LA JOLLA, CA -- La Jolla Playhouse has announced a $36 million capital campaign aimed at building a new theatre that will serve as a year-round performance space. The funds will also be used to expand rehearsal space and offices, enlarge production budgets, expand education and outreach programs throughout San Diego county.
The Playhouse, founded in 1947 by Mel Ferrer, Dorothy McGuire and Gregory Peck (who is serving as honorary co-chairman of the fund-raising campaign), has already raised about half the necessary amount in cash and pledges.
Major contributors include Joan and Irwin Jacobs, David C. Copley for the James S. Copley Foundation, Ellen Revelle Eckis (also an honorary co-chair), the Weingarten Foundation, and Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan.
A significant portion of the $36 million will be used to develop new plays and musicals, and to enhance the partnership between the Playhouse and the University of California at San Diego.
"This is a defining moment in the history of La Jolla Playhouse," said Peck in a statement. "The campaign represents a monumental commitment to the future of the Playhouse, a pledge to reach new levels of artistic achievement and educational service to San Diego and the nation."Ben Cameron, executive director of Theatre Communications Group, said, "The Playhouse's dramatic turnaround over the past seven years -- from a crushing $10 million deficit in 1992 to raising an astonishing $18 million, thus far, toward a $36 million capital campaign -- is as unique as it is miraculous."
Winner of the 1993 Tony Award as America's Outstanding Regional Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse is led by artistic director Anne Hamburger, managing director Terrence Dwyer and associate artist director Neel Keller. The Playhouse is a not-for-profit, professional theatre in residence at the Mandell Weiss Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of UCSD. Visit website: www.lajollaplayhouse.com.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent