Theater Company Seeks to Occupy Former Church

Pending approval of building permits by the state Coastal Commission, a professional theater company will have a permanent home in Malibu this fall, officials said.

The Malibu Stage Company, formed in 1990, has begun renovating a former Lutheran church at 29243 Pacific Coast Highway, said Charles Marowitz, the company's artistic director.

The 1950s building on Point Dume, which once housed Shepherd-by-the-Sea Lutheran Church, should be in operation by October. Lighting and acoustic tiles have been installed, Marowitz said, but seating cannot be constructed until the Coastal Commission approves the company's building permits, which Marowitz expects by mid-summer.

The company has already obtained operating permits from the city.

The company, whose many big-name supporters include entertainers Johnny Carson, Jack Lemmon and Ed Asner, has performed in various Malibu locations, but until recently had failed to find a permanent venue that provided adequate parking.

When completed, the theater will stage new plays, adaptations of Shakespeare, and offer community theater workshops.

The Malibu Stage Company will hold a fund-raising event featuring actors Richard Dreyfuss, James Whitmore and Nan Martin at Pepperdine University on June 27.

Information: (310) 456-8226.

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