“The People’s Theatre” never would have been created without the people who have guided this unique, award-winning endeavor. We are very fortunate to have had the support of an amazing cast of community members who have served on our Board of Directors and as Advisors. Their vision, leadership, support and advocacy have manifested a lasting gift to the community and Santa Barbara Junior High School in the form of the Marjorie Luke Theatre.
Applying his wide experience in all aspects of public and private environmental and natural resources law, Dylan Johnson counsels clients on environmental compliance, enforcement actions and litigation, with an emphasis on water rights, clean water regulations, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Prior to joining Brownstein, Dylan served as an extern for the Environmental Protection Agency and he currently serves as a contract deputy city attorney, giving him valuable public sector experience and unique insight into the governmental processes that are important to most environmental compliance issues. Dylan developed his passion for the performing arts as a student in elementary school when he was introduced to the trumpet. He has spent many days and nights on a concert stage performing classical and jazz music, or in the pit supporting a wide array of musical performances. Dylan can still sometimes be seen playing his trumpet around town.
Mrs. Battle graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics and Spanish. Mrs. Battle has served on the Board of Directors of the Marjorie Luke Theatre since 2008, moving from board member to Secretary to her current role as Vice President of the Board. Battle is the Vice President of Operations at a local financial services firm, Pensionmark Retirement Group, where she strives to service her clients with nonnegotiable integrity while helping them understand the importance of a healthy financial wellness program for their employees. Mrs. Battle is committed to her community, the youth and education. She has been an active volunteer of the Santa Barbara Family YMCA and the Page Youth Center, coaching youth basketball, and is also active in her children’s school’s PTA. Mrs. Battle volunteers as a guest speaker for local elementary and Junior High Schools through the Santa Barbara Partners in Education program. Laura has been a resident of Santa Barbara since 1993 and enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 sons, Andre and Carter.
Dawn Ziemer was born in Santa Barbara and attended local public schools. She received an Associate of Arts degree at Santa Barbara City College and a Bachelor of Arts, Interior Architecture from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. Dawn worked for design firms in San Francisco and London before returning to Santa Barbara where she is a Principal of Interior Design with Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects. Dawn has a strong background in the design of institutional facilities and has worked on a number of historically significant buildings in Santa Barbara, including the Marjorie Luke. She has been a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional since 2007 and is currently a member of The Santa Barbara Education Foundation.
Gerrie Fausett has served on the Board of The Marjorie Luke Theatre since its beginning. She was the principal of Santa Barbara Junior High School at the time of the renovation of the theatre. Prior to that she was the principal of Washington Elementary School, a teacher in Santa Barbara and in L.A. Unified and most recently was the superintendent of Hope School District. She is most proud of the fact that this theatre serves the entire population of Santa Barbara. It is a school auditorium first, serving the needs of the students of SBJH but doubles as the third largest professional, indoor venue in town. She is proud to continue to serve and support this award winning, affordable theatre.
Lito Garcia, Principal Santa Barbara Junior High School, is a graduate of C.S.U. Chico. Mr. Garcia has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and a California Single Subject Teaching Credential from Chico State. In addition, he has an Administrative Services Credential from California Lutheran University. Mr. Garcia has worked exclusively for the Santa Barbara Unified School District since 1993. He was a teacher for six years having taught American History and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). Mr. Garcia also served as an Assistant Principal for 11 years. Since 2011, Mr. Garcia has been the Principal for Santa Barbara Junior High, his alma mater.
Shari Hanlon currently manages the Organizational Learning Department at Montecito Bank & Trust. She is a credentialed Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) and has managed training departments in various industries, including a movie studio. Shari joined the board of The Luke in January of 2014. She is a native Southern Californian and spent summers in Santa Barbara as a child visiting her father. She appreciates the opportunity to serve The Luke so that the children of our community can experience the joy of the arts.
Barbara Keyani was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley. She is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (master of city planning) and UC Santa Barbara (bachelor of arts). She began her career in community development, working with farm labor families as they collectively built their own homes; served as a US Housing and Urban Development intern in Boston; conducted research on a US Department of Transportation project, where she co-authored Transportation System Management: State of the Art; co-owner of a local business; coordinator for the Santa Barbara Public Education Fund; and currently serves the needs of all schools and district-level departments as the coordinator of administrative services and communications for the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Barbara continues to serve as the school district’s representative to the Marjorie Luke Board.
Pam McLendon is a retired music educator who taught for 41 years at Montecito Union School. She started the music education program, chorus and artist-in-residency programs. She also taught UCSB extension classes in music education and Music for Children at Westmont College. Pam was the director of the children’s chorus for Revels of Santa Barbara and is currently on their Advisory Board. Pam is married to Phillip, former choral conductor of the SB Master Chorale and former choral director of the SBHS Madrigal Singers and A Cappella choir. They have two children.
Rick is a director, writer and teacher with 38 years experience in professional and educational theatre. He is Professor Emeritus and retired Production Chairman of the Theatre Group at Santa Barbara City College, where he directed 52 shows in his 20-year tenure. Prior to that Rick taught and directed high school and junior high school theatre for 17 years and was widely recognized for his work, including being named Teacher of the Year in Santa Barbara. He has been the subject of two educational documentaries and is one of only three people to be recognized by the Santa Barbara Independent with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Josh joined Fell, Marking, Abkin, Montgomery, Granet, & Raney LLP in January 2000, and became a partner in January 2003. Josh’s practice is focused on the representation of businesses and individuals in their real estate, business, and related legal needs. Specifically, Josh’s practice focuses on all aspects of real property matters, including purchase and sale transactions, leases, financing, syndications, work-outs, tax deferred exchanges, easements and boundary disputes, and residential transactions. Josh also enjoys representing home offices in connection with various family, business, and charitable matters. Josh earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at San Diego, with departmental honors, in 1990. He earned his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1995 and a Masters of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1998. He is local and an alumnus of SBJH, he has 3 kids, and his wife is involved with the community.
Gil was born and raised in Santa Barbara. He attended SB Jr. High, SB High and UCSB. At 18 he was musical director at KEYT. Gil played piano at El Paseo Restaurant, El Encanto Hotel, Fiesta Bowl, Somerset Restaurant and the Olive Mill Bistro. He is a classically trained pianist and he has been a soloist with the City College Concert Band, City College Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra. In Ventura, he played at the Pierpont Inn, Ventura and was a church organist for 13 years. Gil has performed concerts throughout Southern California for the past 30 years. Gil and his wife Susan live in Santa Barbara and he is now in semi-retirement but still performs for special functions.
Rick is a native Santa Barbaran who earned his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Communications from UCSB, with a focus on marketing/advertising. He also earned his Associates of Arts degree in Theatre Arts (Acting/Directing) from SBCC, where he received the Red & White Award for Academic Achievement and was chosen “Student of the Year” by the Drama Department. Rick’s varied theatrical experience includes acting/singing, directing plays, building sets, running lights and sound, and performance technical crew. Previous to The Luke, Rick worked at the box office and in house management at the Garvin Theatre. Rick joined the staff in 2004. Rick has served on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance, the Steering Committee of the Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative and is currently a member of the Granada’s Community Engagement Committee.
Mark grew up deeply involved in the community theater in Thousand Oaks where his parents and The Conejo Players fostered a life-long love for Theatre. After graduating from CSU, Chico with a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts, Mark held different technical positions including movie effects work and theatrical scenic design. Previously the Senior Scenic Technician for UCSB’s Dramatic Arts Department, Mark has been the Technical Director of The Luke since the summer of 2004.
Giovanna is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara with Bachelors of Arts degrees in Communication and Environmental Studies. She graduated as one of the top 75 students in her class, receiving College Honors, Highest Honors and awards from both her departments. During her time at UCSB, Giovanna was the Business Manager and President of UCSB’s first and oldest a cappella group, Naked Voices. She spent three years singing with the group and traveling all over California for performances and to compete in the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival. Prior to joining the Marjorie Luke Theatre, Giovanna was a European Travel Specialist and Tour Guide at Bus2alps in Florence, Italy, leading study abroad students on trips throughout Europe. Originally from Simi Valley, Giovanna has had a passion for being onstage and a love for the arts since she was three years old.
“I believed The Luke was a special place from the first day I stepped into it. It has magnetism for me that is unmistakable.”
Former Principal SBJHS
“To know that my grandparents names are on the tile wall almost brings me to tears each time I enter because this is a reminder of how much they wanted me to make a difference. Being on this board I know I make a difference everyday.”
Past Board Member
“The Luke is an important cog in the machine that is Santa Barbara. Its accessibility to the schools and the community provides both education and life-skills, while providing a venue for groups to showcase talents and issues.”
Past Board Member
“The idea of being a part of a cultural center where I could help ensure that a place to participate in the arts would be secured even as the schools budgets for the arts are being cut is what makes me passionate about the Luke.”
Past Board Member
“We have completely renovated this theatre down to its very soul. We have accomplished what we set out to create – an affordable home for the performing artists of our community”
Founding Board Member
“I truly enjoy being a Board Member at The Luke because I find it very beneficial and rewarding knowing that we are contributing to our Santa Barbara community, especially our children, by making sure the opportunities to experience all facets of the arts-whether musical, theatrical or multi-cultural are available and abundant.”
“Creating live theatre is like blowing bubbles. They burst into the wind, vibrant, colorful and exciting, and then they disappear. All that is left are memories of the experience. One of the most wonderful rewards of The Luke is being able to walk in, again and again, and see the outcome of our hard work and passion…to be able to touch the tiles and curtains and kiosk and seats…and know it will be there to inspire future generations when I am gone.”
Past Board President
What our audience members say:
“This is the most beautiful theatre in Southern California.”
“I can’t believe this theatre is on the campus of a junior high school!”
“The staff is so supportive and professional!”
“The attention to detail is amazing!”
“The sound system is incredible!”
“The best leg-room in town!”