two whose "career" credentials are limited by chronology, but who
nevertheless have made indelible impressions in the recent time frame.
These people also deserve recognition and another round of applause.
Two such young and vital talents have made their presence felt with a
vengeance, both this season and over the last few, although they still
possess the bloom of youth. They are Sunny Peabody and Jessica
Hutchinson, the Daily Pilot's man and woman of the year in theater for
Peabody, a native of Tucson and a senior at Vanguard University,
capped his collegiate career by directing a superb multimedia treatment
of Shakespeare's "Hamlet," then blazed his way through an exhausting
performance in the title role of "Scapino." Hutchinson, who graduated
from Orange Coast College in June, left behind a plethora of superlative
performances, topped early this year in the two-character drama
When he graduates from Vanguard, Peabody intends to pursue careers in
theater, film and television -- and, given his lofty level of talent and
energy, he probably will succeed in all three venues.
His "Hamlet" was a riveting example of his proficiency in all of these
modes of entertainment.
"My passion was to bring Shakespeare to an audience in a newer way
that wouldn't lose the spirit of the script," he declared.
As for "Scapino," had Jim Carrey dropped in on a performance, he would
have been green again -- this time with envy. Peabody turned this comic
actor's dream role into a tour de farce, bouncing his freewheeling style
of humor off the walls and allowing his audiences few opportunities to
catch their breath.
Hutchinson, while at OCC, was featured in eight of the college's
productions, none more stunning than David Mamet's "Oleanna," in which
she and director Martin Winslow turned up the intensity level to a fever
She also excelled in "The Mineola Twins" (playing both title roles),
"Bullshot Crummond" and "Tainted Justice," closing out her OCC career
earlier this year with a splendid performance in "The Memory of Water."
The tall, slender beauty, who also sings, dances and plays the piano,
envisions herself composing movie scores as well as performing in front
of the camera. She didn't get much chance to display her musical talent
at OCC, but she's a trained soprano in search of the right vocal
Hutchinson has the background -- acting classes at USC and San
Francisco's American Conservatory Theater -- to strike it rich in the
professional ranks, and her performances at OCC have given her the
impetus to seek out the big time.
"There's something riveting," she said, "about being in a play for two
hours and feeling it come to life."
Sunny Peabody and Jessica Hutchinson are a pair of "stars of tomorrow'
who have shared their talent with local college audiences along the way.
Their skill, energy and dedication to their craft should ensure their
* TOM TITUS writes about and reviews local theater for the Daily
Pilot. His stories appear Thursdays and Saturdays.