Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook inducted into the Court of the Lord Chamberlain

The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival has announced that Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook has been named this year’s honoree for the Court of the Lord Chamberlain, the kick-off event its LA Summerfest. Van Hook is Chancellor of the Santa Clarita Community College District and is being honored for her leadership and support of the arts in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Since before Shakespeare’s time, the post of the Lord Chamberlain was responsible for patronage of the arts. Induction to the Court honors patrons who have made a significant contribution to the arts in our community. Hundreds of students from College of the Canyons have participated in SCSF over the years so the award is a fitting one for Van Hook. Past honorees include LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Councilperson Laurene Weste, and CalArts President, Dr. Steven Lavine.
Lord Chamberlain
The Court of the Lord Chamberlain gala opens the 7th season of LA SummerFest, which takes place at Rivendale in Santa Clarita’s Towsley Canyon. The event begins at 6:30 pm on Friday, July 15 and includes a buffet dinner, drinks, dessert and a preview of the season’s performances. Funds raised will support the Festival and other initiatives. Tickets are available on Eventbrite HERE.

LA SummerFest is an annual cultural production of the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival and features music, theatre, and other special events including an annual Shakespeare in the Park series, High School Apprentice Program, Leslie Berra’s OUT OF THE BOX Tribute to the Jukebox Musicals, and three summer music festivals (The AmericanaFEST, The BluesFEST, and Jazz & Wine at Rivendale).

For more information about the LA SummerFest, please visit www.LASummerFest.org.


Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival Goes Indie-Rock for 12th Night

12th Night Santa Clarita Shakespeare

If music be the food of love, Rock on! That’s the motto of Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival’s production of 12th Night – A Rock Musical, opening this weekend. This all new interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies takes Shakespeare’s text and sets it to original music in an indie rock concept by composer Jay Africa. Arrangements and musical direction are by Justin Horwitz and Erin McBride Africa directs.

“Putting Shakespeare’s words to music first seemed like a formidable challenge,” says Jay Africa, “But as I dove into his words, I discovered that much of the play already lent itself to being set to music. Lines restructured themselves into verses, rhymes revealed themselves in unexpected places, and rhythms marched out of the dialogue as if on their own.”

The play is set in Olivia’s Orchard, a fictitious bar, while a live 4-piece rock band (Duke Orsino and Thunderlove) plays on stage. The actors join in open mic night fashion, while pursuing their loves.

“Ultimately, it is about connecting with an audience,” says David Stears, the company’s Executive Director. “And this is a great way to bring a modern sensibility to the text and story. Shakespeare’s lyric text is a perfect for modern singer/songwriter/indie music style. Most of these songs can be on the radio tomorrow.”

12th Night – A Rock Musical
July 18 – August 16, 2015 (7:30 pm)
Rivendale Park in Towsley Canyon

Shakespeare in the Park is part of the LA SummerFEST, an eclectic summer cultural festival in Santa Clarita. All performances are free (donations suggested). Bring a chair or a blanket, the family, and a picnic and enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars. For more information about the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival, visit www.SCShakespeareFEST.org.

Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival Announces New Summer Events

12thNight SCSF 2Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is introducing a number of new events this summer in addition to its popular full-length production, which is a Shakespeare classic reinvented indie rock style, 12th Night – A Rock Musical.

“It is a wonderful reimagining of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies,” says David Stears, the company’s executive director. “The Shakespearean text lends itself to rock music so easily. And it is great fun!” The production is a partnership with the Festival of New American Musicals and runs July 18 – August 16, 2015.

As part of the festival’s community engagement program, Crezca Teatro Comunitario debuts a new play developed by playwright Victor Vazquez, directors Sayda Trujillo and Juan Parada, associate producer Carla Corona and local residents. For more about the program go to www.crezcateatro.org.

The festival will also produce Once More Unto the Breach, an original compilation of Shakespeare’s text and writings on War, Honor, and Bravery compiled and edited by David Stears and Luck Hari. The title comes from a line of text in Henry V, a call to arms to a weary fighting force to once again enter the field of battle.

Another new event is a mini-REN-FEST with family entertainment, food, vendors, and sword fights, all celebrating the opening of the Shakespeare in the Park production. Everyone is encouraged to come in their best renaissance costumes.

For more information and a complete look at all of the events taking place this summer, go to www.lasummerfest.org.

Audition Update: Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival and Art of Acting Studio

Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is holding auditions for its annual Shakespeare in the Park series on April 25 – 26. This year’s production is 12th Night – The Musical, which combines the words of Shakespeare with a rock and roll score. 12th Night is directed by Erin McBride Africa, with original music by Jay Africa. Actors and singers should prepare a 2-minute Shakespeare monologue and 16 bars of music to sing acapella. All roles are open, and SCSF practices blind casting. Headshots and resumes are highly encouraged. To request an audition time, send an email to auditions@scshakespearefest.org. For more information, go to www.scshakespearefest.org.

High school and college students will also be considered for Once more unto the Breach, an original cutting of Shakespeare’s musings on conflict, honor and death performed by SCSF’s Young Company. Once more unto the Breach is directed by Luck Hari, and will tour various locations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. For more information and a complete schedule of events, go to www.LASummerFest.org.

Harold Clurman Laboratory Theatre Company/Art of Acting Studio will hold auditions for Macbeth, directed by Michael Allen and Don K. Williams, on April 24, 2015. Callbacks will take place 4/29, 4/30, or 5/1. Please submit electronically by Wednesday, April 22 at 5:00 pm on Actors Access www.actorsaccess.com. Prepare a 2-minute Shakespeare Monologue for the audition.

Audition Update: Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival

Oregon Shakespeare Festival will hold Los Angeles Equity Principal Auditions for 2015 Company Members on April 24 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Non-AEA will be seen as time permits. Unless specified, the roles in all of the plays are open to performers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, as well as actors with disabilities, and all are encouraged to attend. Please prepare two brief contrasting monologues: one Shakespeare and one contemporary. Those who wish to sing may replace a monologue with a short song. If you plan to sing, please bring sheet music – accompanist provided may not transpose. Please bring one picture & resume stapled together. The season includes Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, Pericles, The Count of Monte Cristo, Guys and Dolls, Fingersmith, Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Sweat, Cynthia, Head Over Heels, and one play TBA. For more information, go to www.actorsequity.org or www.osfashland.org.

Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival will hold auditions on Saturday May 17 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm for its Shakespeare in the Park production of Cymbeline. Auditions are by appointment only. Actors are asked to submit a picture and resume to casting@scshakespearefest.org and will receive a confirmation with their audition time and location. Please prepare a 2-minute Shakespearean monologue. Preference will be given to actors with theatrical training and experience, experience with Shakespeare text, and experience performing in an outdoor venue. All roles are open. There will be some double casting and possible cross-casting. Cymbeline is directed by Erin McBride Africa. Assistant director is Luck Hari. The Shakespeare in the Park series is part of the LA SummerFest, an eclectic theatre and music festival serving the entire North Los Angeles County region. new festival of theatre and music under the stars at the Rivendale Park in Towsley Canyon. Performances take place at Rivendale/Towsley Canyon Park. For more information, go to www.scshakespearefest.org.

Want to Help Name LA SummerFest’s New Stage?

LA SummerFest is getting a new stage and you can help name it! The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival has received a grant from the City of Santa Clarita to assist in securing a new stage for the growing festival. It will be a temporary and portable stage, from STEELDECK risers, an industry standard, and will be set up each year for the festival. The new stage is expected to last for the next 5 years or so until a more permanent performance space is built. The grant will cover about half the cost of the new stage and the festival must raise the matching funds needed.

LA Summerfest SC

“We are looking for select local companies to sponsor the matching costs of the festival stage,” said David Stears, Executive Director of the SCSF and the festival’s producer. “We are looking to name the festival stage for one of our sponsors.”

The LA SummerFest is a summer cultural festival presented annually at the Rivendale site in Towsley Canyon. This year’s festival includes: Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, an Americana/Folk Music Festival, performances of the musical Cabaret, a Blues Celebration, a night of free Praise music, a Night at the Opera, and a performance by the SCV Concert Band. This is the fifth year for Shakespeare in the Park at Rivendale and the second year for the newly expanded festival.

The festival opens July 5 and run through August 10. Companies interested in sponsorships for the festival should contact davidstears@scshakespearefest.org.

Santa Clarita’s Free Shakespeare Festival Opens with a Special Dinner with Henry


Summer is here and that means it’s time for Free Shakespeare in the park with the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival. This summer’s production is Henry IV part I and marks the fourth season at the Rivendale site in Towsley Canyon.

Henry IV offers so much more to audiences than just political machinations, and battles,” says Steve Whelan, director for the production. “It is also a family drama about Henry and his libertine heir Prince Hal who (often comically) has been led astray by the bumbling but paradoxically brilliant Sir John Falstaff.”

“It is a story audiences are familiar with and can related to,” say David Stears, producing artistic director for the company. “A father builds an empire, and wants his son to inherit it, but the son is off sowing his oats. Eventually he returns and becomes the leader he was meant to be.”

Performances are Saturdays and Sundays through July: 13, 14, 20, 21, and August 3 and 4th. All performances begin at 7 pm. Bring a blanket or a chair, a picnic and the family, and enjoy a wonderful production under the stars at the Rivendale site in Towlsey Canyon. You may want to bring a sweater, it can get chilly when the sun sets. Wine is available at the performances.

SCSF is also offering a special Dinner with Henry on Friday July 12th, 6:30 – 10:00 pm which will include Dinner, Wine, Dessert, and a special preview of Henry IV part I. Meet the director, cast, designers and crew, that makes it all possible. Dinner is provided by Outback Steakhouse, Valencia.

This is the second annual special preview dinner and performance of the summer Shakespeare in the Park series. All proceeds benefit the free Shakespeare in the Park performances. If you are unable to attend this year’s fundraising event, you can make a donation and support the free Shakespeare in the Park performances by clicking HERE.

For more about the Festival visit www.scshakespearefest.org.

Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival Launches H.S. Tour of Romeo & Juliet

The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is launching its Educational Outreach Program with a cutting of Romeo & Juliet that will tour high schools throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. The 40-minute production is aimed at ninth graders studying the play and is presented free of charge for local schools. Adapted and directed by Kelly Boczek-Petrie, it will focus on the impetuous nature of many of its characters, leading to the tragedy of the play, and uses a TMZ like broadcast to draw a strong correlation between the 400-year old text and entertainment headlines of today.

Included in the cast are Karen Deputy (Nurse, Lady Capulet & Benvolio), Kristina Teves (as Juliet), Tor Brown (as Romeo), Tom Metcalf (Montague, Capulet & Tybalt), and Brian Helm (as Friar & Mercutio). Amanda Hubbell is the outreach coordinator for the program. In addition to the Romeo & Juliet spring tour, the outreach program also includes an Apprentice Company summer theatre program and a tour of local elementary schools in the fall. This year the elementary school tour will be an original adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. For more information about SCSF’s programs call (661) 799-3378.

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