The Pasadena Playhouse To Honor Donors
With Exclusive Event on June 23 at 6:30pm
Featuring Directors from The Playhouse’s Upcoming
2014/15 Season Productions
PASADENA, CA (June XX, 2014) – The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Elizabeth Doran, Executive Director), celebrates their donors with an exclusive event in The Playhouse Courtyard on Monday, June 23 at 6:30pm. Directors and Creative Members from the upcoming 2014/15 Season Productions, including Sheldon Epps, Seema Sueko, Kris Lythgoe, Becky Lythgoe, and Jessica Kubzansky will speak about their respective productions. Food and wine will be provided by Roy’s Restaurant.
Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director, will be directing two productions during the upcoming season – Kiss Me, Kate, Cole Porter’s Broadway Musical masterpiece and the rarely-produced Two for the Seesaw by William Gibson. Kiss Me, Kate represents the iconic composer-lyricist Cole Porter at his very best and includes some of musical theatre’s most famous songs: “So in Love,” “Another Op’nin’ Another Show,” “Too Darn Hot,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” The book is by Bella and Samuel Spewack. **Need to add in something about Two for the SeeSaw
Seema Sueko, who joined the Pasadena Playhouse as Associate Artistic Director in January 2014 will be directing Stop Kiss by Diana Son. Originally produced Off-Broadway at the Public Theatre, Stop Kiss received the GLAAD Media Award for Best New York Production. The play tells the story of Sara and Callie, who are walking through New York City’s West Village very late at night, when they share their first kiss. This leads to a vicious attack by an angry bystander, in which Sara is horribly injured.
Kris and Becky Lythgoe of Lythgoe Family Productions will partner again with The Playhouse to present the annual Panto at The Playhouse featuring family-friendly music, a comedic twist andcontemporary music. The new season will include Sleeping Beauty, written by Kris and directed by Bonnie Lythgoe. A Panto is known for its interactive style and humor that appeals to fairytale fans of all ages. “Those who have never been to a panto will have a glorious introduction to the forum.” – Los Angeles Times.
Jessica Kubzansky, Co-Artistic Director at Theatre @ Boston Court, will direct Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. In this fresh interpretation of Pygmalion, first presented on stage in 1912, phonetics professor Henry Higgins bets that after he finishes transforming Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, her flawless speech and delicate façade will allow her to pass for a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party. This classic favorite perfectly skewers the rigid British class system and continues to serve as an insightful commentary on women’s independence.
Sheldon Epps has been Artistic Director of the renowned Pasadena Playhouse since 1997. Before beginning his tenure at The Playhouse, he served as Associate Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre for four years. He was also a co-founder of the off-Broadway theatre, The Production Company.
Mr. Epps has directed both plays and musicals at many of the country’s major theatres including the Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Guthrie, Playwrights Horizons, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, and the Goodman Theatre. He conceived the highly acclaimed musicals Play On! and Blues In the Night, which both received Tony Award nominations. He directed productions of both of those shows on Broadway, in London, and at theatres around the world.
Mr. Epps has also had a busy career as a television director, helming episodes of shows such as “Frasier,” “Friends,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Girlfriends” and many others. For more than a decade, he served as a member of the Executive Board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Mr. Epps received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for his efforts and accomplishments at The Pasadena Playhouse. Under his leadership, The Playhouse has earned distinction for productions of artistic excellence, critical and box office success, and highly praised theatrical diversity.
Seema Sueko joined The Pasadena Playhouse staff in January 2014 as Associate Artistic Director. For the past nine years, she served as the Executive Artistic Director of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, a community focused, socially conscious Equity theatre company she cofounded in San Diego. In addition to directing at Mo`olelo, Seema developed Mo`olelo’s greening initiative and consensus organizing methodologies. She led the company to its selection as the inaugural Resident Theatre Company at La Jolla Playhouse and to awards from the American Theatre Wing, the National Endowment for the Arts, Actors’ Equity Association, and the N.A.A.C.P. San Diego Branch, among others. Other directing and acting credits include The Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, San DiegoRepertory Theatre, and Native Voices at The Autry, among others. She was the recipient of the inaugural Leadership U[niversity] grant from Theatre Communications Group/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which took her to Arena Stage in 2013 as a Visiting Artistic Associate in mentorship with Molly Smith. She holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago.
Kris is President of Magic Pictures based in Los Angeles. TV credits includes ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ (FOX) ‘Corkscrewed’ (FOX) ‘Who Are You?’ (FOX), ‘On The Nose’ (TVG), ‘My Beautiful Game’ (FOX SPORTS), ‘A Snow White Christmas: Opening Night’ (OVATION). His first love is theatre and he has produced several musicals including FOOTLOOSE, THE WEDDING SINGER, CINDERELLA and SNOW WHITE. He encourages people to buy his APP Panto Storytime!!!!
Becky Baeling-Lythgoe began working with Magic Pictures Int in 2010, and Lythgoe Family Productions at it’s inception with their debut of “Cinderella” at The El Portal Theatre. Becky was a key proponent in forging the now yearly PANTO AT THE PLAYHOUSE with the historic Pasadena Playhouse, and she continues to work with other theatres in building long term theatre homes for LFP Pantos.
No stranger to the Theatre and British Panto, she is a BFA Musical Theatre graduate of The University of Michigan and also studied abroad at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. After performing regionally and Off-Broadway in NYC, she went on to executive produce her debut album on Universal Records, BECSTASY. The album garnered 2 number 1 Billboard Dance hits, Becky was named Artist of the Year at the IDMA awards, and her album was one of the top 5 Dance albums in Billboard Magazine for that year.
For Magic Pictures Int., she serves as VP of Development for their television department. Her TV credits in front of the camera include:Guest starring roles on “How I Met Your Mother”, “All Of Us” and “House MD”. Hosting “CD:USA” for DirecTV (in which time she had the privilege of interviewing and introducing 100’s of performers and bands from Kelly Clarkson to Mariah Carey, Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Jonas Brothers), “Stars in Danger” on FOX, serving as the entertainment/celebrity correspondent for Discovery Planet Green’s “G Word” program, producing and hosting the entertainment magazine show “Star! Weekly” on E! Scandinavia. and has been a guest commentator for Chelsea Lately!, Good Day LA, and in the UK for BBC 3 and Channel 4.
Jessica Kubzansky is the Co-Artistic Director for The Theatre @ Boston Court. She has directed Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real, Brecht/Hare’s Mother Courage (with Camille Saviola), and many world premieres: Jordan Harrison’s Futura, LauraSchellhardt’s Courting Vampires, Salamone/McIntyre’s Gulls (a musical adaptation of The Seagull), Mickey Birnbaum’s Bleed Rail, Carlos Murillo’s Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32, Jean-Claude Van Itallie’s Light, and Cody Henderson’s Cold/Tender. In addition to developing and directing agreat deal of new work, Kubzansky is also an award-winning director working in a wide variety of styles nationally at venues such as South Coast Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, The Geffen Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, The Aurora, and many others. Recently elsewhere: Hamlet with Leo Marks, Winter’s Tale (Theater 150), Mauritius (Pasadena Playhouse), The Glass Menagerie, Toys in the Attic, Heartbreak House (The Colony Theatre), world premieres of Julie Hébert’s Tree (EST/[Inside the Ford]), Bryan Davidson’s War Music (Geffen Playhouse), Bob Clyman’s Tranced (Laguna Playhouse), Salamone/McIntyre’s Moscow (Playwrights’ Arena/Chekhov Now, NYC), Tom Jacobson’s The Orange Grove (Playwrights’ Arena), plus Sheila Callaghan’s Kate Crackernuts (24th Street Theatre), Measure for Measure (A Noise Within), Two Gentleman of Verona (Illinois Shakespeare Festival) and many more. Kubzansky is the recipient of the LA Drama Critics Circle’s Margaret Harford Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatre.
For more information, visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
# # #