History

The Fremont Centre Theatre (FCT) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit professional theatre operating under the 99 Seat & Under Equity Plan, located in an historic building in South Pasadena.

Mission Statement:

"It is FCT's mission to discover and rediscover plays of value to produce in an artistic atmosphere that nurtures creativity, originality, and excellence. In addition, FCT is committed to producing theatre that promotes diversity and attracts diverse audiences."

FCT History

The California Performing Arts Centre opened the Fremont Centre Theatre (FCT) in 1997 under the Co-Artistic Director leadership of James and Lissa Reynolds. Since then, more than 50 shows have graced the FCT stage.

FCT's first production was Three Songs, an original play by William Mesnik about Hollywood blacklisting. A runaway hit, this inaugural show became an Equity production, setting the tone for FCT's mission to encourage, nurture and launch new plays and new playwrights.

In addition, FCT is committed to theatre that reflects and promotes diversity. Its productions include I, Too, Am America!, a play about the African American experience; Herotique-Ahh, chronicling the lives of three African-American women over age 40; Dibujos De Nuestra Frontera, an exploration of Mexican identity and immigration; National Pastime, the story of Jackie Robinson and the desegregation of baseball and of the United States; Coming To America—Transformations, based on the experiences of women from other countries now living in the U.S.; and Suzan-Lori Parks' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, TopDog/Underdog, which went on to New Jersey's Cape May Stage as an Equity production. Recent FCT world premiere productions include South Of Delancey, drawn from the real-life struggles of seven working class Jewish residents in New York City's Lower Eastside; and Holding On—Letting Go, an examination of illness and end-of-life issues.

FCT gained an international presence when it sent its critically acclaimed production of Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey's A Woman of Independent Means to the Winnipeg Fringe, the Cape May Stage and the Vancouver Fringe Festival (where it won the Popular Choice and the "Pick of the Fringe" awards).

In recent years, FCT was the regular venue for Pulitzer Prize-winning author/playwright Ray Bradbury and his Pandemonium Theatre Company. We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague.

FCT has been honored by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, The Valley Theatre League, The Pasadena Arts Council, Women In Theatre, The South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, The City Of South Pasadena and The NAACP, among many other organizations.

JAMES REYNOLDS (Co-Artistic Director) James has been nominated for two Emmys and four NAACP Image Awards and is known presently, and for the past thirty years, as the stalwart Commander (sometimes Mayor) Abe Carver on NBC's popular daytime drama, "Days Of Our Lives", where he has the distinction of being the longest running African American on television, in a continuous run. He also starred in the series “Generations” (where he was nominated for an Emmy), the series “Time Express” with Vincent Price, and has guest starred on numerous television shows, including “Seinfeld.” James was formerly the Managing Artistic Director of the LART (Los Angeles Repertory Theater Company) at DeLacey Street theater in Old Town Pasadena, for which he gained a reputation for theatrical innovation and excellence. As a former Marine who served in Vietnam, James has toured with the USO and Armed Forces Entertainment, visiting service men and women and their families through out the Middle East, Europe and Asia. James also served as the Celebrity Spokesperson for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Hospitalized Vets. Born and raised in Oskaloosa, Kansas James presently serves on the Board of the Kansas historical society, and is honored to have been named one of that state's 105 Greatest Citizens.
LISSA REYNOLDS (Co-Artistic Director) is President of the California Performing Arts Centre. Lissa has produced and co-produced over 40 plays, most recently the FCT Ovation recommended production of Top Dog / Underdog. She has received the Red Carpet Award from Women In Theatre, the Gold Crown Award from the Pasadena Arts Council, the Arts & Business Award from The South Pasadena Chamber Of Commerce, among many others. As an actress Lissa has starred with Jonathan Winters in the film Say Yes, and currently tours in the award winning solo show of Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey's A Woman Of Independent Means here and abroad. She tours regularly with her husband and Co-Artistic Director James Reynolds for Armed Forces Entertainment Tours and USO handshake tours. In 2008, Lissa was awarded the 29th Congressional District Woman of the Year Award for her outstanding contribution to her community. In 2009, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the “Living the Dream” Committee in Topeka, KS and the 2010 Image Award from the Mayor of South Pasadena. Recently honored as the 2010 Woman In Arts & Entertainment by Women In Business. She is also the Founding Director of the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPArC), a non-profit that promotes and advocates for local artists. The South Pasadena Rotery Club has named James & Lissa Reynolds the 2012 Citizens of the Year.

NOTE: See Past Productions on this website for a partial list and information on past productions.

San Marino Chamber of Commerce Pasadena Arts Council LAStage Alliance South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce South Pasadena Arts Council