By Susan Hoffman, special to Corona del Mar Today
Hundreds of students and members from the education and local community converged on the Corona del Mar High School campus Monday afternoon to attend the grand opening ceremony of the newly constructed Performing Arts Center.
CdMHS Principal Kathy Scott and CdMMS Principal Rebecca Gogel welcomed the crowd to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which included artistic performances by the CdM zone schools.
“The entire CdM community is excited to finally see the project come to completion, and for the elementary, middle and high school CdM zone schools to have such a state of the art facility,” Scott said.
Newport -Mesa School Superintendent Frederick Navarro and board member Karen Yelsey emphasized the importance of art to education and broadening the child’s perspective. Wendy Rogers of LPA Architects talked about the great time the design firm had had designing the theater.
“The theater anchors the quad area in an amazing way and showcases the arts program,” she said.
Following the ribbon cutting by district board members, guests were invited to enjoy performances by the CdM zone schools both inside the theater and in the courtyard.
The 30-minute theater entertainment preview included an orchestra performance, an introduction of the department coordinators, a theater performance, dance performances and a vocal performance. The theater department performance included the opening number for “Seussical the Musical,” and the medley closed with a modern dance number called, “The Unattainable Dream.”
“Seussical the Musical” will open March 25 for a five-day run. Tickets are available online now for $12 for students and $17 for adults; click here for more information.
Members of the school’s Orchesis dance company also presented a plaque to the district officials as an expression of gratitude for their support.
”The ribbon-cutting ceremony was a beautiful start to the amazing theatrical space provided by the NMUSD,” said director Cami Marseilles. “The Orchesis dance company is so thrilled to have a home theater to produce dance shows and performances.”
The theater was constructed alongside the Corona del Middle School enclave, which opened last summer. The theater project was expected to cost about $18.9 million, and along with the enclave, were the two major Measure F projects for Corona del Mar High School and Middle School. Construction began in the summer of 2011, then stopped while state architectural approval was granted. Construction began again in the summer of 2012.
The last show in the school’s former theater, the Little Theater, occurred in June. Teachers and students began moving into the theater space late last year, and a few small school performances have occurred in the new theater, along with a Harbor View Elementary School production of “Peter Pan Jr.” that ran last weekend.