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ORANGE COUNTY CALENDAR: ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT, LEISURE
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Director Celebrates Milestone

March 31, 2000|LOUISE ROUG | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

For Charles Mitchell, indeed, all the world's a stage. For more than three decades he has taught students their exits and entrances. Now he's celebrating his 150th production as a director of Golden West College performances by presenting his adaptation of "The Three Musketeers," Alexander Dumas' classic story of heroes in tights and ladies in distress.

"When you do 'The Three Musketeers,' the audience expects a little swashbuckling," Mitchell said.

"There's a lot of swordplay and a lot of physical fighting--none of the students were skilled in that, and that was the real challenge."

But rather than sharpen swords, the 59-year-old director wants to sharpen words.

"There are so many stories within the plays," Mitchell said.

Among his favorite writers are Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare.

"When we do Shakespeare productions, the students are often resistant to the language," Mitchell said. "But most of the time they come around, and see that they can do it. To see them develop, that is very rewarding."

Mitchell, who joined the teaching staff at Golden West College in 1967, said the drama department is beginning to teach TV skills along with traditional theater. But he thinks the classics will survive.

* "The Three Musketeers" plays at the Mainstage Theatre, Golden West College, 15744 Golden West Street, Huntington Beach. The show runs tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. General admission: $10.50; children younger than 12: $5.50.

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