An Youth Theatre adaptation of Lois Lowry’s “The Giver" opens 10 a.m. Friday at the Laguna Playhouse. It is followed by performances at 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 and 5 p.m. onSaturday. Tickets cost $12.50. (Coastline Pilot / February 16, 2012)

Pearson now full-time at Playhouse

Laguna Beach City Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson is now a full-time staffer at the Laguna Playhouse, where she previously did consulting work as a marketing and public relations expert.

On Feb. 6, the Playhouse announced it had named the former three-time mayor as its director of development.

As she is still serving on the council, Pearson will have to recuse herself from voting on any council matters relating to the Playhouse, officials said in a news release.

"My company, ADworx, will now be defunct since I'm now going to work as a director of development for the playhouse," Pearson said in a voicemail response to a reporter's questions, referring to her Laguna-based marketing, advertising and P.R. firm. Laguna Playhouse was listed online as an ADworx' client.

Playhouse Executive Director Karen Wood told the Coastline Pilot that Pearson has already started to play a key leadership role at the 90-year-old Laguna institution.

"She's just a delight to partner with," Wood said. "She's innovative, inventive, thoughtful .... The board of directors and I are just very excited about the opportunity to have Elizabeth in this leadership role."

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Playhouse gets grant money

The Laguna Beach Community Foundation has granted the Laguna Playhouse $5,000 to help with its capacity building and capital projects, Playhouse officials announced in a news release.

The foundation's mission is to support philanthropy in the Laguna area through charitable groups and local individuals.

"We are honored to receive this community-driven grant and offer heartfelt thanks for the Foundation's continued support of the Playhouse and our efforts in building community and enriching lives through shared cultural experiences," Karen Wood, the playhouse's executive director, said in a prepared statement.

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Youth production opens Friday

Meanwhile, the Playhouse's Youth Theatre this weekend will present its adaptation of "The Giver," the Newbery Medal award-winning children's book by Lois Lowry about a dystopian society.

The first performance will be at 10 a.m. Friday, followed by performances at 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday. This production will be followed by the Youth Theatre productions of two classic fairy tales, "Hansel and Gretel" and"Cinderella,"which will play from Feb. 24 till March 4.

Tickets for "The Giver," which runs an hour and 10 minutes, cost $12.50. To book tickets, call the Laguna Playhouse at (949) 497-ARTS (2787) ext. 1. The Playhouse is at 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

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'Learning from John Lautner'

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Friends of Laguna Beach Architecture will present a repeat presentation of its popular program, "Learning from John Lautner."