Malibu Stage Company names new director

Malibu’s local playhouse has named playwright and producer Gene Franklin Smith as its new artistic director.

Smith was chosen out of a large pool of candidates who applied to lead the Malibu Stage Company.

“Choosing a new artistic director for the Playhouse was not something we took lightly,” Board Chairman Geoffrey Ortiz said in a statement.

Smith’s plays, such as “Life Beneath the Roses” and “Adults in Love,” have been performed in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. He also founded a creative company, Write Act Repertory Company, an artistic company made up of resident actors, playwrights, directors and designers who developed original plays and musicals.

The new director hopes to increase the Malibu theater’s recognition in Los Angeles and has high expectations as he embarks on the job. 

“Malibu Playhouse is an incredible venue with enormous potential to transform it into one of the premier theaters in the Greater Los Angeles area,” Smith said. “Malibu has long been a haven for writers, actors, directors and designers.”

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The seasoned theater veteran replaces outgoing artistic director Richard Johnson, who announced his departure in late 2012. 

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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