach That Day: The Struggle for Justice in America (February 11, 7 p.m.). These talks are free to the public.

Mahjong at the Playhouse | Sunday, February 3 from 12noon to 4:00 pm
To celebrate Lunar New Year, Pasadena Playhouse is hosting a free Mahjong workshop at the Pasadena Playhouse courtyard. Developed in China, Mahjong is a tile-based game that has become very popular all over the world and online. This event is in partnership with the USC Pacific Asia Museum, Vroman’s, New School of cooking and Southern California Children Museum.

Playhouse Theater with Miss Janet | Saturdays, March 15-May 18
10 classes, $310 ($290 if booked by February 1)

Over these ten classes, children will engage in storytelling, improvisation and fun games and movement all designed to help them socialize, build confidence and share their own unique talents and imagination. Parents are invited to be the guests at the last class, a presentation that showcases favorite class moments.

Instructor Janet Fontaine has an extensive background working with children, acting on stage and as a drama teacher with the Discovery Onstage Summer Performing Arts Camp in Burbank; she was the middle school dance teacher/choreographer at the Wesley School for six years as well as assisting directing the 7th grade drama for 5 years. She has been working with children on both the stage and in the classroom sharing her knowledge of theatre games, acting and improv for many years.

Broadway Musicals by the Decade: A Closer Look with Adam Epstein
Monday evenings, March 18-June 10
12 Sessions, $299 ($249 for Members)

Broadway production Adam Epstein’s theatrical productions have received 46 Tony nominations and garnered 12 Tony Awards, one of which awarded to Adam himself as a producer of Hairspray in 2003. A popular lecturer at Pasadena Playhouse, this current course will take a close look at Broadway musicals of the past seventy years by focusing on key musicals beginning with Oklahoma! and Carousel, and continuing through My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Annie, Les Misérables, Rent, Hairspray, Wicked, Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen. The class will hone in on seminal moments in the musical theatre and examine their importance culturally, socially, and politically. The course is open to all those interested in a focused survey of the evolution of the American musical since World War II.

Epstein’s producing credits include Broadway productions of A View from a Bridge, The Crucible, Amadeus, The Wedding Singer and Cry-Baby. In the West End, both his productions of Amadeus and Hairspray earned multiple Olivier nominations and Hairspray was awarded a record 11 nominations, winning four, including Best Musical. An adjunct faculty member of NYU, (which is also his alma mater), Adam has also been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Columbia and the University of Miami. Adam recently graduated with his Master’s degree in American Studies from Brown University, and he is currently working in political journalism and media.

A reading of The Wall By Millard Lampell |Monday, April 29 at 8:00pm
National Jewish Theater Foundation Holocaust International Initiative Remembrance Readings
Reading by Jewish Federation of Greater San Gabriel & Pomona Valleys’ JFed Players
Tickets: $18 Non-Members/$10 Members. Tickets available at

Pasadena Playhouse is proud to participate in the 2019 5th annual National Jewish Theater Foundation Holocaust Theater International Initiative – Remembrance Readings with The Wall, by Millard Lampell, based on the novel by John Hersey. The Wall tells the story of the 1943 Warsaw uprising against the Nazis. This dramatic account is of how that resistance grew against frightful odds among ordinary people: selfish, greedy, fearful, cruel, and narrow, but also brave and courageous – and at the end the play is a celebration of the Jewish resistance to the Germans. The reading is directed by Cantor Judy Sofer and read by actors of the Jewish Federation’s JFed Players.

MACH 33: The Caltech–Pasadena Playhouse Festival of New Science-Driven Plays – May 9, 10, 11
Tickets not yet on sale. On sale date TBD

MACH 33: The Caltech–Pasadena Playhouse Festival of New Science-Driven Plays energizes the conversations about scientific, mathematical, and technological questions by staging readings of unpublished science-based plays from a national search. More than 100 plays have been submitted and the selections will be announced in the coming weeks.

Directors Lab West Professional Intensive (eight days May 25 to June 1)
Application period is Tuesday, January 15, 2019 through Friday, February 22, 2019.
No fee to apply or participate. Enrollment is available at

Emerging from the Director’s Lab at Lincoln Center Theater, Directors Lab West — bringing together dedicated emerging and mid-career theatre directors and choreographers with master artists for an eight-day long intensive — is now in its 20th year and has grown to over 600 alumni across the world.

Each year, between 40-50 directors and choreographers are selected for the intensive, which features workshops, panel discussions, rehearsals, investigations, performances with talkbacks, and much more. DLW is funded through the generous support of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Directors Lab West (DLW) enabling them to inspire each other to dream and create the future of American Theatre.

About Pasadena Playhouse

Pasadena Playhouse is a place where people have gathered for 100 years to experience bold and important theater. It is one of the most prolific theaters in American history with a legacy of profound theatrical impact and courageous new work. In 1937, the Playhouse was officially recognized as the State Theater of California for its contribution and commitment to the dramatic arts. Today it continues that tradition of excellence under the helm of producing artistic director Danny Feldman. Dedicated to enriching lives through theater, community programs and learning initiatives, Pasadena Playhouse is a living force in the community.

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