The stars of Pasadena Stage company wants to find a permanent home, end vagabond life.

November 26, 1996

THERE WAS A TIME when supporters of the Pasadena Theatre Company in northern Anne Arundel County derived pleasure from the fact that some folks tended to confuse the small group with the world-famous Pasadena Playhouse in California. Now, there's a more valid reason for any mix-up.

Little by little, the 16-year-old group has solidified its reputation. Last May, it was one of two Maryland companies invited to perform at a regional One Act Festival at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania.

Now the non-profit theater company wants to end its vagabond life and is looking for a permanent home. Since 1985, the group has been performing at Baldwin Hall in Millersville. Before that, it used auditoriums at high schools and hospitals. But now it seems to have fallen in love with the old Pasadena Elementary School, an 8,000-square-foot building that currently warehouses surplus school desks and chairs.

"It would be a great location," says Sharon Steele, head of the group's home committee, of the 76-year-old building that sits on a 2.5-acre lot on Pasadena Road.

The former school building is just one possibility. Others include a former video store at Harundale Mall and space in the proposed Glen Burnie Town Center.

A permanent home is important for the Pasadena stage group's future. Performing in borrowed spaces means plenty of complications. For example, sets and lights must be disassembled after each performance. This often necessitates work by volunteers into the wee hours of the morning.

It is unlikely that the theater group will be able to acquire a permanent home soon, however, without a big helping hand. Such a benefactor could be the county government or the Anne Arundel Board of Education, either of which could supply space at nominal rent, or a private individual or a corporation.

"As long as we can afford it, we are not picky," says Al Chopey, the theater company's president.

Even though a decision on a new home does not seem imminent, it is good the theater company is seriously considering alternatives. This allows it time to focus on long-range needs -- and search for financing.

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