Pasadena Playhouse's Executive Director Steps Down

by Naomi Crews
Print

Executive Director Elizabeth Doran of The Pasadena Playhouse will be step down to take a position with San Diego Theatres.

THE PASADENA PLAYHOUSE’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SET TO DEPART END OF APRIL 

ELIZABETH DORAN MOVES TO SAN DIEGO THEATRES

PASADENA, CA (March 12, 2015) – The Pasadena Playhouse announced today that Executive Director Elizabeth Doran will leave at the end of April for a position with San Diego Theatres, a non-profit public benefit corporation that manages the San Diego Civic Theatre and the Balboa Theatre.

The announcement was made by Board Chairman David DiCristofaro. "We are grateful for the many contributions Elizabeth has made in her nearly three years as our Executive Director, and we know she will be successful in her new position," said DiCristofaro. “Elizabeth has helped to position the theatre for success going forward. Under her leadership, The Playhouse has strengthened its operating model and improved its performance. Elizabeth was also instrumental in leading the recent capital project to replace the theatre’s seats and initiated work around our 2017 centennial celebration.”

Elizabeth Doran said, "The Pasadena Playhouse is a venerable institution and I am honored to have been a part of The Playhouse family and community. While the decision to leave was a difficult one, the opportunity offered to me as new President and CEO of San Diego Theatres, including the 3,000 seat Civic Theatre and the historic Balboa Theatre, was too great to pass up. My time at The Pasadena Playhouse will always be a highlight of my theatrical career. I’m proud of the success that I’ve helped lead over the last few years, including securing major new funding for nationally recognized community engagement and audience development initiatives. I leave with the confidence of knowing that the theatre is well positioned for many years to come.”

"Elizabeth has been a great asset to The Playhouse, and I have greatly valued our partnership and work together," said Artistic Director Sheldon Epps. "Our theatre has seen tremendous growth and success during the time that she has been with us and we are all so grateful for her incredible contributions to The Playhouse and the Los Angeles theatre community.”

In addition to the announcement of Doran's departure, DiCristofaro announced that senior staff members Joe Witt, General Manager/Production Manager, and Meredith Min, Director of Finance, will oversee The Pasadena Playhouse on an interim basis together with Epps.

Witt and Min, both key members of the senior staff will, together, spearhead strategic initiatives and planning, cultivate audience and community relations, supervise staff and develop and execute fundraising and marketing plans. In addition, they will guide and support the board in its initiatives and will work closely with Artistic Director Sheldon Epps to ensure the continued success of The Playhouse.

"I am pleased to have Meredith and Joe step into this shared role," said Epps. "They have each demonstrated that they are capable leaders. I know that they will work with me, the board, and our skilled staff to keep the theatre moving forward with ongoing success and sustained excellence in all areas. Because of their skill and expertise, I face this transition with great confidence and a sense of well being for all involved.”

Joe Witt joined the Playhouse in 2011 as the General Manager/Production Manager. Among his responsibilities, he negotiates contracts with actors and creative members, will continue to develop and maintain relationships with producing partners and oversee operations and human resources. Witt has extensive production and stage management credits on numerous Broadway, regional and touring productions. He has worked on the original productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Pee-wee Herman Show Live, Will Farrell's You're Welcome, America: A Final Night With George Bush to name a few. Witt earned both his Bachelor of Arts in Theater at Duke University and his MFA in Theater at Columbia University.

With a strong background in for-profit finance and strategy, Meredith Min oversees the financial activities, long-term planning and goals of The Pasadena Playhouse. Prior to joining The Playhouse, she led projects to increase earned income and garner greater exposure for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She has been a senior analyst at PepsiCo and at McKinsey & Company. Min has an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned her Bachelor of Science in Engineering, summa cum laude, from Duke University.

A search for a new Executive Director will begin immediately.

The Pasadena Playhouse began in 1917 and was recognized by the State Legislature as the State Theatre of California for bringing national and international renown to the state as a center for dramatic art in 1937.

A new era began when Sheldon Epps became Artistic Director in 1997. Production highlights include the launch of the national tour of Purlie (with the Goodman Theatre); Sister Act: The Musical, which played in the West End at the London Palladium Theatre and on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre (Five 2011 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical) and is currently on a national tour; and Baby, It’s You!, which played at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre (2011 Tony Award nominee). Other Broadway shows developed at The Pasadena Playhouse include A Night With Janis Joplin (2014 Tony Award nominee), Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Story, Can Can: The Musical, and Ray Charles Live. Stemming from ongoing programs, and building recent transformative funding initiatives led by Doran, The Pasadena Playhouse has increasingly been recognized as a national innovator in community engagement and audience development.