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North Coast Repertory Theatre

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North Coast Repertory Theatre Honors 25 Years of Scenic Design and Presents Second Annual San Diego’s Champion for the Arts™ Award

Solana Beach, CA, May 04, 2017 --( North Coast Repertory Theatre is proud to honor two individuals who have made an enormous difference in the Arts: Marty Burnett and Leonard Hirsch.

This year marks the 25th year of extraordinary set design and technical direction for North Coast Repertory Theatre’s Resident Scenic Designer, Marty Burnett. The theatre toasts his 25-year career, as he is the theatre’s longest-time employee. He began his career with North Coast Rep back in 1992, when he was hired by co-founder Olive Blakistone, to design the production of “Chekhov in Yalta.” Since then, he has created an astonishing string of successes that now number 187 to date, not including the numerous sets he has designed for North Coast Rep’s Theatre School. Burnett also has worked his magic at Chicago’s Drury Lane Theatre, Portland Stage Company, Laguna Playhouse, Coronado Playhouse and Scripps Ranch Theatre, as well as the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, and Union Plaza, Sahara Hotel and Hacienda in Las Vegas.

Like the majority of theatre artists, scenic designers scramble for jobs, often traveling from city to city to establish relationships and build their professional reputations. The soft-spoken, unassuming Burnett realizes that as a full-time resident designer for a professional Equity theatre company, he’s a rarity, not only in San Diego, but most likely, throughout the nation. With an “awe-shucks” grin, he’ll simply call himself “lucky.”

Now, 25 years later, Marty Burnett continues to make history and magic as he transports audiences to a different place, a different time at North Coast Repertory Theatre.

At the North Coast Rep Spotlight Gala on April 30th, Leonard Hirsch received the second annual San Diego’s Champion for the Arts™ Award. Hirsch has devoted an extraordinary measure of his time, talent and treasure to benefit the visual and performing arts in the greater San Diego region.

The San Diego’s Champion for the Arts Award is a community-wide effort to honor individuals who have made a difference in the Arts. North Coast Repertory Theatre proudly recognizes Leonard Hirsch.

What is a “Champion”? According to Merriam-Webster, a champion is “a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition,” or “a person who fights or argues for a cause on behalf of someone else.” Synonyms include “advocate, proponent, promoter, supporter, defender.”

Leonard Hirsch truly personifies a Champion for the Arts. Originally from New York, Leonard has lived in Coronado for 24 years, moving here with his late wife, Elaine, from Mendham, New Jersey. He became involved with the arts in San Diego as soon as they moved here.

He has been active in his community, volunteering for the library and the annual Coronado 4th of July Parade. He served briefly on the boards of Cygnet Theatre and the Coronado Playhouse. Locally he has spent many hours as a volunteer for KPBS and at the polls on election day.

Leonard and his late wife, Elaine, enjoyed the performing arts. Since her passing, Len has continued to pursue his interests with his friend, Barbara Hoffer. Len contributes generously to North Coast Repertory Theatre and many other theatres, including The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Cygnet, Lambs Players, Scripps Ranch Theatre and Coronado Playhouse. He also supports San Diego Opera and Chabad of Coronado.

Recognizing the value, the visual and performing arts bring to the lives of those in the community and then acting to nurture them with time and effort and support, are the hallmarks of the San Diego’s Champion for the Arts Award.

The visual and performing arts revitalize the imagination and transport us from our daily lives. They enrich our lives and our community. Arts and arts education are a catalyst to creativity in children, teens and adults.

As Winston Churchill famously said, “We make a living from what we earn. We make a life from what we give.”
Contact Information
North Coast Repertory Theatre
Nancy Richards
(858) 481-1055

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