Longtime Fountain Theatre Subscriptions Director Diana Gibson Passes Away at 69

Diana Gibson

Diana Gibson in the Fountain Theatre lobby, February 2014

Producer, writer, director, actress and longtime subscriptions director at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, Diana Moore Gibson passed away on Thursday, July 17 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from multiple complications following pneumonia. She was 69. Born Nov. 11, 1944 in Des Moines, Iowa, Diana moved to Los Angeles to attend USC, where she earned MFAs in both Painting and Drama and was the recipient of the prestigious Cole Porter Award.

She was a member of and performed with the USC-USA Festival Theatre Company, for which she wrote and directed two folk-rock musicals that went on to tour internationally: The Word, based on the Old Testament, was performed at the Jeanetta Cochran Theatre in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; and Words and Pictures, about the history of art, toured to nine American Houses in Germany, the Cambridge Arts Theatre in England and the Edinburgh Fringe. She also wrote the musical Cinderelle, an adaptation of the Cinderella story, which was directed by Jack Bender at USC and at the Los Angeles Performing Arts Festival at Barnsdall Park, and Baby Steps, a collection of one-acts that was directed by Kevin Tighe at Hollywood’s MET Theatre in 1983.

Ms. Gibson joined Ted Schmitt at the Cast Theatre in Hollywood in 1986, where she served as associate artistic director until 1989, then as artistic director from 1989-1999. Highlights of her decade-long tenure include Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award winning world premieres of David Steen’s Avenue A and Melody Jones by Dan Gerrity and Jeremy Lawrence, and ten acclaimed world premieres by playwright Justin Tanner.

In 1999, Diana joined the Fountain Theatre as subscriptions director, a position she claimed to enjoy “more than any of those [previous positions].” She frequently referred to Fountain staff and subscribers as “a magical group of people.” A continual presence in the Fountain lobby, she knew the majority of the Fountain’s 1500 subscribers, “her members,” by name, and remembered the names of their spouses and children as well. Known for her gruff, straight-talking manner and acerbic sense of humor, she often said how much she enjoyed chatting with subscribers, both on the phone and in the Fountain lobby.

She is survived by her sister Julie Gibson Josephson, brother-in-law Steve Josephson and niece Kira Moore Josephson.

The Fountain Theatre has established the Diana Gibson Subscriber Fund, to provide Fountain subscriptions to low-income students and seniors.

A memorial to honor Diana’s life and accomplishments will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2 at 1 p.m. at the Fountain Theatre. For more information and to RSVP, email info@fountaintheatre.com  or call (323) 663-1525.

7 responses to “Longtime Fountain Theatre Subscriptions Director Diana Gibson Passes Away at 69

  1. Sandra Zeitzew

    Being greeted, seated, recognized, or chastised by Diana was such an integral part of the Fountain Theatre experience. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her. RIP Diana. Sandra and all of the Zeitzew family

  2. Andrew Masset

    Worked/played with Diana in and at USC..Did both her shows there and abroad. She let me write the music for one of my songs..She was amazing. RIP sweet lady and thank you.

  3. Diana acted as Dramaturg and Cast Producer for my play LOVE MAD at the Cast Theatre. Tough as nails, but always in service to the words and the production. A committed artist and a lady with a hearty, infectious laugh. She did what she loved. A life in the theatre. I’m sure she will be missed.

  4. I am speechless, at this news, although Diana would never have allowed that was possible with me.
    A constant cigarette smoker from the days I knew her at the CAST theatre to the patio at the Fountain.
    Droll, brash, gruff, soft spot inside.
    So sorry to read she has left the planet.

  5. A unique personality like no other. And if you were not a subscriber you soon became one. You just could not say no to Diana. Which is why there are so many of us. We will all miss her, her love for the Fountain and that fabulous voice greeting you in the lobby of the theatre.

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