Ann E. Wareham Departs as Artistic Director of Laguna Playhouse

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Ann E. Wareham

Consistency has been a key to the success of the Laguna Playhouse. The 420-seat theater on Laguna Canyon Road has been lucky to have had many longtime employees who made their mark on the playhouse in different ways.

One of those positions is Artistic Director. Since 1976 there have been three artistic directors who have helped shape the artistic vision of Laguna Playhouse.

Doug Rowe served as Artistic Director from 1976 to 1991. He produced, directed and acted in more than 100 shows at the Playhouse dating back to the 1960s.

In 1991, Andy Barnicle assumed the role of artistic director of the Laguna Playhouse and helped lead the theater from a respected community theater to a professional LORT B theater. He produced over 100 Playhouse shows and directed over 40 of them. He left the playhouse in 2010 to pursue other endeavors, but since then has returned to Laguna Playhouse to direct another seven shows and act in another two.

After Barnicle left, he was replaced by Ann E. Wareham, whose career started with nearly three decades as an associate producer at Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group where she worked under legendary director Gordon Davidson.

Now, Wareham has announced that she is departing her position as Artistic Director of the Laguna Playhouse. She will stay through the end of this calendar year to assist with the transition.

“It has been a tremendous honor to be able to guide the Laguna Playhouse over this past decade and to serve the extraordinary arts community of Laguna Beach,” said Wareham in a press release. “It is such a vibrant and truly special place and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.”

President of the Board of Directors Glenn Gray said that “over the past 11 years, Annie has been instrumental in the artistic growth and vision of the Playhouse. The staff, crew, Playhouse donors and Board of Directors join me in wishing Ann nothing but the best as she embarks on her next journey.”

Upcoming shows at The Laguna Playhouse include the annual Holiday Panto production. This year, the musical comedy is “Robin Hood and Maid Marion: Welcome to the 70’s, the 1170’s.” The tale of Robin Hood gets a modern makeover twist in a show packed full of comedy, action, and audience participation, all set to a soundtrack of Disco hits and dance anthems from the 1970’s.

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