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Big Bands Revisited, Modern American Presidency, Backstage at the Rubicon Theater

Program Number: 21186RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/8/2013 - 9/13/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Ventura, California
Price starting at: $798.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two blocks at a time.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.



The Big Bands Revisited

Join Shelly Cohen, former assistant conductor with Johnny Carson, as we travel back in time to experience the Swinging Sounds of the Big Bands. Hear the stories behind the music but most of all hear some of the most toe-tapping music you’ll ever experience.



The Modern American Presidency

Examine the role of the U.S. presidents as national symbols, political leaders and economic pace-setters. Focus on elections from 1960-2012 and presidents who served during other critical historical periods.



“ROBERT E. LEE - SHADES OF GRAY”: Backstage at the Rubicon Theater

Learn the elements of play production and what’s happening in American theater. Meet the cast and attend a performance of the drama “ROBERT E. LEE - SHADES OF GRAY."




Ventura

A classic California beach community with surfers, art galleries, white-sand beaches and warm breezes, Ventura is situated between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara near the region's museums, historic missions and coastal wonders.



Accommodations
Ventura's only beachfront property, with balcony rooms and ocean views, steps away from the historic downtown and pier.
Meals and Lodgings
   Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
  Ventura, California 5 nights
 Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Delight in the year-round sunshine of Ventura, California with its miles of clean, uncrowded beaches, spectacular mountainous back country, and the magnificent Channel Islands National Park on the horizon. At the center of it all, right at the water's edge, stands the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel. All of its guest rooms feature magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean and the mountainous curves of the California coastline. It is ideally situated within walking distance of historic downtown Ventura where you will find the San Buenaventura Mission, museums, antique stores, a wide variety of restaurants, bookstores, cafes, clothing shops, and art galleries.
  Contact info: 450 E. Harbor Blvd.
Ventura, CA 93001 USA
phone: 805-648-2100
web: www.cpventura.com
  Room amenities: All rooms are equipped with Crowne Plaza "Sleep Advantage" bedding; coffee maker; iron/board; hair dryer; high-speed Internet access; 27" TVs; ocean-view balconies; in-room movies. Many rooms are equipped with a microwave and mini-fridge. All rooms are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: The ocean-front Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach is a 12-story tower with balcony rooms, all with ocean views. There's a great walking path next to the hotel which stretches for miles up and down the coast. Guests enjoy a host of amenities including convenient parking; restaurants with outdoor patio dining; lobby lounge with ocean-front patio seating; room service; heated ocean-front swimming pool; exercise room; and laundry & dry cleaning with same-day service as well as a coin-op laundry. The hotel is a smoke-free facility. Wi-Fi Access: Road Scholar participants receive complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access as part of their package. The coverage includes all hotel guest rooms and public areas. Although there is no charge for this service, a password is required and may be obtained from the front desk staff.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Based upon availability Call Laura Moran at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel at (805) 652-5142 to make a reservation for additional nights before or after the program and to inquire about rates.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Based upon availability Call Laura Moran at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel at (805) 652-5142 to make a reservation for additional nights before or after the program and to inquire about rates.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration is between 3:30-5:00PM in the hotel lobby. Orientation begins at 5:30PM. Dinner is served at 6:00PM, with introductions scheduled afterwards in the classroom. You will be staying at Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach that night.
  End of Program:
Please make your travel arrangements to allow you to stay for our last class which will end at approximately 10:00AM. You will be staying at Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. On the enclosed Participant Information Form (PIF), please indicate to us the name of your roommate/traveling companion. Also let us know if you are traveling with other individuals and wish to be assigned a room near them. Photo ID
  Parking availability:
Complimentary parking is available in the lot adjacent to the hotel, but your parking pass needs to be validated by the front desk staff.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Ventura, California
  Nearest city or town:  Santa Barbara
  Nearest highway: Highway 101 passes through Ventura
  Nearest airport:  Los Angeles International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Ventura, California
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Los Angeles/LAX to Ventura

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
SuperShuttle
phone: 800-258-3826
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$76 p/p one-way; $9 each additional passenger
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 20 min, depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

71 miles from LAX to Crowne Plaza Ventura Hotel

   

SuperShuttle is a primary shuttle service for LAX and operates continuously at the airport. Call for current rates and to arrange pick-up time. Price is subject to change. Advance reservations are required. Website: www.supershuttle.com On Arrival at LAX: Claim your luggage, proceed outside & look for the shared ride van sign on the inside curb just outside of Baggage Claim. ALTERNATE VAN SERVICE: Prime Time Shuttle. For info and reservations, call 800-733-8267; www.primetimeshuttle.com

 

Los Angeles/LAX to Ventura, CA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Ventura Co. Airporter Shuttle
phone: 805-650-6600
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$35 P/P to drop-off point in Ventura; then taxi to Crowne Plaza @about $14
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 15 min to drop-off point + taxi ride (additional 15-20 min for wait time and ride) 

 

Distance:

 

71 miles from LAX to Crowne Plaza-Ventura Beach

   

VCA Shuttle offers 8 daily trips to/from LAX and Ventura at a great price p/p. However, it drops off passengers at the Holiday Inn Express at Ventura Harbor, 3.5 miles from the Crowne Plaza Hotel. From the drop-off point you need to call a taxi to get a ride to the Crowne Plaza. Call Yellow Taxi Cab at 805-659-6900 at $14 per ride. ALL PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. VCA Shuttle website: www.venturashuttle.com

 

Ventura/ Amtrak Station

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Yellow Cab
phone: 805-437-7977

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Minimum fare of $10 per ride one-way will be charged
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Under 2 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

Amtrak Station is 0.3 miles from hotel

   

Amtrak (1-800-872-7245) provides transportation service to Ventura via the Pacific Surfliner route. The covered Amtrak platform is located outside Seaside Park (Ventura County Fairgrounds) at 20 W. Harbor Blvd. near Figueroa St. You may walk 4 blocks from the station to the hotel, or call a taxi. Amtrak website: www.amtrak.com

 
Driving Directions
  Northbound Highway 101 Going North on Hwy 101, take the California St. exit. Turn left onto California St. at the top of the exit ramp. Turn right onto Harbor Blvd. then left into the hotel parking lot.
  Southbound Highway 101 to Crowne Plaza Ventura Hotel Going South on Hwy 101, take the Ventura Ave. exit. Turn right on Thompson Blvd. and continue for approximately 4 blocks to California St. Turn right on California St. and go over the freeway to Harbor Blvd. The Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach hotel will be directly ahead. Turn right onto Harbor Blvd. then immediately left into the hotel parking lot.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals
(Sunday, September 8)
   
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Check into Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel after 4:00PM.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet which we'll review during our orientation session before dinner.

ORIENTATION: Begins before dinner. We'll have an overview of the program ahead and review the up-to-date schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, any other administrative issues, and answer your questions. Please be aware that instructor availability and local circumstances may require adjusting program elements. In the event of changes, we will notify you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your understanding.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel

Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants. In addition to the regular Road Scholar meal plan, this hotel offers a vegetarian meal option. Unfortunately, there are no other special meal options. Participants with special dietary needs should be prepared to avoid certain foods or supplement the regular meal plan as needed.

 Evening: CROSSING POINTS: Participants introduce themselves to the rest of the group.

Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.

   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: A fascinating set of lectures exploring the three topics: The Big Bands of the Swing Era; the Modern American Presidency; and elements of theater with a focus on “ROBERT E. LEE – SHADES OF GRAY”.
(Monday, September 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: CLASS: The Modern American Presidency

Dr. John Pendleton will examine the role of the US Presidents as national symbols, political leaders, and economic pace-setters. He will focus on elections from 1960-2012 and presidents who served during other critical historical periods.

 Morning: CLASS: The Big Bands Revisited

Shelly Cohen, former assistant conductor with Johnny Carson, will conduct a journey back in time to the Swinging Sounds of the Big Bands, a musical era which reached its peak from 1935-1946. Not only will you hear the stories behind the music but, most of all, you will listen to some of the most toe-tapping music you’ll ever experience.

 Lunch: Lunch at hotel
 Afternoon: CLASS: “ROBERT E. LEE – SHADES OF GRAY”: Backstage at the Rubicon Theater

You will learn about the elements of play production and what’s happening in American theater from Brian McDonald, the Rubicon Theater’s Education Director, and others throughout the week.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: CLASS: History of Ventura

People have lived along this stretch of the California coast for at least ten thousand years. San Buenaventura, the ninth of the California missions, was founded in 1782 by Father Junipero Serra. He named it after the Italian St. Bonaventure, hence the nickname Ventura, which means "city of good fortune."

The City of San Buenaventura was incorporated in 1866. Ventura became the County seat when Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties split in 1873. That same year a courthouse and wharf were built, a bank was opened, and the first public library was created.

An oil strike in 1914 fueled rapid growth. In the years following World War II, farmland gave way to outward suburban development. Ventura has matured into a seaside community known for its scenic coastline and hillsides and rich culture.

   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: A fascinating set of lectures exploring the three topics: The Big Bands of the Swing Era; the Modern American Presidency; and elements of theater with a focus on “ROBERT E. LEE – SHADES OF GRAY”.
(Tuesday, September 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: CLASS: The Modern American Presidency

Dr. Pendleton will continue his presentation of the role of the US Presidents as national symbols, political leaders, and economic pace-setters. He will focus on elections from 1960-2012 and presidents who served during other critical historical periods.

 Morning: CLASS: The Big Bands Revisited

Shelly Cohen, former assistant conductor with Johnny Carson, will continue his musical journey back in time to the swinging, feel-good sounds of the Big Band era. Not only will you hear the stories behind the music but, most of all, you will listen to some of the most toe-tapping music you’ll ever experience.

 Lunch: Lunch at hotel
 Afternoon: CLASS: “ROBERT E. LEE – SHADES OF GRAY”: Backstage at the Rubicon Theater

In this continuing series of lectures, you will learn more about the elements of play production

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: PERFORMANCE: Theater Sports: A group of improvisational actors
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: A fascinating set of lectures exploring The Big Bands of the Swing Era and the Modern American Presidency, and a visit to the Rubicon Theater for a special evening performance of “ROBERT E. LEE – SHADES OF GRAY”.
(Wednesday, September 11)

Note: Able to get on/off bus and walk 2 blocks on sidewalk to theater. Free-time activities involve some walking from the hotel on paved sidewalks to Ventura's historical district, located about 4 blocks from the hotel or walks on the beach or paved promenade.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: CLASS: The Big Bands Revisited

Shelly Cohen, former assistant conductor with Johnny Carson, will continue his musical journey back in time to the swinging, feel-good sounds of the Big Band era. Not only will you hear the stories behind the music but, most of all, you will listen to some of the most toe-tapping music you’ll ever experience.

 Morning: CLASS: The Modern American Presidency

Dr. Pendleton will continue his presentation of the role of the US Presidents as national symbols, political leaders, and economic pace-setters. He will focus on elections from 1960-2012 and presidents who served during other critical historical periods.

 Lunch: Lunch at hotel
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon to explore Ventura on your own.

Suggest a visit to the Museum of Ventura County which celebrates, preserves and interprets the art, history and culture of Ventura County, the California Channel Islands and the surrounding region, OR visit San Buenaventura Mission, OR walk along the ocean promenade.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: FIELD TRIP: Attend a performance of “ROBERT E. LEE – SHADES OF GRAY” at the Rubicon Theater in Ventura. Enjoy a Talk Back session with the solo actor and crew following the performance.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: A fascinating set of lectures exploring the three topics: The Big Bands of the Swing Era; the Modern American Presidency; and elements of theater with a focus on “ROBERT E. LEE – SHADES OF GRAY”.
(Thursday, September 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: CLASS: The Modern American Presidency

Dr. Pendleton will complete his series of lectures about the role of the US Presidents as national symbols, political leaders, and economic pace-setters. He will focus on elections from 1960-2012 and presidents who served during other critical historical periods.

 Morning: CLASS: The Big Bands Revisited

Shelly Cohen, former assistant conductor on the Johnny Carson Show, will conclude his musical journey back in time to the swinging, feel-good sounds of the Big Band era.

 Lunch: Lunch at hotel
 Afternoon: CLASS: “ROBERT E. LEE – SHADES OF GRAY”: Backstage at the Rubicon Theater

Participants will discuss the previous evening's performance of ROBERT E. LEE – SHADES OF GRAY and critique the elements of the play.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning class followed by independent departures
(Friday, September 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: CLASS: “ROBERT E. LEE – SHADES OF GRAY”: Backstage at the Rubicon Theater

In this final lecture of the series, you will learn more about the elements of play production.

HOTEL CHECK OUT: This concludes the program. We hope you have enjoyed this 3-course program and will join us for other rewarding adventure in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Ventura, California Channel Islands National Park
Five of the 8 Channel Islands make up the National Park which is home to more than 2000 species of plant and animals-145 of which are unique to the islands. Anacapa Island is just 14 miles from Ventura Harbor. Accessible for day trips and overnight camping. Park established by Congress in 1980. For additional information, visit www.islandpackers.com
  Museum of Ventura County
100 E. Main Street

Ventura, CA 93001

(805) 653-0323

One of the museum's permanent exhibits explores the community's past from the Chumash era through the 21st century. It consists of a fascinating collection of artifacts and displays focusing on Native Americans, Spanish and Mexican pioneers, and European and Yankee settlers. Especially notable are the George Stuart Historical figures, which are intricately carved figures from history that are dressed in elaborate period costume. For additional information, visit www.venturamuseum.org

  Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau
101 S. California Street

Ventura, CA 93001

(805) 648-2075 or (800) 333-2989

Ventura offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as beach walks, biking and hiking trails, bird watching, camping, golf, sport fishing, water activities and whale watching. The Crowne Plaza Hotel is situated next to the beach and an oceanside boardwalk that stretches for many miles. Some trail heads are within walking distance of the hotel For additional information, visit www.ventura-usa.com

Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Modern American Presidency


Author: Lewis L. Gould


Description: The Modern American Presidency is a lively, interpretive synthesis of our twentieth-century leaders, filled with intriguing insights into how the presidency has evolved as America rose to prominence on the world stage. Gould traces the decline of the party system and the increasing importance of the media, resulting in the rise of the president as celebrity. He traces the growth of the White House staff and executive bureaucracy. And he shows us a succession of men who have increasingly known less and less about the presidency, observing that most would have had a better historical reputation if they had contented themselves with a single term. Engagingly written for general readers while firmly grounded in scholarship for classroom use, this book takes a no-holds-barred approach to occupants of the Oval Office. Gould marks the accomplishments of lesser-known presidents--Taft's anticipation of the budget office, Harding's plans for a Defense Department--and casts higher-profile personalities in a fresh light, whether revisiting Nixon's preoccupation with reelection, exploring why the effort to remove Bill Clinton weakened the impeachment power, or contemplating George W. Bush's efforts to wage war against terrorism.



When Swing Was the Thing: Personality Profiles of the Big Band Era


Author: John R. Tumpak


Description: Over the years John Tumpak developed personal associations with many bandleaders, musicians, vocalists, arrangers, and contributors who participated in the Big Band Era. The unique stories of these and other Era personalities are told in his book, When Swing Was the Thing: Personality Profiles of the Big Band Era, which provides detailed insight into their personal and professional lives and the cultural history of the time. Forty of the publications forty-seven chapters are based on interviews Tumpak conducted with the key players or their immediate family members. Major historic events in the careers of Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller are also included. There are 114 vintage photos, many of which were provided by individuals featured in the book and appear in print for the first time. When Swing Was the Thing provides a descriptive and visual return to the days of that unique period from the mid 1930s to the mid 1940s when fifteen piece swing bands dominated American entertainment, filling ballrooms to capacity, broadcasting on the radio, appearing in the movies, and bringing international fame to the high profile bandleaders.





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