Couple Returns to Lead Planning For SCR Gala—the Theatre’s Major Annual Fundraiser

Tania Thompson
 | Jul 11, 2018
17-18 Gala Ball

Bill Schenker, actor/playwright Sandra Tsing-Loh, Talya Nevo-Hachoen, Frier McCollister at the 2017 Gala.

Last year, Talya Nevo-Hacohen and William Schenker chaired the committee that created South Coast Repertory’s popular and whimsical Gala, “Let’s Play.”

The couple had such fun that they’re back to helm the 2018 Gala, “Places, Please!” (Saturday, Sept. 15, at The Westin South Coast Plaza).

The husband-and-wife team is integrally involved in the life of the theatre. Nevo-Hacohen serves on SCR’s Board of Trustees and the couple subscribes to First Nights (opening nights) on both the Segerstrom and Julianne Argyros stages. 

We asked them to talk more about the 2018 Gala theme and purpose, and the event’s importance for SCR.

Tell us about the idea behind the 2018 Gala’s theme, “Places, Please!”
This year’s theme is a reversal of roles: our patrons attending the Gala will be "actors" and will experience and observe the process of preparing to go onstage. The event is uniquely SCR, which means it’s very theatrical.

Give us two words that describe the Gala.
Glamorous and theatrical, of course! 

What’s your philosophy as you approach planning the Gala?
This event has to reflect SCR—the product, the people, the process—and be distinctly theatrical and about our theatre.

Can you tell us about the deeper purpose of the Gala—raising support for the art of theatre at SCR? 
The Gala is the single largest fundraising event for SCR, with proceeds going to support the education and outreach programs that SCR provides—bringing school kids here to experience live theatre—and to support the artistry onstage.

Theatre is important because artists reflect the issues of our day​—and of humanity—and present them to an audience in new ways. This has been true since the dawn of mankind. It is through art that society expresses its fears, its pain and its struggles. Supporting SCR is how we develop imagination in our youth, provoke introspection and discussion amongst ourselves and provide a safe forum for the expression and sharing of differing views.

What is unique about SCR’s Gala?
This gala is about SCR and the theatrical experience. That makes it different from many other galas. Your contribution is made when you buy your tickets; there aren’t silent or live auctions. When you arrive on the evening of Sept.15, impeccably dressed and glowing, you will be with friends and other SCR patrons, dancing, dining and having an amazing time. 

We hear that the raffle is back—and has some dazzling prizes!
We were so pleased with how successful last year’s raffle was and we have something special, selective and high-end this year. I will give you a teaser: we have four raffle items this year, one of which will give you special, behind-the-scenes access to a Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry design workshop in Paris!

Get the latest on the 2018 Raffle Prizes and how to purchase tickets.

Why is SCR an important nonprofit for Orange County residents to support?
We like to remind people that we have a world-class (truly!) theatre in our own backyard. It is a treasure that we are so lucky to have. We’ve heard many stories of how the plays and Theatre Conservatory classes have changed countless lives. Why WOULDN'T you want to support that?!

What would you tell people who may be first-time Gala attendees?
Buy tickets early for yourselves and for a couple of friends and come. You will have so much fun meeting people, dancing and learning more about SCR. Then next year, you can buy a table for all your friends!

Learn more about the Gala.