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'Arts On The Green' To Be Reprised In Costa Mesa

September 05, 1985|HERMAN WONG | Times Staff Writer

Backed with $30,000 in corporate underwriting, last year's cultural potpourri, "Arts on the Green," returns for an encore Sunday at Costa Mesa's Town Center Park.

The free outdoor sampling of music, dance, theater and poetry--scheduled at the park off Bristol Street, between the Westin South Coast Plaza hotel and South Coast Repertory Theatre--will feature 27 performing troupes in a five-hour span beginning at noon.

The county's big-name cultural organizations will be well represented at the event:

--There will be singers from the Orange County Master Chorale and the Opera Pacific company, and actors from the South Coast Repertory's Young Conservatory.

--Forty-two participants, including the Orange County Performing Arts Center, the Newport Harbor Art Museum and the Orange County Philharmonic Society, will man information booths.

--The Laguna Beach Museum of Art will be among four organizations mounting gallery exhibits.

Absent from this year's roster is the Orange County Pacific Symphony, which says it lacks funds to participate in the the event, and the Pacific Chorale, which says it did not receive a formal invitation.

Each performing troupe is donating its time or paying its own expenses. With the $30,000 in underwriting, the Costa Mesa chamber is paying all staging costs, including three temporary platforms and the various booths.

Food concessions will be featured. Free parking will be available at two garages along Town Center Drive and a third near Anton Boulevard.

"It's not only a bigger cultural offering, but a much more diverse one. We expect an even bigger turnout (than the 3,000 last year)," said Dwight Richard Odle, coordinator of the event for the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce.

"We're after relatively quick exposure to what's available in the county. We want to whet (cultural) appetites," added Odle, explaining the briefness of each troupe's appearance--no more than about 40 minutes. "Most of our (performing) groups are very small and not too well known. We've timed it so these groups will receive equal exposure with the bigger-name organizations."

South Coast Repertory Theatre, sponsor of last year's event, is again presenting its Young Conservatory troupe. However, plans for a performance of "Beyond the Fringe" by members of SCR's resident company have been dropped. The move was ruled out "early on," said Odle, because of SCR's preparations for its "Galileo" production opening Tuesday.

The Pacific Symphony was another important participant in the 1984 "Arts on the Green." But symphony officials said the orchestra cannot perform Sunday because of new budget constraints. The orchestra is in the midst of shifting headquarters from Fullerton to Santa Ana and raising more funds for an expanded concert program.

"We wanted to (perform), but frankly, there are many other pressing (budget) demands," said Wesley Brustad, the orchestra's general manager. (According to the Musicians Assn.'s Local 7 in Santa Ana, the union was to underwrite half of the $2,646 cost of salaries for 40 Pacific Symphony musicians in the "Arts on the Green" event. The union was told the orchestra would not be able to pay the "matching half," a union aide said.)

The Pacific Chorale did not perform at last year's outdoor event. But chorale officials said they would have considered performing this year had they received an invitation from "Arts on the Green" organizers. "We're disappointed that we never got any (official) word," said Mary Lyons, chorale board chairwoman.

Odle and other organizers, however, said notices had been sent last June to all major arts organizations in the county. "No response," they said, had been received from the Pacific Chorale. (The chorale will be manning an information booth at the event.)

Dancers returning this year will include those from the Ballet Unlimited, Bando Mitsuhiro, Dance Kaleidoscope, Dance Unlimited, Orange County Ballet and South Coast Ballet companies. Also returning will be the South Coast Symphony, plus the Orange County Opera, the Festival of Learning (opera performers) and the Inter-Cultural Committee for the Performing Arts (black revue).

Among the program's first-time participants are singers from the Fullerton Civic Light Opera and the South Coast Musical Theatre. Also on the bill will be the Al Maitland jazz trio, Bando Azucar band, Celtic Society dancers and Fullertowne Strutters band.

Other first-time attractions will be the Laguna Poets and the Electrum Poets--which includes Latino and Vietnamese writers--giving readings in SCR's 171-seat Second Stage playhouse.

A $10,000 grant from the City of Costa Mesa topped this year's underwriters' list. Other major donors included C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, Arnel Development, Pacific Amphitheatre, Arthur Young & Co., Rutan & Tucker and Pacific Bell.

Last year's "Arts on the Green" was South Coast Repertory's kick-off event to its 20th anniversary season and offered 16 performing troupes and 30 informational booths at a cost to SCR of $20,000.

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