A number of premier Los Angeles area performing arts groups perform at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, forming an exciting community of artists and an exceptional season of performances for art lovers. Read on for details about some of these companies.
Asian Arts Talents Foundation
AATF is a non-profit organization established in 2003 by a group of professional performers passionate about both eastern and western cultures. The Foundation aims to raise funds to support Asian arts, education, and culture, sponsor public performances, offer grants and scholarships for talented young Asians worldwide, help and get involved with the community during disasters and catastrophes and organize summer activities for young people. The Foundation is actively involved with the local community and has received awards for its work both here and internationally.
American Chinese Dance Association
For nearly a quarter century, the American Chinese Dance Association has been presenting the Annual Chinese Dance Festival. Each year, they create a wonderful celebration of traditional and contemporary Chinese Dance, full of characteristic energy, skill and grace.
American Theatre Arts for Youth
American TAFY presents professional, curriculum-related theater in over 250 theaters across the country with shows designed to enrich and educate children of all ages.
Now celebrating 41 years of production continuity, American TAFY successfully performs its original musicals to over 800,000 students annually. Each musical is designed to capture the spirit of timeless classics; to bring literature and history to life; to provide the magic found only in the live theater experience.
AmericanTAFY’s award-winning productions reflect a critically acclaimed commitment to presentations that involve the professional skills, talent and creativity of outstanding directors, designers, performers and technical personnel.
CalState LA/Olympia Youth Orchestra
CalState LA Symphony/Olympia Youth Orchestra is lead by Music Director and Conductor Fung Ho. A former Concertmaster at the Brooklyn Chamber and Queens Philharmonic Orchestra’s in New York, he also served as Concertmaster for the Burbank Chamber Orchestra and West LA Symphony. He is currently on the violin faculty at CalState LA.
Each season, CalStateLA/OYO presents two free concerts featuring completion winning-soloists and musicians of international repute.
Chinese American Dancing Group
The Chinese American Dancing Group was formed in 1987 by Dr. Jaw John Chang, the dance group promotes Chinese culture, raises multicultural awareness and provides a professional training center for its children, teen, and adult dance classes.
The Chinese American Dancing Group has participated and performed in numerous ethnic and cultural activities and is well known for its excellent performances, annually showcasing its own major dance productions since 1991.
Based in Temple City, Elite Ballet Theatre, founded in 2003, has now become one of the top ballet schools in the area. With a grand, full length ballet performance annually at the Mission Playhouse, students are able to experience classical ballet in a professional setting-from the costumes to the choreography to the backdrops, all are enriched by this learning environment.
Stressing the importance of quality over quantity, Elite Ballet is dedicated to educating students in a setting much like a private institution, where students are given a higher education. They are given the opportunity to see and experience only the best, raising their standards of life. Many of their students have been accepted to prestigious ballet summer intensive at professional companies such as Milwaukee Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet and most likely more to come.
Esperanza Flores Ballet Folklorico
Esperanza Flores Ballet Folklorico is dedicated to preserving the native folk dances of Latin countries. Director and choreographer Esperanza Flores was born in Mexico and has been dancing for over 40 years sharing traditional Mexican and Spanish dances with her community.
Founded in 1996, Hanyi Productions is dedicated to promoting performances by Chinese artists from around the world and has produced many significant cultural programs; it also formed the United Musicians Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles and the Livic Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Theatre Organ Society
Formed in 1961, the Los Angeles Theatre Organ Society is dedicated to the preservation of LA County’s Theatre Organs and the promotion of their use. LATOS stages up to two events each year at the Mission Playhouse that celebrate the magnificent Wurlitzer Theatre Organ.
Based in Temple City, Li’s Ballet Studio was founded in 1993 by Li Zhang, a nationally recognized prima ballerina in China. It is committed to classical ballet training and physical fitness. Twice a year, over 300 of Li’s students, aged 5 to 18, showcase their work at San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. While the focus is classical ballet, the performance also incorporates Chinese folk ballet, jazz, Broadway musical, and contemporary lyrical dance. In addition, Li’s Ballet students periodically participate in summer intensive training in the Shanghai National Ballet School and perform in a variety of programs such as World Expo Shanghai.
Mariachi Heritage Society
Founded in 1991 by Maestro Jose Hernandez, the Mariachi Heritage Society is a non-profit organization that has for the past 21 years built a bridge connecting family and heritage, delivering quality music lessons and love of Mariachi music to over 10,000 children from Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Pasadena Civic Ballet
A Pre-Professional Dance Company Formed in 1980, the Pasadena Civic Ballet Company is a not-for-profit organization of pre-professional and professional dancers from ages 10 and up; serious, talented ballet students who are accepted by audition or judgment of the director. PCB has four divisions: Junior, Teen, Senior, and Chamber Ensemble. Company members have the opportunity of performing in major productions before large audiences.
The Company’s original presentations have included A Christmas Carol, Hansel and Gretel, and Cinderella as well as numerous other presentations. These performances provide a wonderful showcase for all of the dancers, with ensemble and solo opportunities. Dancers also perform in the company’s Solo Fete and the PCB Center Showcases, as well as invitational events, charity groups, in-studio concerts, and guest appearances.
Pasadena Dance Theatre
Pasadena Dance Theatre strives to provide classical and innovative contemporary choreography through professional dance performance and to offer a high caliber of dance training through its conservatory. In 1958 Evelyn LeMone founded PDT at the Pasadena Playhouse. Today the company offers professional performances and training opportunities to the community through its company, conservatory, and outreach programs.
PDT thrills audiences with its annual production of The Nutcracker, as well as full-scale produc-tions of classical ballets such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Graduation Ball, and La Fille Mal Gardee, and new works like Cynthia Young’s Beauty and the Beast.
Along with its classical repertoire, PDT presents exciting contemporary choreography from established and emerging choreographers. In its Conversation with the Choreographer series works by Scott Putman, Douglas Nielsen, Bill Evans, Laurence Blake, Jessamyn Lawrence, Andrea Beasom, and Iris Andersen have challenged audiences with bold new concepts and innovative aesthetics of movement.
San Gabriel Chinese Opera
San Gabriel Chinese Opera Association was established in 1997 to promote Chinese performing arts and to improve the cultural exchange between the United States and Taiwan or China. Its members are devotees of traditional Chinese (Beijing-Style) Opera who present several performances each year.
San Gabriel Valley Music Theatre
The San Gabriel Valley Music Theatre aims to provide quality musical theatre for the San Gabriel Valley Community in an environment reinforcing education, cultural enrichment, and performing opportunities for national, regional and local talent. The San Gabriel Valley Music Theatre wishes to solidify its ties to the local community and continue the fine heritage of performing arts at the beautiful and historic San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. Recent productions include Miss Saigon, Guys and Dolls, Forever Plaid and A Night Of Swingin’ and Croonin’.
Theatre Experience of Southern California
Theatre Experience of Southern California is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to building the self-esteem and self–confidence of participants through theatre arts. Producers of musical theatre geared towards children since 1992 they have 4 performance areas, Conejo Valley, Pasadena, Claremont and South Orange County.
No experience is necessary to become a cast member, only the desire to be part of a wonderful life experience, and all are welcome. Participants take part in a 14 week program where they are involved with vocal training, character development and choreography, culminating in performance.
Every year, over four million people, many of whom have no other access to the performing arts, see TheatreworksUSA shows in venues as varied as local elementary school gymnasiums, regional fine arts centers, and major Broadway-sized theaters. Every year, TheatreworksUSA tours approximately 16 shows from an ever-growing repertoire of 117 plays and musicals. In addition, they also have an extensive multi-cultural guest artist roster, including storytellers, puppeteers, poets, and magicians.