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.
Producing Artistic Director: Christian Lebano
Associate Artistic Director: Gary B. Lamb
Production Manager: Owen Lewis
Technical Director: Todd McCraw
Assistant Technical Director: John Dimitri
Production Stage Manager: Jeanne Marie Valleroy
Managing Coordinator: Berrie Tsang
Patron Services Manager: Mary Baville
Educational Programming Coordinator: Christa Backstrom
Volunteer Coordinator: Pamela Winters
Administrative Assistant: Paulene Calaway
Board of Directors
David Gordon, President
Louise Calaway, Treasurer
Vanessa Silberman, Secretary
Eileen Walker, Development Commitee Chair
Estelle Campbell, Grants Manager
Council of Advisors
Alison Eliel Kalmus
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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 has been a nonprofit organization since it was organized as Arcadia Community Theater and incorporated in the state of California on December 1, 1955. [Nonprofit status approval by IRS was determined in May 1957.] There was a name change to PlayBack Players of Arcadia soon thereafter and on March 5, 1992 the name was officially changed to The Sierra Madre Playhouse.
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.