Benefit performances of “The Runaways” will be given at 8 p.m. today through Saturday at Irvine’s University High School auditorium, Culver and Campus drives.

Monies will go toward paying the costs of a trip to be taken later this month by the cast and crew to Muncie, Ind., for the International Thespian Society Festival. The University High troupe will be presenting “The Runaways” June 27 at the annual event for outstanding high school troupes.

According to Dan Trevino, director of University High’s performing arts department, the University High troupe will be the only California group that will be performing in the “main event” of the festival. Altogether, 12 high school groups have been picked nationally to appear at the 3,000-seat main theater at Ball State University. This year’s festival runs June 24-30.

Trevino said the University High troupe--which includes 35 cast members--still has to raise $3,000 for the trip ($16,000 has already been raised through talent shows, raffles and other fund-raisers).


Tickets for this week’s performances of “The Runaways” are $10 (seats are available for tonight and Friday evening; the Saturday performance is sold out). For information, call (714) 752-7491.

“The Runaways,” a musical drama by Elizabeth Swados, is a series of vignettes about the lives of street youths. The University High troupe performed it at the thespian festival’s Southern California competition last February at Fullerton College.