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COLLEGE HIRES THEATER PRO EX-MUSIC CENTER BOOKING BOSS CHOSEN.

Byline: Carol Rock Staff Writer

VALENCIA - A theater manager with more than 20 years of arts administration experience, most recently with the Los Angeles Music Center, has been hired at College of the Canyons, where box office opening-day ticket sales were brisk.

Karen Schmidt, who lives in Glendale, had been the unanimous choice Wednesday night of the college board, which selected her from a field of 22 applicants.

As director of booking and presentations at the Music Center, Schmidt handled programming for four theaters: the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum. She also was director of the center's education division, helping artists get national tours and expanding the center's outreach into nine counties and more than 10,000 events.

She also worked as managing director for Chamber Music in Historic Sites and as a producer for the Olympic Arts Festival and the Los Angeles Festival. Her theater experience includes work in the University of Southern California's division of drama, the resident theater company at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Equity waiver theater.

Schmidt will start her new position as theater manager at College of the Canyons on Sept. 27 and will be paid $80,000 a year. She will report to Michael McMahan, the college's fine arts and humanities dean, and will supervise a small staff of production and technical workers.

``It is just an incredible opportunity to have someone like Karen, who has such experience and can jump right into the job with skills ... of value to us,'' said McMahan, who also serves as the administrative manager of the college's performing-arts center.

``Working with the complicated system at the Music Center, she'll fit right into a complicated college environment with different departments and aspects of the job. The performing arts center requires a balance between city events, college and instructional events and commercial programming for the community. Karen's background fits nicely into creating that balance.''

McMahan said that Schmidt's experience with the arts council in Glendale will also help her maintain good relations between the college and Santa Clarita city government.

Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252

carol.rock(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 10, 2004
Words:360
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