El Portal Theatre


June 15-16
Monroe Forum


5269 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
818-508-4200 Box Office

El Portal Theatre
11206 Weddington St.
Upstairs offices
North Hollywood, CA 91601
818-508-0281 General inquires and rental information
818-508-4200 Box Office
818-508-9698 Fax


General Manager, Leasing Agent, Production Coordinator

The son of Packer Hall of Fame Sportscaster Jim Irwin, Jay grew up splitting time between the broadcast booth, the Milwaukee symphony audience, and Melody Top Theatre where his first job was as Doorman. Bitten by the acting bug in high school, Jay attended and graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in theatre. In Chicago Jay appeared at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Candlelight Dinner Theatre, and Marriot's Linconshire Theatre, along with a list of smaller venues. Along with his El Portal partner, Pegge Forrest, he has produced or presented shows like Smokey Joe's Cafe, Marilyn Forever Blonde, Christmas My Way, Always, Patsy Cline, and We 3 Kings, as well as overseeing hundreds of shows at El Portal since it re-opened after the Northridge earthquake in the year 2000. He is a proud father to his daughter, Veronica, who is a junior at UC Berkeley.

Managing Director, P.R. / Marketing, Curator Judith Kaufman Gallery

Pegge Forrest, a native New Yorker grew up in Weschester County surrounded by Broadway actors, writers and producers. As an intern at Time Life magazines while in college at Wagner and Columbia University (majoring in Public Relations and Marketing) she lived the dream of a young professional working directly with famous journalists and photographers. She then explored television at NBC (NYC) in the junior executive training program and abruptly changed her career path. This led to an employment in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on WANE-TV as the youngest Woman Program Director in the USA. Other TV followed at WTVT in Tampa, WCCO, KSTP, KMSP in Minneapolis, writing, producing and starring in with two award winning children’s shows with her television newscaster husband David Lee.  Her theatre aspirations were sparked in Minneapolis with the opening of the Guthrie Theatre and her personal friendship with Tyrone Guthrie. She worked in both pr and marketing for the Guthrie Theatre’s Grand Opening. Theatre has been her total focus since 1980 with the Long Beach Civic Light Opera as the Executive/ Managing Director for 14 years at the 3,000 Seat Terrace Theatre, followed by Managing Director of John Houseman’s Acting Company (Off Broadway) on an NEA Grant, Florida Studio Theatre, Civic Light of South Bay Cities and Hermosa Beach Playhouse (Public Relations Director). Since 1998 Ms. Forrest has proudly pioneered with her partner Jay Irwin the reopening of the historic El Portal Theatre in the heart of NOHO. 2023 marks the 23rd Season at the helm of this unique professional theatre with two spaces (360 Seat Debbie Reynolds MainStage) and (96 Seat Monroe/Forum). She has proudly co- produced shows with Debbie Reynolds, Bea Arthur, Ed Begley, Sally Struthers, Jo Anne Worley, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Charles Nelson Reilly, Rip Taylor, Sam Harris, Jimmy Kimmel, Jason Graae, and Adrienne Barbeau. Ms. Forrest's proudest achievement - her daughter -  actress Heather Lee who was recently featured in the New York Times.

Front of House Operations, Box Office Supervisor

After graduating from Northwestern University in Chicago, Steve moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and began working at Hanna-Barbera Productions as a writer on the animated series “The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest” as well as other specials for the Flintstones and Scooby-Doo! After the Cartoon Network took over, he decided to move on, switching gears and working as Creative Director for Lumiere Films, the production company behind the Oscar winning “Leaving Las Vegas”. He supervised several features including “The Magic of Marciano”, “Somebody to Love” and “Touch” starring a variety of indie actors such as Robert Forster, Harvey Kietel, Stanley Tucci, Quentin Tarantino, Bridget Fonda and Christopher Walken. After Lumiere closed its doors, Steve worked at the Universal Amphitheatre as assistant manager of “Special Events” which really meant “Latin Events” organizing concerts for Latin Stars such as Juan Gabriel, Vicente Fernandez and Ana Gabriel. Some of the perks of this job was getting to party backstage with big name stars such as Prince and David Bowie. After a lot of partying, Steve decided to calm down and get back to his roots – the theatre. In 2003, Steve ran into Jay, his NU college buddy and he began working as front of house manager at the El Portal. He’s worked on shows starring Debbie Reynolds, Bea Arthur, and many others. Steve has lived in NOHO for 10 years and watched the neighborhood become a hot spot for arts and entertainment. He enjoys walking to work.

Technical Supervisor

A true native of NOHO , Edwin graduated from North Hollywood High School and then ITT Tech. In his youth he was a stuntman at Universal Studios. Edwin is a Master Electrician with background at Long Beach Convention Center and then for the Long Beach Grand Prix. He worked as a rigger with the National Tours of of GREEN DAY, MADONNA, and AEROSMITH. For the past nine years Edwin has been an essential staff person at the El Portal Theatre as Technical Supervisor for all productions on the MainStage — close to 500 productions. He is the proud father of college junior Edwin Jr., and Lila, who just turned 15!





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El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601

Box Office: 818-508-4200 l Email: theelportaltheatre@aol.com
Last Updated: May 18, 2023
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