After hearing the news that its building is up for sale, the community theater group co-op Pacific Resident Theatre has announced it will begin a push to attempt to raise enough funds to buy the building at 703 Venice Blvd., Venice, says Maryjane, a spokeswoman for Pacific Resident Theatre. The cost of the purchase is estimated at $5 million.

Pacific Resident Theatre has put on community theater productions of works by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Brecht and Weil, Arthur Miller, George Bernard Shaw, Edward Albee, Noel Coward, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams and other famous playwrights since 1985.

The theater is mostly volunteer-run and only a few stipends are paid for office and clerical work, technical assistance and for the artistic director (currently Marilyn Fox).

The group has a lease on the space for the next four years, but such a lease can be altered or terminated by a new owner and this creates a feeling of uncertainty among Pacific Resident Theatre staffers and volunteers, says Maryjane.

Throughout its 22 year history, Pacific Resident Theatre has received about 200 awards for its productions, including honors from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly, Garland Awards, The Margaret Hartford Award for Excellence in Theatre, Polly Warfield Award and Ovation Awards. The theater’s productions have been honored in the areas of sets, costumes, lighting, sound and de- signs.

Season subscribers exceed 2,000 and about 20,000 per year attend shows at the theater, according to Maryjane.

Venice-based television and film actor Orson Bean has made the Pacific Resident Theatre his home stage for his holiday portrayal of “Scrooge” in his production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Former Los Angeles City Councilman Ruth Galanter is a current Pacific Resident Theatre board member and she and board president and theater co-founder Robert Jacobs are trying to mobilize people to help the theater.

The next production scheduled to open at the Pacific Resident Theatre is Hogan’s Goat, by playwright William Alfred, directed by Elina De Santos, a lyrical play about early 20th century Brooklyn-Irish politics.

Hogan’s Goat will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday starting Saturday, January 27th, at the Pacific Resident Theatre. Tickets are $16 to $23.

The theater has also held a staged readings series at 7 p.m. Sundays since 2005.

Pacific Resident Theatre views the nearby stretch of Venice Boulevard as a local “cultural arts district,” that includes theaters, art galleries, the literary arts center Beyond Baroque, and SPARC (Social and Public Art Resource Center).

Ensuring the continued operation of Pacific Resident Theatre will help preserve the local arts atmosphere, says Maryjane.

Information, (310) 301-3971 ext. 10.

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