On Theater:

Orange Coast College will be paying tribute to Chekhov and Shakespeare, along with Depression-era comedy kings Kaufman and Hart.

OCC has lifted the curtain on its theater season, both on the main stage of its Drama Lab Theatre and its smaller, student-operated Studio Theatre. There’ll even be a show on the stage of the huge Robert B. Moore Theatre.

That latter production will be “Hamlet,” Shakespeare’s masterpiece and a play that OCC has produced several times. “Hamlet” will be on the boards March 17 to 21, under the direction of Alex Golson, who heads the college’s drama department.

Leading off the season from Oct. 15 to 25 will be “The Three Sisters,” Anton Chekhov’s drama of spinster siblings coping with life’s hopes, dreams and struggles in a provincial Russian town. Golson also will stage this production, ticketed for the Drama Lab.

Golson’s brother and fellow drama faculty member Rick Golson will stage the college’s annual “Old-Fashioned Christmas Melodrama and Ice Cream Social” in the Drama Lab from Dec. 4 to 13. Evening curtain times have been scaled back to 7 p.m. for this family-friendly offering.

Playwrights George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart hit their stride in 1936 with “You Can’t Take It With You,” a comedy about an unconventional family of goofy characters that won the Pulitzer Prize. Alex Golson also will be at the helm of this chuckler, scheduled for May 13 to 23 in the Drama Lab.

Over in the Studio Theatre, where student directors and designers rule, the opening show will be Nilo Cruz’s “Anna in the Tropics,” which premiered at South Coast Repertory a few years back. It’s set in a Cuban cigar factory in the 1920s and will run from Sept. 18 to 27.

“Fresh Brewed: Tales From the Coffee Bar” is on the menu from Oct. 2 to 11. Henry Meyerson’s play promises visions of life in all its variety.

One of the more popular OCC Repertory projects is the 10 or Less Festival, a collection of short plays each staged within the 10-minute time limit. They’ll be on stage from Nov. 6 to 15.

The Rep’s improv team is planning a one-night-only presentation called “The Comedy Pirates” and “The OCC Project.” It’s set for Nov. 21 and is free.

Spring Rep Work Nos. 1 and 2 are a pair of student-directed plays scheduled for Feb. 19 to 28 and April 16 to 18, respectively. The titles have yet to be chosen.

The OCC Rep also plans an Original Play Showcase from March 26 to 28 and a One-Act Play Festival May 27 to 30. The former offers new, student-created works, while the latter is a variety of shows suggested for mature audiences.

OCC also will be offering a free community outreach program bringing live theater for young people to schools, community centers and public events.

More information is available at (714) 432-5640, ext. 6

TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Daily Pilot.

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