Gold Coast Theatre Conservatory Presents THE GOLD RUSH at the Civic Arts Plaza

Event Details


1115 El Monte Blvd.

Thousand Oaks, CA  91362

PRESS CONTACT:  Stephanie Wilson (805) 427-5314



Gold Coast Theatre Conservatory Presents


THE GOLD RUSH at the Civic Arts Plaza

And at the Autry Western Heritage Museum

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – On Thursday, May 8, 2014, Gold Coast Theatre Conservatory students will present the play “The Gold Rush” at 11:00 am for area school children and 7:30 p.m. for the public, at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza / Bank of America Performing Arts Center in the Scherr Forum Theatre in Thousand Oaks.  The young students will perform again on Mother’s Day, May 11 at 1:00 pm at the Autry in Griffith Park.  The production features young people ages 9 to 14 who study each Saturday in the Conservatory’s Spring Session, and is presented in collaboration with the Autry Western Heritage Museum Education Division.  It is written and directed by Billy Parish and produced by Stephanie Wilson.  This production was made possible through a grant from the City of Thousand Oaks, The Alliance for the Arts and the S. Mark Taper Foundation.

bc2em527            California State Content Standards are the foundation of this play that follows the experiences of three forty-niners who go west in search of gold, as it is discovered by a group of present-day kids who find some diaries and then begin to piece together the story using research from THE SHIRLEY LETTERS, their local museums and the internet.  The story encourages students’ understanding of historical events by revealing the ideas, values, fears, and dreams of the people associated with them. The incorporation of many different cultures at the digging sites ensure that students not only know the facts, but also understand common and complex themes throughout history, making connections among their own lives, the lives of the people who came before them, and the lives of those to come. Each fact in this script was carefully reviewed by the Autry’s Education team to ensure accuracy.

            Since 1994, Saturday classes have been the cornerstone of the Conservatory. Each Saturday students begin with a vocal and physical warm up, followed by segments for studying playwriting, comedy, audition technique, theatre history and stage combat – all within a master class setting.  A portion of the day is spent rehearsal the production.

            What has always set The Conservatory apart is new works such as SCIENCE SCHMIENCE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CALIFORNIA!, THE OREGON TRAIL and TRY, TRY AGAIN; plays infusing History, Science, Government and Classic Literature into the arts.  In January 1995, The Conservatory staged “OUR TOWN”: the very first production with young actors at the Civic Arts Plaza.  Since then, The Conservatory has staged dozens of productions for both schoolchildren and family audiences at the Civic Arts Plaza, and countless others in venues throughout Ventura County. Over 600 young people have trained at The Conservatory, developing critical thinking skills, which translate to higher test scores, greater interview abilities and strong self-confidence.


The Acting Academy for Autism features classes designed specifically to encourage emotional perception through acting exercises.  This is a thoughtful theatre program for high-functioning young people in grades 3 – 12 with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, advised by teachers who are credentialed in special needs, adults who have autism, student teachers, and theatre training professionals.  The Academy honors the sensibilities of these young people and provides a safe and fun atmosphere in which they can study theatre. One in eighty-eight children have been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, according to recent figures by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Doctors at Vanderbilt University looked at levels of Cortisol, a primary stress hormone, in kids with autism before, during and after a theatre camp.  In three different studies it was found that acting improved the way kids express themselves, thus lowering their stress levels.  These classes are designed to help children cope with important social and communication skills.


Founding Artistic Director STEPHANIE WILSON was the youngest person ever to study under Edward Kaye Martin, the head of UCLAs Theatre Department, learning the Sanford Meisner technique.  At seventeen she won the L.A. Drama Teachers first place Award, competing against 70 other schools. At eighteen she won first place for Directing in the Los Angeles One Act Play Festival. She left Los Angeles to perform in regional theatre and work on films, but returned in 1984 when she was hired to produce one of only ten local Equity plays for the Olympic Arts Festival.  Her original musicals have been performed at the Taper in Los Angeles and Covent Gardens in London and her plays for children have been seen by tens of thousands of young people.  She has toured in schools throughout California and taught over 500 young people.  She currently serves on the Cultural Affairs Commission for the City of Thousand Oaks. She has chaired the California Alliance for Arts Education, the Ventura County Arts Council and the Thousand Oaks Arts Commission, and served on dozens of boards.

Curriculum Director BILLY PARISH is a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, The National Theater Institute, the Moscow Art Theater, The Ballroom Dance Academy, and holds a bachelor in Theater from Occidental College.  He holds an advanced certificate with high recommendation from the British Society of Fight Directors and is a certified Ballroom teacher through Dance Vision International Dance Association. He teaches students of all ages, recently with Dancing with the Stars dancer Tony Dovolani, and with the Ballroom Dance Channel as lead producer of their Superstars of Ballroom Dance Camp.

INFORMATION: Tickets for students, parents and teachers for the 11:00 am show are only $5 and are available by email [email protected].  Tickets for the evening performance are only $10 and are available at the Civic Arts Plaza Theatres Box office or through TicketMaster.  The performance at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park are free with admission to the museum.


jnuidtslThe GOLD RUSH

Eureka!  If they make it!

 WHAT:  THE GOLD RUSH, in collaboration with the Autry Western Heritage Museum’s Education Division tells the bittersweet stories of those who went to California to seek their fortunes and the many routes they took to get there: Wagon Train, Boat and Stage Coach.  Written and Directed By Billy Parish, Produced by  Stephanie Wilson.  Performed by members of GOLD COAST THEATRE CONSERVATORY.

WHEN:  Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 11:00am for school groups and home school students. 7:30 pm public.

Sunday, May 11, 2014 at the Autry in Griffith Park


WHERE:  Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza/Bank of America Performing Arts Center in the Scherr Forum Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA  91362

Autry Western Heritage Museum, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462 (Located northeast of downtown, across from the Los Angeles Zoo)

HOW:  May 8 tickets for the daytime performance are $5 available by email [email protected]. Tickets for the evening performance are $10 at the Civic Arts Plaza Box Office or TicketMaster 800-745-3000. Tickets to the Autry performance are free with admission to the museum: Adults: $10, Students w/ID and Seniors (60+): $6, Children (3–12): $4, Autry members, active military personnel and veterans, peace officers, and children under 3: Free

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