Pasadena Playhouse – State Theatre of California – is celebrating its Centennial in partnership with the Playhouse District Association on Saturday, June 9 with an all day Playhouse Block Party from 12-noon to 10 p.m. on El Molino Avenue at Colorado Blvd., free to the public.
All of Southern California is invited to attend and participate – enjoying live music, performances, interactive exhibits, food, libations, guided tours, a kids’ zone, and much, much more. The Playhouse Block Party will be an all day event for all ages. Two outdoor stages– a Main Stage and a Kids’ Stage – will feature entertainment from community arts partners throughout the day.
Beginning at noon, families can enjoy activities in the Kids’ Zone centered around a stage erected in the Playhouse Courtyard. In late afternoon and early evening, the focus will shift to a “street party” feel with live music and bands, food, drink, and more fun.
Performances on the two stages already scheduled include Culture Clash (presenting Bordertown Now at the Playhouse May 30 – June 24), The Legendary Ice House Comedy Club, Bob Baker Marionettes, Nine O’Clock Players, Pasadena Civic Ballet, Ballet Folklorico, Makoto Taiko (drumming), PCDA (Professional Child Development Associates) Youth Choir, and School of Rock Pasadena.
Throughout the day, guests can experience interactive and immersive activity booths created by community partners and local art organizations. Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena Walking Tours, Pucklik Design Associates, Shumei Arts Council, Surrogate Gallery Projects, Rogue Artists Ensemble, USC Pacific Asia Museum, and Zona Rosa Caffe are confirmed for a range of activities. In addition, special guided tours of the Playhouse District and of the Playhouse itself will be available, including backstage access and production departments, rarely seen by the public.
Pasadena Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman said, “We wouldn’t be here today without the support of our community. Since our founding in 1917 we have been fortunate to be supported by the people of Southern California, a community that truly values the power of theater. For our Centennial celebration we wanted to throw a free party for thousands of people to say thank you.”
Playhouse District Association Executive Director Brian Wallace said, “Our partnership with Pasadena Playhouse reflects what is great about our community – the drive to promote the Playhouse District as Pasadena’s home for arts and culture. We are excited to welcome everyone to enjoy what’s great about this area and hope the event encourages many repeat visits to all of our great destinations here.”
About the Centennial of Pasadena Playhouse
Pasadena Playhouse, one of the most prolific theaters in American history with a legacy of profound theatrical impact and courageous new work, is celebrating its Centennial with this Block Party in partnership with the Playhouse District Association.
Three significant anniversaries are observed concurrently. The Centennial; the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Playhouse College of Theatre Arts; and the 80th year of the Playhouse’s designation as the official State Theatre of California. These milestones point to the importance of Pasadena Playhouse in the chronicles of American theater, with very few, if any, professional theatres in this country able to claim similar distinctions of history, impact and longevity. Such a powerful pedigree is now considered against the context of producing live theatre with the modern, digital era as the backdrop for a second century.
Pasadena Playhouse is one of the most prolific drama-producing organizations in the history of American theater, having commissioned over 550 new works, produced upwards of 1,200 shows, spearheaded over 500 world premieres, developed several shows that went on to Broadway, and welcomed more than one million audience members.
As a community center, it has been the recipient of well over a million hours of service by more than 12,000 volunteers. The well known Friends of the Pasadena Playhouse has been instrumental in the running of the theatre both backstage, front of house, and administratively. For more than thirty years, Pasadena Playhouse ran a famed and fully accredited college — more than 30,000 students received arts education and access programs.
In 2016, longtime artistic director Sheldon Epps ended his tenure. 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.
About the Playhouse District Association
The Playhouse District Association (PDA) carries out a mission to promote the economic vitality of the Playhouse District as the center of culture, commerce and community in the heart of Pasadena. Formed as a non-profit corporation in 1995 dedicated to marketing Pasadena’s Playhouse District, the PDA began managing a Property-Based Business Improvement District (PBID) in 2001. The PBID pools private dollars largely from property owner assessments in the 32-block Playhouse District area to fund enhanced activities and services. Governed by a quasi-public 11-member board of directors representing the district’s property owners, businesses and institutions, the PDA organizes its work into five program categories, each with a standing committee to guide and carry out activities and tasks focusing on a clean and engaging public realm, economic development, organizational resources, parking, and promotions / marketing.