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About Musical Theatre West

MTW HISTORY


STAFF AND

BOARD BIOS


CARPENTER CENTER


SHOW ARCHIVE

The story of Musical Theatre West is the 59-year journey from a group of volunteers performing in a high school auditorium to one of the largest and most respected theatrical production companies in Southern California. Beginning as the Whittier Civic Light Opera in 1952, the company originally produced two shows a year for just two days each, back when shows like RIO RITA and THE RED MILL were still in vogue. During most of the 1960s and 1970s, the group remained an all-volunteer effort, producing one show a year. Back then tickets were sold at Hinshaw’s and Myers department stores and could be had for all of $1.50 (75 cents for children)!  In 1977 the group moved to the brand-new La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and began to produce a full season of shows. During the 1980s and 1990s the company began to assert itself as one of the top companies in the area, utilizing professional talent and producing regional premieres and even a world premiere musical (1992’s HURRY! HURRY! HOLLYWOOD), while continuing to honor the tradition of classic musical theater. The company entered a new phase in 1997 when it began to produce shows at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach and quickly became the largest arts producer in the Long Beach area. The company greets the 21st Century by continuing to produce newer fare (RENT, THE FULL MONTY, THE PRODUCERS, HAIRSPRAY) alongside classics of the genre (MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, THE KING & I, MAN OF LA MANCHA), and has recently produced two additional world premieres. The company continues to receive critical acclaim and national recognition – and many performers who cut their teeth on the MTW stage have gone on to successful careers on Broadway and in television and film.  Just as important, stage and screen veterans now come to Musical Theatre West to perform, finding it to be one of the friendliest and most fun venues to work. A key aspect of the company is its dedication to education, and the Education and Outreach Programs of Musical Theatre West brings the joy and magic of musical theater to over 17,000 children each year through special morning performances, school assemblies, and the Summer Youth Conservatory. We hope that you’ll join the thousands of performers, technicians, audience members, donors and volunteers that make up the Musical Theatre West family as we look forward to another 59 years of bringing Broadway to Southern California.


MISSION STATEMENT

Musical Theatre West:

Enriches the cultural life of the community through musical theater;

Preserves musical theater as a unique American art form;

Cultivates and educates the audience of tomorrow

through education and outreach programs.

 

VISION STATEMENT

We believe that the arts provide enrichment of the soul and that Musical Theatre, a uniquely American art form, should be preserved and nurtured. We aim to reach and educate new people through our productions and outreach programs because the arts contribute to intellectual development and creative thinking. Through the opportunity to experience and appreciate the arts, the next generation of artists will be cultivated and trained.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Marnos Lelesi

President

 

Bob Dominguez

President-Elect/Treasurer


Barbara Bixby Blackwell

Secretary


Kathy McDonnell

At-Large


Hank Snapper

At-Large


Jim Choura

Cindy Costello

Lucy Daggett

Tom Gillespie

Julie Knabe

Lucia Kos

Sarah Sangmeister

 

Pat DeRouen

Guild President

 

Bev Cook

Footlighters President


 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Joe P. Moore, Jr.

Chair

 

Don Black

Judy McNulty Black

Kathy Baker Campbell

Richard Carpenter

Howard Davis

Nancy Gaines

Dr. Donald J. Greco

Terry Marté Greco

Patricia Grisham

Shell Grossman

Jon Hall

Laura Killingsworth

Len Lovett

Larry Nemirow

Shari Nemirow

Richard Neri

Dottie Reiner

Kurt Schulzman

Arlene Solomon

Joan Wells

 

COMMUNITY

ADVISORY COUNCIL

George Deukmejian

Gloria Deukmejian

Beverly O’Neill

Co-Chairs

 

Gary DeLong

Steve Goodling

Randy Gordon

Cam Killingsworth

Bonnie Lowenthal

Jane Netherton

Chris Steinhauser

Doris Topsy-Elvord

Mike Walter