Lineage Performing Arts Center has officially opened their brand new, beautiful performance space at 920 East Mountain Street in Pasadena and it is the culmination of 22 years of work, fundraising and hundreds of performances. Lineage began as a dance company conceived by founder and Artistic Director Hilary Thomas to help support nonprofits in Pasadena. “As a young artist, I didn’t have any money to give, so this seemed like a great way to combine my passion with my own approach to activism,” explains Thomas. Eventually Lineage became a vehicle to help tell stories of various nonprofits’ constituents through theater, music, and dance. While the company spent the first few years traveling the country performing at benefit concerts, Thomas felt there were not enough spaces dedicated to supporting performing artists here in Pasadena. In 2010, they took a leap forward by opening their first dedicated space in Old Pasadena. There they grew tremendously and produced critically acclaimed shows. “As we open the doors of our new theater, we bring two decades-worth of artists and community members that make up the Lineage family into our beautiful space,” beams Thomas.
This move comes after three years of making this dream a reality, from searching for the perfect space to fit their needs to two years worth of fundraising specifically for the theater. Executive Director Brian Elerding (also Artistic Director of The Ensemble Shakes) tells us the space had been abandoned for decades in part of a beautiful 1960s modernist building. “We started our capital campaign in 2018, and finished the build in March of 2020, which, as you might imagine, was not a great time for a grand opening,” explains Elerding. “We went online with our programming for about a year, and thanks to support from government relief grants and our incredible patrons, we were able to thrive as a safe place for many folks, I think. We’re really, really excited to be able to welcome everyone into our space, albeit at limited capacity right now for COVID, and “The Curiosity Tales” is just the start to an amazing lineup of live events and classes to come.”
“This show is really fun” he says, “ It’s clever, sweet, and has lots for parents as well as kids.” It explores the well-known stories of curious characters like Alice and Pandora through a humorous and exciting multimedia theater and dance performance. “The Curiosity Tales” follows three young girls as they dive into their imaginations to discover what they’re curious about. In the age of social media influencer onslaught, the show encourages kids to look up from their devices and make an impact in the real world.
“Because Lineage often chooses to tackle difficult topics (such as mental illness, homelessness, breast cancer) through its dance and storytelling, I’ve really been wanting to present a show that is much lighter and suitable for the entire family,” explains Thomas. “I also wanted to address social media and its negative effects on young people. We had the good fortune of partnering with an incredibly talented writer and comedian, Jennifer Bascom. We worked to craft a show that would be both uplifting and meaningful for people of all ages.” After a year and a half watching her nine year old daughter glued to the computer screen for at-home learning, Thomas was eager to create a show that speaks to her generation directly. She goes on to say “I also wanted to make sure that kids and parents alike would enjoy and appreciate the experience, so there are jokes sprinkled in for all ages.”
With a mission to be your home for connecting through the arts, Lineage Performing Arts Center invites you and your family to “The Curiosity Tales”, running Sundays, February 6, 13, 27, March 6 and 13. Program begins at 4:00 pm. Curiosity Lab opens at 3:15. (Curiosity Lab is an exhibit designed by local students for kids of all ages. Be ready to explore, learn, and of course, ask questions.) Showtime is one hour. For tickets and more information on LPAC and upcoming productions visit Lineagepac.org
NOTE: Everyone over the age of 5 must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. All guests must wear masks at all times while inside the building.