Pasadena Playhouse

The Pasadena Playhouse's 2011 season had the first full-fledged schedule since it exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010. (Bret Hartman / For The Times / July 26, 2013)

The Pasadena Playhouse ended its fiscal year 2011-12 in the red, but company leaders are maintaining a sunny outlook for 2012-13, citing strong box office results for two recent shows -- "Sleepless in Seattle" and "One Night with Janis Joplin."

The theater company reported a budgetary deficit of $433,900 for the 2011 fiscal year, which is the most recent period for which financial information is available. The season was the playhouse's first full-fledged schedule since it exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010.

Sheldon Epps, the artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse, said the deficit was due to expenses related to a change in management during that year. The company had hired Charles Dillingham, the former longtime managing director of Center Theatre Group, to serve as interim executive director starting in February 2012.

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Part of the expenses were related to the search for a permanent executive director, according to Epps. In September, the company announced that it had hired Elizabeth Doran, who previously served as managing director of The Actors' Gang.

The Pasadena Playhouse said it is projecting a surplus for fiscal 2012 thanks in large part to strong box-office results for "Sleepless" and "Joplin." The company said that "Sleepless" saw admissions of 18,233, while "Joplin" brought in 23,865.

The company's mainstage space has an audience capacity of close to 700 seats.

The company is forecasting a 56% jump in box-office revenue for the 2011-12 season.

"We're very proud of where the theater is right now," said Epps in a phone interview. He and Doran said that the company is looking to expand the company's mission to include more community-based activities as a way to stay engaged with audiences during periods when the mainstage is dark.

Epps said the company currently has a full-time staff of 25 individuals, plus part time box-office and technical personnel. 

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