Pasadena Playhouse, The State Theater of California, offers a wide variety of educational and community events this winter and spring, beginning with a post- performance talk back with Alfred Molina and the cast of The Father, offering an inside-look at the cast’s process preparing for this production.
The Father, written by Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, comes to the Playhouse February 5 to March 1, 2020. The production stars Alfred Molina (Frieda, An Education, Enchanted April) in a tour-de-force performance in perhaps one of the most awarded plays of recent times on two continents – winning the 2014 Molière Award, and nominations for the Evening Standard Theatre Award, Olivier Award for Best New Play, and Tony Award for Best Play.
In conjunction with The Father, the Playhouse will also offer a free to the public event on Saturday, February 22 at 3:30 PM: In Conversation: Dr. Paul Stephen Aisen: A discussion of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and the current state of therapeutic research. Dr. Aisen, Director of the USC Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute in San Diego, will discuss issues raised by the play in the context of the neuroscience of dementia and research efforts to develop an effective treatment.
Dr. Aisen is the founding Director of the USC Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute (ATRI) in San Diego, an organization with the mission to accelerate the development of effective therapies for AD. Prior to joining the USC faculty, Dr. Aisen had been Professor of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) from 2007 through 2015. As Director of ATRI, he continues his work on the development, design, and implementation of multicenter trials, collaborating with academic groups and pharmaceutical companies.
ATRI is the Coordinating Center for many large studies, including the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), the A4 and LEARN studies, and the Trial-Ready Cohort for Preclinical/Prodromal AD (TRC-PAD). Most recently, Dr. Aisen, along with Drs. Reisa Sperling and Ron Petersen, was awarded the NIA Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Consortium (ACTC).
From March 27 through the 29th the Playhouse will offer a unique educational opportunity with The HERE Summit & Festival, a three day event that weaves together practices and creators working in immersive theater, mixed reality, game design, theme parks, and escape rooms. HERE is the follow-up to the Immersive Design Summit, started by Adventure Design Group, Epic Immersive, and No Proscenium.
The Summit’s speaker and instructor lineup includes guests from The Royal Shakespeare Company, Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Dreamscape VR, Meow Wolf, Witness, and producers and performers from the seminal immersive theatre works Sleep No More and Then She Fell. The Festival will include work from rising LA companies like Capital W and The Speakeasy Society, as well as visiting artists such as NYC’s Linked Dance Theatre.
April 3-5 marks the return of MACH 33: The Caltech?Pasadena Playhouse Festival of New Science-Driven Plays to the Playhouse. MACH 33 energizes the conversations about scientific, mathematical, and technological questions by staging readings of new, unpublished, unproduced plays. The readings are open to the public and present a discussion with Caltech/JPL scientific panelists after the show. The casts and crews feature professional actors and directors as well as students and members of the Caltech/JPL community. Festival playwrights have the unique opportunity to work with science advisors from Caltech and JPL and dramaturgs from the Pasadena Playhouse.
Since 2013, MACH 33 has helped develop exciting new science plays such as Two Degrees by Tira Palmquist, The Surest Poison by Kristin Idaszak, Tesla by Dan Duling, Theory of Nothing by Lolly Ward, Sizzle Sizzle Fly by Susan Bernfield, Out of Orbit by Jennifer Maisel, They Promised Her the Moon by Laurel Ollstein, and The Chisera by Paula Cizmar. Since 2007, Caltech Theater has helped develop new plays such as Mate: The Untouchable Bobby Fischer by Lolly Ward, God Particle Complex by Chris Bell and Josh Zeller, and the trilogy of plays by George Morgan Rocket Girl, Pasadena Babalon, and Capture the Sun.
In 2018, MACH 33 began a new collaboration with the Pasadena Playhouse and launched a new national call for plays. Brian Brophy – head of Caltech Theater – is the Artistic Director of Mach 33. Arden Thomas serves as the Associate Artistic Director and Literary Manager; Danny Feldman is the Producing Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse.
This year’s plays include: Burst by Rachel Bublitz and directed by Miranda Stewart, Human(E) by Desireé York and directed by Rhonda Kohl, and The Sunrise from the Moon by Hannah Manikowski and directed by Susan Dailian.
Pasadena Civic Ballet will present Aladdin, By Diane De Franco Browne, Tania Grafos and Zoe Vidalakis April 17-19. Join Pasadena Civic Ballet and the Nigel Lythgoe/Debbie Allen International Dance Festival for a magic carpet ride full of romance, comedy and enchantment. Follow Aladdin with a cast of 100 lavishly costumed dancers as he tries to win the love of his Arabian Princess and derail the plans of the wicked Grand Vizier. Spectacular animated sets, aerial artistry, a magical flying carpet and an alluring cast bring this fantastical tale to life.
Pasadena Civic Ballet (PCB) has been training children and adults in the art and discipline of dance for over 45 years. the Company is committed to presenting original productions to stimulate the development of its students and to enhance the artistic offerings available to our community. Artistic Directors Diane De France Browne, Tania Grafos, and Zoe Vidalakis bring over 60 years of dance training, choreography and performance experience to the school. PCB dance faculty has an acclaimed reputation with backgrounds ranging from American Ballet Theater, Joffery Ballet, New York City Ballet and Hungarian State Ballet. Its faculty members have collaborated with and performed works by George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Twyla Tharp, Martha Graham and Agnes De Mille. Pasadena Civic Ballet Company members have had the honor of performing with many acclaimed artistic organizations including LA Opera, the National Ballet of Spain, and the LA Phil. In addition, PCB has partnered with Kidspace Museum and local school districts in innovative programs integrating dance with science and curriculums.
PCB has developed ticket giveback programs to work with the community to raise funds for local schools. Participating schools have earned funding to support arts education with each ticket purchase. PCB is proud to support various schools and charitable organizations including PUSD, LAUSCD, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Door of Hope, Five Acres, Hillsides, Young & Healthy, Foothill Family Services, Cancer Support Community and ChapCare.
On April 20, Pasadena Playhouse is proud to participate in the 2020 6th annual National Jewish Theater Foundation Holocaust Theater International Initiative – Remembrance Readings with The Diary of Anne Frank – a reading by the JFed Players presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. Hosted by Pasadena Playhouse. This play reading commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day January 27th and the week of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) May 1-2 and honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Our collective goal is to keep alive their memories, stories, and must-never-be-forgotten lessons. May the power of live theater serve as a moral compass for future generations.
From May 16-23, the Playhouse will host Director Lab West 2020, an 8-day summer intensive for stage directors and choreographers produced by the Steering Committee, in association with Pasadena Playhouse.
Emerging from the Director’s Lab at Lincoln Center Theater, Directors Lab West is now in its 21st year and has grown to boast over 600 alumni across the world. Each year, between 40-50 emerging and mid-career 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.
Educational events offered this spring at the Playhouse will be rounded out by the USC New Works Festival 2020 from May 22-23. The thesis plays of the graduating MFA in Dramatic Writing cohort are presented as concert readings with professional actors and directors. NWF Year Three is a partnership with Pasadena Playhouse’s Playworks, a continuation of the theatre’s 100-year commitment to cultivating playwrights and original works. This year’s plays include Lena Passes By by Amanda L. Andrei and Nan by Noa Gardner.
The Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing (MFADW) is an intensive, intimate, mentor-based, practicing literary arts program for today’s dramatic writer. The MFADW, centrally housed in the School of Dramatic Arts at USC, an elite research university, is designed to mine the literary potential of the artist, and prepare the artist to engage meaningfully in global society and the profession
About the USC School of Dramatic Arts – The USC School of Dramatic Arts is a national leader in dramatic arts training, offering an unprecedented range of creative experiences on multiple platforms. Under the leadership of Dean David Bridel, the faculty and administration of the School have begun to reimagine and redefine what it means to train dramatic artists in the 21st Century without losing the rigorous foundational training that has been a hallmark of the School for over 70 years. This flexible and contemporary approach responds to today’s rapidly changing media climate and provides the versatile and cutting-edge skills essential to the contemporary actor, writer, stage manager and designer.
About The Pasadena Playhouse – The 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.
For more information on these events and all productions at Pasadena Playhouse visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.