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New West Symphony orchestra conducted by Music & Artistic Director Michael Christie. Photo Credit: Eugene Yankevich

Featured Article

Play It Up! The Curtain Rises for In-House Audiences Again!

After more than a year without in-person live events, museums, symphonies and theaters are back in the limelight with offerings that enrich and entertain audiences as only the arts can do.

Here is a glimpse of where the magic happens this summer:


A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, TOArts provides fundraising and programmatic support to the Bank of America Performing Arts Center. Its first scheduled indoor concert features Melissa Manchester in the Fred Kavli Theatre on July 9. On August 21, “The Everly Set” performs in the Fred Kavli Theatre. Both shows will have socially distanced seating with tickets sold in pods.

“We are so excited to be able to start talking about live entertainment again here in Thousand Oaks,” says Colleen Debler, director of marketing for the Bank of America Performing Arts Center. “We are also offering our Pop-Up Arts and Music Festival this year. As the name suggests, the festival will feature ‘pop-up’ public performances and activities at a variety of locations throughout Thousand Oaks. The primary goal of the festival is to provide residents and visitors with an opportunity to actively participate in and enjoy the arts in unexpected and distinctive locations throughout the community.”

Events are free and guests must register at to be seated in socially distanced pods.

Learn more at

5-Star Theatricals

An Ovation Award-winning resident musical theater production company of the Bank of America Performing Arts Center, 5-Star Theatricals is a nonprofit theater organization with community outreach programs geared to give back and provide enhanced theater experiences for all audiences.

“We will be opening ‘Mamma Mia!’ on October 15, followed by ‘Something Rotten!’ in early 2022 and 'Newsies' in July 2022,” says Executive Director Cindy Murray, who hopes that music lovers have enjoyed one of their five outdoor concerts during the past year. Most recently the City of Thousand Oaks hosted “Summer Nights in the Park with 5-Star” featuring past 5-Star performers for a fun-filled, live concert that welcomed summer and celebrated being together again.

On August 29, there will be a reading held in collaboration with the High Street Theatre in Moorpark for a new musical, which was the selected show from the "Raise Your Voice" playwright competition hosted by Nicole Pryor at the High Street Theatre. 

Visit for tickets and showtimes.

Conejo Players Theatre

Located in Thousand Oaks, Conejo Players Theatre’smission is to share in providing the community with a year-round schedule of affordable live theater produced to serve the cultural, educational and entertainment needs of all audiences.

“Conejo Players was excited to welcome our first patrons back with the ‘Conejo Improv Players’ on June 5,” says Executive Producer Beth Eslick. “The state has put in place strict guidelines for social distancing and capacity limits, and the entire cast and crew was fully vaccinated.”

The theater also offered a drive-in concert series with “Backwards Broadway” from June 18 to 20. “We are hopeful that we will welcome audiences back inside for ‘Almost, Maine’ starting September 17,” says Jeremy Zeller, the executive technical director.

For more details, visit

California Museum of Art of Thousand Oaks

CMATO bills itself as a premier cultural institution for the central coast of California.

“We are elated to be reopening,” says Museum Director Roya Alt. “I think closure really taught us that a museum is not truly a museum unless we have visitors. People were grateful that we were offering online programs and virtual exhibitions, but so many have come and said while they enjoyed them, there really is no replacement for viewing the work in person. Our mission has always been to serve the community, so being closed is antithetical to what we’re about.”

“Defining Beauty,” on view until August 8, is CMATO’s third annual international juried exhibition featuring painting, mixed-media and video works by Zara Monet Feeney, Francene Levinson and Sungjae Lee.

Also running through August 8 is “Jonathan Michael Castillo: Car Culture,” the first solo museum exhibition of the artist’s work. It’s a photographic tradition of documenting a way of life that is passing, enabling viewers to see a social life that is changing (or about to disappear).

“The Memory Project,” created by artist Christine Shannon Aaron, runs through August 8 and features a unique, experiential installation that aims to show people the elements that unite us through the sharing of memories. Along with viewing sculptures made from collected memories, visitors to the museum will also have the chance to leave their own memory to be added to the collection.

For more information, visit

California Dance Theatre/Pacific Festival Ballet

“Although the indoor theater venues are still closed, the California Dance Theatre is offering a variety of summer camps, workshops and intensives for all ages and dance genres at their Westlake Village studios,” says Artistic Director Kim Maselli.

Pacific Festival Ballet is launching its 2021 performing season with an outdoor performance of “The Adventures of Peter Pan” on Thursday, August 5, at the Los Robles Gardens in Thousand Oaks. “PFB is very hopeful and we look forward to our holiday classic of ‘The Nutcracker’ returning to the Bank of America Performing Arts Center this December for our 26th season! We have missed engaging with our audiences and cannot wait until the curtain rises once again!”

For updates, visit and


New West Symphony

The resident company of the Bank of America Performing Arts Center, New West Symphony is a professional orchestra that also performs at the Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center in Camarillo.

“To simply say that New West Symphony’s musicians and staff are eager to perform again for live audiences is not enough,” says Stephanie Wilson, Deputy Director/Director of Development. “Musicians and artists truly need the energy of live audiences because it becomes part of the art. Artist to audience to artist and back again brings the passion to any art form, and you can be sure that we are all enthusiastic about experiencing this again.” 

“Symphony on Tour” events offered this summer continue the county-wide collaborations forged since March 2020. These collaborations have made it possible to create its online season, “Global Sounds. Local Cultures.” 

The staff is also hard at work on several concerts that will bring people back into the theater in the fall and spring. There will also be some interesting changes, since they are taking the experiences of the past year and layering them onto what they believe their unique orchestra can bring to the community, says Wilson, noting, “None of us are the same after 2020, and we are using that as an artistic challenge.”

Visit for more information.



  • Jonathan Michael Castillo, Green Volkswagen, East Hollywood
  • Zara Monet Feeney, Mezzanine, 2015, oil on canvas
  • New West Symphony Classical Guitarist & Composer Jiji Kim, NWS guest artist. Photo Credit: Eugene Yankevich
  • New West Symphony orchestra conducted by Music & Artistic Director Michael Christie. Photo Credit: Eugene Yankevich
  • 5-Star Theatricals
  • 5-Star Theatricals
  • 5-Star Theatricals
  • Conejo Players    Photo Credit: Mike McCauley
  • Conejo Players Photo Credit: Mike McCauley