Pasadena Little Theatre celebrates 60th

08 Jul

It’s the little theater that has chugged on, chugged on and chugged on.

Pasadena Little Theatre, chartered in 1955, is celebrating its 2014-15 60th anniversary season featuring classics voted on by its audiences during its 59th season.

The upcoming program will feature “Steel Magnolias,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “The Odd Couple” and “The Sound of Music.”

Julie Owen, president of Pasadena Little Theatre, has been with the organization for 14 years. She’ll be directing the production of “Driving Miss Daisy.”

“It’s a full encore of gems for our diamond season,” said Owen. “People are going to want to see all of them.”

The dedication of service from the all-volunteer organization and intimate venue has been the backbone to its success, she said. Another hallmark of its longevity can be attributed to its loyal audiences Owen added.

“We take care of the theater and put on good productions. It’s what it is all about. Several on the board have done theater here since the ’60s,” she said. 

Mal Morley, 84, has been involved with the theater since 1960 and has served on the board since 1964 as treasurer. 

Not only is he active behind the scenes, but Morley has also been in so many plays that “he stopped counting.” More than 10 years ago, he hung up his acting hat and took on the role of director and continues to do so. 

In the 60th season, Morley will be directing “The Mousetrap.” 

Being part of PLT has been a pleasure.

“Our people do a good job. The shows are always good quality. I’ve seen every show. 

“There isn’t anything like this 60th season. I think we can hang on for another 60,” Morley said.

The theater will host a gala event in August to kick off the 60th anniversary season. Details are still in the planning stages.

The theater had humble beginnings, staging productions in high school gyms and churches until land was purchased in 1961 where PLT moved an old church building and made its home on Tulip Street.

In 1983, a fire destroyed the Tulip Street facility and the theater company purchased its current site at 4318 Allen Genoa. Additions were made to include dressing rooms and a rehearsal hall available to rent.

PLT hosts an annual garage sale, annual Casino Night New Year’s Eve Gala fundraiser and the Young Actor’s Workshop. 

This year’s Young Actor’s Workshop features the productions of “Grease,” “Tom Sawyer” and “The Big Race.”

The nonprofit PLT also is involved with the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, the Pasadena Strawberry Festival, and the American Association of Community Theatres. Owen said PLT is here to stay.

“We’re always entertaining. It’s a great place to perform with a good strong working board,” she said.

Written by: Valerie Sweeten


Over 40 years experience as an actor, director, choreographer. Originally began with PLT in 1974 with Bennie Nipper during her summer youth workshops. Credits include Boston, New York, Houston, Pasadena and Deer Park. Joined the PLT board in 2012.