Spotlight On: Live Theaters Worth A Standing Ovation in Folsom, Placerville, and Roseville
Our region is overflowing with award-winning performing arts organizations. Curious where you can catch a show? Read on to learn about three of our favorite live theater companies, plus a list of upcoming productions.
Sutter Street Theatre
Now in its 13th season, Sutter Street Theatre (SST) first opened its doors in November 2006 with the help of the City of Folsom Redevelopment Department and the local chamber. Founded by award-winning arts educator Connie Mockenhaupt and Managing Director and CFO Mike Jimena, SST was originally named Stage Nine Entertainment Store and Theatre before it became the nonprofit company it is today.
“What makes us unique is the intimate theater experience and the diversity of our productions [including] comedies, dramas, and musicals,” states Jimena. “Last year, our productions included Agatha Christie's Murder on the Nile, In the Heights, On Golden Pond, as well as our family series Les Misérables and Little Women.”
Receiving over 200 Elly nominations and awards by the Sacramento Regional Theatre Alliance for excellence in theater, SST also offers weekly, all-ages workshops, community events, and youth outreach, thanks to multiple grants awarded to them through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.
SST’s upcoming season highlights include their Off Broadway Series, featuring shows like Visiting Mr. Green (July 26-August 18) and Little Shop of Horrors (August 30-September 29), as well as their Family Series, which includes shows like A Year with Frog & Toad (June 22-July 7), The Wizard of Oz (July 20-August 18), and Little Red Riding Hood and the Power Mutants (September 7-29).
717 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-353-1001, sutterstreettheatre.com
Lanny Langston and Peter Wolfe founded Placerville’s Imagination Theater (IT) after the disbanding of Theater El Dorado back in 2000, with the simple mission “to tell good stories well in an atmosphere of trust, respect, personal growth, and challenge.”
From humble beginnings—where Langston and Wolfe would meet and plan the year’s shows on a paper napkin at a local café—IT is now a nonprofit arts organization governed by a board of directors. With Wolfe still serving as artistic director and Langston heading their Reader's Theater dinner shows at Smith Flat House, the pair have directed and produced over 67 plays together, including original productions and a few from guest directors.
“Imagination Theater is not afraid to go big. For Disney's 101 Dalmatians, Wolfe tried to recruit 101 kids to play Dalmatians but logistically had to settle for 65,” shares Marketing Director John Zachry. “Last year, Langston shared his dream of having it actually rain on stage in the production of The Grapes of Wrath, which provided a spectacular stage effect.”
IT tends to have a good mix of shows, including comedies, dramas, classics, musicals, and youth shows that also appeal to adults. Don’t miss their annual season kick-off that doubles as a fundraiser, Evening to Remember (October 11), the dinner show The Gin Game (August 9-18), and the British farce Noises Off (September 13-October 6).
100 Placerville Drive, Placerville,
Roseville Theatre Arts Academy
Roseville Theatre Arts Academy was formed around a kitchen table in early 2011 when the previous company vacated the Roseville Theater that winter. “We saw the need to keep live theater readily available for the children and young adults who had been participating on the beautiful Roseville stage,” says Executive Director Megan Lewis. “We were determined to continue to offer training and a safe environment for young people to learn and grow both as performers and as humans.”
Ever since, the goal has been to build a thriving theatrical community of performers and mentors alike. The academy now offers numerous community programs, including Constellation Theatre, a program started by Dr. Samantha Auman where children with autism work with typically developing children to produce original works.
“We always have something going on. Almost every day of the week we have classes, rehearsals, and performances,” shares Lewis. “I love that it’s a safe place where anyone can come and feel at home. We want everyone to be able to walk in our doors and find their corner of the sky!”
This month kicks off the academy’s annual Summer camps, in addition to their production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (June 21-30), Singin’ in the Rain (August 9-17), and Peter Pan (September 13-28).
241 Vernon Street, Roseville, 916-772-2777, rosevilletheatreartsacademy.com
More Live Theater Favorites…
Auburn State Theatre
985 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 530-885-0156; livefromauburn.com
El Dorado Musical Theatre
5011 Golden Foothill Parkway, Suite 4, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-7464; edmt.info
Folsom Theatre Company
330 Palladio Parkway, Suite 2075, Folsom, 916-382-0440, folsomtheatre.com
Folsom, 916-207-5606, freefallstage.com
McLaughlin Theatre Co.
3470 Swetzer Road, Suite B, Loomis, 916-652-6377, theatre.mclaughlinstudios.com
See the Elephant
Rocklin Community Theatre
4090 Rocklin Road, Rocklin, 916-740-6229, rocklintheatre.org
Royal Stage Christian Performing Arts
1220 Melody Lane, Suite 100, Roseville, 916-572-3022, royalstage.squarespace.com
561 Canal Street, Placerville, 530-622-3634, studio81arts.com