March 28, 2010 |
Southern California is famous for being ahead of the national curve -- in styles, fads and unenviable crises. And right now, the region's largest institutional theaters are serving as a crystal ball for leadership concerns affecting nonprofit theaters throughout the country. I'm referring, of course, to Center Theatre Group, the Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe, all of which are at crucial crossroads. The founders or guiding spirits of these prestigious theaters have left, are on the verge of leaving or are in a quandary about whether to make an exit at such a precarious historical moment.
February 5, 2010 |
South Coast Repertory announced Thursday that it aims to name a new artistic director in time for the season that begins in September, succeeding artistic director Martin Benson and producing artistic director David Emmes, the co-founders who have led the acclaimed Costa Mesa theater since 1964. Benson, 72, and Emmes, 71, won't be retiring, the theater said in a statement, but will continue under the title of founding directors, advising their successor and taking "an active role" in finding and developing the new plays that have been South Coast's leading claim to fame.
September 8, 1999
Main Stage: * "The Philanderer" by George Bernard Shaw. Opens Friday, plays through Oct. 10. * "The Piano Lesson" by August Wilson, Oct. 15-Nov. 21. Part of series chronicling decade-by-decade the African American experience in the 20th century. This play, which won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, is set in the 1940s. * "The Hollow Lands" by Howard Korder, Jan. 7-Feb. 13. A man in search of the American dream sets out from New York in 1815 to cross the nation. * "All My Sons," by Arthur Miller, Feb.
April 2, 2010 |
Eight years ago, Julia Cho came to South Coast Repertory for the first time. She was a novice author, still in grad school, and excited to have her play, "99 Histories," read at the Pacific Playwrights Festival. Her visit was "amazing," she recalls. "I couldn't believe they were going to fly me to Costa Mesa from New York and put me up in a hotel, let alone put on my play." The experience also proved to be "a little intimidating," she says. "I was glad to be there, but I wasn't sure I belonged with all the older, more established playwrights."
March 18, 2013 |
The spectacle of Charlie digging into a family-size bucket of fried chicken is one of the sadder sights in "The Whale," Samuel D. Hunter's mordantly funny, bitterly angry and ultimately deeply moving portrait of a morbidly obese man stuffing himself to death after his lover's death. As played by Matthew Arkin (with fleshy prosthetics and makeup wizardry adding elephantine girth to the actor's medium build), Charlie is willfully drowning in his own flab - nearly 600 pounds of it. But please don't get the idea that this play, having its West Coast premiere at South Coast Repertory under the direction of Martin Benson, is setting up a situation that could be resolved by the dictatorial intervention of celebrity fitness trainer Jillian Michaels.
January 28, 1990 |
Across the street from the Pacific Symphony's performing space at the Orange County Performing Arts Center is South Coast Repertory, the county's other main, home-grown arts organization. Its reputation exceeds the Pacific Symphony's--the theater received a Tony Award in 1988--yet ticket prices there for main-stage productions appear to be in line with other regional theater companies around the country.