Robert Schrock, producing artistic director of the Celebration Theatre since 1993, has announced his resignation effective Apr. 1. A search committee will be formed to seek his successor.
"I am extremely proud of our accomplishments during my tenure," Schrock said. "Although the time has come for me to move on, I will be forever grateful to the Celebration Theatre and its board of directors for providing me with the opportunity to explore my own artistic instincts and the forum in which to express them. The past six years have been an extraordinary and unforgettable experience."
Since becoming artistic director of L.A.'s leading gay theatre, Schrock has produced and/or directed such critically acclaimed productions as The End of the World Party, Morticians in Hell, A Language of Their Own, Men on the Verge of an Hispanic Breakdown and the smash-hit musical revue Naked Boys Singing, which is the longest-running show in the history of the Celebration Theatre.
The revue, which premiered on Mar. 28, 1998, will conclude its L.A. run on Mar. 26 & 27 with two special cast reunion performances which will benefit the theatre. Many of the boys who have been part of the nine-member cast during its long run are set to participate in the final weekend. The benefit is necessary because when the ticket agency SHOWTIXX went out of business last year, it took $25,000 of the Celebration Theatre's money with it.
"The community rallied with donations and ticket purchases," said Schrock, "but the theatre still has not fully recovered from the loss." Schrock also announced that Too Old for the Chorus,/i>, a new musical revue, will have its world premiere at the Celebration on Saturday Mar. 20.
With words and music by Marie Cain, Shelly Markham and Mark Winkler (all of Naked Boys Singing fame), the new show is about aging in a youth obsessed society. It explores, in comic fashion, such issues as late-in-life accomplishments and deepening relationships, concluding that you're never too old to become a star.
Schrock will direct, with Bill Schneider as musical director and Chrissy Bocchino choreographing.
The cast includes Jo Hinds, Alvin Ing, Virginia McMath, Wayne Moore and Sammy Williams (who won a 1976 Tony Award as Paul in A Chorus Line).
The Celebration Theatre is at 7051 Santa Monica Blvd. For tickets call (310) 289-2999 or visit The Tiffany Theatre box office at 8532 Sunset Blvd.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent