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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 48  |  June 15, 2021

Do you know a Laguna Playhouse legend?

Stu News is thrilled to celebrate Laguna Playhouse’s legends. This weekly series recognizes those folks who over the years have been instrumental in making the Playhouse the world-class venue it is today. 

Nellie Gail Moulton, whose gift in 1966 helped fund the Playhouse’s current building and Moulton Theatre, designed by the famed architect William L. Pereira, was the first legend recognized. 

Great-great grandson Jared Mathis continued the tradition, and he and his family were also recognized for Jared’s commitment to the Playhouse’s Board of Trustees, and $1M to restore the building.

Do you Nellie

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Submitted photo

Nellie Gail Moulton

And harking back to the beginning, actors Annie Gayne Peake and Isabel Frost were recognized for organizing the first meeting of the Laguna Beach Community Dramatic Club, which eventually led to the creation of the Laguna Playhouse. 

Betsy and David Paul, whose reign lasted from their first stage appearance in 1937 into the 1990s, were recognized for both their on-stage and off-stage work. 

Also recognized was the wonderfully talented Tom Shelton, who has been on the Playhouse stage more than any other actor to date, Kris and Becky Lythgoe and Lythgoe Family Panto, and Hershey Felder, who has brought his amazing composer series to Laguna both live and virtually! 

But it’s not only actors and benefactors who are responsible for the Playhouse’s success. Favorite patron Orville Marlett has been a supporter and subscriber since 1994, and still attends shows. He just turned 103!

Find out who else has been recognized at and let Laguna Playhouse know who you want to see recognized. And check back next week as we highlight some more Laguna Playhouse legends.


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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