California Dolphin: statewide California news

Alameda’s Altarena Playhouse turns to old friend as new artistic director

ALAMEDA — The Altarena Playhouse welcomes an old friend as its new artistic director.
Sue Trigg, who has lived in Alameda for 32 years, will take over the reins of the well-respected theater on Aug. 1.
Trigg graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in 1974. She brings a wealth of artist talent to the Altarena where she has directed approximately 15 shows and performed in 12 others.
“My first show was ‘The Anniversary’ in 1986, and it began my love affair with the Altarena Playhouse,” Trigg said. “When the board interviewed me, I told them this was my dream job and it really is. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have this position. I want to build on what previous artistic directors Clay David and Fred Chacon have done.”
According to Altarena Board President Joe Mallon, the company received over 20 applications for the artistic director position.
“We interviewed several very strong candidates, but Sue stood out,” Mallon said. “Her vision for the company, reflecting both her connection to our existing community and her striving to expand our audience, coupled with her many years of service to Altarena, made her the best fit for us. We look forward to working with her to realize our shared goals as we approach next year’s 80th anniversary season.”
Not only did Trigg interview with the board of directors for the position, she also had to interview with former artistic director Fred Chacon.
Chacon, who resigned his position in 2014, relocated with his wife to Michigan to be close to their family.
“It was lovely talking with Fred over the phone. We’ve known each other and worked together for some time,” Trigg said. “While I don’t have his ability to run around and fix things, I do have a good business head and am just as comfortable with a spreadsheet as I am on stage.”
Trigg has hit the ground running in her new position. Although she doesn’t officially take over until Aug. 1, she has been busy reading scripts and planning the 2018 season.
“One of the hardest things an artistic director does is choose a season,” she said. “Nothing is decided yet, but I’m looking at the small version of ‘Sweeney Todd,’ or ‘Smokey Joe’s Café’ for musicals and, possibly, ‘The Miracle Worker’ as a drama.”
Trigg also hopes to restart the company’s Youth Theater and to include scholarships for youngsters who can’t afford to attend the program. Higher stipends for actors are also on her agenda.
“The actors are key,” Trigg said. “Without them, it doesn’t matter how great the lights are; costumes don’t walk around by themselves. We need to treat them well and make certain we have an open, respectful, warm environment for them.”
Trigg also noted that having a shared vision with the board, the audience and the sponsors is important.
“I intend to spend a lot of time listening to people and finding out what they want to see at the Altarena. I’ll also be doing quite a bit of fundraising, and I hope to be involved with such community groups as the Elks and Chamber of Commerce,” she said.
One of Trigg’s goals is to learn more about who attends the Altarena and why. She plans both paper and email surveys.
“I want to keep our lovely, loyal audience but also to expand it and to include younger people. When I attended theater performances in the UK recently, there were so many audience members in their 30s. I’d love to see more of that here,” Trigg said.

Top News

Ain't No God; don't even think about theism

UnFox News: not a propaganda arm of the Republican party