White to retire from playhouse

Times Staff Writer

Lyla White is retiring next month after 10 years as one of the top managers of the Pasadena Playhouse, where she has been executive director since 1999.

At 66, White said, “I have a lot of other things I want to do,” although she plans to continue to raise money for the playhouse and other nonprofit groups in Pasadena, her longtime home. Managing director Brian Colburn, a playhouse administrator since 1997, will be the top business executive alongside artistic director Sheldon Epps when White leaves.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Nov. 29, 2006 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday November 29, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 36 words Type of Material: Correction
Pasadena Playhouse: An article in Friday’s Calendar section about Pasadena Playhouse Executive Director Lyla White’s retirement referred to the playhouse’s 99-seat second theater as the Balcony Theatre. It was renamed the Carrie Hamilton Theatre in July.

When she arrived as director of development in 1996, White signed on to a theater that was struggling to regain its footing after a fiscal earthquake. Theatre Corp. of America, a private company hired by the playhouse’s board to run the operation, had landed in bankruptcy in 1995 -- leaving the playhouse with obligations of more than $2.5 million.


Although the playhouse still carries some debt and is just beginning to build an endowment, the company’s day-to-day operations will be in the black this year, White said.

Under White, the playhouse in 2003 launched its first capital campaign, which she said has raised $7.5 million toward an $8.5-million goal. Plans call for creating a $2.5-million cornerstone on which to build an endowment and refurbishing the adjoining 99-seat Balcony Theater as a top space for new play development.