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South Coast Rep Names New Complex for Board President

April 06, 2002|VIVIAN LETRAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa will name its new 78,000-square-foot complex the Folino Theatre Center for board president Paul Folino, the largest single donor in SCR's 37-year history. Folino has donated $10 million to the building project.

The expansion includes a renovation of the existing 507-seat Mainstage; a new 336-seat theater; and the conversion of the existing Second Stage into the 95-seat studio, a space for play development workshops and youth performances.

In February, 18 months ahead of schedule, the five-year capital campaign for the building project had nearly reached its $40-million goal. That goal was then increased to $50 million. Folino and his family had donated $2.5 million to the campaign in October last year, as well as a $7.5-million gift that was previously designated as anonymous.

Folino, 56, is the president and CEO of Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corp., a maker of data storage networking equipment. He has served on the board of SCR since 1996 and became its president for the 2000-2001 season.

He saw his first live theater performance at age 9 when he was bused from the Seattle housing project where his family lived to see a professional production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Family fare, he hopes, will be emphasized at the new facility.

"I've always had a soft spot for education and outreach," Folino said. "Most repertory theaters don't have strong family-oriented programs. Now's a chance to expand what SCR does best to family audiences."

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