Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Frontline Faces of South Coast Repertory

Volunteer ushers working at SCR's concession stand.
They’re the ones who scan your ticket as you enter the lobby. They help you find your seat. They sell you that cookie that you eyed. South Coast Repertory’s team of ushers is dedicated to making your experience as comfortable as possible. By day, they are doctors, teachers, ministers and retirees; by night, they’re dedicated volunteers. For SCR playgoers, they’re the familiar faces that have become part of a great night out at the theatre.

Why do they take on this role? Because they find a personal satisfaction in helping patrons. That’s what keeps them coming back to volunteer—some of them for nearly 20 years. A true love and appreciation for theatre—and SCR’s work in particular—adds to the satisfaction. Remember, ushers get to see the show for free!

For many of them, ushering began on a whim. “A veteran usher I met recommended I sign up, and I found the SCR team to be warm and accommodating,” says current usher John Nguyen. What starts off as quick conversation soon becomes an experience that flourishes through a love of theatre. Ushers begin to meet patrons who share the same appreciation for theatre and over time they begin to learn more about the patrons personally, which can quickly build connections that form a sense of community. Husband-and-wife ushers of 19 years, Stephen and Nanci Schrieber-Smith, see their roles in a specific way.

“We like to think that ushers are the ambassadors for SCR and that it can even be interesting for the patrons to meet us,” says Stephen. “We would encourage other people to stretch their horizons from ‘just their job’ lives and become ushers to see great plays and meet great patrons.” It fuels their work and brings both the ushers and patrons together. It’s an energy that can be electrifying.

Duane Legg has been ushering for nearly a year and can feel how this energy binds the team together, “There is an excitement that permeates the theatre as we prepare the programs, lobby and the house for patrons. When our team of ushers works together to help make a memorable and professional experience for the audience, we take satisfaction in knowing that we had a small part in making magic happen.”

That’s all they need. Meeting other theatre lovers, talking about each production and experiencing the unique response each audience member brings to every performance. That excitement and magic can be found in moments such as watching children experience a live performance for the first time through the Theatre for Young Audiences series or catching up with the regulars at SCR. Ushers discover that they become an important element in the productions at SCR.

John Nguyen, who began ushering on a whim, sums up his volunteer work as an experience that continually gives back. “Being an usher at SCR is one of the few great volunteer opportunities where you actually get something back the moment you show up to volunteer. And SCR is a wonderful place to meet new like-minded people. Whether you love theatre or simply like it, as an SCR volunteer usher, you are bound to learn more about the inner workings of this grand tradition.”

Interested in ushering? Go online to our website or email to get details and volunteer your time.

A Salute to SCR’s Current Usher Team

South Coast Repertory extends a heartfelt thanks to the volunteer ushers* who love theatre, love SCR and love helping you have a great theatre experience!

Celeste Ames • Reyne Ames • Janice L. Amster • Kathy Anderson • Michelle Anthony • Leo Arko • Dorothy Arko • Charlotte Art • Stan Ashbaugh • Donna F. Ashbaugh • Catherine Aubert • Clara Baker • Elaine Barnard • Tamara Bazargan • Frank Beach • Carole Beach • Ginger Bengochea • Sandra Benson • Judith Berman • Annette Blaney • Dale Bohannon • Ann Marie Bown • Chie Bresnan • Shirley Bridwell • Toby Brown • Becky Bruno • Raquel T. Bruno • Jane C. Buck • Anne Budniewski • Mimi Buffington • Marilyn J. Bunton • Melissa Burgess • Nancy Burgess • Dona Burrell • Bob Byrd • Laurie Cable • Laura Cadieu • Mary Camarillo • Richard Cassiere • Judy Cawley • Tim Chin • Weiping Chu • Lisa Ciampa • Richard Clayton • Serene Clayton • Sandra Clement • June Cohen • Steven Cohen • Jean Cohn • Ellyn Cole • Mary Lou Coleman • Mary Collins • Sallie Coltrin • Ann Combs • Anna J. Combs • Bonnie Coons • Ron Craddick • Joanne Crane • Mary Jo Cumming • Lynda Daley • Jackie Davidson • Mary DeSloover • Pat Detro • Mario Divok • Arinda Dolter • Teri Drake • Kay Drysdale • Carol Ducommun • Marianne Duncan • Arlene E. Eckstein • Mary Ehrlich • Susan Faludi • Erika Faust • Ana Fluck • Karen Ford • Anita Ford • Fran Fordyce • Jan Fournier • John Franceschini • Erika Franceschini • Milli Fredricks • Jane Fretz • Ken Gaines • Christina Gaines • Gus Ganotis • Marion Garbatow • Janet Garrick • Don Garrick • Marlan Globerson • Darilyn Goffman • Anita Goldman • Leonard Goldman • Mary-Pat Gonzalez • Dan Gonzalez • Ken Gordon • Phillip Grange • Sandy Grange • Anita Greenberg • Lucie Greville • Lindee Gschwind • Sally Hall • Larry M. Halperin • Donna L. Halperin • Jean L Harduvel • Lori Harvey • John Hay • Carol Hay •  Janie Hemminger • Jan Hendricks • Mary Hendricks • Patricia A Henry • Margee Hills • Harriet Himmelstein • Harvey Himmelstein • Siddiqua Hirst • Susan Hodge • Joanne Hogan • Erna Hollerbach • Gail Holmes • Larry Holmes • Maria J. Hurban • Joan Ingram • Ethel G. Ison • Irene Iverson •  Greta Jacobs • William Jacobson • Elaine Janssen • K.C. Jimenez • Tanya Johnson • Edith Jones • Roman Jurenka • Mary Jurenka • John Kaufman • Roger Kempler • Ellen Kempler • Laurie Kluge • Mary Konrath • Donna Krebs • Kathie Kuehn • Alice W. Lahtela • Sheila M. Lane • Thu Le • Susan Lee • Duane Legg • Carol Legg • Kimberly Legg • Johanna Lemos • Barbara Leonard •  John D. Leonard • Judy Lerner • Mary Leshure • David Levy • Danice Limberg • David A. Limberg • Riva Lippincott • Fred Locarnini • Lisa Locke • Dianne Lundquist • Joan Lyons • Robert Lyons • Anne Mai • Marie A. March • Ken L. March • David March • Donna March • Rose Margulieux • Julia Marko • Cy Marsden • Tom Mason • Lisa Masterson • Sherry McCallon • Joan McDavid • Pam McDonald • Mary Pat McEnrue • Joan McMahan • Glenda Mercado • Jeanne Michaels • Tamar Morris • Christine Munoz • Joan Naideth • Mona Nassimi • Lynda (Muffy) Nelson • Gina Nessel • David Vien Nguyen • John D. Nguyen • David Nugyen • Yvette Nord • Joan Nortel • Jeanne A. Oelstrom • Edward Parr • Robert Pettis • Kay Phillies • Michele Phillips • Michael Plean • Marcia Plean • David Reaux • Glenda Reaux • Lori C. Redelsheimer • Ann Reiner • Kameel Renner • Serene Rhodes • John Riordan • Karen Robinson • Merry Rossini • Nancy Ryder • Ann Sabina • Joe I. Sandoval • Gay Geiser Sandoval • Shirley Saturensky • Jean Savage • Fran M. Sawyer • Mary Beth Schipke • Nanci Schrieber-Smith • Stephen Schrieber-Smith • Charlotte Schroeder • Maryam Sedadi • Joy Shaikh • Marcy Shapiro • Barbara Sherman • Blanche V. Sibner • Carolyn M. Simmons • Peter Simmons • Linda Simpson • Eileen Simpson • Raymond Simpson • Sarah Siskind • Paul Sochat • Judy Sochat • Stephanie Solomon • Anita Soriano • Amy Sosa • Marilyn Spielberg • Richard Spielberg • Christine Stadelmann • Bonnie Steele • Julie Stein • Sheila Stewart • Bibe Stockman • Lane Straley • Ann Tack-McClure • Sandra Tauber-Rosen • Christine Tfaye • Libby (Sally) Thomas • Will Tran • Lolita Trausch • Perle Tropp • Lee Van Dyke • Ita Vandenbroek • Elizabeth Varo • Patricia Vega • Kathleen Vogel • Richard Vogl • Jackie Vorona • Sandra Walker • Lynn Wallace • Suzanne M. West • Peter Wetzel • Marte Williams • Patricia Wittenberg • Sidney Wittenberg • Christina Wu • Susan Yada • Sheree Yang •  Ricci Zinger.

*Usher list current as of Jan. 7, 2015.

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