Rich in theater history, Sacramento and the surrounding communities have a balcony full of theater companies to enjoy. The directors of these companies and troupes of thespians make the stage come alive. They are creative, inventive and passionate about live theater.
1631 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
In 1988, Ron Cunningham became the artistic director for the Sacramento Ballet. Over the years, he has become one of the widely acknowledged masters of choreography in the ballet world. He is recognized as a brilliant asset to the art community in Sacramento, and has gained critical acclaim throughout the world. In the People’s Republic of China, his production of “Cinderella” was the first American ballet to be seen there. It was televised to over 30 million viewers. His work has been lauded and applauded in Europe, Israel, China and throughout the U.S. Sacramento Ballet and the Sacramento community count him as a true local treasure and icon. Over a 20-year span, his work encompasses a who’s who of classical ballet, including 40 Sacramento premiers and 38 world premiers. Look for “The Next Generation: Ilana Goldman/Proteges” to be on stage in May.
B Street Theatre
2711 B St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
Twenty years ago, Buck Busfield was one of the founders of B Street Theatre. Since that time, this little theater company has earned a reputation of complete excellence in the 160 plays that have been produced. Buck Busfield directed 90 of them and is still going strong. B Street Theater is consistently among the top theater companies in the area. Intimate, funny, serious and avante garde at times, Busfield is capable of bringing just about anything to life on the stage. The B Street Theatre production of “The Three Musketeers” opens in April.
2215 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
With a history dating back to 1999 and the Delta King Riverboat, Capital Stage has grown from a professional equity company to the non-profit it is today. Stephanie Gularte has been with the company from the start. She is the Producing/Artistic Director of the company and is known as one of the hardest working woman in show business. Co-founder of the company, she is an actress as well as a director. She has been on stage in over 50 productions. Gularte is a graduate of the theater program at California State University, Sacramento, having earned a BA in Theater and Government. Gularte is a tireless promoter of the arts in Sacramento. She teaches, acts, directs and mentors. Look for Capital Stage’s “The Mountaintop“ this spring.
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Lanny Langston and Peter Wolfe
100 Placerville Drive
Placerville, CA 95667
Lanny Langston, along with Peter Wolfe, founded this company back in 1999. Their goal was to provide a professionally run, top-of-the-line youth- and family-oriented performing arts company for the western slope of El Dorado County. Success is evidenced by the strength of the company from then to now. Langston and Wolfe are two highly creative people who have brought live theater to the foothills, while providing budding and experienced thespians with the opportunity to make the stage come alive. Presently housed in a 180-seat theater located on the grounds of the El Dorado County Fair, what Langston and Wolfe produce and direct covers a wide expanse of theater. Local icons in the live theater stage, their work entertains and enlivens the live theater scene in the foothills, a true plus to the community. Look for the Imagination Theater’s production of “The Little Mermaid“ in the spring.
California Musical Theatre
1419 H St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Glen Casale has been the resident director of CMT since 1988. He earned an MA in Directing at UNLV and has been putting his skills and theater sense to good use since his days at the University. CMT performs at three different stages: Wells Fargo Pavillion, Cosmopolitan Cabaret and the Community Center Theater. The list of work that Casale has directed is a very long list. His work is valued throughout the live musical theater world. He is more than just an artistic director of stage productions, having worked in television as well as special events. California Musical Theater will open “The Wizard of Oz” at Music Circus in July, and “Billy Elliott” at the Community Center Theater in April.
Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at Examiner.com.