Sonoma Valley Sun


Sebastiani Theatre adds board members

Posted on July 20, 2023 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The Sebastiani Theatre Foundation has welcomed three new creative talents to its board of directors. 

From left to right, back row: Ryan Snow, David Bolling, Roger Rhoten, Tanner Walle, Conor Hagen; Middle row: Joyce Moldovan, Tony Ginesi, Jocelyn Vick; Front Row: Rose Mary Schmidt, Nadine Yenni

The new members — David Bolling, Conor Hagan, and Tanner Wale — will help the theatre diversify live programming while expanding its marketing to larger audiences, according to a statement from Jocelyn Vick, board president, and Roger Rhoten, executive director.

“With renovation plans in the works, we plan to grow into a more updated vibrant and diversified live performing arts and film center,” Rhoten said, “And that means, we need new members on our team to help us get there.”

The Covid-19 pandemic, combined with the explosion of live streaming programs, significantly altered the movie-going habits of audiences, increasing the challenge facing single screen vintage movie houses. But Roger Rhoten and General Manager Tony Ginesi, along with the newly constituted and current board of directors, plan to adapt to change by expanding live performances, reaching out to a broader swath of the local audience and deepening collaborations and relationships in the community.  

The new board members are:

David Bolling, who has lived in the Valley of the Moon since 1976. His media career has spanned daily and community newspapers, local, regional, and national magazines, radio, television, and documentary films and, in a parallel life, he has been an environmental activist and author. He has conducted more than 2,000 interviews, has won more than 50 state and national awards for his writing, editing and photojournalism, and for his documentary film, Living and Dying on Everest. For four years he hosted and scripted outdoor/environmental adventure shows for the Outdoor Life Network. Bolling has been editor and publisher of two newspapers and five magazines. After serving eight years as editor and publisher of both the Sonoma Index-Tribune and SONOMA magazine, he resigned in 2014 to launch Valley of the Moon magazine. He has headed two river conservation organizations, written the book How To Save A River, has been a meditation teacher and a whitewater river guide. He lives in Glen Ellen. He is married, with three daughters, a cat, and a dog.

Conor Hagen is a native of Crested Butte, Colorado and grew up in New Mexico. He graduated with a B.A. in Film and Television Studies from the University of Vermont before moving to New York City to work alongside his mentor, Albert Maysles. He’s had multiple films screen at various festivals across the United States. He is currently working on several short films and other new projects. He is passionate about the preservation of classic old theaters and is excited to be a part of the Sebastiani Theater board. He looks forward to assisting in the efforts to maintain the Sebastiani Theater as a cultural hub in Sonoma County. He currently lives in Kenwood.

Tanner Walle grew up in a small farm town in central Kansas. Eventually he would become a University of Kansas Jayhawk, studying cultural anthropology as well as touring as a professional musician. In 2005, Tanner moved to NYC where he continued his travels performing throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, while simultaneously developing his skills as a sommelier and wine educator. Following the release of four albums and having opened and developed many wine and bar programs in NYC, Tanner chased a woman to Sonoma. Currently they own a restaurant across the square from the theater – Valley Bar + Bottle – which has been a great success as a hub for locals, winemakers, chefs, and tourists alike. Tanner is thrilled to continue his involvement in the community, as a business owner as well as an entertainer and avid fan of theater, film, and live music.

The Theatre was built on Sonoma Plaza by Samuele Sebastiani in 1933 as a movie house. Since 2018, it has been run by the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable institution.


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