Carlsbad Playreaders was founded in 1995 by Pat and Jim Hansen to “present plays that seek to explore the human condition and, thereby, enrich the lives of audiences in Carlsbad and neighboring communities.” Since then, with the aid of Community Arts Grants and the support of the Carlsbad Library and Arts Foundation, Robert H. Gartner Cultural Endowment Fund, more than 100 play readings have been presented to an audience of more than 10,000 people.
The City of Carlsbad & The Carlsbad Playreaders
With encouragement from the City of Carlsbad’s Arts Office, and a Community Arts Grant, Carlsbad Playreaders presented the first three plays in the Spring of 1995 in the Carlsbad Senior Center. Carlsbad Playreaders founders, Jim and Pat Hansen, produced three more readings that Fall, and applied for non-profit status to continue the program. The Carlsbad Library and Arts Foundation, Robert H. Gartner Cultural Endowment Fund continues to provide half the operating funds, and the rest of the revenue is raised by the donations at the door ($5 for adults, $1 for students). Until 1999, six to 10 readings annually were produced at the Senior Center, and with the opening of the Carlsbad City Library on Dove Lane, Carlsbad Playreaders moved South. From 1999 to the present, Carlsbad Playreaders has operated with staff assistance from the library, and combined Library/Arts Office sponsorship. Since 1997, Carlsbad Playhouse has been a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation. Although the Playhouse has occasionally sponsored other shows, it mainly exists as Carlsbad Playreaders, now in its 20th year as a mainstay of the City’s arts programs. Carlsbad Playreaders has produced more than 100 readings for an audience of 10,000+ theatre-goers. The current Carlsbad Playreaders Board Members are, Jack Missett, President, Keith Gemmell, and Pat Hansen.
Jack Missett is a proud veteran of many Carlsbad Playreaders productions, as well as many plays performed in San Diego and Orange Counties. ‘Among his favorite productions for Carlsbad Playreaders are The 1940′s Radio Show Christmas Carol, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, The Young Man From Atlanta, and his all-time favorite, Love Letters, performed with his wife, Judi. A member of the New Village Arts Theatre Actors’ Ensemble, he has performed in NVA’s award-winning ensembles in A Lie of the Mind (co-produced with Backyard Productions), Waverly Gallery, and Curse of the Starving Class (co-produced with Cygnet Theatre). Other appearances include productions at 6th & Penn, Palomar College, Saddleback College, Laguna Playhouse, Mission Playhouse, and San Clemente Playhouse, as well as several additional productions at New Village Arts. Jack served as Artistic Director of the Carlsbad Playreaders from mid-2006 through the end of 2009.
Keith has been involved in performing arts since his youth through performing on stage as well as working behind the scenes. His experience includes acting, stage management, and scenic design in a variety of venues throughout San Diego county. He most recently held the position of Theatre Facility Manager for the City of Vista’s Moonlight Amphitheatre and AVO Playhouse where he oversaw the operations of rental and special events.
Currently he is the City of Carlsbad’s Library Programs and Venues Coordinator where he oversees the meeting rooms and performance spaces of the city’s three library branches as well as plans and implements adult programs presented by the Carlsbad City Library. He is born and raised North County local and currently resides in Oceanside with his wife and two sons.
Jim & Pat Hansen
Jim and Pat Hansen began a series of play readings in Carlsbad Senior Center in 1995, with the encouragement of the City of Carlsbad Arts Office and a Community Arts Grant. The Hansens incorporated the non-profit Carlsbad Playhouse to continue the project, and, in the first 10 seasons, produced more than 80 readings for more than 8,000 audience members. Over the years Playreaders shows have featured hundreds of actors, directors, playwrights and technical crew. Jim and Pat set out to produce shows that would entertain, provoke and challenge their audiences, producing many new plays by local playwrights. Both producers have long-time interests in the theatre: studying at San Diego State University (where they met and married in 1951), and performing in U.S. Special Services productions in Japan (Rashomon, 1965) and Germany. After retiring from the Carlsbad Library in 1990 where she coordinated programs and exhibits, Pat performed in many theatrical productions in Vista, San Diego and La Mesa (where she was featured in Driving Miss Daisy.) After teaching for many years at El Camino High School, Jim also retired in 1990, but continued to operate an online book business until 2014. Jim and Pat have seen hundreds of area theatre productions, and remain enthusiastic audience members at all Playreaders and New Village Arts Theatre productions.
In 2003, the husband-wife team of Walton Jones and Amy Scholl took over from Jim and Pat – Walt serving as Producing Director and Amy as Artistic Director. After Walt and Amy moved to Colorado in 2006, Jack Missett became Artistic Director, serving until 2009. Eric Bishop took over from Jack in 2010. Maelyn Gándola was Artistic Director 2011-12.
For their dedication to the Arts, in particular the Carlsbad Playreaders, former Board Member Bobbie Hoder and Founders Jim and Pat Hansen were named Carlsbad Citizens of the Year for 2009 in a ceremony at Carlsbad City Hall.