|Founders: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, Mel Ferrer|
La Jolla Playhouse is a not-for-profit, professional theatre on the campus of the University of California, San Diego.
La Jolla Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, and Mel Ferrer. In 1983, it was revived under the leadership of Des McAnuff. Since then, the Playhouse's repertoire has included eighty-four world premieres, thirty-two West Coast premieres, and eight American premieres, and has won more than three hundred honors, including the 1993 Tony Award as America's Outstanding Regional Theatre. It is supported, in part, by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the City of San Diego, and the County of San Diego. It was announced on April 10, 2007, that Christopher Ashley would succeed McAnuff as artistic director.
Among the productions that originated at the Playhouse before finding success on Broadway are The Who's Tommy, Matthew Broderick's revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Jane Eyre, Dracula, the Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cry Baby, Bonnie and Clyde, The Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, 700 Sundays, Jersey Boys, Memphis, Peter and the Starcatcher, Chaplin, Hands on a Hardbody, Des McAnuff's revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, Zhivago and Big River.
La Jolla Playhouse provides a number of educational opportunities for children, teens, and adults interested in theatre arts, both as performers and behind-the-scenes. In addition, the Performance Outreach Program (POP Tour) annually brings a professional, world-premiere production to schools, libraries, and community centers throughout San Diego. There are additional summer theater opportunities through the La Jolla Playhouse Conservatory, YP@LJP summer camps, student matinees, and many other in-school workshops and classes.
La Jolla Playhouse began the Page to Stage Play Development Program in 2001 to facilitate the development of new plays and musicals, offering audiences the rare opportunity to experience the "birth" of a play and take part in its evolution. As a Page to Stage workshop, a production will feature minimal sets and costumes, and will be revised throughout its entire process, including performances. After the performance, audience feedback sessions will provide insight and suggestion for both the creative team and the actors. In the five years since the program began, two Page to Stage Productions have gone on to win Tony Awards. Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Leading Actor in a Play (Jefferson Mays); and Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, a 2004 Page to Stage Production, won the 2005 Tony Award for Special Theatrical Event.
Main article: La Jolla Playhouse production history