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Pacific Festival Ballet's "The Sea Princess"

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For the Love of Arts: The Show Must Go On

Despite the pandemic that forced the closure of theaters, museums and other live venues throughout Ventura County, local arts organizations are proud to announce upcoming live performances and other updates in 2022.

California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks

The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks is a cultural institution that engages, educates and enriches visitors and the community through the visual arts.

“Our museum aims to make the arts a larger part of the lives of individuals and families, increase access to art and cultural offerings and to foster dialogue and discovery,” says Executive Director Roya Alt.

The museum is excited to present “Landscape Through the Eyes of Abstraction,” a group exhibition that explores the landscape genre from a conceptual perspective, offering a provocative and inspired take on a subject that has remained a fixture in the history of art.

The exhibit, on view from February 18 through July 31, will feature works by internationally renowned artists Luciana Abait, Kim Abeles, Lita Albuquerque, Charles Arnoldi, Laddie John Dill, Cynthia Ona Innis and Claudia Parducci in an array of mediums, including painting, sculpture, installation and photography. Related programming can be found on

CMATO was established in 2008 as the direct outgrowth of the Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing community-minded programs and projects for residents throughout Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village. Originally named the Regional Art Museum, CMATO established a Board of Directors in 2008 and received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status the same year. CMATO officially adopted its name in 2010 and held its first public art exhibition in September 2015.

In 2018, CMATO relocated from its original site—adjacent to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza—to a 5,500-square-foot facility at The Oaks, significantly expanding its exhibition space and educational programs. The museum continues to welcome hundreds of visitors each month.

“The arts edify us as a community. When you support CMATO … you help us enrich our community through versatile art exhibitions, multifaceted programs and free admission for all,” Alt says. “What happens to the future of museums and arts organizations impacts all of us. Please support the essential role of art in our community.”

The California Museum of Art is located at 350 W. Hillcrest Drive, 2nd Level, in Thousand Oaks. For more information, call 805.405.5240, email or visit

La Reina

At La Reina, faculty and staff recognize the lasting value of performing arts which instill collaboration, leadership skills, build confidence and helps girls develop their voice. Whether it's theatre, music or dance, students in the Visual and Performing Arts Academy gain poise and self-assurance that benefits them for life.

“Our focus is on quality and the individual student with an emphasis on developing the individual; we choose performance and production opportunities around the growth and potential in our current candidates,” explains Robin Privat, Department Chair for the Arts at La Reina. Each candidate is assigned a mentor teacher who encourages her artistic exploration throughout her time in the Academy and as she transitions into college.

Cutting-edge and risk-taking artistic exploration is also an important aspect.

“From writing our own music and plays to pushing the boundaries of media and fine arts, our candidates realize their full potential and learn to reach higher than ever before,” Privat says.

In spite of the pandemic, La Reina has continued to lead the way, Privat emphasizes. 

“We haven’t stopped creating and we’ve pivoted and taken on the challenge of a new form of theatre.” We created a new outdoor amphitheater, the Garden Theatre, where they held a production of an original play last spring, and most recently presented a full (unmasked) musical, “Oliver!” in November 2021.

“The Regent Performers persevered through some really tough times for theatre, but they never lost hope along the way,” Privat says. “We applaud them for believing in themselves and believing that theatre can change the world.”

Future productions with unmasked performers include “Anne of Green Gables” in March and a VPA Showcase on April 30.

La Reina is located at 106 W. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. For more information, call 805.495.6494 or visit

New West Symphony

Founded in 1995, the New West Symphony is a professional orchestra that draws its players from the rich talent pool of professional Los Angeles–area musicians.

“With artistic direction led by GRAMMY® winner Maestro Michael Christie, the symphony is the resident company of the Bank of America Performing Arts Plaza and performs at the Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center in Camarillo,” explains Natalia Staneva, CEO. 

The New West Symphony presents six Masterpiece Series concerts annually, performing major works from the symphonic repertoire with internationally acclaimed artists as guest soloists. The Symphony also provides quality outreach and educational opportunities for the communities it serves through its annual Symphonic Adventures concert programs for youth, its traveling Music Van and the Laby Harmony Project, a year-round music and leadership program for underserved students.

“We are thrilled to open our 2022 in-person season after 18 months of virtual programs,” Staneva emphasizes.

“American Roots” on January 29 and 30 featured award-winning photographer Joe Sohm and violin superstar Elena Urioste.

On February 26 and 27, “Music to My Ears – Science of Sound” starts with a pre-concert demonstration featuring Music Director Michael Christie, guitarist Jiji Kim and trumpet player James Grinta, as well as an expert in the field of physics who will demonstrate how sound is created and becomes a visceral emotional response.

Additionally, “the concert portion of the presentation will feature works that highlight composers’ use of distance, combinations of sounds and instruments to touch our hearts and souls,” she says.

The Symphony’s virtual season, “Global Sounds. Local Cultures,” is available online and consists of festivals designed to celebrate and embrace diverse cultural traditions and societies that profoundly impacted each other’s music over the centuries.

The season includes 30 online events.

“We reached viewers in 55 countries and collaborated with 17 cultural organizations and 27 guest artists—66% from BIPOC communities—in the music and traditions of seven cultures through their influence on western classical music and vice versa.”

The New West Symphony is located at the Bank of America Performing Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite D, in Thousand Oaks. For more information, call 805.497.5800, email or visit

Oaks Christian School

The performing arts program at Oaks Christian School provides students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their creative avenue of choice—be it theatre, dance, instrumental or vocal music. The theatre and dance departments work together to produce several major events each year, including feature-length plays, student-directed productions and musicals.

The theatre program has distinguished itself through several honors, notably its recent selection as one of 50 American high schools to represent our country at the world’s largest and most prestigious arts festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The performing arts program is housed in the Bedrosian Pavilion, a facility that features state-of-the-art sound and lighting and an electronic fly-space—all to allow for a fully realized performance experience for students and theatre lovers alike. It also includes choir, band, orchestra and dance space, as well as a broadcast studio equipped with an HD camera and green screen.

In related endeavors, the Oaks Christian Institute of Arts and Innovation provides students with individualized learning pathways in the performing and visual arts focusing on the relationship between their disciplines and the arts and entertainment industry. 

The IAI’s mission is to develop ethical artists who will have an impact on the world by elevating the culture through their art. Immersive four-year courses of study challenge students and connect them to real-world opportunities and industry leaders. 

Additionally, an emphasis on business and entrepreneurship is one of the hallmarks of the Institute, helping students to develop and forward their brand in the marketplace. Traditional visual and performing arts core classes are paired with leading-edge and innovative arts classes, along with opportunities such as master classes, guest speakers, internships and mentorships in the student’s chosen pathway. IAI specialized pathways include Music Production, Songwriting, Vocal Performance, Film + TV, Acting for the Camera, Dance and Photography.

Oaks Christian School is located at 31749 La Tienda Drive in Westlake Village. For more information, call 818.575.9900 or visit

Pacific Festival Ballet

Pacific Festival Ballet is a nonprofit ballet company dedicated to bringing the fine arts to the Conejo Valley.

“Our goal is to preserve and present the traditions of classical ballet while exploring new ways to bring ballet into the 21st century by creating original full-length productions,” says Kim Maselli, Artistic Director.

Since its inception in 1994, Pacific Festival Ballet has worked to create a strong tradition of civic support through public performances, local outreach and children’s educational programs. 

“For 35 years we have trained dancers at our company school, California Dance Theatre,” Maselli emphasizes. “This training has led many dancers to a professional performing arts career but has given even more a lifelong love and appreciation for ballet.”

In today’s challenging times, Pacific Festival Ballet is especially grateful to be back in the theatre with its 2021 “Nutcracker” season after two long and challenging years.

“This pandemic has given us the opportunity to dig deep and rekindle our passion and commitment to our dancers, patrons and community,” Maselli says.

The next season, starting in May, will feature “The Sea Princess,” a Pacific Festival Ballet original that premiered in 2007.

This stunning ballet is an exciting collaboration between Maselli, the show’s director and choreographer, as well as Hollywood composer Eric Allaman. This love story transports the audience through dance and music to a Baroque castle on the shores of Portugal into the perils of the seas, while the original score, recorded in St. Petersburg, Russia, takes viewers on a melodic adventure.

“‘The Sea Princess’ is a mix between ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’,” Maselli explains. “This visually stunning production is full of underwater intrigue.”

Above all, “We are committed to continue a long-lasting legacy of dance and performing arts with the audiences of the Conejo Valley,” Maselli adds.

“We are appreciative to have support from the Bank of America Performing Arts Center, as they have been instrumental in our pandemic recovery and are helping us establish a new foundation as we move forward into future seasons and performances.”

The Pacific Festival Ballet is located at 2282 Townsgate Road, Suites 4, 5 and 6, in Westlake Village. For more information, call 805.906.2088 or visit

5-Star Theatricals

5-Star Theatricals (formerly Cabrillo Music Theatre) is the Ovation Award-winning resident musical theatre production company of the Bank of America Performing Arts Center and a nonprofit theatre organization.

For more than three decades, 5-Star Theatricals has been enriching the cultural life of Ventura and Los Angeles counties and the surrounding areas by providing an extraordinary performing arts experience through live, Broadway-quality productions of musical theatre.

It is 5-Star Theatricals’ mission to provide the highest quality theatre experience, to foster educational opportunities and to promote cultural and artistic enrichment to enhance the quality of life in Southern California. By creating opportunities for up-and-coming performers and artists, 5-Star Theatricals has launched hundreds to success in theatre, movies, television and music, including Adam Lambert, Katharine McPhee and Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block.

In upcoming performances, 5-Star Theatricals will present “Something Rotten!” from Feb. 4 through 13 at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center. Set in 1590, the story follows two brothers trying to make a name for themselves in theatre—if only they could get out from under the shadow of some guy named Shakespeare. Audiences can expect to witness the absolutely crazy birth of the world’s first musical ever.

In other endeavors, 5-Star Theatricals goes “Beyond the Footlights” with outreach programs to give back to the community and to provide enhanced theatre experiences for all audiences. Since the inception of “Beyond the Footlights,” more than 45,000 underserved children, in-need seniors and active military have enjoyed 5-Star Theatricals productions at no charge. In addition, 5-Star Theatricals provides ASL-signed performances of every production, talkbacks with the cast and staff, and beyond.

5-Star Theatricals is located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd. in Thousand Oaks. For more information, call 805.497.8613, email or visit


TOArts—the fundraising and presenting partner of the Bank of America Performing Arts Center—presents headline performances while supporting nonprofit local performing arts groups, thereby ensuring their ability to perform on a world-class stage.

“We are lucky to have this world-class facility in our backyard,” says Niki Richardson, Associate Director.

AccessArts, the newest program launched in September 2020, has a vision to provide equal access to high-quality sequential arts education to elementary schools in Ventura County and Northern Los Angeles County, including Westlake Village, Agoura Hills and Oak Park.

“AccessArts provides local elementary schools with grants to put arts in the curriculum,” Richardson explains.

Additionally, in response to the pandemic, “since we couldn’t bring kids to the theatre, we launched Virtually Kids and the Arts, giving teachers the opportunity to take their students on virtual performing arts field trips, providing them free access to high-quality diverse performances and National Geographic speakers sourced from around the country and even internationally.” TOArts continually adds more field trips on their website.

As a presenter of headline shows, TOArts is very excited about the upcoming performances in 2022.

“The National Geographic Speaker Series kicked off on January 28. We’re adding shows all the time; just head over to the website and anything with ‘TOArts Presents’ is a show we’re presenting.”

The most important thing Richardson wants people to know “is that the arts need them as much as they need the arts.”

“I want to urge you to make the arts a priority and consider giving more than ever before to your favorite local arts organizations—we have not only survived during the pandemic, we’ve pivoted and thrived.”

TOArts is located at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd. For more information, call 805.449.2590, email or visit

  • La Reina, "Oliver"
  • "Oliver!" Outdoor Musical at La Reina
  • Pacific Festival Ballet's "The Sea Princess"
  • Pacific Festival Ballet's "The Sea Princess"
  • New West Symphony’s JIJI, Guitar “Music to My Ears” soloist Photo Credit: Eugene Yankevich
  • Oaks Christian "Missperception" film crew
  • Oaks Christian's "Missperception"
  • 5-Star Theatricals' "Mamma Mia"
  • TOArts "Las Cafeteras" Photo Credit: JP
  • TOArts