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.
Kathy Brombacher & Doug Smith
Kathy Brombacher is extremely proud to join her respected colleague Doug Smith to serve as Co-Artistic Director for the Carlsbad Playreaders in their 2014-2015 Seasons. Kathy has helmed the artistic vision and growth of Moonlight Stage Productions in Vista beginning in 1981 when she was a Vista High School theatre educator with an MFA in Acting, holding a passionately ambitious dream to produce large-scale musicals in the City of Vista’s outdoor amphitheatre. Over the 32 years of her artistic leadership , major milestones in the theatre’s development occurred. In 1995, the City of Vista put Moonlight’s staff in charge of renovating the AVO Playhouse, transforming it from a the remnants of a 1948 movie theatre to a beautiful legitimate theatre where Moonlight produces its indoor Winter Season. In 2009, the miraculous completion of the new state-of-the art Amphitheatre stage house in Brengle Terrace Park was a 20-year dream come to fruition. Kathy has produced or directed almost 200 musical and non-musical productions, concerts, and fund-raisers, while advocating for strong youth theatre programs in the community. She has been called a leader and catalyst for the growth of theatrical arts in North County. Over the years, Kathy has been the recipient of prestigious awards: The Craig Noel Award for “Theatrical Trailblazer” from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle; the Shiley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Patte Awards for Theatrical Excellence; Woman of the Year from California Women in Government; Woman of Distinction by Soroptimist International; and induction into the Vista Historical Society’s Hall of Fame. She is proud to have been part of the grant-writing team to have received three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to help fund Moonlight’s artistic work in the winter season. One of Kathy’s proudest achievements is seeing the young artists and technicians who began their theatrical career at Moonlight move forward into their Broadway or regional theatre careers as actors or as professional designers, stage managers and technicians.
Retired Founder /Producing Artistic Director Emeritus of Moonlight Stage Productions, a Cultural Arts program of the City of Vista
Doug Smith is thrilled to be serving as Co-Artistic Director of the Carlsbad Playreaders for the 2014-2015 season. It is a dream come true to be working alongside his dear friend and colleague, Kathy Brombacher, on their mutual passion of enlightening and inspiring the community with quality theatre. After graduating from UCLA with a BA in Theatre Arts and a specialization in Secondary Education, Doug returned to his alma mater, Fallbrook High School and embarked on a 32-year career in theatre education and production. Eight years at Fallbrook were followed by a 16-year tenure at Mt. Carmel high school in the Poway Unified School District. As part of the inaugural team of educators that developed and opened Westview High School, Doug was instrumental in the design of the theater facility and taught there eight years, retiring in 2010.
His students have always done exemplary work in acting, design and technical theatre in southern California festivals and many of them have gone on to study at the finest college and university theatre programs, pursuing careers in professional and educational theatre.
In 2008, Doug was named the Outstanding Theatre Educator of the year by the Southern California Educational Theatre Association, he was 2009 Teacher of the Year at Westview, and inducted into the San Diego Theatre Educators Hall of Fame in 2012.
Doug’s philosophy of theatre comes from his favorite playwright, Thornton Wilder, who said, “I regard the theater as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”
Eden is excited to work with Carlsbad Play Readers. She has previously worked in stage management with Moonlight Productions, New Village Arts, Mira Costa College, and Oceanside Theatre Company. Most recent credits include: Lion in Winter, Blithe Spirit, Leading Ladies (Moonlight), The Nutcracker (New Village Arts) A Year with Frog and Toad (Oceanside Theatre Company).
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.
Treasurer and House Manager
Bonnie is delighted to return to the Playreaders Board having previously served on the board from 2002 to 2005. Her résumé includes time spent as an actor, mime, drama teacher, director, and arts administrator as well as 25 years at MiraCosta College in her “second career” as Director of Marketing and Public Relations. She served on the Board of Directors for Carlsbad Community Theatre for 14 years and directed many productions for that organization. Specializing in theatre for young audiences, some of her favorite productions include Peter Pan, Once on This Island, Charlotte’s Web and The Wind in the Willows. Bonnie has a BA in theatre arts from State University of New York, Brockport and an MA in Theatre for Young Audiences from San Diego State University.
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.