Times Theater Writer

David G. Houk, head of the Pasadena Playhouse Associates, Thursday announced the rebirth of the Pasadena Playhouse with a production of Shaw's "Arms and the Man," April 19 to May 11.

It marks the first of several productions planned for the renovated Playhouse.

The announcement was made at an elaborate press conference held at the Playhouse that included such notable graduates as Dana Andrews, Earl Holliman, Jamie Farr, Buddy Ebsen, Robert Cummings and Tom Hatten.

A highlight was the handing over of a check for $1 million from Houk to Margaret Sedenquist, chairwoman of the nonprofit Pasadena Playhouse State Theatre of California Inc., for operations and productions at the theater.

Houk, who received a mandate from the city of Pasadena in 1981 to undertake this rehabilitation project, has donated the facade of the theater to Pasadena Heritage, a historical preservation group that will ensure its protection.

The Playhouse board has a 20-year free lease from Houk's Pasadena Playhouse Associates. "Arms and the Man" will be staged by Nikos Psacharopoulos, artistic director of the Williamstown Playhouse. His most recent credit is the staging of "The Glass Menagerie" with Joanne Woodward at New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre.

Jessica Myerson, formerly producer of San Francisco's improv group the Committee, is the new Playhouse's artistic director.

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