The facility has housed many performances and is used as a classroom for the THS drama department
TEMPLETON — 2022 marks the Templeton Performing Arts Center’s (TPAC) 20th year in the North County. In the last 20 years, the performance space has housed endless musicals, concerts, and dance performances and has been an educational space for students at Templeton High School to learn the ropes of the world of theater.
“The outer shell of the building was completed in 2002 so that you could go in there and see concerts and stuff, but there were no seats,” said Vicki van den Eikhof, president of The Templeton Performing Arts Center Foundation. “The lighting and sound systems weren’t completed. There was a committee that continued to raise money to be able to get seats installed and get lights and stuff like that.”
The foundation is a nonprofit that started in 2018 to support the TPAC and to celebrate the building’s 20-year milestone; they are running a campaign to update the lighting in the theater.
Most of the lighting in the TPAC was donated by the Paso Robles Unified School District in 2003 after substantial damage to the Flamson Auditorium during the 2003 San Simeon Earthquake.
“We have that as a main goal, to get that tech updated to the point where it’s useful for training up incoming generations of theater folk,” van den Eikhof added. “Right up until this last spring, the light board ran on an actual floppy disk.”
So far, the TPAC Foundation has been able to get a new light board, two new monitors in the tech booth, and new wiring and cables. Now, all they need is the lights, but everything is ready for them.
Since its creation, the TPAC has, first and foremost, been an educational facility, making it very different from the other performing arts centers in the county.
“When the PAC was created, it was designed with Templeton students as its primary beneficiaries,” said Templeton Band Director David Landers. “It’s basically just a big classroom with some benefit to the community.”
The performing arts center, located on the Templeton High School campus, is managed by Drama Director Catherine Kingsbury and is fully supported and run by the Templeton School District. Hence, the students and their education within the TPAC’s walls come first.
“The very first concert was the Templeton Middle School Band Winter Concert, and then the very next night was the Templeton High School Band and Choir Winter Concert,” remembered Landers, who directed both concerts.
He also stated that the first play performed in the TPAC was “The Music Man,” and he has fond memories of conducting the pit orchestra for the production. Back when the facility was bare-bones, the audience brought blankets and sat on the concrete ledges that held actual seating a couple of years later.
“It’s always fun for me whenever I take people in there who have not been in there before, whether students or adults, and they walk in at the upper level, and it’s very different when you walk in than what you’re expecting because of that stadium seating. It’s always fun to see people’s first reaction to the room when they walk in,” added Landers.
The whole of 2022 will be spent celebrating the TPAC’s 20th Anniversary, with plenty of celebratory things to come.
To learn more about the TPAC, donate towards new lighting, rent out the space for your performances, or find out what’s coming to the stage, go to; templetonpacfoundation.org/