Wednesday, February 25, 2009



Wells Fargo Bank renewed its major funding for Pasadena Playhouse at the Playhouse’s Third Annual Theatrical Diversity Project Celebration which was hosted by Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance, with a commitment of $300,000 to support the Playhouse and become the exclusive naming sponsor of the theatre’s Diversity Project. The gift is a multi-year commitment to the theatre and will fund the Diversity Project with $100,000 in each of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons. The $300,000 gift will support Pasadena Playhouse’s mission of creating and presenting world-class theatre that represents and reflects the diverse communities of Southern California. The funds will be used for audience development initiatives, programming and outreach programs such as Write Girl, which will take place at the Playhouse this May. Write Girl empowers young women through creative writing mentorship and self-expression.

“I am both pleased and proud that Wells Fargo has chosen to celebrate and support the success of our diversity efforts in this extraordinary way,” said Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps. “We have had a long and tremendously rewarding relationship with Wells over many years. However, I am personally gratified that they would recognize with this particular gift our achievements in an area that is vitally important to them, and is very much at the heart of the mission of this theatre, both onstage and off.”

The theatre’s focus on diversity has led to numerous debut productions at the Playhouse in the past five years including the world premiere co-production of Open Window with Deaf West Theatre, the world premiere of new musicals SISTER ACT the Musical (opening in London this summer), Ray Charles Live!, Mask, and Vanities, a new musical, as well as the world premiere of the hit play Looped (now in a pre-Broadway run) with Valerie Harper.

"Diversity is at the core of Wells Fargo's vision and values, and we recognize and applaud the Pasadena Playhouse's commitment to bringing cultural and theatrical diversity to all of its productions," said David DiCristofaro, Wells Fargo South Coast Community Bank regional president and Pasadena Playhouse board member. "As the sole sponsor of the theatre's diversity project, we hope to help the Playhouse continue presenting innovative performances to even larger audiences."

Wells Fargo became a major supporter of Pasadena Playhouse in 2005 when they donated $500,000 to support the theatre’s first capital campaign thus becoming the season sponsor for the 2005, 2006 and 2007. Additionally, Wells Fargo has supported the theatre with an annual operating grant to support outreach programs and events and to create the now annual Wells Fargo Student Day. This program brings students from the Compton area to the theatre to have a discussion with Artistic Director Sheldon Epps before experiencing a special matinee performance of a main stage production.

Match your passion and enthusiasm for great theatre with your financial support! Ensure that diverse artistic and education programs continue to thrive at Pasadena Playhouse by becoming a contributing member of the Diversity Project. Contact Brad Price, Director of Development, at or (626) 737-2845 or click here to make a secure online donation!

Top photo: Pasadena Playhouse board member David DiCristofaro, Courtney B. Vance, Angela Bassett, Donna Lynn Leavy, and Sheldon Epps. Bottom Photo: Sharleen Cooper Cohen (creator of Stormy Weather the Musical), Artistic Director Sheldon Epps, Honoree Brenda Galloway, Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Diversity Committee Chair Donna Lynn Leavy.

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