Southern California’s Largest Speaker Series Celebrating 20th Season in Pasadena

Thursday, August 20, 2015 | 8:45 pm

Already well established as a Southern California cultural institution, the Distinguished Speakers Series of Pasadena has again lined up some of the world’s most influential and captivating presenters for the upcoming 2015-2016 season at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. This season’s speakers include Ehud Barak, the former Prime Minister of Israel, comedian John Cleese and lifestyle guru Martha Stewart to name a few.

“For the past 19 seasons, patrons in Pasadena have been enjoying the compelling and enriching entertainment that our Series provides. We are grateful to have found a home at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, where we are proud to celebrate our twentieth season with the theatre and our audience,” said co-owner Kathy Winterhalder.

“We search the globe to find great speakers whose remarkable leadership, accomplishments and opinions make a real difference. Never has that been more true than with this coming season’s speakers,” said Winterhalder.

Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel, who continues to play a role in Middle East peace efforts will kick-off the series, (Oct. 21) followed by the award-winning actor of Monty Python fame, John Cleese who will have audiences laughing in their seats (Nov. 11). Come 2016, Former Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, will take the stage with lively conversation with FORTUNE magazine’s Geoffrey Colvin discussing the influence of China and the environment on our nation’s economy (Jan. 13).

Award-winning portrait photographer Platon will present a living history by taking our members behind-the-scenes with his subjects, some of the most powerful and influential visionaries from around the globe (Feb. 10). Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, with his finger on the pulse of the future, will take patrons on a grand tour of what the future might hold for us, our children, and our grandchildren (March 16). Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta will offer bold ideas and candid insights on U.S. intelligence, international security and the political challenges of the 21st Century (April 13). The season will conclude with lifestyle guru and successful entrepreneur Martha Stewart (May 11).

Audience members have the opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with each speaker during a moderated question and answer session at the conclusion of all events.

The Distinguished Speaker Series will be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 East Green Street in Pasadena. Each program takes place on Wednesday evenings at 8:00 p.m.

The Series is open to the public in subscription packages only. Series tickets range from $260 for a mini-series of four speakers to premier seating at $434 for all seven evenings. Single tickets are not available. Subscriptions can be purchased online at

The Distinguished Speaker Series was established in 1995 in response to Southern California’s need for an enlightening entertainment alternative. The Distinguished Speaker Series is currently held at four locations, the historic 2,900 seat Pasadena Civic Auditorium (launched in 1995), the 1,500 seat Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center (launched in 1998), and the 1,800 seat Theatre, in the Bank of America, Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center (launched in 2001). And now, the Art Deco style 1,900 seat Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.

“We’re so inspired by the game-changers we’ve brought to the stage,” added Winterhalder. “It’s gratifying to realize we’ve presented more than 100 luminaries who have transformed our world.” Through the series, Southern Californians have come to know leaders such as Margaret Thatcher, the Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, Steve Wozniak, and Tony Blair. They’ve laughed with Betty White, Ron Howard, Bob Newhart, and Carl Reiner. And they’ve been moved by such talents as Yo-Yo Ma, Elie Wiesel, Robert Redford and Maya Angelou.

Subscriptions may be purchased by visiting the Distinguished Speaker Series website or calling (310) 546-6222.


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