Pasadena Playhouse Names New Executive Director

Elizabeth Doran previously served as managing director of Tim Robbins' theater company The Actors' Gang

The Pasadena Playhouse has named Elizabeth Doran as its new executive director, effective Sept. 17, and has renewed the contract of Artistic Director Sheldon Epps.

Doran, who has been managing director of Oscar-winning actor Tim Robbins' theater company, The Actors' Gang, since 2008. She will replace Charles Dillingham, former managing director of Center Theatre Group, who had been serving as interim executive director at the Playhouse.

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“I am inspired by the blend of tradition and innovation evident in The Playhouse
and in the greater Pasadena community,” Doran said in a statement.

Epps has served as artistic director at the Playhouse since 1997. He has directed several off-Broadway and Broadway productions, including 2011's "Baby It's You." He also conceived and staged the 1997 Duke Ellington musical, "Play On!," which received three Tony nominations. His numerous TV directing credits include "Friends," "Frasier," and "Girlfriends."

The Pasadena Playhouse was established in 1917 and was designated the State Theatre of California in 1937.  In 2010, the theater filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing $2.3 million in debt, and $102,000 in assets. It emerged from Chapter 11 eight months later.

On the slate for the playhouse this season is the Broadway-aimed "Sleepless in Seattle," a musical based on the 1993 Nora Ephron film of the same name, which starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Jeff Arch, who helped write the original screenplay, is writing the book of the musical, which will be directed by Lonny Price. It is set  to open in June 2013.