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Community Theater

June 5, 1988 | JAN HERMAN
Everybody said their idea of establishing a serious theater company in Orange County was lunacy. They'd be lucky to end up doing "Under the Yum Yum Tree." Twenty-five years and 234 productions later, David Emmes and Martin Benson recall their defiance of those doubts with obvious pride. "That's the old, bad rap on the county," said Benson, rolling his eyes in a leonine face. "And it still is. But look at the shows we've done. For chrissakes, we opened our first theater with 'Waiting for Godot.'
December 9, 2002 | Josef Woodard, Special to The Times
It started out with a budget of zero, high hopes and the help of friends like Ted Neely and Carl Anderson, stars of the original "Jesus Christ Superstar." Five years and 100,000 tickets later, the Rubicon Theatre Company boasts a budget of $1.6 million, visiting celebrities and a permanent home in downtown Ventura. That's quite a feat for a 207-seat company for which ticket sales account for only a third of the budget.
May 30, 1987 | SYLVIE DRAKE, Times Theater Writer
When Linda Hunt opens as Dolly Levi in "The Matchmaker" at the La Jolla Playhouse Sunday, she will be keeping an old pact with herself. Dolly was a character who provided tremendous sustenance to Hunt when she needed it most. "I was 30, in New York for the second time. I had no money, no job," explained Hunt, now 42, on one of those luminous California afternoons that make anguish or despair seem quite impossible. "The crunch was on and the stakes were higher.
May 26, 1989 | JANICE ARKATOV, Arkatov writes regularly about theater for Calendar.
On any given night, there are perhaps a hundred theater events to choose from in Los Angeles--a good share of them in the San Fernando Valley. Many of the Valley houses are prosperous. But does that mean they're healthy ? Is the work new, important, thoughtful, challenging? It depends on the theater, the artistic director--and his or her audience. From Van Nuys to Burbank to North Hollywood to Woodland Hills, the creative, financial and qualitative scope of Valley theater is a wide one. In the past, community theater (composed of non-professionals)
August 12, 1992 | BILL BILLITER
After undergoing an $85,000 refurbishment, Golden West College's Community Theater will reopen Saturday. An 8 p.m. presentation of the musical "Peter Pan" will commemorate the event. Built in 1971, the Community Theater was designed as a teaching theater and classroom for students seeking careers in drama. The theater has also served as a cultural outlet for Huntington Beach. About 18,000 people a year attend plays and concerts there.
February 6, 1990
A San Clemente community theater will ask the Planning Commission tonight for permission to expand by 1,300 square feet. The expansion will allow the Cabrillo Playhouse to build sets inside the theater and provide more dressing room space. "At the present, we really have no place for the actors to dress," said Ray Benedicktus, vice president of the San Clemente Community Theatre group that runs the playhouse.
January 25, 1995 | LYNN FRANEY
The county's bankruptcy has put on hold any further city sponsorship of the Laguna Niguel Community Theatre. "It was pretty costly for the city," recreation supervisor Jill Haley said of the city's financial help for last year's performances of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Odd Couple." "That's a pretty big-ticket item, and with what's going on now (financially), it's not a good idea to be putting out $8,000 to $10,000 on a production," Haley said.
July 23, 1993 | MARK CHALON SMITH
Shakespeare may seem like a shrinking resource in Orange County, especially now that GroveShakespeare in Garden Grove has canceled its 1993 season. At the professional level, there's Shakespeare Orange County in Orange, and the occasional South Coast Repertory production. A couple of community theaters, however, have made Shakespeare an annual event.
November 23, 1990 | GERALD FARIS
It started with a handful of PTA members at a Westchester elementary school who wanted to put on a show. One play whetted their appetites for another, and a little local publicity soon swelled the group's ranks to 30 or 40 people. That was in 1950, and the Kentwood Players--a community theater group built on the love of being on stage and hearing the applause--is still going strong. "We're pure community theater. No one is paid.
September 1, 1988 | PATRICK MOTT, Patrick Mott is a regular contributor to Orange County Life.
Reasons why actors ought to like big-time show biz better than community theater: -- In big-time show biz, if your production calls for a spiffy hot rod to zoom on-stage, you get a cherry '57 Bel Air or a juiced-up Eldorado. In community theater, you get a beat-to-a-pulp MG with cardboard fins. And you have to push it yourself. -- In big-time show biz, if you are cast as a pirate, you get to dress like Errol Flynn in "Captain Blood."
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