THE THEATER'S MISSION • ABOUT FOUNDER JACKIE SPENCER • SPENCER FACT SHEET • ABOUT PUBLIC TOURS TUE & THU AT 10 • TAKE A VIDEO WALKING TOUR OF THE SPENCER • ABOUT THE CHIHULY COLLECTION • ABOUT ARCHITECT ANTOINE PREDOCK • BOX OFFICE INFO • SPENCER STAFF CONTACT INFO • SPENCER THEATER RENTAL INFO • SPENCER WEDDING PAGES • HOW TO GET TO THE SPENCER THEATER • VISIT THE SPENCER PHOTO GALLERY • VIDEO SCRAPBOOK OF SPENCER CLASS ACTS PROGRAMMING • OPEN THE SPENCER SEATING CHART
THE SPENCER THEATER'S MISSION.
The mission of the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts is to enrich the cultural lives of South-Central New Mexico's residents and visitors.
The Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts opened in October of 1997, creating a year-round venue for world-class performances in theater, music and dance. An aristocrat among theaters, the $22-million structure is splendid and elegant, yet intimate and welcoming. At the heart of the Spencer, in its 514-seat hall, you’ll encounter a powerful experience of the performing arts outstanding acoustics, intimate seating, and artistry of the highest caliber.
ABOUT THEATER FOUNDER JACKIE SPENCER.
Jackie Everts Bancroft Spencer Morgan was well on her way to being a legendary figure long before her passing in May of 2003.
The public still buzzes over anything written about her because, in life, she was a fiercely private person who gave generously of her vast wealth with steadfast, absolute resolve. She never sought the public eye, rather she shied from it, but her gifts inexorably fixated our interests.
Tall and striking, vibrantly alive and brazenly honest, Jackie was twice widowed and raised three children. Her first husband, Capitan rancher Hugh Bancroft, Jr., was an immediate heir to a New York publishing fortune (his father founded Dow Jones & Company). When he died, in 1953 she was thrust into the top one percent of America’s wealthiest citizens. Yet, rather than return to her native Denver and cosmopolitan living, she opted to marry again, this time to the family doctor, the late Dr. A.N. Spencer, and make a home in dusty, wind-whipped little Carrizozo, New Mexico. The lack of pretensions generally associated with such fabulous wealth was unique: Jackie was indeed a “Forbes 500” figure of power and prestige, butshe stuck to what felt right and generously colored the world with her potpourri of pleasures. She surely loved the more civilized refinements of life the fine dining and travel, symphonies and dramatic musicals as her creation ofthe monumental Spencer Theater makes apparent. But Jackie alsorelished the bosky side of living, the indulgences that are more physical and rowdy like late-night parties, ten-pin bowling, fireworks and fast race horses, as well as the simple goodness of children’s plays and hamburger helper.
She shot from the hip, telling folks exactly what she liked and disliked in a disarming manner that was so refreshing and oftentimes hilarious.
She ignored all manner of status keeping, needless hobnobbing or the trivialities of gossip particularly if she were the subject. Rather, she made certain that what mattered most to her and those she cared about happened.
The lady had panache. Few people impacted the quality of life in south-central New Mexico more directly. She read about a local child desperate for a liver transplant. She helped pay for it, saving his life.
She toured a camp for troubled boys and the bus she was touring in broke down. She bought them a new one.
Carrizozo children wanted a boxing program so she bought them a professional ring. They wanted to bowl so she built a recreation center. She wanted to golf so she built a nine-hole course and the Carrizozo Country Club. Ruidoso children wanted to ski so she underwrote their annual lift tickets. When the New Mexico Symphony was about to go under (in the 1980’s) she financially saved it. When the Governor’s Mansion needed refurbishing she generously supported it.
Luckily her love for theater and the performing arts was so strong that she saved for 15-years andbuilt the Spencer, her “little gem” in outback Alto. She hired Architect Antoine Predock who melded his talent with her dreams. And she ordered four major glass art installations from Dale Chihuly, who created dazzling, multi-colored sculptures that squirm with life and matched her nature.
Since its opening in 1997 Jackie had been repeatedly thanked for building and gifting the theater to New Mexico. Now we’re being asked to take the reins.
We are the fortunate.
You are asked to help by becoming an annual Spencer Circle contributor, contributing to the Spencer Theater Endowment, the theater’s Ticket Angel Fund, or possibly even becoming a signature sponsor for one of our performances.
Read Jackie's obituary in the Albuquerque Journal, May 14, 2003.
SPENCER THEATER, RUIDOSO, NEW MXICO, FACT SHEET
The design and construction
- Years in planning: 15.
- Ground breaking: January 19, 1996.
- Architect: Antoine Predock, Albuquerque.
- General contractor: PCL, Canada.
- Steel used in construction: over 1036 tons.
- Tonnage of white-flecked stone quarried in Spain and finished in Italy: 430 tons.
- Square footage: 49,474 sq. ft.
- Site acreage: approximately 74 acres.
- Grand opening: October 3, 1997, with Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Dave Brubeck and the New Mexico Symphony.
- Construction cost: approximately $22 million funded solely by the late Dr. A.N. Spencer and Jackie Spencer Morgan of Alto, N.M. Dr. Spencer passed away in December, 1999. Jackie died in May, 2003.
- The theater is actually two buildings separated by a 6-inch air buffer with the theater in one building and all equipment that might vibrate or make noise in the other.
Front of house
- The Crystal Lobby took seven months to computer model. The 300 glass panes are over an inch thick and no two are cut to the same size.
- Handicap access to all public areas of the theater.
- Horseshoe bar on lower level.
- Upstairs Founder's Room for use by contributors with a private bar and outdoor seating above a terraced waterfall. Catered pre-performance dinners are held here prior to most events.
- Free public tours at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year (holidays excluded). Call 336-4800 for tour reservations.
The playhouse & venue
- Number of seats: 514 inside on two levels.
- Distance from stage to the seat farthest from the stage: 67 feet.
- Type of design: "Universal" according to Antoine Predock. The playhouse is a rectangular are like the original opera houses of Europe, and not built fanned out. There are gallery seats along each side with free-moving chairs.
- The theater has multiple blown glass installations by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly including Indian Paint Brushes (lower lobby) and The Persians (balcony level). Three new pieces were installed in early 2000. Glowing Sunset Tower in the lobby, and Ruby Sea Garden (with a major chandelier) in the Founders Room and outdoor Loggia. There is also a major piece entitled "Womb."
- The theater operates year-round, booking and presenting both a Summer Season and a Winter Season (approximately 30-35 events each year) of touring concerts, shows, plays, dance companies, family and children’s shows.
- Ticket pricing: it can be as low as $10 to $98 per ticket.
- Ticket availability: The Spencer Circle contributor base (contributing from $250-up or more annually) has advance series ticket purchasing opportunities two-to-four weeks prior to series tickets being offered to the general public. Since the theater’s opening, there usually (with some exceptions) tickets available to all performances at the start of general public season ticket sales.
- The Spencer is known as a "presentor" venue, in that we use our own funds to contract with shows and performers. The theater is available for rent to other concert promoters and for weddings, parties, etc., etc.
- Dressing rooms to accommodate 52 artists---four star dressing rooms, one 24-person chorus dressing room and two 12-person dressing rooms.
- The "Green Room' (which has a small kitchen) and the star dressing rooms open onto an interior courtyard with two non-bearing Bradford pear trees.
- The two sound proof 22-foot high doors between the stage and the scene shop weigh more than 2 1/2 tons each.
- Size of stage: 4,770 sq. ft.
- State-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and many crucial back-up/reserve control systems.
- The Spencer Theater has 15 fewer flylines than the New York Met, enough fly space to accommodate just about any production touring the world today. Five miles of steel cable were used for the battens. There are 456 stage dimmers.
The Spencer’s ‘second’ stage
- The Spencer also has a 964 sq. ft. outdoor stage facing a lush Kentucky Blue Grass lawn that can seat 1,200 (or more) for outdoor performances
Community and education outreach
- School children from throughout the region attend performances at the theater and artists visit schools.
- Lecture/demonstrations at the theater and schools are open to the public.
- Master classes are offered when possible and appropriate.
- Area school systems use the theater free of charge for productions during Student Performing Arts Month (April/May) and again in the fall (November - December).
SPENCER THEATER PUBLIC TOURS TUE & THU AT 10.
Please call the box office to make tour reservations at (888) 818-7872 or at (575) 336-4800. The tours are free. The theater is located on Airport Highway 220 in Alto, you can order tickets by phone toll free . First time visitors can googlemap "Spencer Theater, Alto, NM" to get directions. Most automotive navigation systems do not map in rural areas (totally ignore Mapquest) and cell phone service is spotty at best in Lincoln County (part of the 3% of American that AT&T doesn't cover).
BOX OFFICE INFORMATION.
The Box Office is open 9-5 Monday through Friday and on show dates until intermission.
Located on Airport Highway 220 in Alto, you can order tickets by phone toll free at (888) 818-7872 or at (575) 336-4800. First time visitors can googlemap "Spencer Theater, Alto, NM" to get directions. Most automotive navigation systems do not map in rural areas (and cell phone service is spotty).
Orders can be placed online 24/7. A printable online order form (.pdf) is also available and can be faxed to (575) 336-0055. The Box Office can also fax an order form to you.
SPENCER THEATER STAFF & CONTACT INFORMATION.
Mailing and shipping address:
Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts
108 Spencer Road
Alto, New Mexico 88312
Main phone numbers (and BOX OFFICE NUMBERS) answered 9-5 M-F and 9 until intermission on performance days:
(888) 818-7872 toll free
(575) 336-4800 local
(575) 336-0055 box office fax
SPENCER BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Troy Mason, long time president and member of the Spencer Theater Board of Directors passed away on March 28, 2013. We shall miss him and the spirit that he brought to the theater.
Executive Director Charles Centilli has 25 years of experience in performing arts management. He graduated from the University of Texas with a business degree majoring in finance. Centilli was the Business Manager of the University of TexasPerforming Arts Center in Austin and resided there for sixteen years. He oversaw the finances and accounting systems of five performance venues ranging from 500 to 3,000 seats. Centilli joined the Spencer Theater in December 1996 as the Director of Business Affairs. He was appointed as the Executive Director in January 2000. Centilli is responsible for the budget, the accounting/finance systems, the automation of financial reports, the payroll and he oversees personnel. Centilli reviews, negotiates, and finalizes the booking of performances, artists and rentals. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Box Office Manager Donna Clarke oversees all box office accounts, ticket sales and Founders Club dinner ticket sales. She oversees the printing and mailing of tickets to patrons, as well as ticket arrangements for large groups. On performance nights Donna manages the sales of artist materials (CD’s, posters, etc.). Together with her staff, Donna maintains theater mailing lists and processes many of the major mailings of theater literature to patrons and schools (season brochures, contributor information and Class Acts brochures). Before joining the staff of the Spencer Theater in July 2001, Donna worked as an account manager for a major crop insurance agency. She is a native of Ruidoso. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. Her direct phone connection is 575.336.0023.
Technical Director/Stage Manager Robert Phaup brings more than 24 years of experience in stage direction, set construction and lighting design with him to the Spencer, including 15 years of national tours with major performing artists like Yanni, the Black Crows and Billy Joel. Robert is the contact for all technical and staging aspects. His direct line is 575.336.0018. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publicist Kathleen McDonald fields all media requests for information about the theater, and the shows that are performed at the theater. A former news reporter and free-lance writer, McDonald handles all publicity matters, marketing materials, brochure and program copy, press interviews, and the theater’s monthly newsletter, Facets. McDonald has served as theater publicist since June, 1999, after first joining the staff as sponsorship coordinator. Kat volunteers with the Lincoln County Humane Society doing radio spots about shelter animals and taking photos at the annual LCHS fundraiser called the Furrr Ball. McDonald may be reached at 575.336-0016. Her email address is email@example.com
Trina Nunnally, Purchasing Officer. Trina Nunnally is the Spencer Theater’s Accounts Administrator, a job that requires reams of number crunching, data entry, managing accounts payable and receivable, reconciliation of accounts, and the managing & updating ofcontributor files and transaction filing systems. “I find it to be like detective work,” she laughs. “Sometimes you really have to search out where a critical number resides to reconcile an account.” An adventurous spirit who loves the outdoors, Trina is a graduate of Ruidoso High and holds a business degree from Eastern New Mexico University. She joined the Spencer staff in October 2010 and became the full-time Accounts Administrator in January 2011. She an be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
House Manager Sharon Davis is the point person at all Spencer Theater performances for patron concerns. She is the public’s liaison to the Spencer Theater executive director, technical director, patron service manager, box office and marketing personnel; she coordinates valet and usher services, and assists both patrons and artists with transportation food and first aid services. Sharon began serving the theater as house manager in August 2002 after having previously served as the Spencer Theater Bar Manager. She first joined the staff as a bartender in 1997 and has regularly been on hand to assist operations in various departments. Sharon is the mother of two, is a former model and lives in Ruidoso. Her direct phone number is 575.336.0029. Her email address is email@example.com.
Hospitality Coordinator Simone Keith is the staff member responsible for all food service in the theater’s green room (for our visiting artists and technical crews) and in the private Founder's Room. A spirited employee with divine cooking skills, she’s helped to maintain the Spencer’s international renown for outstanding hospitality. (During tours of the theater make sure you read the odes to the Spencer’s hospitality that performers have scribbled along the theater’s backstage walls). Simone has been preparing the home-style meals for Spencer events since 2003 and has managed the Founder's Room since August 2005. Her 5-star menus have a refreshingly current Bon Appetite appeal and, as prepared by executive chef Omar Gonzales, have helped to lure new contributors into joining the the Spencer Circle. In addition to planning and managing all food service, Simone helps to coordinate special event service details and supervises all décor for events ranging from weddings to memorials, Christmas parties and family reunions. Simone has been with the theater since 2001, having previous helped out in various business departments within the facility. She is the mother of two and has been a Ruidoso resident for 25 years. Simone can be reached at 575.336.0017 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physical Plant Manager Bob Yeager. A longtime resident of Ruidoso, Bob began his career at the Spencer Theater in 2006. Bob is in charge of the theater’s heating and cooling system, manages the grounds and maintains equipment from boilers to paper shredders. A hardworking, diligent employee, he is an energetic worker and a willing team member. His quest for knowledge leads him to research problems in the internet. His expertise is tearing something down, fixing it and putting it back together; repairing and maintaining key pieces of equipment for the theater.
SPENCER THEATER RENTAL* INFORMATION.
WEDDINGS? Go to the Spencer wedding pages here, or to the Ruidoso weddings site here.
The theater is available for rental for rehearsal dinner functions, weddings, receptions and other special events.
The theater features a state of the art 514 seat "stage house," a back outdoor stage, Crystal Lobby area, kitchen facilities, a stage area that has been used for banquets, parties and receptions, and the Founder's Room (which can only be rented by a Spencer Direc tors Circle, or above, contributor). The theater offers full bar service and catering if desired.
Rental rates are very hard to quote because each event normally comes with differing labor, equipment and food requirements. Also, there are charges related to use of our ticketing system if it is required.
With this in mind, rental rates for the Spencer are—
- Wedding rental page
- Full theater rental for entertainment events, $3500
- Crystal Lobby Rental, $1950 (12-hour period)
- Stage House, $1950 (12-hour period)
- Orchestra Shell, $450
- Outdoor stage, $1950 (12-hour period)
Lawn prep for outdoor, $450
- Dressing Rooms, $450 (12-hour period)
- Snow removal if needed, $500
All rates are plus out-of-pocket costs for material and labor. Labor costs contingent upon set up and the number attending (tech, custodial, bar, prep, etc., etc.). All rates reflect a 12 hour time limit. Ask about special rates that apply to non-profit and community groups.
Other set-up, catering rates and other considerations include---
- Chairs, $1.75 per chair
- Tables, $10 per table
- China Rental >125 $5 per setting
- In-house catering, $40 per person
- Hors d’oeuvres, $4 per person (per hors d’oeuvre selection)
- Outside caterer fee, $3.50 per attendee
- Outside caterer use of Spencer china, $5 per setting
- Linens, $3 per setting
- 3-tier wedding columns, $65
- Rectangular table skirting, $25 per rec table
- Open flow soda/coffee, $2 per attendee
- Open flow bar #attendees x 90% X $25
- NM Gross Receipts Tax, 5.375%
Outside catering is allowed only by licensed caterers.
PHOTO GALLERY: Heart Gallery set-up for on-stage dinner.
* All rates are subject to change.
For information contact Charles Centilli at (575) 336-0011 or email him at email@example.com
*rates subject to change.
MAPS & DIRECTIONS TO THE SPENCER THEATER.
Googlemap location and driving directions. (DO NOT believe Mapquest, which offers no means to correct locations.) CLICK HERE.
FROM EL PASO, TX.
Take the north-south freeway/Patriot Freeway/US-54 north from the "Spaghetti Bowl." Continue on for about 90 miles through Oro Grande and on towards Alamogordo. Just as you enter Alamogordo (the intersection of US 54 or US 70 stoplight) there will be signs directing you to a "Relief Route" of US 54. Take this bypass through the next traffic light and under the bridge and on around Alamogordo. The separated freeway will come together and go over a bridge. Keep in the left lane. At this intersection of US 54 and US 70 you will turn left towards Tularosa. From this point into Ruidoso you will want to follow US 70 (US 54 will split off on the other side of Tularosa). Follow US 70 up the mountain, through Mescalero and on into Ruidoso. At the first traffic light you come to in Ruidoso (Downs) you will want to turn left onto NM-48/Sudderth Dr. for 2.8 miles. You will then turn right onto Mechem Drive (NM 48). See the "From Ruidoso" instructions. It's about a 3 hour-15 minute 145-mile drive.
FROM ALBUQUERQUE, NM.
Take I-25 south to exit 139 US 380 East to San Antonio & Carrizozo (about 82 miles from the Albuquerque Airport). Travel through Carrizozo to Highway 37 (approximately 67 miles to Carrizozo & 8 miles past Carrizozo to the turnoff). Turn right onto Highway 37 towards Nogal/Alto/Ruidoso travel approximately 14 miles to the intersection of Highway 37 & NM 48. Turn right onto NM 48 and travel approximately 2 miles, turn left onto Highway 220, Sierra Blanca Regional Airport road. Travel east approximately 5 miles to the Theater. The Theater driveway is past the theater, turn right off Highway 220, right again into the Theater grounds and then take the right lane for valet parking ($5) or left lane for self-park.
FROM MIDTOWN RUIDOSO, NM.
From the intersection of Sudderth Drive and Mechem Drive it is 11.6 miles to the Spencer Theater. Take Highway 48 (Mechem Drive) north towards Alto. Travel on Highway 48, landmarks are the Ski Run Road (left side) and the Alto village entrance (right side), TR’s market & gas station and the Alto Post Office (left side).
Approximately one mile past (north of) the Alto Post Office you will turn right onto Highway 220, the Sierra Blanca Regional Airport Highway (there is a right turn lane). Travel east approximately 5 miles to the Theater. The Theater is a large, white, wedge-shaped building. The Theater driveway is past the theater, turn right off Highway 220, right again into the Theater grounds and then take the right lane for valet parking ($5) or left lane for self-park.
CLICK HERE for Spencer Theater tech specs.