Pasadena Playhouse executive director to depart for San Diego Theatres

Pasadena Playhouse executive director to depart for San Diego Theatres
Elizabeth Doran, the Pasadena Playhouse's executive director, will leave her position at the end of April. (Kareem Cervantes)

The Pasadena Playhouse announced Thursday that Executive Director Elizabeth Doran will leave the organization at the end of April to become president and chief executive of San Diego Theatres.

Until Doran's replacement is chosen, Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps will oversee the theater along with Joe Witt, general manager and production manager, and Meredith Min, director of finance.


An as-yet-unannounced executive search firm will launch a national hunt for a new executive director, board chairman David DiCristofaro said.

"Elizabeth has done a terrific job at the Playhouse in the almost three years that she has been here," DiCristofaro said. "In that time she has had a dramatic impact on helping us build up a strong operating staff as well as with instituting a number of important initiatives."

Primary among those initiatives, he said, were audience development, accelerated foundation giving, the renovation of the theater's seats and an increase in the number of nonsubscription shows to expand the regular usage of the facility.

DiCristofaro added that Doran was transparent about the opportunity presented to her by San Diego Theatres, which includes the 3,000-seat Civic Theatre and the historic Balboa Theatre.

"I'm sad to see her leave, but I know that this is the right opportunity for her and her family, and that's what's important," he said. "I'm equally confident that we will get someone as terrific as Elizabeth."

The ideal candidate for the job, DiCristofaro said, will be someone who can combine strong experience with the theater community at large with a good understanding of the Los Angeles region, as well as an ability to engage audiences and donors alike.

"My time at the Pasadena Playhouse will always be a highlight of my theatrical career," Doran said in the announcement. "I'm proud of the success that I've helped lead over the last few years, including securing major new funding for nationally recognized community engagement and audience development initiatives. I leave with the confidence of knowing that the theater is well positioned for many years to come."

DiCristofaro said the search for a new executive director will take four to six months.

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