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The Golden Bough Playhouse gets a theatrical remodel

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. (KION-TV) -- A local theater company, the Golden Bough Playhouse, is heading into their 30th year with a literal bang. The theatrical group is currently underway with some major construction to update and enhance the classic venue.

The building has served the community as an arts center since 1907, then known as the Carmel Arts and Crafts Clubhouse.

"It was really the first cultural center in Carmel," said founder and executive director Stephen Moorer. "It's where Mary Austin, Jack London and all the early bohemians used to get together and read their poetry and plays to each other. We've inherited that history as long as everything else."

According to the Pacific Repertory Theatre's website, the Carmel region was home to early bohemians before achieving notoriety as "the loveliest and best-equipped theatre of its size in America" from the Boston Transcript in 1922.

The Golden Bough Playhouse went through many iterations over the years, finally being acquired in 1994 by Pacific Repertory Theatre (then known as GroveMont Theatre), a move that saved the venue from demolish.

Now, on the heels of a theatrical remodel, the company hopes to host its first show; Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 from June 28 through August 4, pending renovations.

According to Moorer, the physical stage revolves on multiple turntables that can operate together or alternately. The theater also hosts two lighting catwalks accessible from the attic, in addition to special effects equipment.

The theater's seating holds 288 audience members with hues of blues and teals. "We have these lighting instruments on the walls that literally look like the stars from the Starry Night painting," said Moorer. "Our themes are blues, greens and golds, and we're getting rid of all our incandescent lights and going to all L.E.D lights." Additionally, the theater hosts nearly 90 solar panels.

Theatrical enthusiasts can expect to see a lineup of sizzling summer shows. For a full roster of PacRep's 2024 season, please visit

Article Topic Follows: Carmel/Carmel Valley
Carmel by the sea

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Jeanette Bent

I’ve been an international professional writer and performer for over 25 years. With a background in journalism, creative writing, dance and aerial, I find the intersection between all of these skills lands itself somewhere under the term “storytelling.”

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