The Belasco Theatre Company
The Belasco Theatre Company is a non-profit youth performing arts company that has been serving the Bay Area for over 30 years. Founded in 1981 by Edward Belasco, BTC is now in the hands of Shayna Ronen and Jarusha Ariel, founders of the I Can Do That Theatre Company, and is fulfilling its original destiny. The Belasco Theatre Company is raising funds to complete construction of a state of the art performing arts center Danville .
The man who started it all
Edward Belasco was a musician and actor in the San Francisco Bay Area. He founded the Belasco Theatre Company in 1981, to fulfill his three children’s interest in the performing arts. Over the thirty years of running his company he directed over 100 youth productions and worked with thousands of students. His productions ranged from well known classic musicals such as Annie, Oliver, and Oklahoma along with local favorites like Flower Drum Song, The Wiz, and Lil Abner.
Now in new hands, the Belasco Theatre Company is working toward the completion of the theatre at 500 La Gonda Way in Danville, CA. The Performing Arts Center will have a 277 seat theatre, two studio spaces for classes and rehearsals, dressing rooms, a costume room, and a gorgeous lobby. The Belasco Theatre Company is seeking donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to cover the cost of tenant improvement and 3 years of operational costs.
I Can Do That History
Shayna Ronen and Jarusha Ariel, founders of the I Can Do That Theatre Company, met while performing in the Belasco Theatre Company at the age of nine. Forever changed and inspired by what they learned as performers in the Belasco Theatre Company, Shayna and Jarusha dreamed of one day opening their own youth theatre company. On the day after Edward Belasco’s passing in 2015, Shayna and Jarusha knew they wanted to honor Ed and his legacy by creating their own non-profit theatre company.
Rewind to 1997
In 1997, Shayna and Jarusha were aware of plans for a new theatre in Danville, which was meant for The Belasco Theatre Company. At the time, they had no idea the extent to which the project had gone, in fact they did not know that it had broken ground. In 2017 it was brought to their attention that there was an unfinished, vacant theatre in Danville. They quickly realized that it was the same theatre meant for Edward Belasco, and were astounded that it had remained in its unfinished state for some 20 years.
Belasco & I Can Do That Parntership for Belasco Theatre Company
Since The Belasco Theatre Company was the original benefactor of the space, the zoning and lease contracts for the building were made to support a nonprofit youth theatre company as its building occupant. This has made it difficult for other types of companies who have been interested in the space to successfully take on the project.
Shayna and Jarusha believe this theatre is meant to go back to its rightful owner, The Belasco Theatre Company, and are now determined to make this happen. With the support of Ed's daughter, Shanti Belasco, they will return the building to its rightful owner, the Belasco Theatre Company. The new Board of Directors for the Belasco Theatre Company now includes Shayna Ronen, Jarusha Ariel, Shanti Belasco, Zae Perrin, and Lisa Rowland.