Want to see 400 costumed square dancers do-si-do around a portion of the Orange County Performing Arts Center? How about some hands-on involvement with a ball of water-based clay?
Fancy tuning in to a set of rousing sea chanteys, or finding out what a poetry recital is all about?
The fourth annual Arts on the Green celebration, on Sept. 20 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Town Center Park in Costa Mesa, offers six stages buzzing with the activities of more than 30 performing groups.
"We sort of run it like an assault," producer Richard Odle says of the free festival, held by the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce. "There isn't really a fair that gives you this much of a sampling in this short a time."
As in past years, many of Orange County arts groups--large and small--will be giving performances this year, including South Coast Repertory, the Orange County Master Chorale, South Coast Symphony, the Pacific Chorale Pops Ensemble and the Golden City Barbershop Quartet.
Five stages will be rigged outdoors. The amphitheater, on the south side of South Coast Repertory, will offer dance performances ranging from Orange County's most celebrated modern dance group, the Gloria Newman Dance Company, at 3:30 p.m. to Ballet Repertory, premiering "Rhapsody" at 4:30 p.m.
At 3 p.m., the 40-foot-wide Center Stage, in the south area of the park, will offer the 60-piece California Symphony of Winds, sponsored by the Orange County Philharmonic Society.
Or music lovers might choose to saunter over to the Plaza Stage, at Imperial Bank Plaza, where young soloists on flute and piano will also perform at 3 p.m.
The Young Stage, on the east side of South Coast Repertory, will provide children's entertainment. Performances include One Brick at a Time Puppet Theater in "Reynard the Fox," a medieval children's tale performed in French and English.
The 400 folk dancers, members of folk dance clubs throughout Orange County, will be doing their thing at 3 p.m. at Circle Stage, the concentric rings of pavement at the Performing Arts Center arch.
The indoor "quiet space" will be in Founders Hall at the Performing Arts Center. At 11:30 a.m., Founders Hall will offer the premiere of a play about AIDS by Stop-Gap, a Laguna Beach group that uses theater as therapy. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the performance (and an announcement beforehand will warn the audience of the nature of the material to be presented).
The Founders Hall program continues at 12:30 p.m. with Gilman Carver's sea chanteys, accompanied by guitar. He'll be followed by the Orange County Black Actors Theater at 1:30 p.m.; a reading by the Laguna Poets at 2:30 p.m.; the four-member Yorba Linda-based Harmonia Baroque Players at 3:30 p.m., and the Bengal Artists Group, offering dances of Bangladesh, at 4:30 p.m.
Visual arts--by Newport Harbor Art Museum, the Costa Mesa Art League, the Irvine Creative Arts Guild and other groups--are limited to small displays in the Imperial Bank lobby. Bowers Museum's mobile museum, an educational exhibit created for schoolchildren, will be parked on the site.
And what about those intimate encounters with a ball of clay? Check out the Visual Artists Grove anytime during the afternoon. That's where Artists Helping Artists will help you fashion the object or ashtray of your dreams.
Food concessions and an "Information Plaza"--a chance for nonprofit arts groups and even Orange County cities to reach a captive audience--round out the Arts on the Green offerings. The event, with a budget of about $50,000, is supported by monetary and in-kind donations from Costa Mesa, C.J. Segerstrom & Sons and many local businesses.
A schedule of times and locations of events will be available at the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce's booth on the day of the festival.