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Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre celebrates Earth Day with Disneynature's Motion Picture "African Cats"

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Buy a ticket Opening Week and Help Protect African Cats and the Land They Call Home!
Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre celebrates Earth Day with 

Disneynature’s Motion Picture 
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson
with Special Digital Engagement April 22-May 16

“Animals From Around The World” Live on Stage at each performance
from Wildlife Learning Center 

Disney Animator Andreas Deja’s original artwork inspired by the film on exhibit with exclusive educational display from Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disneynature to make a donation to help protect lions and cheetahs in honor of each moviegoer opening week

Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre celebrates Earth Day, Friday, April 22, 2011, with the debut of AFRICAN CATS,an extraordinary new film from Disneynature, the studio that presented the record-breaking films “Oceans” and “Earth.” An epic true story set against the backdrop of one of the wildest places on Earth, AFRICAN CATS captures the real-life love, humor, and determination of the majestic kings of the savanna. The El Capitan engagement will run from April 22nd through May 18th.

Live on Stage
At every showing of AFRICAN CATS, the El Capitan has invited the Wildlife Learning Center to showcase a handful of exotic animals in their care with “Exotic Animals From Around the World,” a presentation live on the El Capitan Stage. The “Animal Guys” from the WLC have rescued more than 70 different species of captive-born wild animals and make it their mission to get children excited about the natural world around them. The Wildlife Learning Center also wants to help educate a generation of children to value their natural heritage, to value the environment, and to value all living things.

“See ‘African Cats,’ Save the Savanna”
In addition, everyone who buys a ticket to see the film during opening week (April 22 to 28, 2011) of AFRICAN CATS can help “Save the Savanna.” Disneynature will make a donation in honor of each moviegoer to protect lions and cheetahs and the land they call their home. 

Commenting on the announcement, Lylle Breier, senior vice president of worldwide special events for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures said, “In keeping with our traditions of making a visit to the El Capitan unforgettable and honoring Earth Day each year, we are delighted to welcome back our exotic live animals presentation, featuring everything from the red-tailed hawk to the African Serval wildcat.  And we’re proud to help increase awareness for our world’s precious resources and the species that depend on them by helping to save the savanna on behalf of our patrons. Disney has a great legacy of creating groundbreaking nature films, and this third movie from Disneynature builds upon that foundation and takes it to new heights. The El Capitan is the perfect place to experience this amazing film with its state-of-the-art digital projection.”

On Display
The El Capitan will also showcase an educational exhibit featuring fun information about lions and cheetahs, how researchers study lions and cheetahs in the wild and what The Walt Disney Company is doing to protect African cats and their savanna home all developed and written by educators at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  There will also be a display of original artwork inspired by the film from award winning Disney animator Andreas Deja. 

Deja was the supervising animator of some of the most memorable Disney villains:  Gaston from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award, Jafar in ALADDIN and Scar from THE LION KING, which was one of the highest-grossing films of all time.  He also animated Roger Rabbit from WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, King Triton from THE LITTLE MERMAID, the title character from HERCULES, Lilo from LILO & STITCH, and Queen Narissa from ENCHANTED. In addition,he is the supervising animator for Tigger in the upcoming “Winnie the Pooh.” He is the current resident specialist for the animation of Mickey Mouse. Disneynature is proud to have Andreas interpret African Cats with this stunning series of original art work directly inspired by the film. Andreas has long been known for his beautiful gestural drawings and paintings of big cats that capture their spirit of wildness and innate nobility.

Daily showtimes are: 10:00 am, 12:30 pm, 3:45 pm, 7:00 pm, and 9:35 pm.  Tickets are available at the El Capitan Theatre box office (6838 Hollywood Blvd.), online at, or by calling 1-800-DISNEY6.  Special group rates for parties of 20 or more are available by calling 1-818-845-3110.

The El Capitan Theatre will also have a special “Tiny Tot Tuesday” on Tuesday, April 26, at 10:00am only. During this special screening of AFRICAN CATS parents and small children can enjoy the movie in a “Tiny Tot” friendly way – complete with lights dimmed rather than out and reduced sound levels!

About “African Cats”

An epic true story set against the backdrop of one of the wildest places on Earth, “African Cats” captures the real-life love, humor and determination of the majestic kings of the savanna. Narrated by Oscar®-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson, the story features Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother’s strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a rival lion and his sons.  Disneynature brings “The Lion King” to life on the big screen in this True Life Adventure directed by Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill (“Earth”).  An awe-inspiring adventure blending family bonds with the power and cunning of the wild, “African Cats” leaps into El Capitan Theater on Earth Day, April 22, 2011. 

During the film’s opening week (April 22-28), a portion of the proceeds from that week’s ticket sales will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to ensure the future of lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, giraffes and a host of other animals in the vibrant African savanna. The AWF will be working to protect the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor, a passage between the Amboseli, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills National Parks that is frequently used by a variety of wildlife. For more information about the movie and the “See ‘African Cats,’ Save the Savanna” initiative, check out


Laguna Playhouse Announces Ellen Richard as its Interim Executive Director

May 3, 2016…Laguna Beach, Calif…Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors announced today that, later this month, Ellen Richard will be joining Laguna Playhouse as its Interim Executive Director. The Playhouse announced late last year that it was undertaking a national search guided by Arts Consulting Group (ACG) for an Executive Director to succeed Karen Wood who had held this position for the past eight years.

Commenting on the appointment Joe Hanauer and Paul Singarella, Co-Chairmens of the Board of Directors, said “In the midst of our search we encountered this wonderful opportunity to engage Ellen while we continue to seek appropriate long-term leadership. To have found someone with the extraordinary qualifications that Ellen has is thrilling. She is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company where she was Managing Director. Ellen also has strong successes in supervising the construction of theatres in New York and also in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theater, a rare and valuable skill set considering the contemplated major remodel and expansion of the Laguna Playhouse.” Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham adds, “We are pleased and proud to have Ellen Richard, truly a rock-star in our field, join us as our interim Executive Director who will help guide the Playhouse during this transition.” Comments Ellen Richard, “I have quickly grown fond of Laguna Beach and the Playhouse. I embrace this extraordinary opportunity to join one of the country’s top regional theatres at this time in its remarkable 95-year history. I look forward to helping the Playhouse and working with their incredible Board of Trustees and Ann E. Wareham.”


Ellen Richard served as Executive Director of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco from 2010 through 2015.  During her tenure, Ms. Richard negotiated a deal to buy the Strand Theater in tech corridor of Mid-Market San Francisco, helped raise the $34,000 million to renovate and operate it and steered the design and construction for the project which opened in May of 2015. The complex featured two performance spaces and has won multiple awards.  She opened the 50 seat Costume Shop Theater, a 49-seat “black box” venue used for the company’s Master of Fine Arts students and for shows by other local companies.  Ms. Richard was also credited with expanding the company’s educational efforts, coming up with programs like the San Francisco Semester, which brings undergraduate acting students to ACT from around the world, and Stage Coach, a community theater mobile unit that reaches into diverse neighborhoods

She was also Executive Director of The Second Stage Theatre in New York City. During her tenure at Second Stage, which began in 2006 (through 2009), she was responsible for the purchase contract of the Helen Hayes Theatre, growth in subscription income of 48 percent, and growth in individual giving of 75 percent, as well as conceptualization of a highly successful gala format and “Second Generation,” a giving program through which donors enable deserving New York City youth to experience live theater. Under Ms. Richard’s leadership, Second Stage provided the initial home for the Broadway productions Everyday Rapture, Next to Normal, and The Little Dog Laughed.

From 1983 to 2005, Ms. Richard enjoyed a rich and varied career with Roundabout Theatre Company. The Roundabout that Ms. Richard joined was a small nonprofit theater company in bankruptcy. By the time she departed as Managing Director, Roundabout had become one of the country’s largest and most successful theater companies of its kind, with net assets in excess of $67 million dollars. Ms. Richard is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer, for Roundabout productions of Cabaret (1998), A View from the Bridge (1998), Side Man (1999), Nine (2003), Assassins (2004), and Glengarry Glen Ross (2005). As producer of more than 125 shows at Roundabout, she had direct supervision of all management and marketing functions. She created Roundabout’s “Theatre-PLUS” programs, which include singles, teachers, family, gay and lesbian, wine tasting, and the 7 p.m. “Early Curtain” series, all of which grew to represent more than 10 percent of Roundabout’s 40,000 subscribers.

As director of design and construction at Roundabout, Ms. Richard was responsible for more than $50 million of theater construction for 11 projects. She conceptualized the three permanent Roundabout stages — The Broadway venues of Studio 54 and the American Airlines Theatre, and the Off-Broadway venue The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre She directed the location search for Cabaret and oversaw the creation of the production’s environmental Kit Kat Klub. Prior to her tenure at Roundabout, Ms. Richard served as business manager of Westport Country Playhouse, theater manager for Stamford Center for the Arts, and business manager for Atlas Scenic Studio. She began her career working as a stagehand, sound designer, and scenic artist assistant.