Laguna Playhouse to Honor Local Art Heroes Suzanne & James Mellor at 2017 Gala

On Saturday, April 29, 2017 Laguna Playhouse will host its annual Gala at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach honoring longtime supporters of Laguna Playhouse and the arts, Suzanne and James Mellor.

Suzanne and James have supported Laguna Playhouse for more than two decades. Both have served on the Board of Trustees, have helped lead The Playhouse's philanthropic efforts as donors, and have served in leadership roles throughout the Laguna art community. As one of the founding members of The Playhouse Women, Suzanne chaired the first gala, and Jim served as Chairman of the Board for many years.

The Gala, chaired by Glenn Gray and Kathryn Burton Gray, anticipates more than 350 guests attending with more than $200,000 already pledged in sponsorships including support from Kathryn Burton Gray and Glenn Gray; Scripsense, Inc. and the Masson Family Foundation; Greg and Barbara MacGillivray; Jane and Joe Hanauer, Laguna Beach Books; Paul Singarella/Latham & Watkins LLP; James and Lisa Hale; Timothy and Tanya Spangler; Suzanne and James Mellor; The Moulton Company; Jamie Walters El-Erian; Deborah and Cody Engle; Gary and Betsy Jenkins; First American Trust; and Nolet's Silver Dry Gin.

Laguna Playhouse is approaching a century of continuous theatre in the City of Laguna Beach making it one of the longest-running theatres on the west coast. In light of this upcoming anniversary and its importance to the arts, the City of Laguna Beach has made matching funds available to invest in Playhouse renovations. Laguna Playhouse will be raising the paddle during the Gala to collect matching funds for this City investment.

Along with a lifetime tribute to Suzanne and James Mellor, the evening will feature live musical performance preluding the 2017-18 Laguna Playhouse Season along with live music and dancing. In addition, Winston Crown Jewelers will be showcasing many dazzling items whose proceeds will help boost donations for the evening.

Laguna Playhouse is noted for its artistic excellence, wide-ranging performing arts programming, community engagement, and award-winning theatre education for the next generation.

Founded in 1920, the historic Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously-operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is proud to be an active participant in the celebrated Laguna Beach arts community. From classic plays and musical comedies to the current off-Broadway smash, cutting edge and traditional music exhibitions, dance festivals and stand-up comedy performances, Laguna Playhouse brings the magical experience of the performing arts direct to over 80,000 patrons each season. Laguna Playhouse has been recognized as "Best in OC" in Orange County Register in the category of Live Theatre.

Laguna Playhouse educational programming, includes year-round classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and is one of the few companies in the region that offer a curriculum-based professional theatre-touring program, TheatreReach, which aligns with the California State Standards for literature, history and performing arts curriculum.

Laguna Playhouse has been recognized in 2016 and 2015 as one of Orange County Register's "Best of OC" in the category of Live Theatre. The Playhouse has featured many talented performers on stage, including Ed Asner, Leslie Caron, Hershey Felder, Harrison Ford, Val Kilmer, Dan Lauria, Wendie Malick, Rita Rudner, Charles Shaughnessy, Loretta Swit, and Bette Davis.

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