Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her husband, writer/director Brad Hall, have made the first major donation to the Lompoc Theatre Project, kicking off the nonprofit’s capital campaign to restore and reopen the theater, board members announced today.
Louis-Dreyfus, known to millions as Elaine Benes from “Seinfeld,” just won her ninth overall and fifth consecutive Emmy Award for her role as Selina Meyer, vice president of the U.S. in the HBO series “Veep,” which she also produces.
Brad Hall met Mark Herrier, president of the board of directors of the Lompoc Theatre Project (LTP), while Hall and Herrier were students at Allan Hancock Community College and members of Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA). Hall and Louis-Dreyfus met while both were attending Northwestern University and married in 1987.
“To have the support from your friends is always special. But when your friends are renowned for their philanthropy, have worldwide reputations, and only donate to select causes that make a difference to our state, our nation, and our world; for them to include Lompoc as a part of that, is special indeed,” Herrier stated.
“We are thrilled and honored to be involved in the Lompoc Theatre Project,” said Louis-Dreyfus, “We are firm believers that this theatre will be the beating cultural heart of the community.”
“I was born in Santa Barbara County, and can’t wait to see this project start, finish and flourish,” Hall added.
LTP will utilize the couple’s donation to remove hazardous materials from inside the theater, which has been shuttered since the late 1980s. Earlier this year, the board completed testing for mold, asbestos and other potentially hazardous substances, and secured a quote from a professional remediation team. The next task will be to repair and eventually replace the roof, which has several leaks and other structural damage.
The Lompoc Theatre Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to restore the Lompoc Theatre as a venue for arts, entertainment, culture and education for the community and its visitors.
More about Louis-Dreyfus: Louis-Dreyfus has been a Not Ready For Prime Time player on “Saturday Night Live,” starred as Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld,” and “Watching Ellie,” both on NBC, on “The New Adventures of Old Christine” for CBS and on HBO’s “Veep.” Her most recent film role was in the critically acclaimed “Enough Said.” In 2014, she was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. This year, Time named the actress one of the 100 most influential people in the world in its annual “Time 100” list.
More about Hall: Hall started out as an actor in the theater appearing on stage in New York, Chicago, London, and in regional theatres in the U.S., including PCPA in Santa Maria. He co- founded Chicago’s Practical Theatre in Chicago with classmates from Northwestern University. Playwriting led him to television, where Hall has created, written, produced, directed, composed music for and/or appeared on shows like “Saturday Night Live,” “Frasier,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Single Guy,” “Watching Ellie,” and “Brooklyn Bridge,” as well as motion pictures like “Bye Bye Love,” and “Must Love Dogs.” He directed the award-winning films “Picture Paris” and “Generosity of Eye.” In addition to directing HBO’s “VEEP,” Hall is also writing and directing the film “Bathing Suits.”