Local theater-goers were treated earlier this week to a stellar performance of the play “Beau Jest,” in which a Jewish girl hires an actor to portray the (fictional) man of her picky parents' dreams and falls for the impersonator.
The spirited comedy was entirely performed and produced by advanced-level students of the La Cañada High School's theater department in a prime example of learning by doing.
The theater department is not just where students go to learn acting, says Justin Eick, theater teacher and chair of the school's fine arts department, it's a professional-level entertainment resource in the heart of the community. What's more, this year, all La Cañada Playhouse performances are free to the public for the first time ever.
“If you're looking for a nice, free evening close to home, I don't think you could do much better than the La Cañada Playhouse,” Eick says.
When Eick came to LCHS seven years ago from Glendale Centre Theatre, where he'd worked as director of education and outreach, he pitched the idea of creating a slate of 32 performances to be staged over a four-year period. By the time the rotation began again, he reasoned, students who have worked on or seen productions in the previous rotation will have graduated.