The Pasadena Playhouse announced today an updated direction for its signature new play development program, HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse.
Under the leadership of Associate Artistic Director Seema Sueko, the HOTHOUSE reading series will be devoted to advancing plays that authentically align with The Playhouse’s commitment to diversity. The focus will be on plays written by playwrights who are historically underrepresented in our field: women, playwrights of color, and playwrights with disabilities; or plays that, through content and/or casting, deliberately diversify the landscape of the theatre.
“As the field of nonprofit American theater struggles with issues of inclusion, access, community demand, and relevance, HOTHOUSE goals are to methodically make the theatrical botanical garden grow!” shared Sueko.
Launched in 2005, HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse provides playwrights and audience with a living lab where new scripts are rehearsed, read publicly, revised, rehearsed and read again. Co-creation through Sueko’s consensus organizing methodology, experimentation with and exploration of text, music and movement, and artistic bravery are embraced and encouraged through the HOTHOUSE process.
The HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse boasts a rich theatrical legacy. Many plays that started out at the HOTHOUSE have gone on to The Pasadena Playhouse Mainstage, as well as other regional theaters, the West End, and Broadway, including the current play “Above the Fold” by Bernard Weinraub, and “Sister Act, The Musical,” which was nominated for multiple Tony Awards. Previous HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse artists include writers Suzan-Lori Parks, Alan Menken, Matthew Lombardo, Charles Randolph-Wright and Carol Burnett; actors Beau Bridges, Sharon Lawrence, Robert Forster, Loretta Swit, Scott Lowell, Enrico Colantoni, Danny Pudi, Angela Bassett and Steven Dietz; and directors Art Manke, Sheldon Epps, Oz Scott, Jeremy Cohen, Kappy Kilburn, Alexis Chamow and David Lee.
“Seema and I have been taking a careful look at the artistic initiatives in a number of areas. I am very pleased that we have decided to proceed in this new direction with our HOTHOUSE play development program,” said Artistic Director Sheldon Epps. “We have been a leader in diversifying the field of American theater. This is a natural and deliberate extension and demonstration of our leadership in this area.”
Upcoming HOTHOUSE workshops include “Come Down in Time” by Philip W. Chung and directed by Jeff Liu, co-presented with East West Players, March 20 and 21 at 8:00 PM at The Vault, 60 Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101; “The Beat of My Heart” with book by Kate Gersten and music and lyrics by Cliff Downs and Katie Kahanovitz. May 13 and 14 at 8:00 PM at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre, 39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101; and MFA students’ work from GREENHOUSE at THE PLAYHOUSE in Partnership with University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts, April 29, 30, May 1 at 8:00 PM at Carrie Hamilton Theatre, 39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena CA, 91101.
HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse is supported in part by the Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project. Major support for HOTHOUSE is provided by Wells Fargo Bank, The Green Foundation, the City of Pasadena, The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The Lindemann Foundation, the Ann Peppers Foundation, Sharleen Cooper Cohen, and Nick Nichols.