South Coast Repertory will showcase the work of six local performers and companies - and mount a production of a popular play from last year's Pacific Playwrights Festival - in its new Studio Series, which will take place over eight weekends between March and June.
The series will feature an eclectic array that includes dance, spoken word, burlesque, puppetry and more, all in SCR's 94-seat Nicholas Studio. Participating performers are:
- Spoken-word artist and actor Steven Connell
- Arpana Dance Company
- Orange County Underground Burlesque Society
- Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble
- Rogue Artists Ensemble
SCR's Studio Series is part of a pilot program designed to create stronger ties between arts organizations and expose audiences to the rich diversity of the local arts scene.
"We're looking forward to bringing a diverse group of performers and companies into the building and introducing them to our audiences and to theatre-goers who are new to SCR," said Associate Artistic Director John Glore. "There will be a little something for everyone in the mix, and we're excited about contributing a production of our own to the series."
Leading the project is Oanh Nguyen, SCR's producing associate and the artistic director of the Chance Theater, whose production of Jesus Hates Me in the Nicholas Studio last February kicked off the pilot program.
"The Nicholas studio offers a captivating, intimate theatre experience," said Nguyen. "It will be exciting to see what these amazing local artists do with it."
Tickets for the series will be available only through SCR, either online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Prices vary by production, and range from $15 to $35.
8 p.m. March 4, 2 and 8 p.m. March 5, 2 p.m. March 6
Drawing from the energy and power of hip-hop, stand-up and spoken-word, Against Oblivion is a brand-new collection of three one-acts that tackle such issues as surviving abuse, speaking up for what you believe and making ends meet in the new economy. Connell, an acclaimed Los Angeles writer and actor who has performed privately for the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama, is backed by a trio of musicians performing an original soundtrack that ranges from hip-hop to classical to rock. Designed to delight, inspire and challenge, Against Oblivion is a musical for our times.
Ganga...life as a river
Arpana Dance Company
8 p.m. March 11, 2 and 8 p.m. March 12, 2 p.m. March 13
An exciting blend of ancient and contemporary Indian dance. In the first half of the evening, Arpana will present traditional works from its repertoire of 16th to 20th Century compositions, accompanied by a four-piece live musical ensemble. In the second half, it will feature Ganga ... life as a river, which layers post-modern choreography atop the classical Indian dance form Bharata Natyam. Against a soundtrack that combines instrumentals, singing and spoken word, dancers in contemporary costumes perform vignettes reminiscent of a river traveling from a young, bubbling brook to the deep, calm waters uniting with the sea. In India, the River Ganga represents both eternal life and a goddess symbolizing feminine power, and so, too, this dance evokes both a river and the stages of women's lives.
Between Us Chickens
South Coast Repertory
8 p.m. March 25-26, April 1-2, with 2 p.m. matinees March 27 and April 3
Meagan and Sarah are small-town girls new to L.A. Meagan's all about the retail, the scene and the celebrities; Sarah's a computer-surfing homebody. When a smooth-talking opportunist named Charles crashes on their couch and takes Sarah out on the town, he threatens to upset the balance of a lifelong friendship-especially when Sarah's secret life comes to light. A new play by Sofia Alvarez, Between Us Chickens was first read at last year's Pacific Playwrights Festival.
Orange County Underground Burlesque Society