Photo Flash: New Swan Shakespeare Festival’s 2014 Summer Season

New Swan - Romeo and Juliet

Adam Schroeder and Leslie Lank as Romeo and Juliet

New Swan Shakespeare Festival continues its third annual summer of Shakespeare in its unique and intimate mini-Elizabethan theater with performances of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet alternating through August 29.

Artistic Director Eli Simon, “New Swan Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to the investigation and production of Shakespeare’s plays and other relevant works. Our 125-seat mini-Elizabethan open-air theater allows us to forge a visceral relationship between actors and audience. We want our audiences to experience the actions, emotions, and story-lines as deeply as our artistic teams. The intimacy of the New Swan Theater makes this possible. In this context, our productions focus on linguistic acuity and the deft illumination of the text.”

There is also one more performance of HYPERBOLE: bard presented by Rogue Artist Ensemble on Sunday, August 24 at 5:00 pm. This family-friendly show takes Shakespeare’s best characters, poetry and plot devices and remixes them with intricate mask work, original puppets and live music, Rogue-style. Tickets for all New Swan Shakespeare Festival performances are available at

New Swan - Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Ensemble

New Swan - Twelfth Night

Colin Nesmith as Malvolio in Twelfth Night

New Swan - Twelfth Night

Rosemary Brownlow as Viola and Samantha Aneson as Olivia in Twelfth Night

Click Here for more photos from New Swan Shakespeare Festival’s productions of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet. Gorgeous.

Why South Coast Rep’s Version of THE TEMPEST is Special (Hint: It’s the magic)

South Coast Rep, Segerstrom Stage
August 29, 2014 – September 28, 2014 (opening night Sept 5)
Adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller with songs by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Choreography by Matt Kent and Pilobolus
Post-Show Discussions: Wednesday, Sept. 10, and Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014
ASL-interpreted performance: Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014
Tickets and information:

New Swan Shakespeare Festival Begins 3rd Season of Theatre-in-the-Round Tonight

New Swan Theater

New Swan Shakespeare Festival presents its third annual season of Shakespearean productions under the stars, in a unique and intimate mini-Elizabethan theater. Last summer the 125-seat theater-in-the-round hosted over 4,000 patrons at its sold-out shows, firmly establishing it as a destination event for summer entertainment, artistic satisfaction, and family fun.

This season the Festival presents freshly imagined productions of Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night, which will run in rotating repertory July 10 through August 30. New this year are pre-performance seminars that will be held on many nights adjacent to the theater on the Gateway Plaza in front of UC Irvine’s Langson Library.

The theater will also host its first musical event, Mozart Monday, a fundraiser on Monday, August 18. The evening features Maestro Benjamin Simon and friends from the LA Philharmonic in a program of chamber music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  More

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

HYPERBOLE: bard Tour Includes FREE Local Performances

Los Angeles’ award-winning art collective Rogue Artists Ensemble takes its latest creation, HYPERBOLE: bard on tour to Orange County, Culver City, West Hollywood, Oakland, San Francisco and Oregon July 26 through Aug. 24.

In this hyper-fun, hyper-family-friendly performance, Rogue Artists Ensemble takes Shakespeare’s best characters, poetry and plot devices and shuffles them up, twists them around, and shakes them down. Remixing Shakespeare with intricate mask work, original puppets and live music, the Rogues dig down to the heart of the Bard, sharing the joys, the sorrows and the non-stop action that everyone, from kids to Shakespeare aficionados, loves about the greatest playwright of all time.

“We’ve drawn on nearly twenty of Shakespeare’s plays, singing the text, manipulating it with computers, altering words into rhythmic music, even rapping text to a home-brewed beat box score,” says director Sean T. Cawelti. “The show is manic, musical, incredibly colorful and irreverent. We want to reinvigorate the Bard, to make him even more accessible for all ages.”

Where to see the show:  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

Join Shakespeare OC for a Star-Studded Night With The Stars on May 10

Come Saturday it will be a dark and stormy night as Shakespeare Summerfest OC kicks off its 2014 season with a Night With the Stars. Tickets are still available for this one-night-only event which features a celebrity cast, silent auction, raffle and much more.

Win an appearance on ABC TV’s The Middle or a Day Cruise for 15 on a 45 ft. Catamaran ▪ Scrubs signed by the cast of Grey’s Anatomy ▪ Tickets to South Coast Repertory, Shakespeare SOC or Chance Theater ▪ Dinner for 2 at Wyndham’s Silver Trumpet Restaurant ▪ a signed poster by artist James Dinh ▪ autographed copies of Babe and Airplane ▪  Lunch for Two at a Montage Resort Garden Party.

ShakesSOC flyer updated

Tickets begin at $25. After the show, meet the cast and crew during a private reception included in your ticket price ($60 Supporter Level). A limited number of premium tickets are available which also include a catered dinner with the cast before the performance and special stage seating. Call (714) 590-1575 or visit for tickets.

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

Review: Fools Rule in Shakespeare Orange County’s Twelfth Night

Alyssa Bradac as Feste in SOC’s Twelfth Night

Sometimes it’s just a fact – fools rule. Shakespeare knew it and always made sure the fool had a prominent place in his comedies. In Twelfth Night or What You Will, Feste, Countess Olivia’s clown, is one of the best examples of a fool; one whom we learn right away is actually wiser than everyone around him. His unique position allows him to say what others cannot, expressing his witty observances in riddling phrases and ironic songs for “better a witty fool, than a foolish wit,” quoth he, and the comparison to a true idiot – one Sir Andrew Aguecheek – draws peals of laughter from the audience.

Alyssa Bradac takes on the role of Feste in Shakespeare Orange County’s Twelfth Night and from her first entrance on her 3-wheeled bicycle to her very last bittersweet song at the finale, she owns the show. Brazen, philosophical, facetious and silly, she rolls out a myriad of colors to illustrate her thoughts and takes charge of the spinning moral compass others cannot seem to read. It’s a revelatory performance that makes everything else work. Bradac also co-directs, along with her father Thomas F. Bradac, who will be stepping down after 34 years of leading the company at the end of the summer season.  More

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