Oceanside Theatre Company to Honor CJ DiMento and Ralph Johnson at Annual Gala

Hosted by Ted Lange of TV’s “The Love Boat” on September 21

(Oceanside) June 14, 2024Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) is excited to honor Actor Ralph Johnson with the second annual Kathy Brombacher Lifetime Theatre Achievement Award and Arts Leader CJ DiMento with the inaugural Hattie “Sunshine” Brooks Award for elevating and enhancing the arts in Oceanside, California. The awards presentation will take place during Oceanside Theatre Company’s 2024 Gala Celebration “Love Boat to Paradise” on Saturday, September 21, 2024 from 3 to 6 pm at The Seabird Resort (101 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA 92054.) The event will also include entertainment, refreshments, a silent auction and a live auction emceed by celebrity host Ted Lange of TV’s “The Love Boat.” Long-time OTC supporters Ed Parish, a current Board Member, and Anne Speraw, a former OTC Board Member, will act as Honorary Chairs for this year’s event.

The Lifetime Theatre Achievement Award was created by OTC in 2023 to recognize exceptional excellence in the field of theatre throughout Southern California. Kathy Brombacher, Emeritus Artistic Director and Founder of Moonlight Stage Productions, was the award’s initial recipient, and it has since been bestowed with her name. This year’s honoree, Ralph Johnson, was selected through an open nomination process in which three separate and significant contributors to San Diego’s theatre community nominated him. An OTC Advisory Board Member, Brombacher also enthusiastically championed Johnson’s selection and will present him with the award at the Gala. Among other connections to OTC, Johnson most recently played The Man in the Chair in the 2023 production Lucky Stiff, a collaborative performance with Scripps Ranch Theatre directed by Brombacher. 

“Ralph has worked everywhere in San Diego over the past 30 years and delighted audiences all the while,” explained Board President John McCoy.

Johnson has appeared in more than 100 productions in San Diego and beyond since his first local acting gig in Christian Community Theatre’s 1990 production of Fiddler on the Roof. Although he received a college degree in theatre education, he has supported his acting passion with day jobs in the mortgage, publishing, and security industries.

In addition to honoring Johnson for over 30 years of theatre work in North County, OTC’s gala committee felt compelled to celebrate a champion of the arts specific to its Oceanside community. The idea of naming this honor the Hattie “Sunshine” Brooks award after the theatre’s namesake was quickly embraced by the committee. 

“It was important to us to recognize the breadth of arts in our city as our work has expanded far beyond just theatre,” said Board Vice President Leann Garms.

Longtime advocate for the arts in Oceanside, CJ DiMento will be honored with this inaugural Hattie “Sunshine” Brooks award. DiMento has worked as a public librarian for 20 years at the Oceanside Public Library and was appointed the Director in 2022, endeavoring to improve people’s lives through community building and librarianship. As staff liaison to the Oceanside Arts Commission, she spearheaded the effort to have Oceanside designated one of the first Cultural Districts in California alongside the Library, MainStreet Oceanside, Oceanside Museum of Art and Visit Oceanside. In addition to many other leadership roles including as Library Division Manager and City staff liaison to the Arts Commission, DiMento serves as the television host of KOCT’s Oceanside Spectrum, a monthly program spotlighting non-profit organizations from North San Diego County.


“I can’t think of anyone who has had a greater impact on elevating the arts in Oceanside in recent years than CJ DiMento,” said OTC Managing Director Alex Goodman. “As the catalyst for the city-approved O’Arts Master Plan, the architect for the state designated Oceanside Cultural District, the curator of an ever-expanding arts and culture offering through the city libraries, and the host of KOCT’s monthly Spectrum program, CJ is a visible arts advocate, a collaborative convener, and a person who makes things happen. We are honored to celebrate CJ as the inaugural recipient of this award at this year’s gala fundraiser.”

Sponsorships and underwriting opportunities are available beginning at $1,500.

Oceanside Theatre Company’s 2024 Gala Celebration “Love Boat to Paradise”
Saturday, September 21, 2024
3:00-6:00 pm
The Seabird Resort
101 Mission Ave. Oceanside, CA 92054
Tickets: OceansideTheatre.org/love-boat-gala
Tickets: $150 Early Bird Seat Until July 31, 2024; $175 Per Person After July 31, 2024; $1,500-$3,500 VIP Tables (Seats 10, Limited, Premium Location)
About Oceanside Theatre Company

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), the resident professional theater company operating the historic Sunshine Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside, is a focal point of the Oceanside California Cultural District (OCCD). OTC’s mission is to produce professional theatrical, visual art, and musical productions for the entertainment and enrichment of the community, present educational opportunities in the arts for children and adults, and provide a safe, public venue for expansion of artistic endeavors in North San Diego County and greater Southern California. OTC produces a four-show mainstage theater season and a Music Series as well as music, theater, poetry, dance, film, and cultural events and classes in both the 198-seat  main theater and adjacent Studio 219. Additionally, OTC is the steward of the Brooks Theater Gallery featuring revolving art exhibits year-round. An important part of OTC’s mission is inspiring and sharing the arts with local youth through the Youth Theater Program, which includes Summer Theater Camps, a Fall Youth Theater Program, and onsite After School Theatre Outreach Classes at local elementary and middle schools. To learn more visit www.oceansidetheatre.org or follow OTC on Instagram and Facebook @oceansidetheatrecompany

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