Theater 150 was constructed in an abandoned pool hall by Kim Maxwell-Brown and Dwier Brown in 1997 to offer Ventura County audiences an intimate theater experience that Kim calls “theater in your lap”. Theater 150 also offers acting, writing, and directing classes for all ages through The Conservatory at Theater 150.
Since the Solo Series that opened the space in March 1997, Theater 150 has enjoyed sold-out houses for an eclectic mix of performances. From that original festival and the three Solo Series that followed, Theater 150 can boast a range of success stories, including: Doug Motel’s Ovation and L.A. Weekly Award winning show Shiva Arms; a show by Christopher Titus that was the basis for his hit TV show on the Fox Network; and Ojai teenager Spencer Campbell, who debuted his first play Love and Death in the Garden of Eden to sold-out houses and had to extend his run.
In 1998, Sam Shepard attended a production of True West and called it “one of the best productions” he’d ever seen of his play. In Spring ‘00, Hate Mail was so successful, Theater 150 was invited to extend its run at the Backlot Theatre in Thousand Oaks. In Spring ‘01, an enormously successful production of David Mamet’s American Buffalo, transforming our little space into a junk shop in Chicago, and, in response to the traumatic events of September 11th, Theater 150’s ensemble created and performed Human Chain, a composition of dramatic readings of hope and healing, raising over $2,000 for the September 11th Fund.
Most recently, Theater 150 produced a sold-out run of the brand new play The Whole Banana by local playwright Deb Norton, which went on to a larger production in Los Angeles and negotiations for a screenplay, and actor Jason Delane was nominated for a Black Theater Award by the NAACP for his performance in Theater 150’s Sizwe Bansi is Dead. Theater 150 has also served as a meeting place for informal readings of works-in-progress by local writers and playwrights visiting Ojai.
Theater 150’s Educational Outreach Program Off the Page has taken staged readings performed by professional casts to Ojai area schools. Eccentric Shakespearean scholar Murph Swander has wowed kids with his irreverent approach to Shakespeare, blacklisted actor Jeff Corey and Charlotte Bronstein answered questions about the Hollywood blacklist in conjunction with The Crucible performance, and director Gregg T. Daniel has brought casts from Los Angeles to offer unique presentations during Black History Month. Theater 150 also offers acting, writing, and directing classes for all ages through The Conservatory at Theater 150.