Tom Hanks will dine, speak at SCT fundraiser
By Richard Bammer/ RBammer@TheReporter.com
Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks will appear Feb. 6 at Solano Community College in Fairfield. (Courtesy)
Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks will make a one-night only fundraising appearance Feb. 6 at Solano Community College in Fairfield.
The appearance by the star of such films as "Philadelphia," "Forrest Gump" and "Saving Private Ryan" will include a dinner with guests and a presentation later on Solano College Theatre's main stage, 4000 Suisun Valley Road.
Tickets for the dinner, which begins at 4:30 p.m. in the school's dining hall, are $100; tickets for the presentation, which features clips from Hanks' films, including a new project to be released on HBO in March, and a question-and-answer session, are also $100.
Tickets for the dinner and presentation go on sale to the public at noon Jan. 14. SCT subscribers can buy tickets beginning Jan. 7. Call the SCT box office, 720 Main St., Suisun City, telephone 864-7100 for more information.
Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Proceeds from the event will support the Tom Hanks/Rita Wilson Endowment Fund, which was established by the actor-director and his wife earlier this year.
In a press release, theater spokeswoman Amy Lenahan said the fund is "a living legacy from Mr. Hanks and honors students as well as his long friendship with SCT Artistic Director George Maguire." The endowment will support the programs and students in the school's Theatre Arts department, she added.
"He's doing it as a favor to the students," Maguire said Wednesday during a telephone interview from New York City, where he was vacationing. "He suggested this when he sent the endowment, saying, 'How about if I make a special appearance?' It's all about that."
Maguire, 63, met Hanks at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, 32 years ago when the young actor was an intern and then became a resident player. The two have maintained a close friendship ever since.
Noting that Hanks, 53 and a native of Concord, has long been a strong supporter of the arts and arts education, Maguire said, "The fact that he is coming is a real testament to our friendship, but the thing to emphasize is how horrible the (state's) cuts are. Most people have no idea how bad it is in the state of California." He alluded to cutbacks in the school's theater program, which, in recent years, has resulted in a 50 percent reduction of stage offerings, from nearly 10 productions per year to five. The dinner will feature entertainment by former and current SCT Actor Training Program students as well as a catered dinner and wine from Green Valley Cellars of Suisun Valley.
After the dinner, Hanks will speak at the main campus theater at 7 p.m., to give a first-person account of nonfiction film entertainment, using clips from his movies and from other documentaries. The presentation also will include a preview of Hanks' "The Pacific," his newest project, a 10-part HBO miniseries executive-produced by Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman. The miniseries is set in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
Sponsors of the Hanks fundraiser include Advocates for the Arts, NorthBay Healthcare and Copart.