Pasadena Playhouse had a rough 2010, but executives with the venerable theater group have shed long-standing financial burdens and are looking ahead to the launch of the 2011-12 season Sept. 16.
In February 2010, the 94-year-old organization closed its theater doors after staging just one of its planned productions. In May, the playhouse filed for bankruptcy. It had $102,000 in cash and savings, but owed more than $2.3 million to creditors.
The company planned to restructure and emerge from bankruptcy within two months. But a bankruptcy judge imposed on playhouse directors an unexpected mandate: Give 2010 season-ticket subscribers the five plays they had paid for.
Quickly, an anonymous donor pledged $1 million on the condition that the theater match it. Four months later, Pasadena Playhouse had the match courtesy of other donors, and finished the season.
Now, the playhouse has emerged from bankruptcy and next month will launch a full season of performances — debt-free — with the world premiere of the musical “South Street.”