Theater Thrives With Pasadena Playhouse's New ‘PlayhouseLive'

The streaming platform, created for theater fans, will soon bring "productions from multiple theaters" into people's homes.

PlayhouseLive/Barry Winiker

What to Know

  • A new streaming experience will include free and pay-per-view theatrical events
  • Multiple theaters will provide content
  • Plays, readings, classes, cabarets, and more

A play is a trip, in every sense of the word, a journey, an adventure you take alongside characters who might be incredibly familiar to you or the sorts of strangers you've always wanted to get to know.

But wherever you're going, you're on your way, once the house lights go down and the footlights begin to glow. Off you go, for two or so hours, and the only map needed is one that laid out, line by thrilling line, by the performers on the stage.

That timeless journey is about to change, and yet deepen and widen, thanks to the Pasadena Playhouse's new streaming experience, PlayhouseLive.

To start with? You won't be physically journeying from your home to the theater, to see a show. A variety of productions, hailing from several theaters in places near and far, will arrive in your home.

"Premiering this fall, PlayhouseLive will be a digital hub for high-quality digital theater experiences, presenting live and live-captured performances, original series, educational programming and other industry-related content in a new form," shared the Crown City cultural hub.

Look for several routes to seeing these great works. Roku, Chromecast, and several other channels are on-board, along with the Pasadena Playhouse's standalone site.

But plays won't be the sole focus of this spirited new venture. Theater buffs will also find staged readings, cabarets, and classes, too, adding fresh layers to the PlayhouseLive experience.

The play's the thing, said Shakespeare, but so are other play-related presentations that make it so easy, and pleasurable, to connect to live theatrical entertainment, wherever you happen to be seated.

The price to take your seat, the one on your couch? Some events will be free, while others will fall under a pay-per-view header.

What treats are ahead? August will reveal all, or at least what the first wave of stream-ready offerings will include, so stay tuned.

Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman shared, "As the harsh realities of COVID’s impact on live theater were becoming clear, we began work on a digital hub that would connect the artists and audiences who were reaching out for each other during this challenging time."

"The Playhouse has historically been an innovator and we continue that spirit on this new adventure in the digital world."

The theater's many gifts will glitter on, complex characters will continue to touch us, and we will find ways to find fresh voices, and spectacular stagings of favorite and new plays, even as we stick close to home.

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