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September 23, 2013 | By David Ng
During their long tenure as artistic directors of South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, David Emmes and Martin Benson nurtured numerous plays that have gone on to national prominence, including "Wit" by Margaret Edson, "Three Days of Rain" by Richard Greenberg, "Rabbit Hole" by David Lindsay-Abaire and "Collected Stories" by Donald Margulies. The duo stepped down from their joint post in 2011 but remain active at the company, regularly directing stage productions. SCR, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season, announced Saturday that it is honoring its artistic co-founders by renaming its main venue, the Folino Theatre Center, after Emmes and Benson.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2014 | By David Ng
New dramas by award-winning New York playwrights Adam Rapp, Theresa Rebeck and Rajiv Joseph will be part of the 2014 Pacific Playwrights Festival, scheduled for April 25 to 27 at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. This year's festival will feature three fully staged productions plus four readings of new plays. The staged productions will include Rapp's new play, "The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois," about a reclusive, troubled man; the previously announced "Rest," by Samuel Hunter, whose play "The Whale" was produced last year at South Coast Repertory; and "Five Mile Lake" by Rachel Bonds.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 17, 2012 | By Charlotte Stoudt
Shame and the British. They go together like tea and crumpets, Sandhurst and Sid Vicious.  But South Coast Repertory's broad staging of Alan Ayckbourn's exercise in indignity, “Absurd Person Singular,” makes you yearn wistfully for more cheeky snaps of Prince Harry in Vegas. Ayckbourn's set-up is simple genius: Over three acts, we follow three couples at three Christmas parties in as many years, all seen from various kitchens. At the top, boorish entrepreneur Sidney (JD Cullum)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 2014 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
"Trudy and Max in Love," a new play by Zoe Kazan now at South Coast Repertory, might sound like an innocent romantic frolic, but red roses and sweet nothings have little to do with it. For the navel-gazing characters in Kazan's well-observed yet ultimately facile drama, being "in love" is a condition so extreme it may require medical intervention. Sure, it feels great in the beginning, but like any addiction it robs you of yourself. A study of an adulterous relationship, from its tentative beginnings to its unsurprising conclusion, the play has the contemporary sheen of a premium cable drama.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 31, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
South Coast Repertory announced the lineup for its 50th season Thursday - and it includes the mix of new and recent works, classics and modern masterpieces they are known for. Among the highlights: Arthur Miller's “Death of a Salesman,” directed by the company's artistic director, Marc Masterson, with an all-black cast, starring Charlie Robinson as Willy Loman and the world premiere of the SCR-commissioned “Rest” by Samuel D. Hunter, which...
ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 1988 | RICK VANDERKNYFF and JAN HERMAN
1963--David Emmes, a drama teacher at Long Beach City College, accepts an offer from a Long Beach community theater group to produce a play at its Off-Broadway Theater. A San Francisco State College acquaintance, Martin Benson, who had been looking for acting jobs in Hollywood, joins Emmes in a production of "La Ronde" that opens in August. 1964--Pleased with "La Ronde," the Off-Broadway board asks Emmes to produce a summer series.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 5, 2010 | By Mike Boehm
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 15, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
The world is used to watching actual or fictitious Orange Countians on television in “Arrested Development,” “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and “The O.C.” South Coast Repertory, the county's flagship theater company, is doing its own part in cultivating indigenous O.C. stories and characters for the stage. In the newly announced “CrossRoads Commissioning Project,” South Coast Rep will use a $150,000 grant from the Time Warner Foundation to send six playwrights into the field for encounters with O.C. communties - ethnic or other -- from which they're expected to draw inspiration for new plays.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2010 | By Karen Wada
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."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 14, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
In the program for "Fast Company," a play by Carla Ching now having its world premiere at South Coast Repertory, the verb "grift" is helpfully defined: "To obtain goods or money illegally by use of skill rather than violence. " Many of you are no doubt already familiar with this term from the captivating 1990 Stephen Frears movie "The Grifters," which is clearly an inspiration for Ching's wily drama about an Asian American family of con artists, who are as ruthless with one another as they are with their marks.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 23, 2013 | By David Ng
During their long tenure as artistic directors of South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, David Emmes and Martin Benson nurtured numerous plays that have gone on to national prominence, including "Wit" by Margaret Edson, "Three Days of Rain" by Richard Greenberg, "Rabbit Hole" by David Lindsay-Abaire and "Collected Stories" by Donald Margulies. The duo stepped down from their joint post in 2011 but remain active at the company, regularly directing stage productions. SCR, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season, announced Saturday that it is honoring its artistic co-founders by renaming its main venue, the Folino Theatre Center, after Emmes and Benson.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2013 | By David Ng
Amy Herzog's "4000 Miles" follows the bumpy relationship between a feisty nonagenarian and her directionless grandson, who turns up by surprise one day at her New York home. The play, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama this year, debuted in New York in 2011 in a production by Lincoln Center. It will make its local debut at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, opening Oct. 25. Herzog said in a recent phone interview that the character of Vera Joseph, a 91-year-old radical who has become a semi-recluse in her Greenwich Village apartment, was inspired by her own grandmother, whom she described as a hard-line leftist.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 9, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
It's always a privilege to be in the company of an actor who doesn't worry about being liked by an audience, who refuses to ingratiate himself as a performer to soften the sharp edges of his character. Charlie Robinson, star of the South Coast Repertory revival of "Death of a Salesman," is such an actor. His Willy Loman isn't out to win fans and influence producers. This veteran salesman is too bitter to put on a smiling face. Simple courtesies elude him. When his wife tells him she bought American cheese instead of Swiss, he growls in disgust.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 15, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
The world is used to watching actual or fictitious Orange Countians on television in “Arrested Development,” “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and “The O.C.” South Coast Repertory, the county's flagship theater company, is doing its own part in cultivating indigenous O.C. stories and characters for the stage. In the newly announced “CrossRoads Commissioning Project,” South Coast Rep will use a $150,000 grant from the Time Warner Foundation to send six playwrights into the field for encounters with O.C. communties - ethnic or other -- from which they're expected to draw inspiration for new plays.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
It's rare for small theaters in Southern California to grow into midsize theaters because of the expense and risk that come with expanding from a storefront to a house of 100 seats or more. But the Chance Theater in Anaheim Hills, among the smallest at 49 seats, is contemplating a leap that would live up to the company's name. The Chance, which started in 1998 as Spare Change Productions in wry acknowledgment of its then-minuscule resources, is thinking of tripling its seating in the near future.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 9, 1988 | JAN HERMAN
Allan Havis' "Morocco," which made its debut in New York earlier this summer, will be the second offering of the new South Coast Repertory season in Costa Mesa, running Nov. 11-Dec. 11 on the Second Stage. Described by New York Times reviewer Mel Gussow as "an absorbing cat-and-mouse game in which one cannot always distinguish the cat from the mouse," Havis' drama will follow the previously announced "In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe" by Eric Overmyer opening Sept. 23.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 31, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
South Coast Repertory announced the lineup for its 50th season Thursday - and it includes the mix of new and recent works, classics and modern masterpieces they are known for. Among the highlights: Arthur Miller's “Death of a Salesman,” directed by the company's artistic director, Marc Masterson, with an all-black cast, starring Charlie Robinson as Willy Loman and the world premiere of the SCR-commissioned “Rest” by Samuel D. Hunter, which...
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Eli (played by rising theater star Seth Numrich) is an openly gay high school student who has been transplanted from the San Francisco Bay Area to Iowa after the tragic death of his father. His English professor mother (a gritty Wendy vanden Heuvel) has accepted a job in the Midwest and is eager to start a new life with her son. Eli, feeling like the freak newcomer at his school, resents her for inflicting this culture shock on him but even more he resents her for trying to be happy.
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