The Pasadena Playhouse Blog


World Premiere
A New Musical
May 29-June28, 2015
WATERFALL star Bie Sukrit took some time out of his rehearsal schedule to tell us about the journey of performing his first English musical.

Q: Tell us about your journey with this musical.

A: I have been singing for 8 years and was in a singing competition in Thailand called The Star. I did 3 musicals in Thailand and this is my first musical in English. This is my first time to work outside of Thailand, so everything is hard for me.

Q: How is the stage for you in Thailand different then the stage here?

A: In Thailand, I know the audience. I know how to make them happy, how to make them cry and how to make them laugh. But here in America, I am learning about humor from my friends of the cast and from my English teacher. I study everyday.

Q: Tell us about your character, Noppon.

A: In the start of the show he is around 23 years old and he wants to be an American. He is Thai and he decides to go to Japan where it is the most modern country in Asia in the 1930s. He meets Katherine who changes Noppon’s life. She makes Noppon appreciate everything– beauty, art, and Thai culture.

Bie Sukrit wants YOU to come see him in WATERFALL-American Version.

Tickets to WATERFALL are available at the Box Office, online or by calling 626-356-7529.


We believe the activity of theatre is a two-way street. Together, audience members and artists create a unique experience for each performance. To expand upon this symbiotic relationship between theatre and community, we’ve organized four post-show conversations surrounding our next production,WATERFALL.

Meet the Director, Composer and Writer of WATERFALL
Join us on Saturday, June 6, at 2:30 pm at the USC Pacific Asia Museum for a conversation with Tak Viravan, Richard Maltby, Jr., and David Shire, the creators of WATERFALL. The program is free for members of the USC Pacific Asia Museum and included with museum admission for all others, $10 general, $7 students and seniors. RSVP to the Museum Store (626) 449-2742, ext. 20 or

Talkback Tuesday, June 9, 2015
From THE KING AND I to WATERFALL: Asian and Asian American representation in American Musical Theatre. Panelists: Tak Viravan, Tim Dang, Richard Maltby, Jr., David Shire, and Dr. Wen-li Jen, and actors from the production.

Talkback Tuesday, June 16
From Origin to Opening: Making New Musicals. Panelists: Sheldon Epps, Elise Dewsberry, actors from the production, and others TBA.

Sunday, June 21 – Post-Show at The Playhouse
This talkback features the actors and artists of WATERFALL. Click here for more information.

Talkback Tuesday, June 23
From 1933 to 2015: Japan and Thailand Today. Panelists: Duncan Williams, actors from the production and others TBA. Click here for more information on Talkback Tuesdays.

The Georgia T. McClay Friendship Center
When you come to our production of WATERFALL, be sure to visit The Georgie T. McClay Friendship Center for an interactive exhibit about the show. More information is available here.

Photo Caption: (L-R) Bie Sukrit. Photo & Emily Padgett. Photo by: Joan Marcus.


This week’s Patron Spotlight is, Michael Oppenheim.

“The Pasadena Playhouse production of Pygmalion earlier this spring was one of the finest, most memorable productions of this masterpiece I have ever seen. Although I first met Eliza Dolittle and Professor Higgins—probably as most people have—as they sang (or spoke) the immortal songs of Lernerand Loewe, I soon discovered the characters’ even richer Shavian origins. My only disappointment is that the brevity of the run at The Playhouse made it possible for me to see Jessica Kubzansky’s brilliantly realized production only three times—with each viewing even better than the last. My resounding praise for all of the ‘cast and creatives’ and for everyone else behind the scenes is unreserved.”

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Shop Amazon for Pasadena Playhouse State Theatre!

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2015 – 2016 Season at The Pasadena Playhouse -
A Program for all Angelenos
The Playhouse has been developing a relationship with the Los Angeles community for nearly 100 years. The new season is no exception to this original approach, with pertinent, elegant and audacious musicals and plays.

For more info about the productions, please click here. If you would like to join The Pasadena Playhouse family, please subscribe today by calling 626-356-7529 or email

*Subscribers receive priority access to purchase, special seating availability and an exclusive discount. Please check our website for updated information on the single-ticket on-sale date.

GREENHOUSE at The Playhouse

May 26-May 30, 2015


Join us for readings of three new plays by the three graduating students from the MFA in Dramatic Writing program at University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts.

By Lena Ford
Directed by Nataki Garrett

Tuesday, May 26 at 8:00 PM
Friday, May 29 at 8:00 PM

Privatized prisons. Who gains the most when the government partners with institutions that capitalize on the lives of others?CHILD’S PLAY takes a realistic look at how privatized prisons affects families in America.

By Victoria Moy
Directed by Jessica Kubzansky

Wednesday, May 27, 8:00 PM
Saturday, May 30, 2:30 PM

A comedy about two sisters who ‘hatch’ a plan and take a gamble of their own to save their dysfunctional family from ruin when their father’s gambling debts bring a henchman to the door.

By Tylar Pendgraft
Directed by Seema Sueko
Thursday, May 28, 8:00 PM
Saturday, May 30, 8:00 PM

After Deborah volunteers her husband, Josh, for genetic alteration that will make him a better soldier, he is involved in a training accident that leaves another solider dead. As Deborah and Josh attempt to recover from this tragedy, she discovers she is unable to carry a child to term and turns to science to remedy the problem.


The Carrie Hamilton Theatre
at The Pasadena Playhouse

39 S. El Molino Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
2nd Floor

Click here for more information and to reserve your tickets.




บี้-สุกฤษฎิ์ ซ้อมผลงานการแสดงละครเพลง Waterfall A New Musical ก่อนเปิดม่านแสดงจริงปลายเดือน พ.ค. นี้ ใน L.A. ที่ Pasadena Playhouse (ภาพโดย เดทฤทธิ์ เงินเพชรทองคำ).  Thai superstar Bie Sukrit will make his American stage debut in Waterfall A New Musical at the Pasadena Playhouse. (Photo by Dejrit Ngoenphetthongkham)

โดย โอ๊ต เฉลิมพล ฤทธิชัย  (By Chaleampon Oates Ritthichai)

นฐานะแฟนละครบรอดเวย์อย่างเหนียวแน่น ความรู้สึกแรกที่ผมได้ยินข่าวว่า นักสร้างชื่อดังอย่าง คุณบอย ถกลเกียรติ วีรวรรณ พยายามเอา “ข้างหลังภาพ” มาทำเป็นภาษาอังกฤษเพื่อที่จะเล่นในนิวยอร์ค โดยให้ บี้ สุกฤษฏิ์ วิเศษแก้ว แสดงนำ
คือ มันจะเป็นไปได้ยังไงเนี่ย คนพูดนี่มันต้องใช้จินตนาการสูงมากทำให้นึกถึงชื่อหนังไทยโบราณๆอย่าง “แม่นาคบุกโตเกียว” หรือ “หนุมานพบเจ็ดยอดมนุษย์” เลยทีเดียว พูดง่ายๆคือเป็นเรื่องที่ยากมากๆที่จะเกิดขึ้น…



By Adam Hetrick, Robert Viagas
17 Apr 2015

Emily Padgett
Emily Padgett
Photo by Dirty Sugar

Emily Padgett, who played Daisy Hilton in the Broadway revival of Side Show, will lead the cast of of Waterfall, a new romantic musical set during the changing political landscape of Thailand in the 1930s, having its world premiere at Pasadena Playhouse in June. The production has Broadway in its sights…

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(Los Angeles Times)
By Mike Boehm contact the reporter

LA Phil, Pasadena Playhouse and La Jolla Playhouse land six-figure grants to grow their audiences

The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pasadena Playhouse and La Jolla Playhouse will get a collective boost of $1,425,000 for their efforts to mint new fans in the coming two years, and they’ve qualified for a second round of grants to carry the effort into 2019…

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More Info »


The Pasadena Playhouse Selected for Wallace Foundation Audience-Building Initiative


$460,000 Awarded to The Playhouse for Preliminary Audience Research Plus First Cycle of Work to

Develop Asian American and Pacific Islander Audiences in the Southern California Region


PASADENA, CA, April 15, 2015 – The Pasadena Playhouse has been selected for the New York-based Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability effort – a new, six-year, $52-million initiative aimed at developing practical insights into how exemplary performing arts organizations can successfully expand their audiences, the foundation announced today. The Playhouse will receive $460,000 for the first cycle of work plus additional support from the Wallace Foundation for preliminary audience research. As part of the Wallace initiative, The Pasadena Playhouse seeks to develop stronger ties to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders of the Southern California region through the production of main stage performances that resonate with these communities, and through the cultivation of meaningful relationships within each community.

“I am tremendously thrilled and honored to receive this generous grant from The Wallace Foundation for many personal and professional reasons. Expanding the scope of the programming, reaching new audiences and building stronger relationships with our community have all been at the center of our mission for many years,” said Sheldon Epps, artistic director of The Pasadena Playhouse. “This grant recognizes and celebrates our success and leadership in that vitally important endeavor. It will enable us to further extend this initiative to the API community in our immediate area and throughout Southern California, allowing this community to also think of The Pasadena Playhouse as their theatrical home.”

The Pasadena Playhouse was one of 26 arts organizations from around the country that were selected to be a part of the Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative and noted by the foundation for their artistic excellence. Each organization will design and implement programs to attract new audiences while retaining current ones, measuring whether and how this contributes to their overall financial sustainability. In addition to theater, the organizations represent a spectrum of artistic disciplines, from dance and opera companies to orchestras, and multidisciplinary arts institutions. The selected partners will receive financial and technical support from the foundation to develop, implement, analyze, and learn from their audience-building work. The evidence gathered from our work will be documented and analyzed by a Wallace-commissioned independent team of researchers, providing valuable insights, ideas, and information for the entire field.


“The arts are essential on both a personal level, providing us with experiences that open us to new perspectives, and on a community level, helping us to find common ground,” said Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation. “However, attracting and engaging new audiences is challenging for arts organizations because, even as the number of arts groups has grown, national rates of participation in the arts have declined, arts education has waned, and competition for ways to spend leisure time has increased. We are confident that the 26 organizations selected from a pool of more than 300 identified by leaders in the arts nationwide will provide new insights that will benefit the field at large, helping to bring the arts to a broader and more diverse group of people.”


The Pasadena Playhouse will receive grant support from Wallace to fund at least two “continuous learning cycles” of work. Over the course of four years, The Pasadena Playhouse will receive funds to conduct initial audience research into their target audiences, develop and implement a new audience-building program (first cycle), conduct additional audience research, study the results and then use the findings to adapt and implement a second cycle of programs. This grant covers preliminary audience research plus the first cycle of work. Next phases of work will be funded through subsequent grants.

“The Wallace Foundation is addressing the vitally important issue of audience building in a way that will help us learn from the knowledge that is gained. Our member theaters, as well as other performing arts organizations, are seeking reliable, evidence-based information on effective practices that can be adapted to the strengths of their organizations and needs of their own communities. The entire sector will benefit from this initiative,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of Theatre Communications Group.


About The Pasadena Playhouse


Founded in 1917, The Pasadena Playhouse is one of the first two original regional theatres in the nation. Its School of Theatrical Arts laid the footprints for later MFA programs, and in 1937 it was designated the State Theatre of California. The Playhouse is committed to engaging traditional and non-traditional theatergoers, empowering young people through student performances and arts education programs, and cultivating a diverse array of talented artists through new play development and main stage productions.


About The Wallace Foundation


Based in New York City, The Wallace Foundation is an independent national philanthropy dedicated to fostering improvements in learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and the vitality of the arts for everyone. It seeks to catalyze broad impact by supporting the development, testing, and sharing of new solutions and effective practices. At, the Foundation maintains an online library about what it has learned, including knowledge from its current efforts aimed at: strengthening education leadership to improve student achievement, helping selected cities make good afterschool programs available to more children, expanding arts learning opportunities for children and teens, providing high-quality  summer learning programs to disadvantaged children and enriching and expanding the school day in ways that benefit students, and helping arts organizations build their audiences.