The biggest lineup of Orange County arts organizations for a single event--40 performing and 12 exhibiting groups--is expected at the third annual Arts on the Green festival to be held Sept. 7 at Costa Mesa's Town Center Park.
According to Larry Granger, Arts on the Green coordinator, festival organizers are projecting a turnout of 5,000 at this year's event.
"It's our best representation yet. We see this as an exciting and appropriate prologue to the event that we're all waiting for--the opening of the Performing Arts Center," Granger said Tuesday at a luncheon at the Westin South Coast Plaza hotel.
The Sept. 7 program will feature the festival's first performance work with a strong social-problem theme. The 20-minute play "When No Means No" will be acted by Stop-Gap actors, whose troupe provides drama-therapy workshops for the disabled, elderly, abused children and other groups.
The work by Robert Knapp, which deals with "date rape," has been presented by Stop-Gap at numerous local high schools since 1984.
The admission-free Arts on the Green is again being held chiefly in the open area east of Bristol Street, next to the South Coast Repertory Theatre and Westin South Coast Plaza.
Use of the nearby Performing Arts Center was ruled out, festival organizers said, because the complex is being prepared for its Sept. 29 opening. Discussions, however, are under way on the possible use next year of the Center's grounds and facilities, they added.
As in previous years, the Arts on the Green performances will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in mostly 20-minute segments. Except for performances in SCR's 161-seat Second Stage playhouse and a temporary stage in the Imperial Bank Building's underground garage, performing sites will be outdoors.
Maurice Allard, director of the Master Chorale of Orange County, will conduct the closing performance on the main lawn stage. In addition to the chorale, the finale will feature the South Coast Symphony and South Coast Ballet.
Other performing groups will include the Pacific Chorale's Pacific Pops Ensemble and SCR's Young Conservatory, as well as singers representing Opera Pacific, Fullerton Civic Light Opera and Regional Repertory Theatre Company.
The Orange County Pacific Symphony is only major arts organization in the county not involved in the Arts on the Green. As was the case in 1985, the organization was unable to raise the funds to pay musicians' salaries for the event, according to symphony spokeswoman Luke Bandle. (The orchestra was a leading participant in the first festival in 1984.)
This year's lineup also will include the Orange Coast College's Big Band and Jazz Trombone Choir, Country Connection bluegrass band, Mississippi Mudders Dixieland group, Southern California Flute Orchestra and Orange Coast Buddhist Church Taiko percussion group.
Plus, Anaheim Community Entertainers, Fractured Mirror comedy troupe, Golden Gate Barber Shop Quartet, Harborlite Chorus, Rainbow Singers, Interchange mime group, Pandemonium Word Ballet group and Orange County Philharmonic Society's Musical Encounters troupe.
Featured dance troupes will include Ballet Montmartre, Dance Kaleidoscope, Arpana Dances of India, Bengal Artist Group, Cairo Sisters, Dunaj Folk Dancers and Nea Ellas Greek Dancers.
Stage reading sessions will be offered by the Electrum Foundation, Laguna Poets, and Orange County Literary Arts Foundation.
The art exhibitions, which will be in the underground parking area, will include displays by the Laguna Art Museum, Bowers Museum, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Costa Mesa Art League and Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.
Information booths will be manned by 35 cultural organizations. Also offered will be an array of food concessions.
The $50,000 cost of installing platforms and booths is being underwritten by community grants, said festival producer Dwight Richard Odle. The largest are $15,000 from C.J. Segerstrom & Sons Inc. and $10,000 from the City of Costa Mesa. (Participating organizations in the festival donate performing time or pay their own performing fees.)
Last year, the festival offered 27 performing groups and four exhibits. The event, founded in 1984 by South Coast Repertory, has since been sponsored by the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce.