Thomas R. Kendrick, 52, is executive director of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, now under construction in Costa Mesa. A former newspaper editor, he spent a decade helping to guide the Kennedy Center in Washington to national prominence before coming to California in January. The Orange County center's inaugural season begins Sept. 29. Q: What are your goals for the Orange County Performing Arts Center? A: This administration stands for balanced programming, meaning symphony, ballet, opera, musicals, jazz--all the disciplines. Second, to encourage and present regional theater and orchestras and encourage them to flourish. The South Coast Repertory Theatre (which is planning to use the center's 3,000-seat theater, as well as their own adjacent facility) is a wonderful asset. It's been in existence 20 years. It's got a full subscription. It's got a very fine, top-flight regional--and somewhat of a national--reputation already. The Pacific Symphony is a fine regional orchestra.
We don't know what kind of audience we have here. It's not an audience trained to come to ballet, opera and all that we're presenting. We don't know whether we're going to be full or whether we'll have a problem attracting audiences for the various disciplines.
The main hall, seating 3,000, will be opening in September. Then the next theater to be built is supposed to be a 1,000-seat multipurpose hall, which will be used half the time by South Coast Rep. We also have a black box theater adjacent to the main hall designed for television production that can seat 300. It will serve as a rehearsal facility as well.