Our History

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This section of our website explores the Moonlight's history and includes Stories from the Moonlight, where we go in-depth about the past, present and future.


The inaugural production of the "Vista Summer Theatre Festival" in 1981, Oliver!

Looking Back

Thirty-nine years ago, Kathy Brombacher stood on what was then a concrete stage with officials from the City of Vista and the Vista Unified School District. With no amenities such as electricity, running water, or bathrooms, Brombacher proclaimed that the small stage and grassy tiers could be home to musical theatre under Vista's summer skies. That meeting set in motion the development of musicals jointly produced by the city and the school district from 1981 through 1983. In 1984, the "Vista Summer Theatre Festival" was brought under the umbrella of the city and the theatre was renamed the Moonlight Amphitheatre. For 31 years until her retirement on December 31, 2012, Brombacher led the development of what is now known as Moonlight Stage Productions as Producing Artistic Director.

The Present

Today, Moonlight Stage Productions is recognized as one of San Diego County's major theatres and is critically acclaimed for its Broadway-quality musicals. Led by Producing Artistic Director Steven Glaudini and Managing Director Colleen Kollar Smith, the Moonlight is experiencing an exciting period of audience growth and artistic vigor. Combined with Glaudini's artistic direction and buoyed by the re-construction of the Moonlight Amphitheatre in 2008/09 with a state-of-the-art stage house, the Moonlight Amphitheatre welcomes its audiences to experience Broadway's Best Under the Stars.


Looking Ahead

In the fall of 2014, Moonlight Stage Productions announced the creation of a sister brand, Moonlight Presents. Moonlight Presents expands the entertainment offerings of The Moonlight year-round by offering exciting performing arts presentations. Concerts, family events, and cabaret are offered in the months before and after Moonlight Stage Productions Summer Season of Broadway Musicals. Managing Director Colleen Kollar Smith curates the programming of Moonlight Presents which in the past two years has doubled its attendance numbers. 

Stories from the Moonlight

As Good as Broadway - by Marcia Manna
A Field of Dreams - by Marcia Manna
Simple Gifts: It All Started with a Stroll - by Fred Tracey