The story that defined a generation has been reimagined as a groundbreaking musical. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1967, the hardened hearts and aching souls of Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade and their chosen...
La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new and next in the American theatre, from Tony Award-winning productions, to imaginative programs for young audiences, to interactive experiences outside our theatre walls. Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is currently led by Tony Award-winnig Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Debby Buchholz. The Playhouse is internationally renowned for the development of new plays and musicals, including mounting 105 world premieres, commissioning 60 new works, and sending 33 productions to Broadway – including the hit musicals COME FROM AWAY and JERSEY BOYS – garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.
Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, La Jolla Playhouse thrived as a summer stock retreat for such Hollywood luminaries as Vivian Vance, Groucho Marx and Eve Arden. After over a decade of performances featuring numerous greats from stage and film, the Playhouse went on hiatus from 1959 – 1982. While shuttered, a handful of dedicated supporters fought to keep the Playhouse alive, eventually working to revive it on the campus of UC San Diego in 1983.
Over the next three decades, La Jolla Playhouse rose to prominence as one of the most celebrated regional theatres in the country. Under the artistic leadership Des McAnuff (1983 – 1994; 2001 – 2007), the Playhouse developed dozens of new works, many of which transferred to Broadway, including Big River, The Who’s Tommy and Jersey Boys. In 1993, the Playhouse was awarded the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.
This period also saw the beginning of the Playhouse’s acclaimed Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour, in which a brand new, Playhouse-commissioned work brings the magic of theatre into San Diego schools. The Playhouse’s continued its commitment to developing new plays and musicals with the launch of its Page To Stage New Play Development Program, spawning the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife.
Led for the last decade by 2017 Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, the Playhouse has solidified its reputation of originating new work, producing a total of 105 world premieres and sending 33 productions to Broadway – including the currently-running hit musical Come From Away.
Deepening the Playhouse’s connection to the San Diego community, Christopher Ashley inaugurated the Resident Theatre Program in 2008, providing a temporary home each year for an up-and-coming theatre company. In 2011, he spearheaded the innovative Without Walls (WOW) series of site-inspired and immersive theatre. The Playhouse hosts a biennial WOW Festival featuring local and international artists in vibrant, interactive experiences that amplify the energy of the city.
From its signature play development initiatives to its intriguing and playful WOW programming, La Jolla Playhouse has become the place to see what’s next on the American theatre landscape.
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