Playhouse Positives

by Ruby on March 1, 2010

I’m still working on fully switching into Webmaster/Blogger mode (and still handling my old workload until we hire a new me in the Promo department), and therefore I’ve been formatting e-mails all day rather than composing delectable blog posts. However: I am determined to blog weekly, no matter what I’m doing. Ideally every day once I’m caught up. So, for your reading pleasure, the (now slightly out-of-date) blog I wrote to get myself the job in the first place.


You may have heard around Pasadena or seen in the LA Times that the Pasadena Playhouse is closing. Camelot, their final show (incidentally based on The Once and Future King), ended last weekend mid run, leaving subscribers out of half the season they paid for. Debts and the failing economy finally took their toll, and despite a record season a few years ago, the Playhouse had to make the tough decision to cut costs and shut the doors.

For now.

According to their website, they’ve received a huge volume of condolences and offers of support, including a widespread interest in donating and helping out monetarily. Nothing is set up yet, but I’m sure if something does get started, Pasadena will know. It didn’t take long for the news of the closure to filter through, so I doubt efforts to save the theatre would be ignored (at least, my optimistic side hopes not), especially considering that people cared enough to go out of their way and pledge support.

Despite the obvious tragedy of losing one of the greatest, most landmark arts organizations in the city (heck, it has a whole district named after it!), I see a few positives.

1. It’s not necessarily gone for good. Everyone involved in the theater has made it pretty clear that the Pasadena Playhouse has made it through plenty of rough spots before, and they’re all optimistic that things will get sorted out. They’ll have as much time as they need to try and fix their money troubles, and if/when they DO re-open, I’m sure their loyal audience will return in droves.
2. They might be able to re-open debt free and stronger than ever. The current incarnation of the Playhouse opened with a huge debt on their plate, and they have been chipping away at it for years. Imagine what they could do if they didn’t have that debt (or at least not as much).
3. It draws attention to the plight of the arts and of independent businesses over the last few years. I mean, it’s terrible that we had to lose something so integrally Pasadena, but lots of people are talking about it. Word is out. In the last few years, the Playhouse dealt with smaller charitable donations and audience sizes, just like many other arts organizations and independent businesses. Hopefully Pasadenans will get it now: support your favorite things, or lose them.

I plan on remaining hopeful, and helping out if and when I can. Sounds like a lot of people share that view, including the people most involved in putting the Pasadena Playhouse back on its feet. So… good luck, Playhouse people!

There you have it! Hope it was good Monday reading, even if it’s old news. Things to look forward to in the coming weeks: Thoughts on genre, e-books, and dinner with J. S. Foer!

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    Congratulations, Playhouse!!
    07.08.10 at 9:49 am

    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    Ann Erdman 03.02.10 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks for posting this. Everyone needs a calming reality check!

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