Distinguished Speaker Series at Segerstrom Hall

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Distinguished Speaker Series at Segerstrom Hall will feature: (top row, left to right) Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, Father Gregory Boyle, and Anderson Cooper; and (bottom row, left to right) Dr. Robert Sapolsky, former President George W. Bush, and Dan Buettner.
— Photos courtesy Segerstrom Center ©

After 24 years of presenting world renowned and sought-after speakers to sold-out audiences, The Distinguished Speaker Series of Southern California recently announced its expansion to a fifth location, Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, officials confirmed in a press release last month.

“For years, patrons in Orange County have been reaching out, asking us to bring our series to their community. We are delighted to have found the perfect home – the stunning Segerstrom Hall,” Co-Founder Kathy Swan Winterhalder said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to present our compelling and bi-partisan style of entertainment to a new audience.”

Winterhalder added that they are “thrilled” to have former President George W. Bush headlining the inaugural season at the local performing arts center.

The season starts this month and runs until May. Speakers will talk on a variety of topics on six different Monday evenings.

“We search the globe to find great speakers whose remarkable leadership, achievements and opinions make a real difference. Never has that been truer than this coming season’s speakers,” Winterhalder said in the press release. “The Series was created with curious, smart, open-minded people in mind. Our audience is made up of friends, neighbors, and community and business leaders who like to be entertained in a unique and compelling way.”

Accomplished actors and activists, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin will kick-off the Series together for a night of hilarity, witty observations, and thoughtful conversation on Oct 21.

Next will be Father Gregory Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries, on Nov. 18. He will share decades of hard-earned wisdom and rejoice in our shared humanity.

Come 2020, the award-winning broadcast journalist, Anderson Cooper will appear on Jan.27.

Neuroscientist, primatologist and best-selling author, Dr. Robert Sapolsky will distill stories and use humor to help us understand the science of the brain and why “we do the things we do” during the event on Feb.17.

The 43rd U.S. President will take the stage on April 20.

The series will conclude with Dan Buettner on May 18. This explorer and best-selling author of The Blue Zones who will take the audience on an epic visual journey around the world unlocking the key to happiness and a long productive life, officials wrote in the press release.

The audience will have the opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with each speaker, as each event concludes with a moderated question and answer session hosted by former radio talk show host and newspaper columnist, Doug McIntyre.

The Distinguished Speaker Series will be held in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, located at 600 Town Center Dr., in Costa Mesa. The program will start at 7:30 p.m., except for Cooper who appears at 8 p.m.

The series is open to the public in subscription packages only. Series tickets range from $198 in the balcony to premier seating at $610 for all six evenings. Single tickets are not available.

For more information and to purchase subscriptions, visit speakersoc.com or call the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Box Office at (714) 556-2787.

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