An outdoor under the stars, 700 seat theater with LIVE productions throughout the summer months.
From Points North and South:
- Highway 101 to Buellton
- Highway 246 exit travel east to Solvang
- Turn right on Atterdag
- left on Copenhagen Dr.
- Right on 2nd Street
- the theatre is on your left.
Embrace the Experience...
The theatre has always been a place in which the hopes and dreams of the culture reside.Where our aspirations about the possible, but as yet unachieved, can be relished and fostered. This is particularly true of a conservatory theatre. It is a sanctuary, a safe habitat, for our dreams and potentials. A Conservatory is a place in which the fledgling are protected and nurtured for their growth. A Conservatory can also be the repository of the aspirations and values of a culture,or many cultures – a place in which new hybrids are cultivated, nourished and brought to fruition. A Conservatory is always a place of energy and potential, intensity and growth, structure and creativity. That is the kind of place PCPA is, and dreams of being.
We dream of the theatre establishing its place in the life of the community as a center in which we gather to have a public discourse on that which binds us together and separates us; about what is beautiful, funny, frightening and bold in us.
We dream of making theatre that will have an impact – theatre of grandeur and majesty – not just because of the number of sequins or scope of the scenery, though we do want to dazzle you with our production values. We want to tell stories too great for our stage to hold – so epic that they can take root only in your heart and live their life fully only in the shared imagination, consciousness and conviction of the whole community.
We dream the dreams of the awakened. We want the theatre to be a place of enlightenment and inquiry. We want the theatre to be a place of beauty and intrigue, a place of authentic fancy and serious fun, a place of grit and grandiloquence.
Because the art of the theatre and the aspiration of the student always attempt to stand firmly on the uncertain ground of creative endeavor, challenge and change is the way of things. Artists and students of art immemorial have lived in struggle because they are, inherently, engaged in the act of reflecting what is and imagining what is not yet, but could be. They are filled with the sense of expectancy, exertion, and perhaps too frequent exhaustion, that is the common parlance of attempting to do anything great in the face of enormous challenge.
We face, and indeed embrace, the challenges of creating theatre for our community in the belief that the live theatre is genuinely an important component of “the good life.” A life we aspire to ourselves and seek to share and create in our community. Of course one of the prime challenges that any artistic enterprise faces is money. The price of your ticket pays for about one-third of the overall operating costs for PCPA – that's right, 35%.
The reality is, though we've enjoyed a strong history in service to this community, we find ourselves in a cycle in which our income doesn't't meet our expenses – even with the generosity of our past and current donors and the tremendous support of Allan Hancock College for the training programs and theatre operations. We want to break that cycle, we must, and we need your participation. As we seek to use our creative vision to express and reflect the values of this community, we rely on the vision of the community to support the work of the company.Participate in the Dream...
If you value PCPA's role in this community and want to ensure that it will continue to be a Conservatory for those values in the future life of our culture, I hope you'll consider supporting the work of the company in three ways.
See the plays, all of the plays of the season, and bring your friends and family with you. Every empty seat in the theatre is a lost opportunity for us to serve the community with the power and pleasure of theatre and earn our way in doing so. Once that moment is gone in the live theatre, it's gone forever. Let's fill every seat for every performance.
Contribute to the theatre. If you can, give your time – volunteer, usher, house an artist, spread the word. If you can, contribute money – there are many ways to give and a donor program that's just right for you. Because we're non-profit, your contribution is tax deductible and every dollar goes toward supporting exemplary art and excellent student experience.
Support Allan Hancock College in their ongoing and deepening support of this absolutely unique professional theatre and conservatory training program. There really is no other place like PCPA in the country and we want to continue to be that rare and precious part of the good life here on the Central Coast for years to come.
PCPA is your professional conservatory theatre. Embrace the experience. Participate in the dream.
For more than 40 years PCPA Theaterfest has been presenting exemplary theatre and providing excellent training with a resident company of theatre professionals. Begun in the summer of 1964, founder Donovan Marley laid the ground work for a year-round professional theatre company. PCPA remains the only resident professional company on the Central Coast producing consistent quality entertainment for the community while training thousands of actors and theatre technicians for a career in theatre. The first company consisted of twenty-one actors, calling themselves the Platform Players. They converted an old barracks building into the Interim Theatre with seating for 100. The first production was A Man for All Seasons and enthusiastic standing-room only audiences packed all 10 performances.
The 1965-66 season was heralded as a season of firsts for the Interim Theatre. Its first musical, The Fantasticks, the first Theatre Wagon to begin its circuit of schools with a production of The Emperor's New Clothes, the first starring role in an Interim Theatre production for Rosalind Pearlman whose professional experience includes acting, directing and teaching drama, and the first professionally choreographed show Romeo and Juliet by Agnes Grogan who had studied and worked with Martha Graham. Grogan was also a featured dancer in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! on Broadway.
In 1967 the conservatory began to accept students from outside the Allan Hancock College district and a technical program for sets, properties and costume construction was established adding new professional staff members. Recognizing the cultural and economic benefits of a theatre, Santa Maria voters approved a school bond in 1965 which included $1-million to build the Marian Theatre, named after Marian Hancock.
Plans for the new theatre were on the drawing board in 1966. When completed, the theatre could seat 448 patrons around a thrust stage, based on Minnesota's Guthrie Theatre. Doors opened on July 10, 1968 with a production of Camelot featuring Laird Williamson as Lancelot.
In 1971 PCPA held its first performance of Hamlet in Solvang's Hans Christian Andersen Park. Support grew quickly through the community and the Theaterfest Summer repertory season was in full swing in the newly built outdoor Festival Theatre in 1974. (see Solvang Theaterfest) During these early years, audiences witnessed the emergence and growth of some of today's biggest names in the entertainment field including Robin Williams, Kathy Lloyd, Belita Moreno, Mercedes Ruehl, Kelly McGillis, Boyd Gaines, Robert Blackman, and Kathy Bates.
In November 1992, the Severson Theatre was inaugurated. This intimate and flexible space has been the home for classic, contemporary and musical productions as varied as Julius Caesar, Skylight, The Last Five Years, Arcadia, Oh Coward!, Master Class, Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Rounding Third, Oleanna, Measure for Measure, The Turn of the Screw, Little Women and PCPA's reading series InterPlay. These absorbing and enlightening plays, alongside the rest of each season's offerings, support PCPA's commitment to providing the greatest possible variety in the learning environment and enjoyment in the play-going experience. The company of nearly 50 theatre professionals is a team dedicated to advancing the art of theatre from the studio to the stage. When you enjoy a production at PCPA today, you're watching the stars of tomorrow.
Today, PCPA continues its legacy as a professional conservatory theatre. Nearly 100 students are trained each semester in acting and technical theatre. The basic premise of training artists for the theatre -- as students of the craft and apprentices in a company of working practitioners -- is as vital today as it has been through history. The tradition of the master craftsperson passing on their knowledge through daily practice of the art is as ancient as the arts themselves. In this tradition we work from experience to knowledge, rather than just from knowledge to experience - following the observation that "in the end we retain from our studies only that which we practically apply" (Goethe). We must do, so that we can know. This learning relationship doesn't merely benefit the student. When the master and the apprentice "practice" together, learning takes place for both and the art form is enhanced by their shared discovery.“Each year, every one of us has the opportunity to experience something unique: as theatre professionals, as teachers, and as audience members we participate in the creation of new legends both on stage and behind the scenes; with every production in each season, we share the special excitement of discovering gifted professionals and students whose work sparks our interest in the future.”
– Jack Shouse, 1988.
Among the unique attributes of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts is the rich history from which it presses into the future. PCPA's production and instructional legacy is borne most clearly in the commitment and passion of the artists who have created, served and grown here. Artists who have gone on to national prominence and hundreds of others who have taken on roles of national significance in the American theater. The most important legacy of PCPA is that which is not yet written, the new legends that are being built today on the shoulders of the tradition of great theater and great training.
PCPA Theaterfest is a professional conservatory theatre , committed to reflecting and transforming our diverse community with the art of live theatre.
We believe that the theatre has a vital role and responsibility in the community to enrich cultural literacy and improve the quality of life.
We commit to serving our current audience, cultivating our future audience and training the next generation of theatre professionals.
We aspire to adhere to the best theatrical traditions and to set new standards of excellent artistry, ethics and professional practice for the future of the theatre.
Frequently Asked Questions: How do I buy tickets? Tickets may be purchased either on-line (Please note exception: Subscription orders must be ordered by phone) or by calling our Box Office at (805) 922-8313. What types of accommodations are available for people with disabilities? Listening assistance devices are available for all performances (limited quantities). Wheelchair accommodations with partner seating are available for all performances. Please inform the box office at the time of ticket purchase to assure availability. Are children allowed in certain performances?
Generally, children under 5 are not allowed. Children must be potty trained and, while a young child may wish to sit on the lap of his/her parent, a ticket must be purchased for each child.How can I join the Preview Web Club?
Please click on the Preview Web Club link on our homepage and fill out the form. You will receive e-mail updates and special offer information once you are signed up. It's a wonderful way to stay informed with the most up-to-date information about shows, guest artists, and special offers! Join today!
Are the PCPA Theaterfest productions college shows? No, they are professional productions. While advanced Conservatory students may participate in the productions, PCPA Theaterfest produces professional theatre under an Actor's Equity Association contract.
PCPA Theaterfest Alumni Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: PCPA Foundation PO Box 6803 Santa Maria, CA 93456 Attn: PCPA Alumni
Help us to stay in touch and find our alumni. Please fill out the Alumni Contact Form here.Check out the latest news from old classmates! Alumni News If you were a PCPA student, you can send a message to be posted here by clicking on the Alumni News link above. Be sure to include your name and when you were at PCPA. Contact information will be posted unless you request otherwise. Here's the latest:
Sherri Allen (Acting Intern, 1994-95) is currently a Teaching Artist with Playwrights Project, J*Company Youth Theatre, Lyric Opera of San Diego, and the Theatre School at North Coast Repertory Theatre. She will be appearing in the TV series Saints and Sinners as the ICU nurse in episodes 26 and 27, entitled Boyfriend in a Coma [MyNetworkTV, Wednesdays, 8-10:pm].
Vincent Rodriquez , III, Class of 2003, will be tapping away in the North Shore Music Theatre production of Crazy for You. The Gershwin musical runs April 24 through May 13. The nationally renowned theatre is located in Beverly, Massachusetts. Interesting note, Rodriquez was in PCPA's production of the same show in 2003.
Rebecca Tourino (Class of 2001) is the author of a new play The Naked Eye Planets which had its world premiere in New York at The American Theatre of Actors. Featured in the show's cast were alumni Brandon Collinsworth (Rebecca's husband and Class of 2001) and Heidi Tokheim (Class of 2000), and former Guest Artist Emily Rogge (The Wildest!!!, Fiddler on the Roof, Summer 2004).
Boyd Gaines (Class of 1975) made a spectacular return to Broadway in the revival of R.C. Sherriff's classic World War I drama, Journey's End. Gaines was singled out by many of the critics for his remarkable performance. The production, based on an acclaimed 2004 British revival, is currently playing at the Belasco Theatre in New York.
John Langs (Class of 1991) was recently profiled in Backstage West for his direction of L.A.'s Circle X Theatre Company's production of The Brothers Karamazov. The production received critical acclaimed, won five Garland Awards (including one for Langs' direction) and six Los Angeles Critics Circle Awards (including one for Langs' direction) as well as L.A. Weekly and Ovation nominations.
Aaron Craig (Class of 1996) recently opened an English language theatre company in Florence, Italy. Future plans include a full-scale production of A Christmas Carol. To follow the company progress you can check out their web site: www.florencetheatre.com.
Byron Jennings (Resident Artist, 1978-80) has been cast in the upcoming Broadway revival of Lawrence and Lee's Inherit the Wind which begins performances at New York's Lyceum Theatre on March 19. Jennings appears alongside acting legends and Tony Award-winning actors Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy in the American classic.
Sharen Davis , Class of 1976, has received her second Academy Award nomination for Outstanding Costume Design for her work on the highly acclaimed film version of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. She received a 2005 Academy Award nomination for Outstanding Costume Design for her work on the film Ray.
Bryn Elizan Harris (Class of 2005) is currently living in New York city where she continues to audition and take classes at the Broadway Dance Center. She returns to California to appear at San Francisco's Magic Theater from April-May as Helen in The Cripple of Inishmaan with the Wilde-Irish Theater Company.
Don Burroughs (Acting Intern, 1988-89) is currently featured in the ensemble of the Las Vegas edition of Mamma Mia!. The open ended engagement of the hit musical featuring the songs of ABBA is playing at the Mandalay Bay Resort.
Bethany (Rice) Pithan (Class of 2000) recently became co-Artistic Director of Longview Stageworks located in Longview, Washington.
Pat Sibley (Class of 1980) recently finished a three-year national tour of Oklahoma in which she played the role of Aunt Eller. She is already back on the road this time in a tour of My Fair Lady playing Mrs. Higgins. The production tours the Prathers Family of Theatres.
Sarah (Lambie) Greenman (Class of 2000) is the author and director of Leni, a new play having its world premiere at the Insight Out Theatre Collective in
Portland, Oregon. The two-character drama is a revealing look at controversial German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl who was commissioned by the Third Reich to create the infamous propaganda film, Triumph of the Will. Greensman's play is set in the context of Riefenstahl directing her own autobiographical film. The critically acclaimed play runs through November 11 at the Academy Theater in Portland.
Michael X. Martin (Resident Artist, 1980-81) has a featured role in Curtains, a new musical comedy murder mystery created by Tony Award winners John Kander (music), the late Fred Ebb (lyrics), the late Peter Stone (original book) and Rupert Holmes (book and additional lyrics). The musical stars Emmy Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce (Niles in Fraiser). The show is now playing on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theater.
Rick J. Scarpello , Class of 2003, has recently formed a new theatre company in the Bay -- Panhandlers Theater Company. The company's first production is True West, which open in mid-August, and the theatre's season includes An Evening of David Ives and The Bacchae.
Wil Dumaop , Class of 2004, recently finished a run in The Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival's production of Othello in Los Angeles. Up next Dumaop begins work filming Disney's The Pirates of the Carribbean Part 3 starring Johnny Depp.
Zac Efron , YP 2000/2001, will appearing in the sequel to Disney's High School Musical, scheduled to be aired on the Disney Channel this summer. He will also be seen as heart throb Link Larkin in the film version of the award-winning musical Hairspray, scheduled to open in July 2007. He co-stars in the film with John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latiffah and Academy Award winner Christopher Walken. Efron won national recognition for his leading role in the Disney Channel's smash hit original film High School Musical.
Kristin Stokes , Class of 2005, is quickly becoming a popular fixture in Bay Area theatre. Currently in the TheatreWorks' acclaimed production of The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue, Stokes has appeared in various Bay Area productions of Brooklyn Boy, John & Jen, Into the Woods, Gypsy and Cabaret.
Dorien Wilson , Class of 1982, will be seen in a featured role in the upcoming film King of Sorrow.
Julian Martinez , Class of 2002, continues to make career strides in Chicago. He has become an understudy for the renowned Second City Mainstage and has recently gone on at several performances.
Jeff McCarthy , Class of 1975, will be appearing in a leading role in the world premiere of The Pirate Queen, a new musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, the creators of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. The musical which centers on a legendary Irish female pirate is scheduled to open on Broadway in Spring 2007