The Costa Mesa institution now known as the Segerstrom Center for the Arts held its first performance in September 1986.
Nearly 25 years later, the largest performing arts venue in Orange County is planning a robust lineup for its silver anniversary season that will feature world-premiere productions and nine touring shows, including Broadway's "American Idiot" and "Shrek the Musical."
The seasonal lineup comes amid some encouraging financial news for the center.
The Segerstrom Center recently eliminated a deficit of about $1 million accumulated during the recent recession, said spokesman Tim Dunn.
The center said it paid off the debt during the current fiscal year.
In the 2008-09 season, the center laid off staff and cut salaries in response to the tough economy.
Most of those overhead reductions have remained in place, Terry Dwyer, the center's president, said in an interview.
The center is expecting a number of seven-figure gifts in the months ahead, he said, adding that the center anticipates it will be able to raise "a little more money on an annual basis."
The Segerstrom Center said its net earned income was $25 million in fiscal 2009 and $36 million in fiscal 2010.
The center officially changed its name from the Orange County Performing Arts Center — or OCPAC —this year, honoring developer Henry Segerstrom and his family, who donated 14 acres of land and $75 million for the center.
In announcing its 25th anniversary season Monday, the Segerstrom Center — long committed to presenting major dance performances — will be presenting several new works, including a world-premiere production titled "The Firebird" (March 29 to April 1, 2012), by Alexei Ratmansky and performed by New York's American Ballet Theatre.
Other dance highlights include appearances by the San Francisco Ballet (Sept. 27 to Oct. 2), Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo (Feb. 9 to 12, 2012) and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (March 6 to 11, 2012).
Dancer Diana Vishneva will return to the center in a world-premiere program titled "Madame X" (Nov. 3 to 6).
The center's theatrical offerings will include touring productions of "Shrek the Musical" (Oct. 4 to 16), Blue Man Group (Nov. 8 to 20), "Come Fly Away" (Jan. 31 to Feb. 5, 2012), "Traces" (Feb. 28 to March 4, 2012), "American Idiot ("May 29 to June 3, 2012), "Million Dollar Quartet" (April 24 to May 6, 2012), "Les Misérables" (June 12 to 24, 2012) and "La Cage aux Folles" (July 24 to Aug. 5, 2012).
Songwriter Stephen Sondheim will appear in a conversation (Oct. 29) that will also feature songs performed by special guests. Others making cabaret appearances include Audra McDonald (Oct. 15), Chita Rivera (Nov. 10 to 13), Paulo Szot (Dec. 15 to 18), Steve Tyrell (Jan. 5 to 8) and Andrea Martin (Feb. 16 to 19).
The center will also host a free concert as part of Pacific Standard Time, the regionwide arts festival organized by the Getty Trust, which will take place Oct. 2.
International Dance Series