Christmas arrived early for South Coast Repertory.
On Dec. 14, to be exact, when Newport Beach philanthropist Julianne Argyros announced a $5 million gift to the Tony Award-winning theater.
According to a SCR press release, Argyros shared the news during the curtain call of Saturday’s matinee performance of “A Christmas Carol” to the cheers of a full house. The gift comes during the show’s 40th anniversary.
The donation will make an entirely new production of “A Christmas Carol” possible, SCR officials reported. The new production will premiere in December 2021.
“SCR’s magical holiday tradition is as near and dear to us as it is to the more than 600,000 people who have experienced it over the past 40 years,” Argyros said in a prepared statement. “The best way to pay tribute to Hal Landon Jr., and the other wonderful artists who have entertained us for all four decades, is to ensure that this incredible tradition continues.”
Additionally, the $5 million donation will strengthen SCR’s “strategic capacity-building initiatives,” which includes increasing the theater’s endowment.
“The Argyroses’ overwhelming support is a transformational gift for South Coast Repertory and for our greater community. ‘Thanks’ does not begin to cover the gratitude we owe to them,” Artistic Director David Ivers said in a statement. “It has been an honor to dream, plan and circle in the orbit of such selfless, giving people.”
Julianne and George Argyros have been leading supporters of South Coast Rep since the 1970s, including major contributions to the Next Stage Campaign, which led to the naming of the Julianne Argyros Stage, and to the Legacy Campaign to build the theater’s endowment.
“For 56 years, SCR has thrived as a bright light in Orange County,” and the future is exciting, Julianne Argyros said in a statement. “George and I are thrilled to play a part in that.”
She is an honorary trustee and, in 2013, served as honorary chair of SCR’s 50th season gala.
According to SCR, the couple has acted as honorary producers of “A Christmas Carol” for 13 consecutive years, making the announcement even more heartfelt.
“Julianne and George Argyros continue to inspire us with their leadership and generosity,” Managing Director Paula Tomei said in a statement. “So much of our work over the years has benefitted from their support and we are humbled by this extraordinary gift.”
They are the definition of leadership and philanthropy in Orange County, Samuel Tang, president of SCR’s Board of Trustees, commented in a statement.
“We are eternally grateful for their vision and generosity,” he said.
For more information, visit scr.org.