Winter 2008/09

Winter 2008/09
News from the Richard & Karen
Carpenter Performing Arts Center
California State University, Long Beach
What’s inside
pg 1 Terrace Project
Paver update
pg 2 Artist’s Spotlight
Streb vs Gravity
pg 3 Executive Update
Letter from the Executive Director
pg 4 Director’s Circle
Help the arts thrive in Long Beach
Classroom Connections
pg 5/6 Preview Party Pictures
pg 7 People Behind the Scenes
Meet Michele Wilson
Top: Carpenter Center new marquee Below: Sketch of terrace with pavers
The 2008/09 Season at CSULB’s
Carpenter Performing Arts Center had a
glorious start in September! Under the
new leadership of Executive Director
Michele Roberge, the Carpenter
Center kicked off the year with a lively
celebration that provided an inside look at
the season, and also unveiled the recently
renovated Carpenter Family Terrace.
The new terrace is a dramatic change that
reveals the grandness of the building, and
nearly 100 friends and community leaders
were the first to enjoy the added outdoor
reception space that can accommodate
more than 200 patrons. The terrace also
boasts a new marquee on Atherton Street
that shares what is happening at the
Center with the community.
Arriving guests were drawn to the inviting
new space by the delightful live music
provided by CSULB’s Cole Conservatory
Jazz Quintet, and treated to a lavish
spread by Moon Dance Catering.
Roberge explained that the terrace’s new
outward look symbolizes a new outlook
for the Center under her tenure—one that their names engraved in some of the 10includes greater variety, a richer caliber
foot pavers on the terrace.
of art, and a stronger connection to the
The evening culminated with cheers as
community. She highlighted some of the
Richard Carpenter and family led guests
notable events scheduled for the 2008/09 across the terrace, to the official lighting
season, which include a sold-out evening
of the Marquee on Atherton Street.
with storyteller Garrison Keillor, Family
Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, MacArthur
“Genius” Award recipient
Terrace Project
Elizabeth Streb’s company,
and rare performance by
French dance company,
Ballet Preljocaj.
CSULB President F. King
Alexander introduced
founding donor Richard
Carpenter, and thanked the
Carpenter family for their
continued support of the
University. The Carpenter
family—along with Leadership Donors
Anthony Gagliardi, Mary Ellen & Bud
Kilsby, John McEnulty, Joyce & George
Murchison, Supervisor Don Knabe, and
Michele Wilson—will see their support
permanently acknowledged by having
Become a leadership Donor
and see your support permanently
acknowledged on our terrace!
Email: [email protected]
Winter 2008/09 Center Stage P.2
Artist Spotlight:
Streb vs Gravity
Jan 17 ’09 at 2 & 8PM
Elizabeth Streb’s choreography can be
described as “off the wall”. Literally. As the bodies
start falling and flying off scaffolding, you get a
clear understanding of her artistic influences—
from motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, to escape
artist Harry Houdini, to master of slapstick comedy
Buster Keaton. Her unyielding passion for action,
speed, and force can be seen with her company
of Lycra-sheathed muscle as they plummet to the
ground, slamming their bodies and then soaring
back into the air while others take flight. The
defiance of gravity with body slams, near miss
collisions, and rebounding off immobile surfaces
are all Streb signature moves that often produce
audible gasps by the audience. “People say that I do
things with the body that are shocking,” says Streb.
“What I want is for the audience to have an action
experience by the time they leave the theater. I’d
like to engage and involve them [while] trying to
develop a movement form that gives people a
physical, spiritual, and emotional experience.”
Streb’s fascination with the human body’s power
and potential began at a young age. An obsessive
downhill skier and motorcyclist, she chose a
modern dance major at college. It was then she
discovered that traditional dance forms did not
sustain her interest. “I almost immediately began
isolating time and space and human movement
potential and investigating those,” she says. “I
came up with what I do now, which I realize is wild
and insane.”
For Streb, action is the message. She sets up a
condition of turbulence. “I question the rate of
speed, distance, and all the invisible forces that
cause movement to happen. I develop techniques
around velocity, momentum, the rebound, and
impact. If you are true to the form, pure in your
representation of action, then the message lies
within and is more easily discernible. I have to
produce a frame of reference that is extreme
and shows radical change within a momentto-moment progression. If I don’t, there is no
information, and then I don’t have the attention
of my audience.” Her eight dancers follow her
approach willingly and with discipline, and bring
to the stage a great deal of technical training.
Streb prefers dancers who have been trained in
ballet or martial arts to perform her work because
those forms stress discipline and exactness. They
fall and collide with objects or surfaces without
sustaining injury. Streb says they are actually
honing their survival skills, as there is no other
way to simulate risks.
These upcoming
performances of Streb Vs.
Gravity mark a rare Southern
California appearance for
this New York-based
company, and a first time
visit to Long Beach.
We are honored to host
an exclusive dinner with
MacArthur Genius award
winner Elizabeth Streb
on Friday, January 16 at
7:30 p.m. for our Premier
Director’s Circle members.
The evening will be a
wonderful opportunity to
learn about Ms. Streb’s art,
her fascinating career, and
get to know what it feels like
to be a MacArthur Genius!
Premier members of the
Director’s Circle are strong
supporters of the Carpenter
Center’s programs and
performances, contributing
a minimum of $2,500
annually. They recognize
the importance of the
performing arts in the life
of our community, and have
made a commitment to
supporting it. We thank them
throughout the season with
these enriching experiences,
and would love to have you
join us.
Please contact Patti Sanford
at (562) 985-8580 to learn
how to become a Premier
Director’s Circle member.
P.3 Center Stage Winter 2008/09
richard and k aren carpenter per forming arts center
2008/09 season
Executive Update
I feel like I’m riding a roller coaster lately. Do you, too? One of those where you get to the top and you can’t see where you’re
going and then there is a deep plunge—you feel like you are going to fall out, but no, your seat belt is still tight. You just hold on.
Two months ago, we started this season at the top of the hill! The Carpenter Center staff, with our Production and Facilities
Manager Kathryn Havey in the lead, worked hard on the beautiful Marquee and Terrace Renovation project. It has given the
Carpenter Center a completely new look—and more options for receptions and gatherings outside.
Many generous people stepped forward as Leadership Donors, following the remarkable gift by Richard and Mary Carpenter to
start the project. These lead donors (be sure to see their photos inside!) were recently joined by George and Beverly August, who
have also reserved a paver for their name and artistic quote. Thank you!
We launched the 2008/09 season with a sold-out performance by an American treasure, Mr. Garrison Keillor. We were honored to
be a part of the University Art Museum’s innovative 5-D conference, highlighting cutting-edge techniques in today’s film industry
with top companies and individuals. A complete success—and we are on board to host it again next year!
Our Dance Series began on a high note with two sold-out performances of UCLA choreographer Vickie Marks’ stunning piece, Not
About Iraq. To start our Spectacle Series, TV personality and zoo curator Jungle Jack Hanna delighted his audiences with exotic
animals and videos. I was so thrilled to see people of all ages in those audiences—it’s just wonderful to see families enjoying an
arts experience together.
That was the top of the roller coaster—and it was a great place to be. But, like you, I’m sure, as we dip a bit, we’re being more
careful with our purchases and holding on.
We ARE holding on. We are committed to enriching our community with the best in the performing arts. After the holidays, we’ll
bring an AMAZING company to Long Beach in STREB Vs. Gravity (check it out inside). I promise you it will be a breath-taking and
breath-holding show!
And then we’ll all laugh with the creator of TV’s VERY popular Family Guy show, Mr. Seth MacFarlane. I think we’re all ready for a
hearty laugh. With you, as loyal ticket buyers and as donors, all of us at the Carpenter Center are holding on and working to keep
the arts in our town, Classroom Connections in our classrooms, and smiles on our audience’s faces. Thank you for being there,
sharing it with us and supporting our efforts!
Happy New Year—to all of us!
Executive Director
Streb vs. Gravity, Linda Purl, Seth MacFarlane, Cirque Le Masque, Armitage Gone! Dance, Ballet Preljocaj, Garrison Keillor, A Kid’s Life!, Diavolo Dance Theatre
Meet &Greet
Garrison Keillor
On September 25, master story-teller Garrison Keillor opened the Carpenter
Center’s 2008/09 season with a sold-out, rapt audience. After mesmerizing the
audience for 90+ minutes, Mr. Keillor retreated backstage and joined a reception
of Director’s Circle members for an additional 45
minutes. He was charming and gregarious and was
careful to meet and speak with everyone there—we
all felt like residents of Lake Wobegon that he had
known for years. The rhubarb pie and ice cream
also helped give the event a down-home, cozy feel.
Michele Roberge, Michel
e Wilson,
Garrison Keillor
Joining the party were:
Len and Tommye Lovett
Erich and Susan Wise
Ron and Dolores Eveland
Dr. Kenia Casarreal and Judge Jacob Adajian
Dr. Frankie Grover
Barbara Blackwell and Jean Bixby Smith
Jane and Howard Yata
Call today
for membership!
(562) 985-8580
$1,000 and above:
y Ellen Kilsby,
Don Para, Mar
, Sandy Para
Garrison Keillor
Director’s Circle benefits include
Complimentary parking
Complimentary refreshments in the private VIP Lounge before
and during intermission for each Carpenter Center Presents event
(excluding cabarets)
Invitation to all Director’s Circle backstage receptions with
specially selected artists
Name listing on donor wall in Carpenter Center lobby
Priority invitations to all Carpenter Center special events
Listing in Carpenter Center event program
Invitations to special events for the College of the Arts
Classroom Connections, the Carpenter
Center’s vibrant arts education program,
is off to an enthusiastic start! All three
programs, one in theatre, one in dance, and
one in music, are completely full—more
than 6,000 schoolchildren will participate
this year!
First up is The Crayon Court for 1st and
2nd graders. This delightful musical will
teach children about color theory, about
creating characters using music and color.
In the classrooms, they will make colorful
puppets and meet master puppeteer
Thom Fountain and his troupe.
In February, 6th and 7th graders will meet
Brandon Peace Albright, and dancers from
Cam Killingsworth
, Garrison Keillor,
Jane Netherton
Premier Membership–
$2,500 and above:
All above benefits plus
Special designation as Premier Director Circle member on lobby
donor wall
Elegant dinner with Executive Director and an artist from the
2008/09 season
Honorary support acknowledged on event program page of that
artist and two complimentary tickets to performance
his company, Ilstyle Dance. Brandon et
al are hip hop dancers, and will engage
the students with this very popular form
of dance, underscoring the fun of the
movement with social history of the dance
and its historical impact.
Finally, wrapping up the school year in
June, for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, we are
excited to announce that Los Angeles’
acclaimed TaikoProject will be visiting
Long Beach classrooms, and perform their
stunning piece on the history and tradition
of Japanese taiko drumming.
These programs are provided to Long
Beach Unified School District schools at
no cost, thanks to the generosity of many
foundations and private individuals. For
information on becoming a Classroom
Connections sponsor, please contact Patti
Sanford at (562) 985-8580.
P.5 Center Stage Winter 2008/09
Carpenter Family Terrace
Preview Party
S eptem b er 18, 2 0 0 8
01 Michele Roberge, Mindi Carpenter,
Traci Carpenter, Anthony Gagliardi,
Mary Ellen and Bud Kilsby, Mary
Carpenter, Kristi Carpenter, Richard
Carpenter, Michele Wilson, Joyce
and George Murchison, Mavis
McDonnell and John McEnulty
02 Michele Roberge, Jean Bixby Smith,
President F. King Alexander, Barbara
03 Ronn Sarno and guests
Leadership Donors:
Richard & Mary Carpenter
Murchison Family
Mary Ellen & Bud Kilsby
Supervisor Don Knabe
Anthony Gagliardi
Law Offices of Michelle Wilson
John McEnulty & Family
George & Beverly August
Special Thanks to:
CSULB Jazz Quintet and Dr. Jeff Jarvis, Cable Bay Vineyard
Winter 2008/09 Center Stage P.6
Carpenter Family Terrace
Preview Party
S eptem b er 18, 2 0 0 8
04 Paul Garman, Dr. Kenia Casarreal
05 Mary Ellen and Bud Kilsby
06 Gary and Christy Roeber
07 Mike Kelly, Richard Carpenter
08 Associate Dean Jay Kvapil,
Provost Karen Gould, President
F. King Alexander, Mary and
Richard Carpenter
09 CSULB Jazz Quintet and Dr. Jeff Jarvis
Background image: Carpenter Family
Terrace Preview Party
photos by Ambrose Martin
P.7 Center Stage Winter 2008/09
as well and exposed me to their interests in
music and in literature.
People Behind
the Scenes
Michele Wilson
Meet Michele Wilson
It is rare to attend a charity function
in Long Beach without seeing Michele
Wilson. An attorney with her own firm
in Long Beach and a single mother,
Michele nevertheless finds time to be an
active supporter of several local nonprofit organizations. Michele served
on the Carpenter Center’s Top of the
World committee, is a strong advocate
for Classroom Connections, and recently
became a Leadership Donor for the Terrace
Renovation campaign.
What inspired your strong support for the
arts and children’s causes?
Michele says, “I am a product of this Long
Beach community so I volunteer my time
and my services as a lawyer to the local
non-profits because this is my community.
I have been well cared for by the teachers
of Long Beach Unified and Long Beach
State and nurtured as a child by our Long
Beach community leaders. As a parent,
I want to participate in enhancing our
community to develop a safe space, filled
with arts and culture for my son to become
a well rounded individual.
I am proof that such programs can have a
lasting impact in a young person’s life and
can change their world view as adults. As a
child, I was well cared for by my childhood
church in West Long Beach and the adults
within my childhood neighborhood. It
was a wonderful time when my parents
could trust any adult in our church or in
our neighborhood to gently redirect me or
bring me home. I was really fortunate that
many of my teachers took an interest in me
The charitable entities that I am excited
about have components that directly
affect the lives of children in either
exposing them to areas of society they are
economically precluded from or providing
them with adults they can trust to provide
them with support during their childhood.
Our family did not have the economic
resources to patronize the arts or to travel
and see the world; however, through
general education classes in college, I
received my first glimpse into many areas
of music, literature and culture that stays
with me to this day. It is my pleasure to
take my young son to the theater and to
travel with him around the world. I want
every child in this community to have
the same opportunities as my son. My
Any organization
that provides
that function of
making a child
feel valued and
them to educate
themselves is one
that I want to
parents provided me with a wonderful,
carefree childhood that was dramatically
enhanced and supported by caring adults
that provided me with opportunities
my parents economically could not. My
community made me feel valued, elevated
my self esteem and gave me the ability to
continue to dream about higher education
even though we had no idea regarding
how we would pay for it. Any organization
that provides that function of making a
child feel valued and encouraging them to
educate themselves is one that I want to
support and one that I want to make the
time to share my time.
What do you imagine your life will hold
when you are 70?
It is my prayer that if I am blessed to reach
the age of 70, that I am still in my stilettos,
using my time to support and attend
arts events, lunching with my girlfriends
and being a doting grandmother. I
also hope that there are a myriad of
adults contributing to the Long Beach
community, that can point to me and my
circle of friends as mentors. I hope that
I will be the person that took a chance
on a young person, gave them their first
job, underwrote that camp, anonymously
funded that private tutor or trip abroad
that changed the direction of a young
person’s life. Finally, as someone who
started a new business mid-career, I want
to spend lots of time supporting local,
small businesses including providing
working capital to help the business
owner during their first five years of
operation which are definitely the most
difficult. I hope that I will have made a big
difference in a few people’s lives.
You certainly are, brava, Michele!
Nov 29
Chicago City Limits
Dec 7
Franklin the Turtle’s Family
Christmas Concert
Jan 7-8
Linda Purl
Jan 17
Streb vs Gravity
Feb 17-18
Diavolo Dance Theatre
Feb 25-26
Jennifer Shelton
Feb 28
Seth MacFarlane
Mar 21
Armitage Gone! Dance
Apr 18
Pink Floyd LaserSpectacular
Apr 19
Requiem - Giuseppe Verdi
Apr 25
Cirque Le Masque
May 5
The Four Seasons
Ballet Preljocaj
May 20-21
Jordan Bennett
Contact Us
Administrative Offices: (562) 985-4274
Arts Ticket Office: (562) 985-7000
Arts Ticket Office hours
Monday-Friday, 11am-6pm
Saturday, noon-4pm
[email protected]