On Saturday, May 1 at 8 p.m., Center Theatre Group will dim its lights in honor of longtime Center Theatre Group board member and philanthropist Anne Douglas who passed away on April 29, 2021.
“Center Theatre Group mourns the passing of a visionary philanthropist,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. “Anne Douglas was a dedicated advocate for the theatre and a remarkable woman who helped build Center Theatre Group in its early years, changed the face of Southern California Theatre with the launching of the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and was a dear member of our family throughout her life.”
“We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Anne Douglas and our thoughts are with the Douglas family in this difficult time. In honor of Anne we will dim the lights at the Kirk Douglas Theatre – it is a small recognition of a woman whose helped make that theatre possible and whose spirit will live on in all the lives she touched. When we are safely able to welcome audiences back into the Kirk Douglas Theatre, we will all be giving a standing ovation to both Kirk and Anne Douglas, whose legacies will carry on forever through our work on that special stage.”
In 2002 when Kirk and Anne Douglas made their initial $2.5 million contribution, Center Theatre Group was able to take the crucial first step in realizing a much-needed, mid-sized theatre space. The Culver Theater, a historic 1940s Streamlined Moderne-style movie house was transformed into an intimate 317-seat live theatre venue and named the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The Douglas opened in October 2004 and, most recently, in July 22, 2019, Kirk and Anne Douglas attended and were celebrated at a special one night-only fundraiser in the Kirk Douglas Theatre where Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman read “Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood” for an audience of Center Theatre Group and Motion Picture & Television Fund supporters.
Over the years Kirk and Anne Douglas continued to help make CTG’s work possible with sizable subsequent support, including a $10 million grant in 2012.
Their generosity helped ensure that Center Theatre Group remains an indispensable part of Los Angeles, and that the theatre that bears Kirk’s name stays at the forefront of Center Theatre Group’s efforts to push for new work, new artists and new audiences. The Douglases can proudly point to productions like “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” and Pulitzer-finalist “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” that had their world premieres at the Kirk Douglas Theatre before moving on to celebrated runs on Broadway and other new work such as “Dana H.,” “Good Grief,” “The Nether” and “Sleeping Beauty Wakes” and a wide range of other works that began at the Douglas.