Press Release - ​2016 Gala Chair

Sally J. Anderson to Lead “Stagestruck,” South Coast Repertory’s 2016 Gala

COSTA MESA, Calif. (​​March ​3​1, 2016) - South Coast Repertory Trustee Sally Anderson has been named Executive Chair of the theatre’s 53rd Season Gala, “Stagestruck,” to be held at The Westin South Coast Plaza on Saturday evening, September 10, 2016.

At the first Gala meeting, a luncheon in the theatre lobby on March 31, SCR Board President Sophie Cripe welcomed members of the Gala Committee and thanked Sally for taking on the leadership role.

“Throughout the long history of our Gala, its leaders have recognized the need for strong underwriting,” Sophie said.  “In the role of executive chair, Sally will draw on a successful career as a business executive to lead this effort.  At the same time, we’re delighted to have her in this position because she also is a fun-loving theatregoer.”   

Sally greeted Committee members and thanked them for joining her in support of SCR’s annual fundraiser.  “‘Stagestruck’ is the perfect name for our Gala,” she said, “because that’s what we are—a stage-struck group in support of the theatre we love.  I wish to build upon the underwriting accomplishments of the past and on the creativity that SCR is known for to create another successful event!”

  Sally added that being an SCR Trustee was the perfect segue into leading the Gala, because of the camaraderie within both groups.  “I enjoy working with all of the people associated with SCR because they’re so much fun!”

South Coast Repertory Gala History

Since its early beginnings, SCR’s Gala has been 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 the artistry onstage and the educational programs that bring theatre to 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 50th Anniversary Season, the party came back home, holding its celebration in and around the theatre and on its stages.

This season, the committee has chosen to have the party next door at The Westin South Coast Plaza and is exploring all the options for specific spaces during each phase of the event.  Plans will be announced soon.

As usual, the Gala will include a few surprises, which will not be announced in advance.  “We don’t plan to reveal everything until the big night,” said Entertainment and Décor Co-Chair Susie Hecht. “but expect a very creative—and theatrical—event. You’ll be stage-struck!” 

Background on S​ally J. Anderson

Sally was elected to the SCR Board of Trustees at last year’s Annual Meeting.  Her husband, Tom Rogers, is an Emeritus Trustee.  Together they have been SCR underwriters since 2007, when they joined  the Playwrights Circle—a group of supporters of new plays who help underwrite a world premiere every season.  After four years with the Playwrights Circle, they took their love for new work a step further by joining another group of adventurous individuals who support the Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF), SCR’s national forum dedicated to developing and producing new plays.  They have been Honorary Producers of PPF for the past seven years.  They also are donors to the Endowment/Legacy Campaign, First Nights subscribers on both stages and longtime Gala underwriters.

A retired business executive, Sally was managing partner of Ernst & Young’s Orange County practice. She had been appointed by the governor to the California Board of Accountancy, where she served on the Board for eight years including one year as chair.

Gala Committee members, to date—and growing
Sa​lly J. Anderson, Executive Chair (Underwriting Chair)

Bette Aitken (Cuisine Co-chair), Julianne Argyros, Kathryn Cenci, Barbara Cline (Graphics Co-chair), Sophie Cripe (Décor and Entertainment Co-chair), Rita Dailey, Gail Doe, Audrey Greenfield, Maralou Harrington, Susie Hecht (Décor and Entertainment Co-chair), Olivia Johnson, Deirdre Kelly (Cuisine Co-chair), Tracy Kirwan, Elaine Krajanowski, Sarah McElroy (Graphics Co-chair), Kay Mortenson Kelly, Sue Murphy, Talya Nevo-Hacohen, Stacey Nicholas, Laurie Smits Staude, Jane Taylor, Julie Ann Ulcickas (Cuisine Co-chair), Socorro Vasquez

For more information on SCR’s 2016 Gala, please contact SCR Director of Development Susan C. Reeder at (714) 708-5518 or

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.