The Guilds at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Susan Condrey, newest chairperson, shares the purpose behind the support group for Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

What are The Guilds?

Prior to the building of the performing arts center, there was a group of people who thought it would be wonderful if they didn’t have to drive to L.A. all the time to see the theater or symphony. In 1978, Thomas Moon was the president of Orange County Music Center, and he asked a woman named Georgia Spooner to see what she could do to form a group to raise money. Georgia started by having some tea (parties) and then pretty quickly within O.C., there were a whole lot of people who were involved in trying to promote what became a performing arts center. My mother, Laura Condrey, was a charter member of one of the first chapters, Stage Door. They were chartered in 1980. They quickly grew, and soon there were 4,000 Guilds members. Everybody was just committed to this single goal of building a world-class performing arts center, which they did. Now that it’s all built, The Guilds focuses our support on education and community involvement programs put on by Segerstom Center for the Arts. 

What types of programs and events are available?

The Center promotes (programs such as) Disney Musicals in Schools and Five Days of Broadway for high school youth, where they are taught by people who are working in the theater. We have all kinds of programs; they just go on and on. We have wonderful events on Argyros Plaza that are for the community, and most of them are free or very nominally priced. Because we want to be inclusive of the entire county, there are certain shows for our family series that are for people (with individual needs) to support their enjoyment of a performance. The chapters of The Guilds support all those. 

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Tell us about your role as chairperson.

I was just installed as the new chairperson of The Guilds on June 16. It is such an honor and privilege because there were people there in the room who knew my mom; they wrote me cards that said, “She’d be so proud of you.” My goal as chair is to see how we can grow and promote The Guilds throughout the entire county. I am also chair of one of the chapters called Sound of Music, whose funds go directly to support Studio D, which is the center’s on-site school for arts for all abilities and ages. 

How can readers get involved?

The best way would be to contact me at
susancondrey@gmail.com or 949-407-6080.

 


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