Mission Statement

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 160 play readings have been presented to an audience of more than 16,000 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 23rd year as a mainstay of the City’s arts programs. Carlsbad Playreaders has produced more than 160 readings for an audience of 16,000+ theatre-goers. The current Carlsbad Playreaders Board Members are Carol Naegele, President; AJ Knox, Artistic Director; Rona Djeddah, treasurer; Jim Hansen; Pat Hansen; Ralph Kubiak, box office; and Marty Youngman, Play Rights Coordinator.


carol naegele EditCarol Naegele

Theatre has been an important part of my life since my director husband convinced a very shy and inexperienced bride to step onstage as the ingenue in Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feeling So Sad. The acting bug bit and it’s been a wild and wonderful ride ever since!
After moving to California in 1980, there were roles in early Moonlight productions but eventually life became complicated and acting had to go on the back burner. Now that Don and I are retired, we’ve gone back to school at the Theatre and Film Department at Miracosta College. It has been a an amazing experience.
A MCC production of The Laramie Project was my first experience with playreading, though I’ve also done vocal work in Readers Theatre, as a professional storyteller, and as a radio host for the Armed Forces Radio and WOSU. Besides acting, I’ve enjoyed serving as Costume Designer and Set Designer for various Miracosta productions. As a member on the Oceanside Theatre Company’s Board, I am currently responsible for the volunteer program, the Brooks Theatre Art Gallery and the Youth Education programs.
I am delighted to join the Carlsbad Playreaders Board and look forward to continuing the level of excellence, professionalism, and community connection to the Theatre Arts that has been the hallmark of Carlsbad Playreaders for over twenty years.

AJ Knox
Artistic Director

Rona Djeddah

Ralph Kubiak
Box Office

marty editMarty Youngman
Play Rights Coordinator

Marty Is a retired telecommunications executive living in La Costa with his wife of almost 40 years, Sharon. He spent 5 seasons as a member of the Roots & Branches theater ensemble in New York City, has been the narrator in a few recent Carlsbad Playreaders productions, and made his Carlsbad Playreaders debut in the recent production of The Guys. His hobbies are Meditation, pickelball, running, travel, film & theater.
Marty & Sharon have two grown children and two grandkids (so far).



pat_jimJim & 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.