Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai is part of an impressive roster of speakers coming to Long Beach in 2021 ... hopefully in person.

The Distinguished Speaker Series of Southern California, a three decades old, thought-provoking program featuring a Who’s Who of who is who, is moving to Long Beach’s Terrace Theatre in 2021, bringing with it its usual assortment of big thinkers and heavy hitters.

The 2021 lineup includes former President George W. Bush, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward. Check out the entire lineup here.

The series, founded by sisters Kathy Winterhalder and Sue Swan, has long featured an eclectic mix of leaders, thinkers, performers and achievers of all stripes. Past speakers have included the Dalai Lama, Madeline Albright, Steve Martin, Bill Clinton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Condoleeza Rice and Vin Scully.

Of course, as important as who is speaking is whether they will do it in person or virtually? Winterhalder said she is adamant that the series be experienced in person, and therefore the first three scheduled speakers—Woodward, Bush and historian Douglas Brinkley—have already agreed to reschedule their spring dates to sometime later, more conducive to a live event.

“The truth is, this is a live experience,” Winterhalder said. “We get the top of the line, A-list people and often they aren’t doing Zoom. All of the speakers have agreed to move their dates so they can do this in person. Everybody is being really flexible.”

Winterhalder said that maintaining the intimate nature of the event is of foremost importance and that season subscribers have let her know they are willing to wait. The Terrace Theater, which is taking the place of Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center, is a natural fit for the series in that its 3,000 seats can accommodate the demand to see A-listers while still maintaining an intimacy impossible at larger, arena-type venues.

Season subscriptions are the only way to experience the series since single-event tickets are not sold. Since the program is well-known and popular—it has sold out at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center for the past 15 years—there figures to be demand not only in Long Beach but coming from the South Bay and Orange County. Since subscribers have first shot at purchasing ensuing season lineups, Winterhalder said “now would be the best time to get in.”

Subscriptions range from about $200 to $600, per person.

For more information or to purchase season subscriptions, click here.