2018 Pageant of the Masters theme promises everything ‘Under the Sun’

2018 Pageant of the Masters theme promises everything ‘Under the Sun’
The Pageant of the Masters' 2018 production, “Under the Sun,” will express the beauty of nature. The pageant's re-creation of “The Garden Wall” by John Singer Sargent will be one of the featured art pieces. (Courtesy of Pageant of the Masters)

Laguna Beach's early master artists will be among the painters and sculptors celebrated in the 2018 Pageant of the Masters, themed "Under the Sun."

The Festival of Arts' annual summer live-action re-creations of classic artworks will spotlight local color and reflect on the early 20th century, when artists such as Guy Rose, Anna Hills, William Griffith, Joseph Kleitsch, Phil Dike and Julia Bracken Wendt were attracted to Southern California's natural landscapes, pageant director Diane Challis Davy said Wednesday at the festival's annual meeting.


The works that will be re-created during the 90-minute production were shown in a video montage.

They included Claude Monet's "The Boat at Giverny," Edouard Manet's "The Luncheon on the Grass," Joe Rosenthal's famed photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima, and gilt bronze works of Femmes-Fleur lamps and Nouveau ornamental figures.


The pageant, which will run July 7 to Sept. 1 at the festival's Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach, will end with the traditional finale, Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper."

"Under the Sun" will feature surprises along with acknowledging two local milestones: the 85th anniversary of "living pictures" at the Festival of Arts and the 100th anniversary of the Laguna Art Museum, organizers said.

Next summer's show may present more than one "builder," in which the creative and technical crews draw back the red curtains and show how a living picture is put together. It has been an audience favorite since it was first included in the 1966 pageant.

Laguna Beach Mayor Toni Iseman, an ex-officio member of the festival board, said the nonprofit festival is crucial to the city's arts culture.

"We have good bones in this town and I think as a community we want to honor that in our future," Iseman said.

Festival President Fred Sattler remarked on the pageant's completed 2017 season, themed "The Grand Tour."

The production was the first time the creative team conceptualized a character and story line in the first act. The pageant also welcomed a new conductor, Corey Hirsch, who led a 29-piece orchestra to enhance the transitions from scene to scene.

Treasurer David Perry said the 2016-17 fiscal year was a financial as well as an artistic success for the pageant. Perry reported unaudited revenue of about $10.4 million and expenses of $8.82 million, resulting in net income of about $1.6 million.

Unaudited Festival of Arts assets were reported at $25.6 million, with liabilities of $8.4 million, resulting in net assets of about $17.2 million.

Board member Pat Kollenda said the festival awarded $95,900 in scholarships to college students.

After seven years as board president, Sattler announced he will serve as treasurer for 2017-18. Perry will be president, Scott Moore vice president and Kollenda secretary.

There was no board election this year, as three incumbents ran unopposed. Kathy Jones, Wayne Baglin and Bob Moffett will serve new three-year terms.

Tickets for the 2018 Pageant of the Masters will go on sale to the public Dec. 1 for $15 to $240.

For more information, call (800) 487-3378 or visit

Twitter: @KathleenLuppi