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My Summer As An Intern At Balboa Park's Starlight Bowl

The open-air seating is shown at the Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park, April 7, 2015.
Brooke Ruth
The open-air seating is shown at the Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park, April 7, 2015.

The image of the Starlight Bowl reminded me of the summer of 1993 when I decided to explore my creative side and interned at the bowl. Most of the other interns were half my age, but everyone on the crew treated me with tremendous kindness and respect.

Putting together some of the sets was quite a task. I learned how lighting can create shadows that enhance a stage production to give the set more depth. I also learned about the West Coast storage of many production sets that are stored in the Ontario warehouses for musicals, plays, operas, parades and more. Unfortunately, my memory has faded on which productions I worked, but I think "The Music Man" and "Kiss Me Kate" were on the list.

Pictured is a sweatshirt signed by the crew who worked backstage at the Starlight Bowl.
Karl Flores
Pictured is a sweatshirt signed by the crew who worked backstage at the Starlight Bowl.

This is a sweatshirt I have kept but never worn. It is signed by the crew who I worked with backstage. To be honest, I think I became somewhat of a mascot or novelty of many of the stagehands because of my age and my enthusiasm for musical theater. Many a night I would stand backstage and emulate the dancers, trying to follow the rhythmic foot stomping of many of the musical productions. These people were all very talented and dedicated workers, as well as actors. One of the plays had the dancers stand on large balls and walk out rolling on top of the balls for one of the numbers. None of them fell off!

I have raised two children and spent many Sundays listening to Carol (Williams) on the organ and have attended many free summer night concerts (at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion). I am now doing this again with my grandchildren and have even joined the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. I look forward to visiting the park for many years to come. The park is a treasure for America's Finest City.

KPBS is collecting your Balboa Park memories as the city marks the 100th anniversary of Balboa Park's 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

Share yours here: Tell us about your Balboa Park memory

The Starlight Bowl today

A performance hasn't been held at the Starlight Bowl since the summer of 2010, and the Starlight Theater declared bankruptcy in 2011.

The theater's board president, Kimberly Layton, said the group plans to renovate the theater. It is expected to cost $20 million. The group is in the process of recruiting potential donors, including a naming donor, Layton said in April. She said the goal is to resume performances at the theater by the summer of 2017.