COSTA MESA, CA -- Henry T. Nicholas III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom Corp., and his wife Stacey, have donated $1.268 million to South Coast Repertory.
The donation, the largest single gift in SCR's history, is earmarked as the first gift toward funding the proposed expansion of SCR's theatre facility.
The announcement was made by Dee Higby, president of SCR's Board of Trustees, to the opening night audience of Tartuffe, the theatre's current mainstage production.
"Stacey and I have always been fans of the theatre," Nicholas said. "When we moved to Orange County three years ago, we were immediately impressed with the quality of SCR's work. We are pleased to be able to help fund SCR's expansion, and welcome the opportunity to play a role in supporting SCR's contribution to Orange County's cultural life."
Nicholas, along with his partner Henry Samueli, founded Broadcom in 1991. The company designs and sells chips for high-speed data transmission, including cable modems and digital televsion set top boxes. Broadcom, which currently has 418 employees, went public last April and became Orange County's most highly valued public company, with an estimated market value of $8.7 billion. Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas, who are both engineers, met while they were employees at TRW. The couple were introduced to SCR through Bafo, the 1997 world premiere about co-workers in a defense plant. Since then they have become SCR subscribers, and count among their favorite theatrical experiences the world premieres of But Not for Me and Freedomland.
"It's fitting," said David Emmes, who, with SCR co-founder Martin Beson, opened the current facility in Sept. 1978 on land donated by the Segerstrom family, "that Stacey and Henry, who are such fans of SCR's more adventurous work, are now an instrumental partner in getting that work before a larger audience. It has long been our dream to create a new, more flexible second theatre to replace our current smaller one."
Three plays introduced by SCR in recent years have been named on numerous best- of-1998 lists by various major theatre critics around the country. They include Margaret Edson's Wit, Donald Margulies' Collected Stories and Amy Freed's Freedomland, which was a finalist for the 1998 Pultizer Prize.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent