Award-winning theater located in the heart of Sierra Madre
ABOUT SIERRA MADRE PLAYHOUSE:
Our Mission is to foster an appreciation of live performance in people of all ages and backgrounds by illuminating the diversity of the American experience.
Our Vision is to showcase the power of live theater to engage, connect and bring people together.
Artistic Director: Christian Lebano
Associate Artistic Director: C. Julian White
Managing Director: Estelle Campbell
Company Manager: Brett Moore
Educational Programming Coordinator: Christa Backstrom
Volunteer Coordinator: Diane Siegel
Board of Directors
David Gordon, President
Louise Calaway, Treasurer
Vanessa Silberman, Secretary
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The Sierra Madre Playhouse has evolved from a theatrical heritage that stretches back to the days when the Sierra Madre was just a tiny village. Residents presented dramas and musicals as early as the 1880s in their homes, in the Town Hall, and in the Woman's Club.
In 1923, the structure presently housing the Sierra Madre Playhouse was built and was known as the “Wistaria Theater" (Sierra Madre is home to the largest wistaria vine in the world) until 1929 when it became the “Sierra Madre Theater.” During the ensuing years, the theater served as the focal point for the city's family entertainment options, whether as a movie house, an arcade, or most recently, a theatre.
When Charles Andrese and Cheryl Pertile founded a new Arcadia theatrical operation in 1980, it was initially called the "Playback Players" to reflect their intention to specialize in some of the older, classic plays. When they moved to the present location later that year, their premiere Sierra Madre production was "Moby Dick-Rehearsed," written by Orson Welles. Since this was hardly an "old classic," the group renamed itself the "Sierra Madre Playhouse." Soon, Stan Zalas came to the Playhouse as artistic director. He and Andrese, who became general manager, built a solid reputation for providing quality, family-friendly entertainment.
To support the theater, a small group of dedicated local citizens spearheaded a campaign in 1995 to assist the Playhouse, with George Enyedi and Lee and Barbara Cline playing lead roles. The Playhouse reorganized and became a nonprofit organization as it remains to this day.
In 2014, Christian Lebano became the Artistic Director of Sierra Madre Playhouse, embarking the theater on an exciting new chapter with a focus on theater by American playwrights and launching the Theater for Young Audiences program.
Under Lebano's tenure, the Sierra Madre Playhouse has become a critically-acclaimed presenter of American theater and has been recognized with Ovation Awards, NAACP Awards, and foundation grants.