about lambs


Now in our 46th Year, LAMB'S is one of Southern California’s leading non-profit performing arts organizations. We produce year-round in the charming island community of Coronado. 


OUR MISSION: To Tell Good Stories Well.

 We look for narratives that:

  • Probe and question the values and choices of contemporary culture.
  • Celebrate the joys, strengths and diverse traditions of family and community.
  • Explore the spiritual dimension of life.
  • Champion the moral imagination.


We present an annual 5-play Season, January thru November at our beautiful 350 seat resident theatre in Coronado. Followed by ‘Lamb’s Festival of Christmas’ each December.

Also each December, we invite you to step back 100 years with us for ‘An American Christmas’ held in San Diego's iconic US GRANT HOTEL.



We are an artist-directed company, and the first theatre in San Diego to establish a full-time, long-term company of actors, directors, playwrights and designers. 



In addition to our resident theatre work, our Educational Outreach troupe – The Road Crew ­– performs to tens of thousands of students each year in schools throughout San Diego county and beyond. 



In addition to presenting the classics and lesser-known gems of the theatre, we develop and produce new work through our PlayWork program. Lamb’s has presented over 45 world premieres and more than 40 regional premieres.


We enjoy setting out a varied theatrical menu each year – musical, drama, comedy and adventurous premieres.

We look forward to your visit.


Lamb's Players grew out of a drama class project at Bethel College in St. Paul, MN. The company was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1971 by Steve Terrell, a professor of drama at the college, and one of his students, Glen “Herbie” Hansen. The small troupe put together a Street Theatre production call “The Hound of Everyman”, a contemporary comedy that used the form and costumes of the medieval morality plays.


Realizing that the season for Street Theatre was rather limited in Minnesota, in 1972 Steve and Else Terrell, Herbie and Bernelle Hansen, and Bernie and Nancy Boyd decided to move to Southern California where Terrell had grown up.  The Terrells purchased a home in San Diego where the young troupe rehearsed in the front yard and built sets and props in the back. That year Chris Turner (Lamb’s current Art Director,) joined the company.


The growing organization then moved into a former machine shop in El Cajon, adding other outreach troupes alongside the Street Theatre – a mime troupe, “Hands & Feet”, a muppet-style puppetry troupe, “Quimby Company”, a Dance Company and a juggling and magic act, “The Third Hand”.  The organization built a reputation for high quality, fast-paced humor, and physical dexterity with its different troupes touring nationwide to colleges, prisons, churches and Renaissance Faires.


In 1976 Robert Smyth joined the organization with a vision to build a resident repertory company based on the European ensemble model (current Lamb’s Associate Artistic Director, Kerry Meads also joined that year) and in 1978 Lamb’s Players Theatre, the organization's first theatre space was opened in a renovated church building in National City.


In 1979 current Lamb’s Associate Artistic Director, Deborah Gilmour Smyth was the first performer hired for the resident acting company. In 1980, Steve Terrell retired and the company's leadership was assumed by Artistic Director, Robert Smyth and Managing Director and President, David McFadzean. In 1985 McFadzean left Lamb’s to teach at the college level (eventually becoming a television writer and producer, and co-creator of ABC’s ‘Home Improvement’). Smyth became the company's Producing Artistic Director and under his leadership Lamb’s Players would grow to become San Diego's third largest professional theatre and one of the top 50 theatre companies in the nation in terms of audience size and annual budget. 


In 1986 Lamb’s ended 15 years of touring Street Theatre and began an Education Outreach troupe touring to schools throughout Southern California.  Now called ‘The Road Crew’ this team uses the energy and engagement of live theatre to address critical student issues like drug abuse, bullying, and the power of literature and language.


In 1994 Lamb’s renovated the old performance space in Coronado’s historic Spreckels Building into a new resident theatre; and in 2008 the organization add a second space, taking on the operation of the Horton Grand Theatre in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.  


Lamb’s produces year ‘round and hires more San Diego based actors then any other company. The organization is overseen by and independent Board of Trustees, has an annual budget of over 4 million dollars and performs for an annual audience of more than 100,000.

1971-77 and Overview

Lamb's Players was founded in 1971 by Steve Terrell and grew quickly, touring nationwide to colleges, churches, community groups, and renaissance faires, with a variety of performance disciplines, including street theatre, a dance company, a muppet-style puppet troupe, and a mime troupe. In 1978, the company added a "resident theatre," which gradually grew to become the center of the company.

In 1980, Steve Terrell retired from the company, and the company's leadership was assumed by Robert Smyth and David McFadzean. In 1985 David McFadzean left Lamb's Players to work in education (eventually becoming a television writer and producer), and Robert Smyth became the company's Producing Artistic Director. The company continued to grow, becoming San Diego's third largest professional theatre in 1994 when the company moved to its new resident theatre in Coronado.

RESIDENT DIRECTORS Kerry Meads - Associate Artistic DirectorRobert Smyth - Producing Artistic Director
RESIDENT DESIGNERS Mike Buckley - Scenic/Lighting Design Patrick J. Duffy - Sound Design/PerformerJemima Dutra - Costume Design Sean Fanning - Set DesignerRachel Hengst - Property MasterMichael McKeon - Projection Designer Nathan Peirson - Lighting DesignerJeanne Reith - Costume Designer Christian Turner - Art Director