PCPA Virus Update
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Allan Hancock College COVID-19 Update page
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For 56 years PCPA has been a place of community gathering. Our hopes extend to the other side of this necessary social distancing. And we're trusting our community to help us bridge this 'intermission.'
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Thank you - from all of us, for all of us.
Facebook: Inside at PCPA

August 2020

PCPA To Delay Opening of Season 57

As the outlook for the resumption of public gatherings remains poor, based on the resurgence of the COVID virus and the unpredictability of the pandemic getting under control, PCPA – Pacific Conservatory Theatre will delay the opening of its Season 57 to June 2021, with plans to resume live performances in Santa Maria and the Solvang Festival Theater.

Typically, PCPA’s season begins with its holiday show in the fall. The planned postponement of production will sadly also imply no Spring 2021 performances in Santa Maria’s Marian and Severson Theatres, and the suspension of the 2-year Conservatory training programs for Acting and Technical theatre until August of 2021.

Artistic Director Mark Booher said, “In spite of our detailed plan for the resumption of on-site work and instruction, as we prioritize the health and safety of each company member, the hypothetical risks of a COVID exposure - its potential health impacts, quarantine requirements, and the impact on production and instruction time - creates too much risk and uncertainty. We are planning to shift our focus and conserve our resources to try to have ourselves in the strongest position possible for production in Summer ‘21. Our plan will be to produce four summer shows, primarily performing in Solvang.”

While consistent with the impacts the pandemic is having on arts institutions across the nation, this difficult decision has no precedent at PCPA, and has a myriad of deep ramifications. Still, the health and safety of PCPA’s staff, students and patrons naturally takes precedence, for the well-being of the whole community.

Booher remarked, “We remain passionate in our desire to return to our studios and stages! We are using this time to improve our internal working practices and culture, so that as we continue the rich legacy of artistry and excellence for which PCPA is known, we will be a healthier, more equitable, creatively robust contributor to community life and the future of the American Theatre.”

Although the stages may be ‘dark,’ PCPA has been very active in creating programming with PCPA’s company of artists. The theatre’s Fall and Spring plans will focus even more intently on virtual artistic, enrichment and educational experiences for the community. This includes the return, via Zoom, of PCPA’s play reading series InterPlay, planned for September and October. More information on InterPlay will be forthcoming, with announcements about Summer 2021 to follow.

For more information about all that is happening at PCPA, including virtual programming offerings, visit www.PCPA.org.

May 12, 2020
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Marian Theatre, Santa Maria

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Solvang Festival Theater

PCPA Cancels
Summer Season 2020
in Santa Maria and Solvang

In light of the on-going public health crisis and prohibition on public gatherings, PCPA – Pacific Conservatory Theatre will be forced to cancel its 2020 Summer season in Santa Maria and Solvang. Unprecedented in the theatre’s 56-year history, this decision follows six weeks of analysis and contingency planning. “The team at PCPA has been working hard to arrive at a different conclusion, but our commitment to the health of the community and company members, together with the uncertainty about when our audience will be able to gather again at the theater, made this deeply regrettable decision necessary.” explained Artistic Director, Mark Booher.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has said that while there is not a precise timeline for modifying the stay-at-home order to allow for large public gatherings, he did say, “When you suggest June, July, August, [mass gatherings] are unlikely.”

While PCPA staff and students have continued to work remotely since mid-March, the Conservatory programs will complete their training on May 15, and the organization needs to begin working toward its plans for the fall and the coming Season 57. PCPA hopes to have the continued community support to retain its permanent staff through this difficult period that has shuttered professional theatres across the nation. Still, the summer cancellation decision results in the theatre having to turn away not only its audience, but roughly 100 summer artists and artisans who were to have worked on the productions of The Sound of Music, Little Shop of Horrors, Something Rotten and A Doll’s House, Part 2. Rehearsals were to have begun this month with the summer season expected to open June 11 and play through September 6 in Santa Maria and Solvang.

PCPA is keenly aware that the cancellation will have a significant impact on these communities, and be an immense hardship on the wonderful theatre makers who would have come from all over the country to be a part of PCPA’s summer company. PCPA productions annually bring close to 30,000 people to Solvang Theaterfest’s beautiful Solvang Festival Theatre, resulting in nearly $1 million in local economic activity beyond the box office revenue. PCPA and Solvang Theaterfest remain vigorously committed to the community, their 46-year partnership, and plans for the future.

“Although we’re saddened by the thought of a summer without the magic of PCPA for the first time in 46 years, we know that this is best for the safety of everyone including the actors, the production crew, and our wonderful patrons,“ said Chris Nielsen, Board Chair for the Solvang Theaterfest. “Our partnership with PCPA will emerge from this challenging time stronger and more creative than ever as we count the days when we can once again gather under the stars of Solvang.”

Mark Booher said, “It’s a word to which we’ve become too accustomed, but the only word I can conjure to describe this decision is ‘heartbreaking.’ My wonderful colleagues have been working for months, well over a year, to bring a season of illuminating and delightful plays to the stage this summer. The shows were designed and cast, some of them already under construction or just about to begin rehearsal. So, we’re very sad about not be able to bring these wonderful plans to fruition.”

Booher continued, “Still, the theatre is always founded on creative adaptability, and a certain basic optimism about the force and resilience of the human spirit. We need to be connected around story and lots of different stories. It’s essential to our sense of health and happiness. It’s what makes us a civilization. While we can manage, and even enjoy, periods of solitude, we also need to gather. We’re made to be in relationship with one another. That essential human need isn’t going away. If anything, this time of separation is clarifying our desire to be together and share a public life. When the time is right, PCPA will be shining its light again, as a gathering place for our community.”

Ticket-holders will be contacted by the Box Office with ticket return options. Visit www.pcpa.org for more details, contact information, and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Plans for PCPA’s Summer Educational offerings, and coming Season 57 are well underway and will be announced shortly.
April 29, 2020



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When President Kevin G. Walthers came to us about an idea, we were happy to work together to honor the front line workers giving so much everyday to keep us safe. PCPA was delighted to lend our blue gels, used for theatrical lighting, on the buildings of AHC so that all can see as they drive past on the 101. Thank you healthcare workers and first responders. We are in this together.

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Erik Stein invites George Walker to his Talkback via Instagram LIVE on Thursday April 30th.

Join in on the conversation! Only on Instagram LIVE | 3:30 PST

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"O For a Muse of Fire" from Henry V
In honor of Shakespeare's 456th Birthday our first-year acting students tackled this invigorating and epic monologue from the Bard's Henry V, lead by resident artist, Emily Trask! Our Conservatory students are continuing to learn virtually following Governor Newsom's "Stay-at-home" order.

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Sara Curran Ice, PCPA's Technical Theatre Program Coordinator/Designer, is conducting Workshops via Zoom for local high school drama students starting today. They will cover a wide range of topics, including today's "Training Options After High School"

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Every Tuesday sit down with one of our technical staff and learn about the ins and outs of their craft! Get the exclusive with our host Erik Stein.

Only on Instagram Live | 3:30 PST

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PCPA Reads at Home
We know that stories and literacy are essential elements of well-being. PCPA Reads at Home is a literacy project that uses our students’ learning to serve children and parents who are learning at home. We are proud to partner with Allan Hancock College and the Santa Maria-Bonita School District to bring our love of stories and language to people right in their homes.

Enjoy this first look into PCPA Reads at Home!

We Hope to See You Soon!

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805 928-7731
Box Office
805 922-8313

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