420 2nd Street, Solvang, CA
||The 700 seat, outdoor, Solvang Festival Theater operates primarily from June through October providing a space for PCPA Theaterfest productions.
The facility is maintained by Solvang Theaterfest thanks to an energetic board of directors, active patron program, volunteers, and a supportive community.
Since 1974, summer productions in the outdoor theatre have entertained tens upon thousands of theatergoers who in large part travel to Solvang from all parts of California and the Western United States with the express desire to experience live theatre.
|The relationship between Solvang Theaterfest and PCPA Theaterfest at Allan Hancock College is unique in the theatre world.
For an entire community to wholeheartedly embrace live theatre as Solvang has done for the past 35 years is unequaled.
|Summer 2013 |
June 13 - September 15
Solvang Festival Theater
|Fiddler on the Roof|
June 13 - July 6
July 13 - August 10
|Cyrano de Bergerac|
August 17 - September 1
|Always... Patsy Cline|
September 6 - 15
|2012-2013 Solvang Theaterfest Board of Directors
Jim Farnum , Chairman
Barbara Radom, Vice-Chairman
Matt Watson, Chief Financial Officer
Donna Will, Secretary
|Dr. Bob Baehner
Judith Canby, Executive Director
Brittany Mullenary and Jenny Miller, House Managers
Solvang Theaterfest Business Office
P.O. Box 917, Solvang, CA 93464
(805) 686-1789 - (805) 686-5912 fax
||William R. Hurbaugh
|The History of the Solvang Festival Theater |
In the early days there was Atterdag Bowl, an outdoor theatre on a hillside next to the folk school that provided a stage for all local and visiting talent until 1955. A very natural progression from that bowl was born in an experiment in Hans Christian Andersen Park in 1971.
The Danish Days Committee decided to ask Allan Hancock College's Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts to bring a production of Hamlet to Solvang. Packed houses for the three night run of the production on a makeshift stage in the park was the beginning of Solvang Theaterfest.
On June 11, 1974, ground was broken for the Solvang Festival Theater. A team headed by Erling Pohls and Johannes Jeager was joined by just about every tradesman in the Valley, working seven days a week and sometimes as much as sixteen hours a day, much of the time for no pay, so that the facility would be ready for its scheduled opening.
Festival Theater construction celebration 1974
The Importance of Being Earnest- summer 2007
Fifty-eight days later, Once Upon a Mattress was presented. There were no dressing rooms backstage and there was no permanent seating - but there was a theatre! It took another three years to actually complete the theatre.
The enthusiasm of the community was phenomenal, and thousands of visitors have enjoyed performances in the outdoor space.
In the winter of 1989-90, PCPA staged the premiere three-play winter season of contemporary works at the newly created Backstage Theatre, an ingenious climate-controlled tent structure that turned the open-air Festival Theatre stage into an intimate indoor setting.
While the Backstage Theatre may be gone, the goal and commitment of the Solvang Theaterfest board is to continue to support productions that enhance our national reputation, and eventually, to develop a year-round schedule of productions.