(The following is from a press release)
Conejo Players Theatre (CPT) invites the public to their inaugural Arts Advocate Awards honoring outstanding local theatre champions, including; Richard “Dick” Johnson; Corey Fogelmanis of Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World; and the City of Thousand Oaks. Tickets are $30 per person. Pre-paid reservations are recommended.
“As Conejo Players Theatre starts on a journey toward solidifying our future with a new Capital Campaign, we wanted to reflect a bit on why we do what we do,” said Deidre Parmenter, CPT president. “The arts are hugely important to us as individuals and to our community at large. We are where we are today because of individual contributions and a supportive community. Honoring those that advocate both for Conejo Players and for the arts in general was an easy choice. It’s a tradition we hope to continue.”
The awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 21, at 7 p.m. at Conejo Players Theatre, located at 351 South Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks, CA, 91361. Included in the ticket price are special musical performances as well as a champagne dessert reception. Tickets are available at www.conejoplayers.org or by calling our Box Office at (805) 495-3715.
The 2015 Honorees are:
Richard “Dick” Johnson – Legacy Advocate Award
The City of Thousand Oaks – Civic Advocate Award
Corey Fogelmanis – Young Advocate Award
Our first honoree, Richard “Dick” Johnson, was chosen as the Legacy Advocate Award recipient for his long-standing support and enrichment of Conejo Players Theatre as well as for his support of our local theatre community. Johnson’s award-winning career began while pursuing his masters at UCLA, where he won the Oren Stein Memorial Award for his production of an original musical. Later, he got a job at local TV station KHJ TV Channel 9 (now known as KCAL-9), where he was a “jack of all trades,” taking on many different positions, including stage manager, set designer, graphic artist, producer and director. As executive producer at KHJ-TV, he received Los Angeles area Emmy Awards for several productions from 1982-89.
It was during his time at Channel 9 that he began his valuable commitment with the all-volunteer Conejo Players Theatre in Thousand Oaks. He designed and directed A Thousand Clowns in 1969 and, to date, has designed and built over 50 sets and directed almost half that number of shows for the theatre. He retired his position of executive director several years ago, after serving 11 three-year terms. An Honorary Life Member of the Players, Johnson has received 37 CPT Harlequin Awards.
He’s held several other positions within the arts locally, including two terms with the City of Thousand Oaks Arts Commission; vice chairman of the Alliance for the Arts; and campaign director for the California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO). Other achievements include: the 1993 Excellence in Art Certificate Award; the 1994 Encore Award for Achievement in the Arts presented by the City of Thousand Oaks Arts Commission; and the 1995 Twilight Award for his support of the performing arts.
Conejo Players Theatre is equally honored to present the Civic Advocate Award to the City of Thousand Oaks. The city–which just celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2014–has a strong history of supporting arts organizations. The establishment of the Civic Arts Plaza in 1994 was the realization of a 20-year dream. The Thousand Oaks Cultural Affairs Department manages its two theatres along with other arts services.
Conejo Players, which was established in its current location in 1964, the same year the city was incorporated, has also benefited throughout the years from the city’s appreciation of the arts. An all-volunteer organization, the Players owns the building in which it’s housed but is helped by a low $1 per year rent for the land. The city leaders have been open and helpful many times over the years from disbursement of re-development monies to performance grant funds. We hope to continue and strengthen our relationship for another 50 years.
Fifteen-year-old Corey Fogelmanis has earned the Young Advocate Award for his ongoing dedication to community theatre and for being a glowing example of the talent that emerges from the CPT stage. Fogelmanis has been on stage since he was six; his first show at Conejo Players Theatre was Alice in Wonderland, Jr. in 2008. He has since performed in 11 productions at CPT and in 20 other shows throughout the county. In addition to performing, Fogelmanis has run lights for several productions at local theatres and is often seen ushering for different shows.
For the past three years, he has been working in television, most recently playing the role of “Farkle Minkus” on the popular Disney Channel series Girl Meets World. He plans to attend college after high school, with NYU being at the top of his list. His dream is to perform on Broadway someday, as musical theatre is his true passion. In addition to acting, singing and dancing, Fogelmanis loves photography and wants to pursue it professionally as well. Even with his demanding television role and a whopping 541,000 Instagram followers, this young man remains a grounded and gracious individual. You can view his eclectic photo collection at instagram.com/coreyfogelmanis/ and you can also interact with him on Twitter at twitter.com/coreyfogelmanis.