#SDTheatre: Keep Reaching Higher

by Toni Robin

in National Conference

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(The following post is part of a series highlighting and celebrating the theatres and theatre people of San Diego as part of the 2014 TCG National Conference in San Diego. Email Gus Schulenburg if you’d like to participate.)

When I arrived in San Diego in the mid 90’s, I fully expected to find warm days, cool nights and lots of time for long walks and sunsets. Pretty much paradise. But, the arts? I wasn’t so sure. As a native New Yorker, I was a bit spoiled, but I was thrilled at what I found when I started my new job as Communications Director for the San Diego Performing Arts League.

I found a thriving and growing theater community that was high quality, collaborative, creative, supportive and award winning. Who knew? In fact, I was dismayed to find that upon my arrival, I had just missed opening night of The Who’s Tommy at La Jolla Playhouse and a chance to meet Pete Townshend! Theater is always in season in San Diego and years later, we are proud to be home to 2 Tony Award-winning theaters and have sent a total of 42 shows to Broadway that have won over 45 Tony awards. Hello Jersey Boys? Memphis? Dirty Rotten Scoundrels? I Am My Own Wife? Yup! Started here.

The San Diego theatre community keeps reaching higher. Anyone who attended the recent WOW site- specific festival or Fringe Festival can attest to the unstoppable creativity, fearlessness and excitement that flows through our once “sleepy Navy town.”

We have more than awards to be proud of. ARTS TIX, our version of TKTS, was among the first to sell tickets online and has sold over 800,000 tickets since its inception and returned over $12 million to area theater, music and dance companies.  We have over 75 theatres, large and small, producing almost nightly across the county. As we like to say, “When the sun goes down, the curtain goes up on San Diego stages.” Enjoy our weather, but be sure to take in a show while you are here. You might be one of the lucky ones who can say, “I saw it in San Diego first! “


Toni Robin, TR/PR Public Relations and MarketingToni Robin’s East Coast sensibilities combine with a Southern California style to create a unique brand of Public Relations and Marketing.

She made waves as Marketing Director for the San Diego Performing Arts League and helped create a wide range of successful marketing and promotion programs that elevated the status of San Diego’s performing arts. She spearheaded an innovative marketing campaign that greatly increased public awareness of theatre, music and dance, significantly expanded ticket sales and became a national model. Currently, she represents numerous San Diego arts and culture organizations including Cygnet Theatre, San Diego Dance Theater, Art of Elan, The New Children’s Museum and others.

When not attending arts events, Toni can be found bodysurfing in Pacific Beach.

  • Carol Davis

    GO TR!
    Nice article.