The Playhouse has established ongoing relationships with artists from all fields – playwrights, directors, designers and actors – who continue to call the Playhouse their artistic home.

The Playhouse fosters and deepens these relationships by offering individual artists and theatre companies on-site residences.

Resident Theatre Program

The Playhouse provides a temporary home each year for an up-and-coming theatre company as part of our annual Resident Theatre Program. Launched by Christopher Ashley in 2008, the program is designed to address the lack of available, affordable performance spaces for the many vibrant theatre companies in San Diego. In addition to performance space, the Playhouse provides lighting and sound support and is available to offer marketing and development collaboration.

Current Resident Theatre

Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company

Backyard Renaissance presents theatre with an “art to the gut” sensibility and believes that exceptional storytelling is rooted in a sense of joyful play, human connection, and gutsy intensity. The company was founded in 2015 by artistic director Francis Gercke and executive director Jessica John Gercke. With the addition of producing director Anthony Methvin, the company has produced six productions including the San Diego Premiere of Parlour Song by Jezz Butterworth, The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance, the San Diego Premiere of Gutenberg: The Musical by Scott Brown and Anthony King, Abundance by Beth Henley, the San Diego Premiere of Bachelorette by Leslye Headland, and the world premiere of Tarrytown by Adam Wachter, which was named Best Original Musical by the San Diego Critics Circle Awards this past February.

The San Diego premiere of Backyard Renaissance’s An Experiment with an Air Pump by Shelagh Stephenson is currently running through August 25, 2019 in the Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre.

View Show Page


Show description:
An Experiment with an Air Pump was written by Stephenson as a layman’s love poem to Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. The work spans two centuries — each on the verge of revolutionary scientific discovery. The show dives headlong into the eternal battle between science and God, self-determination and destiny, and the hand each plays in the delicate intricacies of love. First performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in 1998, Experiment sifts and probes the moral challenges of the present day as if written yesterday.

More at:

Past Resident Theatre Companies

Past Resident Theatre Companies have included:

Native Voices at the Autry, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 Season
Circle Circle dot dot, 2014/2015 Season
Teatro Máscara Mágica, 2013/2014 Season
San Diego Asian American Repertory Theater, 2012/2013 Season
Eveoke Dance Theatre, 2011/2012 Season
MOXIE Theater, 2009/2010 Season
Mo’olelo, 2008 Season

Artist-in-Residence Program

The Artist-in-Residence program is a multi-month residency that gives artists the freedom to focus on their ongoing body of work. Resident Artists are invited to become fully integrated in to Playhouse operations, from the stage, to the boardroom, to the classroom. Recipients have included the Tony-nominated scenic designer Robert Brill (2015), Tony Award-winning actor and playwright BD Wong (2016) and internationally renowned puppeteer Basil Twist (2017).

The Artist-in-Residence Program is by invitation only.

Current Artists-in-Residence

Our current Artists-in-Residence are Mickey Rowe and Talleri A. McRae.
» Click here to read the Press Release




Logo: The National Disability Theatre logo, a triangle and two circles overlapping to resemble a wheelchair. The logo is the color of a plum.

Image: Mickey Rowe and Talleri A. McRae sit in chairs at the Kennedy Center’s LEAD conference while an interpreter translates behind them. Both have light brown hair. Rowe is wearing a blue suit and white shirt, McRae is wearing a green blouse. The curtain behind them is lit with deep blue and yellow lights. Photo by JW Barker Photography.

Photo credit: (L-R) Román Zaragoza and Duane Minard in Native Voices at the Autry’s THEY DON’T TALK BACK; photo by Craig Schwartz.

2019 October
2019 November
2019 December