About Us

What We Do

Cinnabar Arts enriches the cultural fabric of the community through the production of intimate and thought-provoking theatrical and musical productions.

By educating and inspiring youth in performing Arts, Cinnabar develops future artists and audiences.


Elly Lichenstein

Artistic Director

Diane Dragone

Executive Director

Nathan Cummings

Education Director & Associate Artistic Director

Madeleine Ashe

Finance Director

Wayne Hovey

Technical Director

Donnie Frank

Costume Manager

Board of Directors 2020-2021

Keri Fennell, President

Mary Poe, Vice President

Jon Dole, Treasurer

Robb Stites, Secretary

Lori Zaret
Nicola Kelly

Our History

Marvin Klebe came to Petaluma to pursue his passion as an artisan while also raising his children in a safe and friendly community. A successful baritone who sang with the San Francisco Opera and was featured at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Marvin had become disenchanted with the grand opera scene: he felt there was too little rehearsal and innovation, and no regard for the needs of a family.

So, in the summer of 1970, he and his wife Jan bought a two-room schoolhouse on the outskirts of town. The international opera singer turned his hand to carpentry and, with the help of his four sons, transformed the old building into a jewel-box theater.

Marvin’s goal was to create a performance space where creative people could collaborate and experiment. He and Jan launched Cinnabar Opera Theater and also invited artists from other disciplines to perform at the schoolhouse on the hill. He was quickly joined by Richard Blake’s Quicksilver Theater Company and dancer Ann Woodhead’s Mercury Moving Company. Each group inspired and taught the others.

In 1974, Cinnabar Arts Corporation received its nonprofit status. Cinnabar has been creating and presenting exquisite shows for its community ever since.

The theater itself was expanded in 1983 to accommodate a growing audience, and its mission expanded that year as well: drastic cuts in state funding for arts education in our schools prompted the creation of Cinnabar’s Young Repertory Theater. The Young Rep exists to train youth in the performing arts so they can make lasting and meaningful connections between the arts and their daily lives. This emphasis on teaching led to another addition, a studio and classroom space that is used by children and adults.

On May 22, 1999, Marvin lost a yearlong battle with cancer. Yet his legacy lives on. Cinnabar continues to thrive as a lively place where creative people can collaborate and experiment. Every year, it offers a thrilling mix of plays, musicals, operas, concerts, and youth activities. It also offers community choirs, which welcome anyone who wants to sing in harmony. We honor Marvin’s memory by presenting passionate performances in an intimate setting, to remind us – audience and artist alike – what it means and what it takes to be a human being.

Cinnabar Arts Corporation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Tax ID# 23-7386031

Thanks to our 2020/2021 Sponsors!

Anonymous  |  Lewis & Janet Baer  |  Jan Klebe  |  Clay Foundation – West
Raf & Gabby Velez

Don Duffala & Sandy Smethurst  |  Joanne Fennell  |  Edith & Dick Kapash  |  Rory Keller & Ray Hendess  |  Dr. David Noorthoek  |  Sandra O’Brien  |  Mary & Dave Poe |  Emily Roeder  |  Larry Russo  |  Frank Schomer |  Clyde & Kim Schultz  |  Renee Zavislak

Camille & Jon Dole  |  Keri Fennell  |  Brenda & Todd Martin  |  Will McCoy  |  Jason & Kate Osbourne

Cinnabar Arts Corp © 2021. All rights reserved.