SCR Picks Youth Director


South Coast Repertory has named a new director for its Young Conservatory, which offers acting classes and performance workshops for children.

Lisa Beth Allen, a theater educator at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, will take over for Craig Fleming as conservatory director at the end of January, SCR announced recently. Fleming will continue to teach at the conservatory.

Allen, a professional actor, will be the fourth director of the Young Conservatory since its founding in 1974. Lee Shallat headed it the first year; Dianne Doyle was director for 20 years, to 1995.

"The conservatory has been in a leadership transition since Dianne left," SCR producing artistic director David Emmes said. "Craig felt that he was tired of administrative responsibility."

With Allen's appointment, Emmes noted, the conservatory would also "make a decision soon" on whether there will be a youth production in the spring. "Right now we're in limbo about that," Emmes said.

The conservatory has had a tradition of producing plays. For the past two seasons, the Young Conservatory Players have staged one in the spring: "The Stinky Cheese Man" and "Mother Goose: On Trial."

"Even if there is not enough time to get a play on," Emmes said, "we'll definitely be giving public performances of the fourth-year students."

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