Archived entries for Elizabeth Doran

Announcing: LA Stage Alliance Announces LA Stage Talks for 2013

MARCH 19 – AUGUST 6, 2013

LAStage TaglineLA STAGE Alliance has announced this year’s LA Stage Talks, a series of panel discussions moderated by LA STAGE Alliance CEO Terence McFarland, exploring various aspects of the creation of performing arts in the Southern California region. The premiere event, co-hosted by Southern California Public Radio KPCC, will take place on Tuesday, March 19 from 7:00—8:30pm, at the Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena. All events are free, but space is limited. RSVP is required at

The first subject to be explored is What Does Professionalism Mean in the American Theatre? This is the question asked by a new national research study conducted by Yale University. Michael Bateman of Yale University will present the findings of this new study and talk with leaders of the Los Angeles theatre community about its relevance to the L.A. landscape. Audience members will be encouraged to lend their thoughts to the discussion of what it means to be a professional, and how the concept of professionalism is evolving in the arts.

Speakers at the March 19 panel include Yale University researcher Michael Bateman along with a slate of L.A. theatre leaders, including Charles Dillingham (Past Managing Director, Center Theatre Group), Elizabeth Doran (Executive Director, Pasadena Playhouse; past Managing Director, Actor’s Gang), Jose Luis Valenzuela (Artistic Director, Latino Theatre Company), Debbie Devine (24th Street Theatre), and Jenny Byrd (Brimmer Street Theatre Company). The Crawford Family Forum is located at 474 S. Raymond Avenue in Pasadena.

The schedule of 2013 LA Stage Talks continues as follows: Artistic Philanthropy in Los Angeles: What Motivates Philanthropists to Support the Theatre? (Monday, April 22 at 7pm, co-hosted by Native Voices at the Autry, at the Autry Museum); Religion and the Arts: What Brings Them Together and Pulls Them Apart? (Monday, June 24 at 7pm), What Am I Hearing? The Aural Life of the Theatre (Monday, July 1 at 7pm, co-hosted by the Geffen Playhouse, at the Geffen); and Choreographic Transformation: Dancing Across Multiple Mediums (Tuesday, August 6 at 7pm, presented in partnership with the Dance Resource Center, and co-hosted by the L.A. County Arts Commission/Ford Theatres at [Inside] the Ford). Terence McFarland will moderate all discussions.

All LA Stage Talks will be livestreamed, and panelists will take questions from online viewers during the events. Information on how to view and how to ask questions will be posted on each event date at, where further information on the LA Stage Talks program is available now.

LA STAGE Alliance, a non-profit organization empowering artists and engaging audiences since 1975, is dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and support for the performing arts in Greater Los Angeles by strengthening the sector through community building, collaborative marketing, audience engagement, professional development, and advocacy.

LA STAGE Alliance programs are sponsored, in part, by Actors Equity Association, The Angell Foundation, Bakers Man Productions, California Arts Council, California Community Foundation, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, DatabaseWorks, DEW Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Entertainment Lighting Services (ELS), Goldstar, the James Irvine Foundation, Los Angeles County Supervisors through the LA County Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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Announcing: The Pasadena Playhouse Announces Full Casting and Creative Team for Intimate Apparel; Begins Nov. 6


Pasadena Playhouse LogoThe Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Elizabeth Doran, Executive Director) announced today the full casting and creative team for INTIMATE APPAREL. Single tickets are also now on sale. Written by Lynn Nottage (Pulitzer Prize-winner, Ruined) and directed by The Playhouse’s Sheldon Epps, performances will begin November 6 through December 2, with an official press opening on Sunday, November 11, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. at The Pasadena Playhouse.

“I am delighted by the casting that has come together for our production of Lynn’s beautiful creation,” said Sheldon Epps, Playhouse Artistic Director and director of INTIMATE APPAREL. “This play has such admirable diversity, beautiful poetry, and vivid characters. I am sure that this fine group of actors will play this music beautifully and give life and drama to these wonderful words.”

The full cast for INTIMATE APPAREL features (in alphabetical order):

  • Kristy Johnson (Jitney, The Good Negro) as “Mayme”
  • Dawnn Lewis (Dreamgirls, Sister Act-The Musical, “A Different World”) as “Mrs.
  • Angel Reda (Dangerous Beauty, Follies, Wicked) as “Mrs. Van Buren”
  • Adam J. Smith (“As the World Turns,” “Bounty Wars,”) as “Mr. Marks”
  • David St. Louis (“Third Watch,” Parade, Rent, Ruined) as “George”
  • Vanessa Williams (“Soul Food,” “Lincoln Heights,” “Melrose Place”) as “Esther”

In addition to director Sheldon Epps the creative team for INTIMATE APPAREL includes scenic design by John Iacovelli (The Playhouse’s Under My Skin, The Heiress, Art and Blues for an Alabama Sky), lighting design by Brian Gale (The Playhouse’s The Heiress), sound design by Steven Cahill (The Playhouse’s As Bees in Honey Drown) and costume design by Leah Piehl (The Playhouse’s The Heiress).

In INTIMATE APPAREL, The time is 1905 in New York City and Esther, a middle-aged, black seamstress, has learned to make ends meet by teaching herself to sew beautiful and delicate lingerie for her uptown and downtown clientele. After nearly two decades of loneliness and watching the younger and prettier girls come and go in the boarding house she rents from, Esther finds solace and possible romance in letters from George, a handsome, young Caribbean man working on the Panama Canal. Re-energized by his affectionate words, but hindered by illiteracy, Esther confides in two of her patrons, Mrs. Van Buren, a rich white socialite, and Mayme, a prostitute, to pen her letters back to George. Meanwhile, Esther’s heart also seems to lie with Mr. Marks, the Hasidic shopkeeper who relishes in sharing his exquisite finds of satins and silks and has also grown increasingly fond of Esther. But the impossibility of their match is obvious to them both, so Esther settles for a marriage to George. He subsequently manages to frivolously spend all of her life savings on whores and liquor – dashing all of Esther’s hopes of opening a beauty salon. Once again penniless and alone, Esther reluctantly returns to her sewing machine to refashion her dreams from the cloth of her life’s experiences.

INTIMATE APPAREL is the winner of the 2004 New York Drama Critics Circle Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play. Written by Lynn Nottage, Pulitzer Prize-winner for 2010’s Ruined, critical praise for INTIMATE APPAREL includes: “Nottage’s play has a delicacy and eloquence that seem absolutely right for the time she is depicting…New York has no richer play.” (NY Daily News); “…thoughtful, affecting…The play offers poignant commentary on an era when the cut and color of one’s dress – and of course, skin – determined whom one could and could not marry, sleep with, even talk to in public,” (Variety); “Ms. Nottage has done so much good historical research…I want Ms. Nottage to keep working with this form; we see it so little, and we need it so much.” (New York Times); “a near-perfect balance between content and execution…” (Associated Press).

INTIMATE APPAREL will play from November 6 – December 2, 2012 with the official press opening on Sunday, November 11, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Single show ticket prices for INTIMATE APPAREL range from $22.00 – $62.00, with Premium Seating available for $100.00. Service and theatre restoration fees apply to all purchases. Rush tickets are available for $20.00 one hour prior to the performance time and are subject to availability. Rush tickets must be purchased at The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office. Tickets are available by calling The Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529 or by visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday – Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance dates the Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available 24 hours online at Group Sales (8 or more) are available by calling 626-921-1161. For additional information visit

Full bios for the cast and creative team of INTIMATE APPAREL are available upon request.

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Announcing: The Pasadena Playhouse Leads 2012 NAACP Theatre Awards Nominations



Pasadena Playhouse LogoThe Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Elizabeth Doran, Executive Director) announced today that its productions of TWIST – AN AMERICAN MUSICAL (seven nominations) and BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY (five nominations, tied with CTG’s Fela!) are lead contenders for the 2012 NAACP Theatre Awards. The 2012 NAACP Theatre Awards ceremony will be held on November 5, 2012, at the Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood.

“It is quite an honor, and certainly most well deserved that the NAACP Theatre Awards committee is celebrating these two fine productions,” said Sheldon Epps, Playhouse Artistic Director and director of BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY. “This recognition reemphasizes The Playhouse’s on-going mission to bring diverse, compelling and entertaining theatre to our patrons and to our community.”

The Pasadena Playhouse’s 2012 NAACP Theatre Award nominations include:


  • Best Director of a Musical – Equity, Debbie Allen
  • Best Choreography – Equity, Debbie Allen
  • Best Costumes – Equity, E Sosa
  • Best Lead Female – Equity, Tamyra Gray
  • Best Lead Male – Equity, Alaman Diadhiou
  • Best Producer – Equity, TAM Producing Partners, Michelle Seward, Dror Soref, Willette
  • Klausner, Gary Goddard and Forbes Candish
  • Best Supporting Male – Equity, Cleavant Derricks


  • Best Director – Equity, Sheldon Epps
  • Best Ensemble Cast – Equity
  • Best Costumes – Equity, Karen Perry
  • Best Playwright – Equity, Pearl Cleage
  • Best Set Design – Equity, John Iacovelli

TWIST – AN AMERICAN MUSICAL is a timely adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic with a contemporary score, set in New Orleans on the eve of the Great Depression. TWIST tells the story of a young orphan boy born of a courageous white mother and an incredibly talented black father, who navigates the colorful and sometimes rough waters of street life and racial indifference in his quest to find his family and to find love. The score for TWIST features the musical pulse of New Orleans in the 1920’s and is highlighted by a tapestry of soaring ballads, hot jazz, blues, gospel and tap-infused dance numbers that will take audiences along this magical journey. TWIST – AN AMERICAN MUSICAL performed at The Pasadena Playhouse June 14 – July 17, 2011.

BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY unfolds in the summer of 1930 in Harlem, NY, just as the harsh realities of the Great Depression have devastated an ebullient decade of the Harlem renaissance. Disease and poverty have overshadowed the creative euphoria that permeated and fueled a surge of African American artists, writers and luminaries.
BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY introduces a rich cast of characters, scrambling to survive and make some sense of their overlapping personalities, politics and love lives: Angel is a struggling blues singer and nightclub performer who cannot find a job. Her friend Guy, a costume designer, is also out of work but dreams of being hired to design dresses for the famous African-American singer and dancer Josephine Baker. Their neighbor Delia, a social worker, is trying to organize a family planning clinic in Harlem. Their friend Sam, a doctor, works long hours delivering babies at the Harlem Hospital. And Leland, having recently moved to New York from Tuskegee sees in Angel a memory of lost love and a reminder of those “Alabama skies where the stars are so thick it’s bright as day.” BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY performed at The Pasadena Playhouse November 1 – 27, 2011.

The Pasadena Playhouse was established in 1917 and was designated the State Theatre of California for bringing national and international renown to the state as a center for dramatic art in 1937. Built on a tradition of innovation and excellence, The Pasadena Playhouse is committed to continue to be the premiere theatrical experience in Southern California showcasing the most exciting theatrical entertainment in the state and being an amazing forum for launching new work onto the national stage. Broadway productions that originated at The Pasadena Playhouse include: Sister Act, Baby It’s You!, Looped and Mail. Unchain My Heart, The Ray Charles Musical, which premiered at The Playhouse, is scheduled to open on Broadway in the 2012-13 Season. Looped has also recently announced a US Tour, starring Valerie Harper, beginning January 2013. The Pasadena Playhouse is the recipient of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Dramatic Theatre” and the Pasadena Star-News’ “San Gabriel Valley’s Best Live Theatre” 2012 Reader’s Choice Award. For more information on The Pasadena Playhouse visit

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