On Theater: OCC season shows vary

From Shakespeare to Sherlock to a slew of short subjects, Orange Coast College has a potpourri of theatrical entertainment in store for local audiences during the upcoming season.

The first curtain will go up Sept. 9, when OCC drama instructor David Scaglione stages Don Nigro's "Seascape With Sharks and Dancer," which will play for two weekends through Sept. 18.

It's described as a "quirky comedy that transforms into a harrowing portrait of a destructive relationship."

Theater arts students will direct "Scene Night," a brief engagement scheduled for Sept. 24 and 25. It's a selection of dramatic and comedic scenes from both modern and classical theater. Admission is free, but the show is recommended for mature audiences.

"Sherlock Holmes" is a stage adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective story, scheduled for Oct. 14 to 23. Alex Golson will direct, and he's scheduled auditions Monday and Tuesday for a bountiful cast of 12 men and 12 women. Tryouts are 7:15 p.m. Monday and 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Drama Lab Theater.

The college's annual "10 or Less" program of very short plays will be presented Nov. 4 to 13 in the Studio Theater. They will be directed by OCC students.

Guest artist Jill Johnson will direct "Dead Letter Office," featuring characters and stories based on her collection of vintage postcards. This program will be offered from Nov. 17 to 20 in the Drama Lab, and admission is free.

Ushering in the yuletide season will be the college's annual "Old-Fashioned Christmas Melodrama and Ice Cream Social" under the direction of Rick Golson. It's fun fare for the family and will be staged Dec. 2 to 11 in the Drama Lab.

Scaglione returns with one of his own plays, "Richard Rex," a political satire pitting Oedipus Rex against Richard Nixon. It's a staged reading planned for Dec. 15 and 17 in the Drama Lab with no admission charge.

After the winter break, production resumes Feb. 10 to 19 with a student-directed performance to be announced. Then Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor" arrives for a brief (March 8 to 11) engagement staged by guest director Glendele Way.

Another student-directed show, as yet unannounced, is slated for March 16 to 29, followed by OCC's annual Original Play Festival, April 13 to 22, directed by students and featuring some scripts written by the students themselves.

"The Awesome '80s Prom," scheduled for May 3 to 12 in the Drama Lab, is described by director Alex Golson as "an interactive comedy that gets the audience involved in the music, dancing and high jinks."

Wrapping up the 2011-12 season will be another one-act festival, this one suggested for mature audiences. Directed by students, the program will run from May 17 to 20.

Additional information about the OCC season and auditions may be obtained by contacting the college drama department at (714) 432-5640, ext. 6.

TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Daily Pilot.

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