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No Square Theatre makes strides

Suzie Harrison

Out of the minds and hearts of many Lagunatics, No Square Theatre

has grown to take it’s place as Laguna’s community theatrical forum.

Lagunatics is a wildly popular musical roast about life on the


coast, a production that sells out every year.

“The response to Lagunatics was so incredible it was apparent that

this town needed a community theater organization,” said No Square

Theatre’s founder and artistic director, Bree Burgess Rosen.


Since its humble beginnings the theater continues to grow and now

has its own space to practice in at 221 Broadway, though it still

doesn’t have its own theater in which to produce shows.

The group’s goal is to fill the community theater needs of the

city. This is accomplished by providing performance and theatrical

experience to local amateur directors, performers and technicians of

any age.

In addition to productions, No Square is committed to art


education through workshops, as well as a scholarship program. Each

year a graduating senior from Laguna Beach High School is chosen to

receive scholarship funds.

Right now the theater is working on a production of “Bugsy

Malone,” set to begin Aug. 16.

During a recent rehearsal at the Broadway building, a group of

gangsters were singing, dancing and practicing their lines. But,

though they play a convincing part, the gangsters invoked more of a


feeling of interest than fear. The gang was made up of 54 Laguna

Beach youths, ages 5 to 15.

The production is a spoof on 1920s gangsters, the depression and

the consequences of the prohibition era. As in the movie, the adult

roles are played by children.

At the rehearsal, the youngest cast members were practicing the

finale piece to the accompaniment of creative and musical director

Roxanna Ward’s piano.

“The biggest challenge with a cast of so many kids is just keeping

them focused and in control,” said director Steve Josephson.

They have a total rehearsal time of about four to five weeks

explained Josephson.

“It’s a lot different than they are used to because of the short

period of time that they have to learn, rehearse and perform,” Ward

said. “We try to break up their scenes and only rehearse in the


The kids were tireless as they practiced the same scene again and

again. One problem seemed to be that they were enjoying the

experience too much. The scene called for the characters to die, but

the kids couldn’t stop smiling.

“Bugsy Malone” will be performed at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 and 2 p.m. Aug.

17 and 18 at the Laguna Beach High School Artists’ Theatre, 625 Park


Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for children. For tickets or

information, call the No Square Theatre box office at (949) 497-2584

or visit their Web site at

* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline

Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321.