Transcendence Theatre - June/July 2018

BACKSTAGE TO LESLIE FROM THE S DIRECTOR’S

peruse market stalls and craft fairs while you travel rather than simply purchasing a mass- produced bauble. It can lead you to some truly special souvenirs, and you’ll support the arts and traditions of the region! FOOD Why have a cheeseburger from a fast-food chain when you can try a local favorite? A great way to start is by asking your local transport driver about their favorite place to eat. You’ll discover new foods and flavor combinations that take advantage of ingredients sourced from nearby producers. PEOPLE While you’re out sampling local restaurants and exploring local markets, you’ll meet plenty of local people. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. You can make new friends around the globe and learn about their unique experiences. One of the most enriching experiences in life is meeting new people and gaining new perspectives. MEMORIES Treasured memories are the best souvenirs you can bring home from any vacation. So you owe it to yourself to get out and explore! Broadway Under The Stars is one of the few places where you can find all of these features in one spot! We always look forward to seeing our local friends, but we are thrilled to welcome those from out of town with the same gusto we received when we arrived in Sonoma Valley. summer of 2012, my husband, Rob, and I saw an advertisement for a Transcendence show in the Sonoma market. After one show, I was hooked. I met with Brad, Stephan, and Amy to ask what I could to do to help them.” Those early meetings around a kitchen table evolved, and Andrew began participating in our Advisory Council. After a few years, we knew we needed to have Andrew as one of our Board Members. Our Board Members and Advisory Council are volunteers, and they are as driven and focused on our success as any member of the Transcendence team. “I was humbled and honored to be asked. Being a Transcendence Board Member is a lot of work. The five of us are very hands-on to ensure everything Transcendence does stays in line with its mission and values. But it’s a labor of love, and I’m honored to be a part of this ‘Big Dream.’”

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS ON THE GLOBAL SCALE

The virtues of buying locally sourced food and supporting small businesses have been widely extolled. But we rarely think to apply the same practices when we travel, especially regarding the local arts community. Many folks spring for all-inclusive packages when planning their next summer vacation, but doing so means they’ll miss out on some of the best aspects of the culture they’re visiting. Part of the joy of traveling is having new experiences you can’t have at home. Whether you’re in another state or another country, you owe it to yourself to seek out the unique aspects of that location. But to find the character and quirks of your destination, you’ll have to explore beyond generic travel- guide lists. PERFORMING ARTS Your hotel concierge or local newspaper can often direct you to performances occurring during your stay. Like Transcendence, other vibrant experiences exist in every town, often in extraordinary venues like our own Jack London State Historic Park. VISUAL ARTS Just as your home base has local artisans who produce unique and interesting work, the same is true for your vacation destination. Take the time to

Leslie McDonel sings “Fields of Gol Photo: Rebecca Jane Call

It is the Transcendence way to encourage personal and professional growth in all members of our community. Many of the talented individuals who make each performance possible have played roles both onstage and off. If you attended “The Ladies of Broadway” last March, you might have noticed that the show’s Associate Director, Leslie McDonel, was also one of the talented women gracing the stage. “I have to credit my dad for being the biggest influence of my life in the arts,” Leslie says when discussing her journey to Broadway. “He passed away when I was 10, but it was because of him that I started attending an arts magnet school. Even as a little kid, I loved to act and sing. I was amazed by how I could make people feel something through song. It was like having a superpower!” Despite her love for singing and acting, Leslie wouldn’t catch the musical- theater bug until high school, when her choir director encouraged her to audition for the school performance of “Crazy for You.” Leslie was cast in the

STARS OFFSTAGE

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER WITH ANDREW KOENIGSBERG

At Transcendence, we are very deliberate when we seek outside help. Sometimes, finding like-minded people can be difficult, especially when pursuing a Big Dream. We realized we needed a new perspective to achieve our dream, and we discovered that the Sonoma community has no end of amazing

individuals — for example, Andrew Koenigsberg, who is part of the Advisory Council and one of our Board Members.

“I attended a Transcendence performance during their first season,” Andrew says. “In the

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