Press Release - Encore!

Socorro Vasquez to Chair Encore! South Coast Repertory’s 2015 Gala

COSTA MESA, CA – April 10, 2015, South Coast Repertory Emeritus Trustee Socorro Vasquez will chair the theatre’s 52nd Season Gala, “Encore!” to be held in multiple venues in and around The Westin South Coast Plaza on Saturday evening, September 12, 2015.

According to Socorro, “There’s nothing quite as exciting in the theatre world as an audience rising to its feet and calling for an encore!  We’re planning to celebrate SCR in all ways theatrical—with cheering, curtain calls and standing ovations for its wonderful work through 52 seasons.  This is also my second time serving as chair, so the Gala will be my special encore, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Socorro demonstrated her excitement at the first Gala meeting on March 18, arriving with a bag filled with gifts—minature wine glasses and champagne flues filled with chocolates—which she arranged at the place of each committee member.  “It’s my way of welcoming our members back for their own encores.  One of the most exciting things about Gala committees at SCR over the years is the enthusiasm of members as they return time and time again, often encouraging their friends to join the fun—and the committee!  This is proof of the enjoyment associated with SCR’s annual fund raiser—not only at the party itself but during the months of planning.  We simply have a great time.”

South Coast Repertory Gala History

Since its early beginnings, the SCR Gala has been declared the traditional opener of the social and theatrical seasons in Orange County.  It provides the first—and the largest—donation to the Annual Fund, in support of educational programs that bring theatre to the children in the community.

The first white tie event in Orange County was SCR’s “Fourth Step Opening Gala,” held in a tent outside of the new building in 1978.  In 2013 the party came back to SCR for “Theatrical Gold,” celebrating the theatre’s 50th season, and 2014’s “Grand Illusions” came home to SCR again.

This season, the committee has chosen to move the event, but not far away. By holding “Encore!” next door at The Westin South Coast Plaza, they’ll be close enough to share the excitement of theatre (with playgoers on their way to see a show at SCR that night) but will have more room for the party.

Entertainment and Décor Co-chair Barbara Cline spoke for the committee when she said, “We’ll have lots of choices as partygoers move from one venue to another, beginning with the cocktail reception, followed by dinner and dancing and concluding with an after-party, which was first added during “Theatrical Gold” and has proven to be a huge hit.”

The committee is exploring all the options for specific spaces during each stage of the event.  Socorro said the plans will be announced soon but added that the Gala also will include a few surprises, which will not be announced in advance.  “We don’t plan to reveal everything until the big night, but expect a very creative—and theatrical—event.”

Background on Socorro Vasquez

Socorro Vasquez served on the SCR Board of Trustees for nine years (1996-2005); in 2008 she was elected an Emeritus Trustee.  Socorro and her husband, Ernesto, were childhood sweethearts and  attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo together.  Their shared love of theatre brought them to SCR twenty-five  years ago and began a long association which included underwriting support for “Una Noche” (an annual event that supported the Hispanic Playwrights Project). They have been members of the Platinum Circle of donors since 1998 and are longtime Gala patrons.  (Socorro chaired the 2005 Gala “Encantar…as if by magic.”)  As contributors to The Next Stage fundraising campaign, seat number A109 in the Julianne Argyros Stage was named for the couple.  In 1998 they were Honorary Producers of two shows, the holiday production La Posada Màgica and Culture Clash in AmeriCCa.  Ernesto is chairman and chief executive of SVA Architects Inc.  The Vasquezes are respected philanthropists throughout California and nationwide, especially in eduction, environment and housing. 

Gala Committee members, to date—and growing

Ashleigh Aitken, Bette Aitken (Underwriting Co-chair), Julianne Argyros, Kathryn Cenci, Barbara Cline (Décor and Entertainment Co-chair), Sophie Cripe (Cuisine Co-chair), Patricia Ellis, Valerie Fearns, Joan Fimiano (Hospitality Co-chair), Monica Guillena, Sue Hecht, Mimi Holcombe (Décor and Entertainment Co-chair), Olivia Johnson (Graphics Co-chair), Yvonne Jordan, Joan Kaloustian, Deirdre Kelly, Shannon Kennedy, Tracy Kirwan, Karla Kjellin-Elder, Elaine Krajanowski, Sarah McElroy (Graphics Co-chair), Sue Murphy, Pam Muzzy, Stacey Nicholas, Beth Phelps, Jan Seitz Jashinski, Samantha Smiley Price, Laurie Smits Staude (Hospitality Co-chair), Jane Taylor, Julie Ann Ulcickas and Elaine Weinberg

For more information on SCR’s 2014 Gala, please call SCR Director of Development Susan C. Reeder at (714) 708-5518.

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.