“If you build it, they will come.”
The town of Rancho Mirage did it, and Desert Theatricals did it!
This famous line from the 1989 film “Field of Dreams” is about the passion and mission to create hope and dreams from very little.
Coincidentally, it’s also a bit of the story behind the creation of the magnificent Rancho Mirage amphitheater and its partnership with the local community. Desert Theaters production company.
Originally unveiled in 2015, the awe-inspiring venue was launched to serve our valley with uplifting entertainment as a gift from the town of Rancho Mirage, but it never fully realized its incredible potential until the team behind Desert Theatricals discovers the 1,000+ seat gem and begins producing spectacular family entertainment, including several junior productions featuring youth from our community.
Desert Theatricals was founded by theater professionals Ray Limon and Joshua Carr in 1994 in San Diego County. With over 450 professional Broadway-style musicals and events, the successful team has been producing affordable, quality theater in Southern California for 29 years.
Musical director and bandleader Carr tells us that “the goal of our company and now our new non-profit organization is to promote the arts to young people in the Coachella Valley and the greater Inland area. Empire through free exposure to theater and performing arts. We also offer free theater training with working industry professionals through classes and musical theater productions.
A great recipe for success — and it was immediate! As soon as they put on their first show, “Pirates of Penzance,” in 2018, word spread that this theatrical organization was providing world-class, locally produced entertainment in the beautiful, sprawling amphitheater right in the middle of Rancho Mirage.
“These productions and this amphitheater are for everyone’s enjoyment,” says Carr. “We offer free tickets to participating students and local youth organizations. We want everyone to enjoy live theater.
The lively Desert Theatricals team has a full roster planned for 2022-2023, and they will now include even more opportunities for young people from across the valley in addition to appearing on stage.
“We will be offering college scholarship opportunities for those who wish to pursue a degree or further education in theater arts with a program currently being developed by our foundation,” Limon explained. “This is a very exciting time for us, and we are so grateful to the town of Rancho Mirage and our generous community for supporting us.”
As they prepare for the new season, we are very pleased to donate to the Desert Theatricals Foundation our $1,000 grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Power of Community Family Foundation so that they can continue to teach, mentor and inspire the young people of our valley who find themselves dreaming of a career in the arts.
“If you build it, they will come.” Yes! Kudos to Carr and Limon for bringing this famous movie quote to life as they help build dreams in our valley.
And to steal another classic film, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, (which is also an old Desert Theatricals production) – we can’t wait for “another opening!” Another show!
Sandie Newton is an award-winning journalist who began her career in Los Angeles as the co-host of the nationally syndicated show “PM Magazine.” She went on to host numerous local and national shows like “Hollywood Insider” before becoming one of the original anchors of E! and a regular on Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family.” In 2017, she moved to the wilderness full-time, creating and hosting NBCares for over six years, profiling over 300 Valley nonprofits. She is now the host of “Living Better”, which airs locally on KESQ, CBS2 and FOX.