Friday, July 27, 2012

SCR Annual Dinner: A Season Celebration

On July 25, 2012, South Coast Repertory applauded the accomplishments of the artists and the community (especially the theatre’s donors and trustees) in A Season Celebration.

The day began as usual, with the final board meeting of the 2011-12 Season, followed by cocktails at the Playwrights Bar and dinner on the Segerstrom Stage, emceed by outgoing Board President Tom Phelps.

And, as usual, the dinner included a video retrospective of the season and its Honorary Producers, narrated by four actors whose talents helped make it a success: Matthew Arkin (The Prince of Atlantis), Larry Bates (Top Dog/Underdog and Jitney) Jane Carr (Pride and Prejudice) and Erika Whalen (A Christmas Carol and two Theatre for Young Audiences productions).

Then came the unusual—a surprise video starring six of Orange County’s movers and shakers, all SCR Honorary Producers who—eschewing irony—shed their inhibitions, showed off their acting chops and saluted their favorite theatre in the hilarious parody, “Housewives of South Coast Repertory.”
Mixed in with the fun, a little official business:
  • Co-CEOs Marc Masterson and Paula Tomei ushered in the second generation of artistic leadership.
  • Retiring officers stepped down—President Tom Phelps, VP Advancement Tod White, VP Development John J. Murphy, VP Finance Damien M. Jordan, VP Community Relations Gail M. Doe
  • 2012-13 officers stepped up—President Damien M. Jordan, VP Advancement Tod White, VP Development Sophie Cripe, VP Finance David Krajanowski, VP Community Relations Bette Aitken
  • New members joined in—Barbara Cline, Dean Zipser, Robert Lucenti, Tom Taylor, Barbara Tingley.

Having trouble viewing the slideshow? Try watching it here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Acting Workshop’s Special Guests

Sara Guerrero, one of the Summer Acting Workshops daily instructors, leads students in movement exercises.
Want to give your kids something fun to do this summer? Looking for arts camp options at family-friendly prices?  SCR’s Summer Acting Workshop is a theatre camp for young people, primarily those who are new to SCR’s Conservatory. We work with many experience levels and age groups, from 8-18, grades 3-12. The purpose of the camp is to learn the process of making theatre in a challenging and fun environment. Students work on acting tools—voice, body, imagination—to improve their individual creativity, confidence, and ability to work and communicate effectively with others.

Instructor Diana Burbano works with a student
on musical theatre.
Each day of the 10-day session starts with a quick camp-wide warm up to promote energy and focus.  Then, for two hours, students break into peer groups (grades 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12) of no more than 18 students for interactive instruction in voice, movement, character development and more, led by SCR’s veteran staff of theatre professionals. The final hour is spent with special guests who bring to life various aspects of theatre, like improvisation, combat, singing and playwriting—something different every day.  Finally, at the end of the two weeks, there is an open classroom presentation of what’s been learned.

Back in May, you got to meet some of the Summer Acting Workshop peer group instructors on our blog. Now, we’re profiling special guests who will visit visit the class throughout the week. All these experienced teaching artists have links to SCR, both past and present. Here’s a little bit about them, what they’ll be teaching, and how they’re connected to SCR:

  • Playwriting will be taught by award-winning playwright Kristina Leach, who works at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. SCR Connection: Kristina was formerly on SCR’s literary staff.

  • Putting it Together (the process of putting together a show: casting, theatrical design, rehearsal, performance) will be taught by Patrick Williams, Director of Performing Arts for Mater Dei High School. SCR Connection: Patrick was once a Stage Management Intern here at SCR.

  • Mask & Physical Acting will be taught by two teachers: (1) Barbara June Dodge, a long-time faculty member at Cal Arts who has studied and performed all over the world, and (2) Emily Heebner, who received her MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, serves on the faculty of Idyllwild Arts, and has acted in many national tours and regional theatres.  SCR connections: Barbara helped to found SCR’s Conservatory, and Emily has performed in The Diviners.

  • Improvisation will be taught by two familiar SCR faculty members. Chris Sullivan is one of the founding artists of the Modjeska Playhouse, as well as a trained clown, competitive improviser and ship captain (who appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean, thanks to his skills). Amy-Louise Sebelius received her MFA from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and currently teaches at the OC High School for the Arts, while staying active as a director and performer in Long Beach. SCR Connections: Chris is a graduate of SCR’s Professional Actor Training program, and Amy-Louise regularly teaches in the Conservatory.

  • Musical Theatre will be taught by SCR regulars Tom Shelton and Diana Burbano, who were profiled in our last blog post about Summer Acting Workshop teachers in May (check it out here. SCR Connection: Both Tom and Diana have regularly graced SCR’s stages, Diana in Theatre for Young Audiences productions, and Tom in more than 15 productions.

  • Instructor Richard Soto works with a student on stage combat.
  • Stage Combat will be taught by Richard Soto, an actor, producer, writer, stunt performer and stage manager.  SCR Connection: Richard spent 11 seasons at SCR as Young Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol!

  • Movement will be taught by Mercy Vasquez, who received her dramatic training at UCLA, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and King’s College in London. For several years, she served as the Program Director for Voices Unheard at Greenway Arts Alliance in LA. SCR Connection: Mercy is the Junior Players director (she recently directed Sleeping Beauty), an actor in previous SCR productions (Our Town), and a graduate of the Professional Actor Training program.

  • Mime will be taught by Deborah Marley, who has experience teaching dance and movement all over the country, including at Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC and at Vanguard University. SCR Connection:  Deborah started in SCR’s Conservatory classes when she was 8 years old and went all the way through until she graduated at 16! 

Sound like fun? Make sure your kids don’t miss out. There are four sessions this summer: July 30 - August 11 and August 13 - August 25, each with a morning and afternoon option. Head to the SCR website or call 714-708-5577 and enroll now!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Survey Participant Winners Named

Congratulations to Melissa Mcbeath, Debbee Pezman and Taylor Simmons. They are the winners in our recent end-of-year survey drawing. Their names were chosen at random from among the 2,275 patrons who participated. We’d like to say a big “thank-you” to everyone who took the time to complete the survey—we very much value your opinions and plan to incorporate your feedback into our work next season. We look forward to seeing you at South Coast Repertory this fall!