About Us

The Pasadena Playhouse has a rich and vibrant history dating back to 1917, when an itinerant acting troupe by the name of the Gilmor Brown Players settled in Pasadena. After receiving enough funds from local donations, the company moved out of the derelict old burlesque house they had been renting, and into the newly constructed Pasadena Playhouse in 1924, originally known as the Pasadena Community Playhouse. Due to its rising success performing the entire canon of Shakespaere for the first time in America, California legislature voted to dedicate The Playhouse as the Official State Theater in 1937. During this time, the theater included a College of Theater Arts (known as "The Star Factory"), which produced such notables as Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Raymond Burr and Sally Struthers.

Now in its Centennial year, The Playhouse has reigned the 2nd oldest regional theater in the nation and continues to be a historic arts institution dedicated to diversity, excellence and fostering new work. The Playhouse has performed over 1,200 productions - 550 of which were New Commissions, 7 productions that were brought to Broadway and Off-Broadway and over 500 World Premieres.

The Playhouse Archives
A collection of history in the form of programs, photographs and written material from 1916 to the present is housed in The Pasadena Playhouse Archives, funded by The Pasadena Playhouse Alumni & Associates, and our generous donors.

Visitors are welcome. Come see the busy workshop where the “past is prologue.” For more information, please email archives@pasadenaplayhouse.org.