The History of SonLight


Orange City News
Orange, California

December 4, 1974

Talent will come from community, says Playhouse operator

Alberto Morelli, new proprietor and executive producer of the Playhouse in Orange, has affiliated with the Pacific Academy for the Performing Arts (PAPA).

The 927-seat theater, located at 172 N. Glassell St., Orange, was partially restored under prior ownership earlier this year.

"Apparently management difficulties never allowed the theater to come to fruition," said Morelli. "I want to finish the job that was begun. It would be a crime to let this building go to waste."

After talking with community leaders, Morelli said, it became clear that closer community involvement and participation will be important to the success of The Playhouse, "to make it a facility that will truly serve the needs of the community."

In seeking the proper talent, staff and operational format, Morelli is consulting with Michael S. Connolly, general manager of the San Diego Convention and Performing Arts Center and Richard Dow, formerly production manager at UCLA and with the Talent and Contract Properties Div. of the CBS Television Network, and currently director of creative production for Insgroup Inc., of Orange.

The Playhouse will offer a season of popular plays performed by a resident repertory company, to be assembled from within Orange County by open auditions for each production during the first year of operation.

The first season will offer the following: "Fiddler on the Roof" opening Feb 5; "Barefoot in the Park" opening March 5; "A Streetcar Named Desire," opening April 2 and "The Fantasticks" opening May 7. Richard Dow will direct.

Auditions for "Fiddler on the Roof" are open to all non-union performers in Orange County and will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15, at The Playhouse.

This kind of operation is vital if we are to offer high quality productions at prices the community can afford to pay, and still attend theater regularly," said Morelli.

The Playhouse will also provide a training ground in theater, offering classes in voice, movement and dancing, acting, directing, playwriting and technical theater.

As a non-profit educational and charitable organization, PAPA hopes to have the full and close support of the entire community, with funding coming not only from box office, but from contributions and grants-in-aid, as well.

Other activities now being planned include an on-going program of children's theater and monthly guest artists' series.

As a further community service, Morelli is also making The Playhouse available on a limited basis to other organizations and individuals, both after the beginning of the season in February and now during the interim planning period.


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