Review: SOC Sails to the South Pacific for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

SOC - Midsummer

L-R: Josele de Guzman, Sammy McClymonds Nguyen and John Daskalakis. Photos by Jordan Kubat

Yes, it takes a village. Shakespeare Orange County has pulled out all the stops, and even enlisted a not-so-secret weapon, to accomplish an extraordinarily beautiful debut in its first official production under new artistic director, John Walcutt. No less than 30 actors, 32 dancers, 10 drummers, a creative staff of 13, and countless additional volunteers have brought this Polynesian Dream, set in the 1700s, to life. It is a remarkable achievement that all starts with the intoxicating world created by director Susan Angelo. And what a world it is.

The drumming begins and from all sides they come: down the aisles, out from the wings, up onto the stage, almost as though they walk on air – each cluster filling the space with its own charismatic energy. There are silky-skinned Polynesian dancers who mesmerize with their skill; British colonials full of militaristic intensity; a band of mischievous fairies led by a dark and imposing king, and a fairy queen in gossamer white with an entourage of colorful pixies.  More

Hitia O Te Ra to Appear in SOC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

SOC - Midsummer
Shakespeare Orange County, Garden Grove’s leading source for Shakespeare, will begin its 2014 season with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, June 21-July 19 in The Festival Amphitheater. Directed by Susan Angelo, A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows fools and faeries through a romantic romp in which a magical potion forces lovers to fall in love with the wrong person. Set in beautiful Polynesia during the 1700s, SOC’s version of the popular Shakespearean comedy includes the appearance of Garden Grove’s award-winning Polynesian Dance Group, Hitia O Te Ra.

This world famous dance troupe of nearly 60 strong musicians and dancers, young and old, is led by Alex Tekurio and is made up of Hawaiians, Tahitians, Samoans, Maoris, Filipinos and Micronesians. Hitia O Te Ra, which is Tahitian for “Land of the Rising Sun,” is known not only for the thundering power of its war dances and the romantic beauty of its island love stories, but also for its cultural accuracy in the retelling of ancient myths from The Pacific Rim. Like a night on the islands, Hitia O Te Ra will transport you with its beauty, grace, and powerful imagery.  More

The New SOC is Having a Party – Come Join in the Fun

SOC fundraiser
Shakespeare Orange County kicks off its first season led by artistic director John Walcutt with a celebrity fundraiser on May 10. Click Here for tickets and additional information, plus a look at the 2014 Summerfest Orange County season: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo & Juliet, George M. Cohan’s The Tavern, Made in Taiwan written by and starring Michelle Krusiec, The Troubies in A Midsummer Saturday Night’s Fever Dream, The Antaeus Company’s The Curse of Oedipus, True Tran Unplugged, and the emotionally-charged dance company, backhausdance. It’s the start of something big in Orange County!

Shakespeare Orange County Continues Pay What You Will Thursdays for Macbeth

Macbeth 2013 SOC

Back by popular demand for Shakespeare Orange County’s twenty second anniversary season celebration are PAY WHAT YOU WILL THURSDAYS. Audience members can make a “donation of their choice” for tickets to the remaining Thursday evening performances of Macbeth in an outdoor setting with performances staged under the night sky.

John Walcutt plays the Scottish king in Macbeth and Evelyn Carol Case is his Lady Macbeth. Mike Peebler plays MacDuff and Carl Reggiardo is Banquo in the final production of the 2013 season. “We have people driving from all over Southern California and beyond to see our work,” says Thomas Bradac, artistic director “and we want to provide everyone with the opportunity to see it—thus one of the reasons for the PAY WHAT YOU WILL PROGRAM.  More

Shakespeare OC Artistic Director Thomas F. Bradac To Retire

Tom BradacThomas F. Bradac, founding artistic director of Shakespeare Orange County has announced that he will retire from producing theatre after the 2013 season concludes. Bradac will co-direct Twelfth Night or What You Will & The Tragedie of Macbeth for Shakespeare Orange County’s 22nd season.

Bradac stated, “I’m lucky to have spent 34 years producing, directing and occasionally acting in these great plays in Orange County. A special thank you to the City of Garden Grove for its support and encouragement while in Garden Grove and to Chapman University and Dr. James Doti for nurturing the theatre in its formative years in Orange.” Instrumental in founding the Grove Shakespeare Festival (1979-1991) and guiding it through twelve and a half seasons, Bradac created Shakespeare Orange County in late 1991. Launching its first season in 1992 with productions of The Winter’s Tale and Hamlet at the Waltmar Theatre at Chapman University, Shakespeare Orange County completed twelve seasons in Orange. In 2004, Bradac moved the troupe to the outdoor Festival Amphitheatre in Garden Grove. This summer marks the company’s tenth summer under the stars.  More

Shakespeare Orange County Announces 2013 Season

Shakespeare Orange County has announced its 22nd season, which will include Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night or What You Will and The Tragedie of Macbeth, along with several actors who will be returning to the SOC stage in 2013.

Twelfth Night is the ultimate fairy tale. When shipwreck and storm deliver the beautiful Viola to the shores of Illyria, she dresses as a man in order to gain willful employment. A lost brother found, a bizarre love triangle, and a resolution of mistaken identities bring lovers together in one of the Bard’s most loved comedies. Veteran actors John Walcutt and John Frederick Jones return this season; Walcutt as Malvolio, and Jones as Sir Toby Belch.

Evelyn Case and John Walcutt Richard III

Evelyn Carol Case as Elizabeth and John Walcutt as Richard III in SOC’s 2012 production of Richard III

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Phantom Projects Theatre Group Brings Much Ado About Nothing to La Mirada

Evelyn Carol Case and Michael Nehring as Beatrice and Benedick. Photo by D. Shaffer

If you missed Shakespeare Orange County’s production of Much Ado About Nothing this past August you’ll get one more chance when Phantom Projects Theatre Group brings back the original creative team to re-mount their production on November 8 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. The one-day-only event features a 10:00 am and 7:00 pm performance. SOC’s Founding Artistic Director Thomas F. Bradac directs, with Michael Nehring and Evelyn Carol Case returning to recreate their roles as Benedick and Beatrice. As has been part of Phantom Projects’ mission for the past 17 years, the morning performance will be a special performance for over 1,200 teens bused in from schools in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties; many of the students will be seeing live theatre for the first time. Tickets are $20, with discounts available for students and groups, and can be obtained by calling the La Mirada Theatre Box office at 714.994.6310 or 562.944.9801 or online at www.LaMiradaTheatre.com.

Shakespeare Orange County’s Much Ado About Nothing Packs Undeniable Charm

Evelyn Carol Case and Michael Nehring

Shakespeare Orange County closes out its summer season with a sparkling production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing that time travels its characters to Messina, Italy in the 1920’s. There amid the sultry Mediterranean breeze, Jazz Age music, and stylish flapper frocks, Cupid and his henchmen and women conspire to ensure that love prevails using any tactics necessary. While some he simply kills with arrows, like young Hero and Claudio, others like Beatrice and Benedick, need traps to secure their romantic coupling. And therein lies the fun.   More

Shakespeare Orange County Presents a 1920s Much Ado About Nothing


Shakespeare Orange County will present Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing August 16 – September 1 at Garden Grove’s Festival Amphitheatre, outside and “Under the Stars.” Set during the 1920s, this production features costumes and music of the era. Founding Artistic Producing Director Thomas F. Bradac directs.

SOC’s production focuses on the relationships between men and women of various generations and how they deal with one another (all generations included). As the older and wiser Benedick, and the smart and attractive Beatrice, duel in their determination to proclaim mutual bachelorhood, they fail to realize that they’ve been set up by manipulative friends and acquaintances in a plot that later brings them together–in matrimony.   More

Tom Bradac ‘Czechs’ One Off His Bucket List

(L to R): Amanda Zarr, Michael Drace Fountain, Evelyn Carol Case, Misha Bouvian. Production photos by Katie Wilson

Whether you have it written down on paper or simply keep it filed away in the back of your mind, everyone has a bucket list; those things you’d like to do before you…well…kick the bucket. This summer, Shakespeare Orange County’s Artistic Director, Tom Bradac gets to cross one item off his list that’s been on it for a very long time – namely, to go to The Fringe. Little did he know that it would be in a very unique city (Prague, CZ) with a very unusual project (Shakespeare’s rarely produced erotic poem Venus and Adonis).

Bradac explains, More

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