Pasadena Resident Z. Clark Branson’s Passion Project, Boston Court

Boston Court aims to be intimate, accessible, and excellent.
Image: Courtesy Boston Court

The passion project of Pasadena resident Z. Clark Branson, Boston Court opened as an intimate, state-of-the-art performance space for theater and music in 2003.

“Clark loves intimacy,” says co-artistic director Michael Michetti of the theater’s founding benefactor. “He likes to see the performers sweat. We offer artistic excellence up close and personal.”

San Diego native Michetti signed on from the beginning, as did co-artistic director Jessica Kubzansky, who found her way to CalArts and the Southland by way of Boston. Each brings significant experience to Boston Court—enough to know how rarefied is the situation they find themselves in.

“Branson is very proud of what we do and supports the choices we make, without sticking his fingers in too much, but he’s just very excited to participate in it,” Kubzansky says. “He’s really just the ideal type of benefactor for such a situation. I describe it as so much a dream situation, you would never expect it could come true. And then it did.”

This is as much good news for the local theater community as it is for Kubzansky and Michetti, as the pair can focus on producing important, timely, and sometimes experimental work rather than being pigeonholed into producing only what Michetti refers to as “butts in the seats” productions. With four shows a weekend over a typical six-week run, Michetti says the 99-seat theater provides the ideal venue for a “diverse community of theatergoers thirsty for challenging work.”

Both clearly appreciate the opportunity and the responsibility. “I think part of our mission includes giving people something they can’t get anywhere else,” Kubzansky says.

Adds Michetti: “Jessica and I had always admired each other’s work but we’d never met.… We soon realized that we had a lot of similar ideas about theater and what was important to us. The arts seem like one of the few ways we have to actually change lives.”

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