Orange County
Costa Mesa

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OC Performing Arts Center
South Coast Plaza

Ana Mesa Inn
3597 Harbor Blvd
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325 South Bristol Street
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2642 Newport Boulevard
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2430 Newport Blvd.
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1951 Newport Blvd.
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325 W. Bay St
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3131 S. Bristol St.
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Costa Mesa (Newport Bch Area),
2070 Newport Blvd
La Quinta Costa Mesa
1515 South Coast Drive
Los Angeles/Costa Mesa Super 8 Motel
2645 Harbor Blvd
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500 Anton Boulevard
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2100 Newport Boulevard
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1680 Superior Avenue
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881 West Baker Street
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686 Anton Boulevard
Wyndham Garden Hotel Orange County Airport
3350 Avenue of the Arts




Orange County Performing  Arts 
Population: 106,607    Elevation: 101'  Information:  (800) 399-5499 


Travelers flock from around the world to shop in Costa Mesa at South Coast Plaza.  Commercial success of the venue has helped the nearby Orange County Performing Arts Center come into its own as a recognized concert hall.


Architectural firmm: Blurock Partnership of Newport Beach in conjunction with Caudill Rowlett Scott 
Architect: Charles Lawrence, CRS 
Acoustic design: A. Harold Marshall 


About The Center

Since its opening in 1986, the Orange County Performing Arts Center has become one of this region’s most prominent cultural institutions, well known for both its award-winning architecture and facilities and for the exceptional quality of performances offered within.  The Center is more than an elegant, contemporary performance hall; it is also Orange County’s largest non-profit performing arts organization, serving the community in a myriad of ways.


The existing state-of the-art facility is comprised of the acoustically superb multi-purpose 3,000-esat Segerstrom Hall and its smaller, more intimate venue, Founders Hall, which seats up to 250 people in a variety of settings and configurations. While The Center is the primary presenter in both venues, it also provides a home to many of the county’s leading performing arts organizations, including its Artistic Partners: the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Opera Pacific, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and the Pacific Chorale.


The Center’s programming is noted for its international caliber and variety. The International Classic Dance Series is unrivaled anywhere in the western United States, and The Center is recognized as one of the nation’s premiere venues for the major ballet companies of the world. 

The Center presents an annual Broadway Series. The success of these engagements has made Costa Mesa a required stop for all national Broadway tours.


Performances in the Concert Series include today’s most celebrated classical chamber ensembles and soloists. The intimate setting of Founders Hall is ideal for the smaller groups, providing a more authentic experience for both performers and audience. 


Voices in Song is a special series that features reigning opera stars in recital and concert. 

For The Center’s Jazz Club and the Cabaret Series, Founders Hall is transformed into a casual nightclub setting. Many of the contemporary music world’s leading artists have appeared there, creating seasons that are veritable Who’s Who of  Grammy and Tony Award-winners. 


The Center’s new Spotlight Series showcases stellar performers in limited engagements. It offers Center audiences exciting variety from all areas of the entertainment world.


The Orange County Performing Arts Center also offers one of the most active and acclaimed arts in education programs in the country. It has received prestigious commendations and awards from the U.S. Department of Education and the Kennedy for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. A variety of offerings that are designed to enhance existing education programs and to promote the importance of the arts in education and our lives are offered year-round at The Center and in the community.

The Center Expands: Building on The Vision

In 1999, The Center announced its $200 million Building on The Vision Campaign to design and construct a 2,000-seat concert hall and a 500-seat music theater. The new facility was built and stands across the street from the current venue. They will be linked by a dramatic outdoor public plaza.


Internationally-renowned architect Cesar Pelli is designing the new halls, working closely with Russell Johnson, the world’s foremost authority on acoustical engineering. With these two experts leading the project, The Center has assured the community that the new venues will uphold and complement the high artistic and architectural standards set with the original facilities.


The project has reached 100% of the design phase. The foyers and grand staircase, concert hall, music theater, restaurant, patron lounge, rehearsal rooms and artist support facilities are in place. Now the process continues with the selection of materials, finishes and other details. 


In addition to The Center’s expansion project, South Coast Repertory (a Tony Award-winning regional theater located across the street from The Center and adjacent to the expansion site) is also building and new theater to complement its existing two spaces. The Orange County Museum of Art recently announced its own plans to build a new campus next to The Center’s future facility.  The entire complex of theaters and museum will be called the Segerstrom Center for The Arts, in honor of the Segerstrom family, which donated the land upon which this cultural showplace will stand.


A free 45- minute tour every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 100:30 a.m. takes visitors to backstage areas, dressing and rehearsal rooms and lobbies while guides explain background of the architecture, sculpture and art objects. The Orange County Performing Arts Center  is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (714) 556-2121. Web Site:


Across the street  is the South Coast Repertory (pictured right), one of the country's leading (Tony-award winning) theatres at 655 Town Center Drive (714) 957-2602


Educational programs and students often receive benefit of performer visits. Pictured is a member of the New York City Ballet working with top local students attending a training session at the Center by special invitation.   


How it got started 


Source: The Orange County Performing Arts Center 

February 1979, Elaine Redfield, a longtime Orange County arts activist  and South Coast Repertory Trustee, addressed a letter to Henry T. Segerstrom requesting the land adjacent to South Coast Repertory recently opened Fourth Step Theater. Redfield suggested that this five-acre plot of prime real estate near the burgeoning South Coast Plaza shopping center, would be an ideal location for the proposed Orange County Music Center (as the planned facility was then called). 


The Segerstroms, who had already demonstrated their firm commitment to the arts in Orange County by donating the land for SCR's new theater, took the proposal under consideration.  Three then-Managing Partners of C.J. Segerstrom and Sons,  Ruth Segerstrom, Henry T. Segerstrom and Harold (Hal) Segerstrom, unanimously  agreed to the gift of land. In 1981, the facility's name was officially changed from the Orange County Music Center to the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Architectural plans were unveiled soon after, and C.L. Peck Contractor announced that it would build The Center without profit.


With construction plans approved and with $40 million cash in the bank,  he Board of Directors was ready to take the first step toward The Center's construction. Groundbreaking took place on July 7, 1983. 


Decades of planning finally came to fruition on September 29, 1986, when Segerstrom Hall, one of the nation's most acoustically innovative and technically advanced homes for the performing arts, opened its doors with a gala Opening Night extravaganza featuring soprano Leontyne Price and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.


The Center experienced phenomenal growth, quickly establishing itself as the region's primary artistic destination. To recognize the vital role Henry T. Segerstrom  played in The Center's formation, the Board of Directors unanimously voted in August 1995 to name him Founding Chair of The Center.

Looking back in the early 1990s, Segerstrom recalled that, "the 1980s saw Orange County come to an awakened maturity in the performing arts.   The period was an historic and decisive turning point, moving us from  aspiration to realization, from desire to availability of the finest artistic  offerings. We fulfilled our dreams and enriched our quality of life 
More than any public entity.


In the 14 years since The Center opened its doors, the Segerstrom family  has continued to play a leading role in the institution's growth and development. They supported numerous presentations through donations and underwriting by individual family members, as well as The Segerstrom  Family Foundation Endowment for Great Performances. They have held numerous leadership positions on The Center's Board of Directors and within The Center's Support Group structure. As Vice Chairman of Endowment  for the Board, Henry T. Segerstrom has devoted much of his time in the past few years to strengthening The Center's Endowment Fund. And at the request of then-Chairman Thomas Nielsen, Henry and his wife RenĂ©e agreed to serve as Honorary Chairs of the year-long Tenth Anniversary celebration, which culminated in a Gala performance at The Center on September  7, 1996. 


As Henry T. Segerstrom points out, "In its cultural impact, the Orange County Performing Arts Center stands alone as Orange County's single most remarkable achievement in its first 100 years of history. Born from the people for the benefit of its citizenry and future generations, The Center grew from a crucible of human emotional need -- to provide for replenishment and enrichment of the intellect and spirit within our selves.




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