The Coast News Group
Kathy Brombacher, emeritus artistic director and founder of Moonlight Stage Productions, will be presented with Oceanside Theatre Company’s Lifetime Theatre Achievement Award in September. Photo courtesy of Moonlight Theatre.

Theatre company to honor Kathy Brombacher

OCEANSIDEOceanside Theatre Company has selected Kathy Brombacher, a renowned theater and cultural arts leader, as the recipient of its inaugural Lifetime Theatre Achievement Award.

The award was created by the Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) to recognize exceptional excellence in the field of theatre throughout Southern California.

Brombacher, emeritus artistic director and founder of Moonlight Stage Productions and a respected freelance director and theatre educator, will be presented with the award at the Sunshine Soiree by the Sea on Sept. 16 at The Seabird Resort, where her lifelong impact on the theatre community will be celebrated.

“There is no other person more deserving of this honor than the incredible Kathy Brombacher,” said OTC Managing Director Alex Goodman. “In her long-standing involvement in the region’s theaters, she has touched the lives of innumerable actors, directors, designers, musicians and others in the theatre arts, as well as entertained more audiences than anyone else in the county.”

The award serves as a tribute to Brombacher’s enduring commitment to excellence in theatre production, performance and education. Her unparalleled contributions to the theatre world have left an indelible mark on the Southern California community.

“We look forward to creating an opportunity for those individuals Kathy has impacted to join us at the Soiree as we formally celebrate Kathy’s continual and tireless commitment to excellence in theatre production, performance, and education,” said Gloria J. Banks, OTC board member and Soiree chair.

Brombacher’s first involvement with the company dates back a decade to when she directed “The Boys Next Door.” She directed the critically acclaimed “Lost in Yonkers” show the following year, and more recently she helmed the “Outside Mullingar” production in 2018 and “Lucky Stiff” in early 2023.

“I consider Kathy to be a mentor and owe her a great debt of gratitude for everything I have learned from her and the opportunities she has provided me,” said OTC Artistic Director Ted Leib.

Brombacher holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from the University of Redlands and a master’s degree from the University of Denver. Her teaching and directing experience includes a year at the University of Redlands and 14 years at Vista High School and Rancho Buena Vista High School. Additionally, she served on the board of the San Diego Performing Arts League for four years.

Brombacher is most known for her 31 years at Moonlight, 22 of which were full-time for the city of Vista as program manager in cultural arts and producing artistic director of Moonlight Stage Productions at the Moonlight Amphitheatre and Avo Playhouse.

Her extensive directorial credits include productions such as “Ragtime, the Musical,” “Into the Woods,” “Kiss Me, Kate!,” and “Noises Off!”

At Moonlight, Brombacher’s contributions extended beyond the stage. Actively involved in theatre education and community outreach programs, she established the thriving Moonlight Youth Theatre. While under her guidance, Moonlight Cultural Foundation played a pivotal role in supporting programs through fundraising and capital campaigns.

Additionally, she oversaw numerous milestones at Moonlight Stage Productions during her tenure. The completion of the amphitheater stage house in 2009 and the renovation of the Avo Playhouse into a beautiful rental theater space for the community in 1995 are testaments to her vision and leadership.

Since retiring from artistic director duties for Moonlight Stage Productions, Brombacher has directed two musicals for Palomar College, served as co-artistic director for Carlsbad Playreaders, directed five productions for Scripps Ranch Theatre, directed four productions for Vista’s Broadway Theatre, directed two musical theatre productions for the Welk Resort Theatre in Escondido and directed a musical for Intrepid Theatre, as well as the aforementioned plays at Oceanside Theatre Company.

Brombacher’s dedication to the arts has earned her multiple awards for theatrical excellence. She has been honored with a Craig Noel Award as a “Theatrical Trailblazer” by the San Diego Critics’ Circle in 2005 and a KPBS Shiley Patte Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2006. She currently holds the title of artistic director emeritus and remains an active member of the San Diego County arts community.

Sunshine Soiree by the Sea will be held at the Seabird Resort on Sept. 16 from 3 to 6 p.m. Information and tickets can be found at

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