Pasadena Theatre Company plans changes as 2nd decade ends

December 24, 1997|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

What's in a name? In the case of the Pasadena Theatre Company, not much logic, but great recognition for almost two decades of theatrical achievement.

The company, founded in 1978 by several Pasadena residents, performed in Pasadena at first, including the 1980 performance of "Flower Drum Song" at Chesapeake High School. The following year, the troupe was in Pasadena for "South Pacific" at Northeast High School and returned in 1982 for "How Green Was My Brownie."

In 1984, Pasadena Theatre Company moved to Baldwin Hall in Millersville, its home for the next 14 years.

The company has always been a regional independent theater group involved in the communities where it performed. At first, Pasadena co-produced yearly musicals with Northeast High School Thespians and St. Bernadette's Parish.

It did its own productions in Anne Arundel County schools, including Old Mill Senior High and Junior High, and Glen Burnie High. Over the years, the Anne Arundel County Cultural Arts Foundation has supported PTC, and more recently, funding has come from other groups, including the Maryland State Arts Council. Bringing live theater to new areas, PTC broadened its audiences by adding dramas and comedies to musicals.

Soon to start its 20th year, the Pasadena Theatre Company has just completed a run of "It's A Wonderful Life" -- its first Christmas show -- at the Community Center at Woods in Severna Park.

In 1998, PTC will move to Anne Arundel Community College's Pascal Center for the Performing Arts.

Whatever the name, the company should take pride in its just completed run of "It's a Wonderful Life." The former YMCA gym was transformed into a theater with lights and an adequate stage with attractive sets.

Pasadena set crew members Lynne Wilson, Dale Lacey, Al Chopey and Jennifer Alexander designed and constructed sets overnight. Don Becker, who in only his fourth acting role played the lead, George Bailey, confided that the most amazing talent belongs to the artists responsible for the set.

Production director and soon- to-be PTC president Sharon Steele hopes the Christmas show will become an annual Severna Park event, perhaps in the youth center, a converted church on the adjacent property, if it could be made available on Fridays, big nights for theater-goers.

Their 1998 season at Pascal Center will include: "Little Shop of Horrors" in spring; "Steel Magnolias" in summer; and "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" in fall 1998.

Steele, a guiding force of the company since its earliest days and owner of her own talent agency, hopes to find a vacant store at reasonable rent that can be converted into a permanent theater for the Pasadena Theatre Company. She invites suggestions at 410-969-5409, ext. 7 or at PTC's hotline 410-969-1801, or Website at http: //ubmail.ubalt.edu/mhayes/ptc.html.

Pub Date: 12/24/97

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