MSHPA mission is to preserve the historic buildings and cultural heritage of Monterey, California so that all may experience the special place through interpretation, education and special events programs.
Monterey State Historic Park Association (MSHPA) preserves the historic buildings and cultural heritage of Monterey so that all may experience the special place through education and special events programs. They’ve been working on restoring California’s First Theater with a goal to hire professional vendors so that the theater can be opened for live performances on a regular basis, along with offering refreshments, including menu items that would’ve been offered historically. In keeping with MSHPA’s funding of children’s programs, they will extend their efforts to engage children in performances and education that dovetails with their current educational funding initiatives.
The First Theater is a California landmark, and it is important that the building be accessible to the public. The theater truly comes alive when plays are performed that drew enthusiastic audiences in the 19th and 20th centuries. Who wouldn’t like to go back, say, to Ed Ricketts’ marine biological laboratory on Cannery Row and sit and chat with Ricketts and John Steinbeck and the other prominent artistic and scientific figures of the time? That’s impossible, but it wouldn’t be impossible to return to the entertainment—the plays—that stirred audiences in the First Theater’s bygone days.
- Steve Hauk