November 7, 2002
Last Sunday night, my wife and I made our first visit to the new, expanded and shimmering South Coast Repertory to see George Bernard Shaw's "Major Barbara." It was impossible not to ponder my beginnings with SCR almost 40 years earlier as I wondered at this new venue. But it speaks volumes about the effect of SCR that once the play began, nostalgia was left in the lobby. The play has always been the thing at SCR, just as it was Sunday night. Shaw's acerbic tale of the emotional and intellectual debate between a very rich munitions maker and a pair of soul-savers from the Salvation Army was, of course, loaded on his side -- but with such biting wit and astute observations his cynicism had to be forgiven, something he doubtless neither wanted nor cared about.
April 11, 2002
Horton Foote spins a fascinating yarn. His Texas townsfolk are a colorful lot, but they're in no hurry to move things along, as evidenced by his Pulitzer Prize-winning "Young Man From Atlanta," now in production at the Newport Theatre Arts Center. At the moment, the octogenarian playwright also is represented in a world premiere at South Coast Repertory, "Getting Frankie Married -- and Afterwards," which might be termed the flip side of "Young Man." It's a comedic look at Foote's world, as opposed to the grimness of the Newport show, though it takes even longer to complete.
January 5, 2007
For her role in South Coast Repertory's newest production, Blake Lindsley had to brush up on her backhand, but her character Tina isn't a tennis champ — or any sort of athlete for that matter. She's learning the move so she can properly wallop her husband Tom across the forehead with a rolling pin in one of several heated scenes from "Pig Farm," a new comedy from "Urinetown" author Greg Kotis, coming to the theater this weekend. As of Wednesday, none of the play's four actors had received any serious injuries during rehearsal, perhaps owing to the training of fight coordinator Martin Noyes.
December 26, 2003
Tom Titus This is the final column in a series reviewing the year 2003 in local theater. The true measure of a stage performer is one's ability to create an infinite number of strong, contrasting characters and sustain them to the point where the actor appears to be assimilated by the persona presented to the audience. Local theater is blessed with a number of these talents, but two in particular have entertained and entranced playgoers over many, many years, both on the professional and community theater level.
September 13, 2007
The 2008 social season on the California Riviera debuted last Saturday night with an Orange County tradition celebrating a 44-year milestone. South Coast Repertory Theater threw its September bash, Affair in Shanghai, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel, raising more than $600,000 for the theater’s annual fund. The evening trumpeted the beginning of SCR’s 44th season in Orange County and demonstrated community support for the performance arts in Orange County.
September 12, 2008
“One day you will be walking through the theater district in New York or London and on a marquee you will see a play by Sarah Ruhl ,” offered Martin Benson , artistic director and co-founder of South Coast Repertory Theatre. Ruhl wrote a new work titled “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” which will debut on the Julianne Argyros Stage at South Coast Repertory on Sept. 21, running through Oct. 24 this season. Benson joined his artistic partner David Emmes and South Coast Repertory board chairman Wylie Aitken on the stage of the grand ballroom Saturday at The St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach to celebrate the dawning of the 45th season of repertory theater in Orange County.
January 23, 2014
What's in a name? A lot, said Paul Folino, former president of the South Coast Repertory board. It just doesn't have to be his. "I've never done anything I've done in Orange County to get my name on a building," he said Wednesday night, just after a dedication ceremony for the renamed David Emmes and Martin Benson Theatre Center. Together, Emmes and Benson founded South Coast Repertory and served as its artistic directors. At the company's 50th season gala in September, Folino said it was about time the pair's contributions to the repertory were recognized - even if it meant replacing his own name on the company's flagship venue.
October 29, 2007
Three to receive arts leadership awards South Coast Repertory founders David Emmes and Martin Benson and Orange County Performing Artscenter Executive Vice President Judith O?Dea Morr are scheduled to be honored next month for their longtime support of the arts in Orange County. The Orange County Business Committee for the Arts plans to present all three with Lifetime Leadership in the Arts awards at its annual ceremony Nov. 18 at the Marriott Newport Beach. ?Under the stewardship of these three arts leaders, Orange County has been established as a major cultural destination,?
July 26, 2001
South Coast Repertory's Next Stage broke ground Wednesday next to the theater's Town Center Drive location, kicking off construction for the company's new 336-seat proscenium theater and a number of renovations. The new theater, to be named the Judie Argyros Stage, is set to open October 2002. The Judie Argyros Stage will also house classrooms, office space for SCR's education department and other facilities. This is "the culmination of one incredible journey and the beginning of another," said Paul Folino, president of SCR's board.