sierra-madre-playhouse            The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation has bestowed a $15,000 grant on Sierra Madre Playhouse in support of its upcoming production, Bee-luther-hatchee. Sierra Madre Playhouse is one of four Los Angeles and Seattle area theatres newly designated a grantee, and is the only intimate theatre to be so awarded.

The Foundation’s website states, “The Foundation’s theatre enrichment work fosters the art form by expanding access to inspiring productions and immersive educational experiences. We endeavor to support excellent artistic content that promotes important conversations around timely social issues. Further, we believe that active engagement before and after performances provides additional access points that are welcoming to new and underserved audiences.”


Thomas Gibbons’ play Bee-luther-hatchee directly confronts issues of race, cultural appropriation and authenticity, expanding the communal conversation of issues that have a continuing presence in today’s headlines. The engagement of the play will be accompanied by concurrent educational and cultural activities, exhibit displays and conversations with playmakers and guest panelists.

“We act as a catalyst to advance positive and sustainable change…We invest in bold ideas that inspire collective action in order to achieve powerful results.”—Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation


Sierra Madre Playhouse Artistic Director Christian Lebano commented, “Bee-luther-hatchee has been a passion project for me for several years…We were able to keep the very talented cast together and the same creative team and are now deep into rehearsals for this beautiful play…I’m feeling pretty validated about what we are planning…”

The Sierra Madre Playhouse gratefully acknowledges the generosity and commitment of the Biller Family Foundation in its support of the arts.

Bee-luther-hatchee. A play. Written by Thomas Gibbons. Directed by Saundra McClain. Produced by Christian Lebano, Estelle Campbell and Joan Riback for Sierra Madre Playhouse. At Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. This is just east of Pasadena. There is ample free parking behind the Playhouse. January 13- February 18, 2017. Fri. & Sat. at 8:00, Sun. at 2:30. Additional Saturday matinee on February 18 at 2:30. Admission: $30. Seniors (65+) $27. Youth (13-20) $20. Children 12 and under, $17. Reservations: (626) 355-4318. Online ticketing:

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.