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Remembering Nancy Hereford


On Monday, September 24 at 7 p.m., Center Theatre Group will hold a memorial for longtime Press Director Nancy Hereford at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

“Nancy was a powerful advocate for the theatre – she loved the art, the artists and the press that covered them,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie. “She was a star in her field, but she directed the spotlight away from herself. There are countless people who have been drawn to the theatre by Nancy’s work but never knew her name – I feel sad that they never got to hear her laugh. I think Nancy is emblematic of the best of what we do here, and she reminds us why we do it.”

Nancy Hereford joined Center Theatre Group in 1976 as a Mark Taper Forum Press Associate and quick rose to Press Director. Responsible at various times for publicity, advertising, public relations, promotions and marketing, she was the voice of the theatre for three quarters of its 51-year history. Nancy led the publicity campaign for the opening of the Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2004 and became press director of the Ahmanson Theatre in 2005 and would oversee publicity for all three theatres until she left Center Theatre Group in 2016.

Hereford worked on hundreds of productions including new works by artists such as Tony Kushner, Luis Valdez, Michael Cristofer, Christopher Hampton, Lanford Wilson, George C. Wolfe, Robert Schenkkan, Sybille Pearson, Anna Deveare Smith, Neil Simon, Lisa Loomer, August Wilson, Rajiv Joseph, Alex Timbers, Dael Orlandersmith, Lisa Kron, Luis Alfaro, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Charles Strouse, Susan Birkenhead, Bob Martin, Alan Menken and Jason Robert Brown among others.

Hereford oversaw the campaigns for the first two plays to win a Pulitzer before being produced in New York -- “The Kentucky Cycle” and “Angels in America” (Part One – “Millennium Approaches”). Both were produced at the Taper.

For 39 years she handled publicity for Center Theatre Group’s new play development programs, education efforts and other institutional programs. Before joining Center Theatre Group, Nancy Hereford was an Account Executive in Entertainment Public Relations for Universal Studios Tour, Universal Amphitheater and Magic Castle; served as an Independent Press Associate on “A Chorus Line” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” Nancy was a member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers and served as publicity consultant for the Olympic Arts Festival.

Born in Los Angeles on August 15, 1947, to Jack and Peggy G. Hereford, Nancy Hereford graduated from El Segundo High School (where she was named to the high school’s Hall of Fame) and maintained close ties to the El Segundo community. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science at the University of Colorado and Master of Arts Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Denver. Nancy was a quintessential Angeleno but she loved the outdoors of the Southwest, especially the San Juan Mountains that she first visited as a child with her family.

Nancy Hereford passed away on August 14, 2018. She is survived by her brother Richard Hereford, sister-in-law Sue Beard and nephew Jack Hereford, residing in Arizona.

Those interested in attending the memorial should RSVP to no later than September 20. The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA 90232. Free three hour covered parking at City Hall with validation (available in the Kirk Douglas Theatre lobby).

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September 11, 2018