LA JOLLA, CA -- Following on the heels of its 50th anniversary year, La Jolla Playhouse has announced a five-year plan which focuses on (1) bold, large-scale productions each year; (2) new play and musical development; (3) expanded outreach and educational programs throughout the San Diego area; and (4) continued financiual stability.
The Playhouse's recently concluded 1997 season marked the fifth year that it had an annual operating surplus. The result was that, by the end of 1997, the Playhouse totally eliminated what had been a $1,850,000 accumulated deficit.
"Our goal is to create a solid and permanent financial base for La Jolla Playhouse while remaining true to our mission: producing innovative classics and exciting new works plus supporting wide-reaching, stimulating outreach and education," said managing director Terrence Dwyer.
Highlights of La Jolla Playhouse's five-year plan include: (1) the creation of an endowment to support bigger productions so that each season the Playhouse can program bold, risky, large-scale projects, both musical and non-musical; and (2) developing new plays and musicals from "page to stage" through commissioning new works, readings and workshops.
Michael Greif, the Playhouse's artistic director, said, "I am very glad we have eliminated the deficit without compromising our artistic ideals. This new financial health allows us to dream increasingly adventurous dreams." Grief added that "we want the San Diego community to support our vision for the future. Our 50th anniversary season was a year-long celebration highlighted by Rent, Harmony, Having Our Say, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Model Apartment and The School for Wives. However, I am frequently asked, 'where's the next Rent coming from?'...In that spirit and to that end, the Playhouse commissioned Jessica Hagedorn's new play Dogeaters, which we will present this season as part of our six-play subscription season. In short, our five-year plan has already begun."
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent