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The Lobero Theatre Foundation Welcomes New Board President,
Charles de L’Arbre

By Anne Wilde

Charles is CEO of Santa Barbara Travel Bureau, a family company started in 1947, and has had a long association with both theater and the Lobero.

Charles and Barbara de L’Arbre

The Lobero Theatre Foundation is pleased to announce Charles de L’Arbre as their new Board President. Charles formerly enjoyed a long career as a stage actor and voiceover artist, performing in several shows on the Lobero stage and reading a number of times for “Speaking of Stories.” Before taking on his new role as the Lobero’s Board President, he served 20 years on the Lobero Board, spanning two tenures starting in 1976 to present. In addition, Charles has served as an officer on the Boards of The Santa Barbara Playhouse, Ensemble Theatre Company, The Music Academy, and UCSB Drama Affiliates, and was also a volunteer fire fighter for 12 years. His wife, Barbara, is also passionate about the Lobero, having served as a past Board member who is currently an active member of The Lobero Associates – a dynamic women’s auxiliary group who have raised more than a million dollars for the Lobero over the last five decades.

What motivated you to join the Board?

The first time I joined the Board, I was young, opinionated, and loved theatre. I was easily the youngest Board member at the time (and perhaps ever), and my first major assignment was to be on the Search Committee for our first paid Executive Director. After a 12-year tenure on the Board, I left to join the Music Academy Board and served another 12 years there. While all this was going on, a group of us started the Ensemble Theatre Project (later Ensemble Theatre Company), where I served as their first General Manager.

My colleagues have been working diligently to bring the Lobero back into the consciousness of the community and I hope to be able to make my contribution as well.

What is it about the Lobero that inspires you?

The Lobero has played such a significant and historic role in the cultural life of Santa Barbara over a 150-year period that one cannot fail but be awed by the fact that it remains a vibrant force. And when I say “it,” I don’t simply mean the building itself, but rather the team that keeps the building alive, technically up-to-date, and filled with artists. This includes the staff, board, and volunteers, as well as the many individual contributors and supporting foundations which have kept this jewel of a theater in the spotlight (pun intended).

What are your aspirations as the newly elected Board President?

I have been honored to serve under 3 superb Presidents this time around: Jeff Devine, Amy MacLeod, and Steve Hayes brought consistency and vision to the Foundation, along with our excellent Board. During that time, a capital campaign raised over $7,000,000 to renovate the theater. Additional capital campaigns have resulted in new lighting and sound systems, the installation of a solar system, and 2 endowment campaigns (The Heritage and the Ovation), are helping to assure the Lobero’s continued success by supporting the building and providing program underwriting.

I am hopeful that we can partner with other community arts organizations in expanding the range of our presentations. We are continuing to diversify the representation on our Board and are working hard to make the Lobero even more accessible to local presenters. For years, I felt that the Lobero was something of a forgotten treasure. My colleagues have been working diligently to bring the Lobero back into the consciousness of the community and I hope to be able to make my contribution as well.

We hope you enjoy a peek into the Lobero archives.

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