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OC’s Best College Productions This Fall

October 28, 2013 6:00 AM

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

Orange County envies no other region of the world for entertainment. New York, Paris, Graceland; the OC boasts as much enjoyment per square mile as anywhere, and delivers a higher quality of it. Everyone knows about the terrific surfing and the roller coasters, but for a slightly lesser known avenue of amusement, wind through the county’s beautiful college campuses and explore their brilliant theater arts productions.

(credit: C. Schmidt)

(credit: C. Schmidt)


Metamorphoses – A Play
Saddleback College
McKinney Theatre
28000 Marguerite Parkway
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
(949) 582-4656
Nov. 7 to 10
www.saddleback.com

Writer and director Mary Zimmerman brings her vast experience and extraordinary talents to Saddleback’s McKinney Theater with her Tony Award-winning adaptation of Ovid’s epic poem. The Northwestern University college production, turned off-Broadway, turned Broadway smash hit, comes to Orange County for four stunning performances. Trace six familiar Greek myths in this extravagant, imaginative and even humorous presentation.

Exceptional Venue and Entertainment (credit: C. Schmidt)

Exceptional Venue and Entertainment (credit: C. Schmidt)


Spring Awakening
Chapman University
Waltmar Theatre
1 University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 997-6812
Nov. 7 to 9
www.chapman.edu

Winner of eight Tony Awards, “Spring Awakening” will open your eyes to a new way of experiencing dramatic theater. Touted as a musical drama, this adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s 19th century masterpiece is a moving, entertaining exploration of youth, morality, desperation and rock and roll. Director Jim Taulli’s musical and theatrical talents span decades and he has graced campuses throughout Orange County. This production of “Spring Awakening” contains mature themes and is not suitable for all audiences.

Related: Best Play-And-Eat Spots In Orange County

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)


Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson
University of California, Irvine
Claire Trevor Theatre
4002 Mesa Road
Irvine, CA 92697
(949) 824-2787
Nov. 9 to 17
www.arts.uci.edu

There’s a side to the United States’ seventh president of which you may not be aware. Founder, patriot and shaper of American culture, absolutely, but do you know Andrew Jackson was also a rock star with a sense of humor? The University of California at Irvine Drama Department brings you the whole story in its season-opening politically timely production. A tale of the power of populism, “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson” contains adult content and is not suitable for all audiences.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)


A Christmas Carol
University of California, Irvine
Winifred Smith Hall
710 University Drive, Building 710
Irvine, CA 92697
(949) 824-2787
Nov. 23 to 30 and Dec. 1
www.arts.uci.edu

Another familiar story from your required reading takes life at UCI’s Winfred Smith Hall. Kick off the season with the Dickens classic that is as much a part of the holidays as cranberry sauce and credit card bills. Crown jewel of the UCI Drama Department, director and choreographer Annie Loui captures the true drama and sentiment of Dickens’ original work, which doesn’t quite come through in the Disney version (no offense).

Related: OC Art Enthusiasts To Follow On Twitter

(credit: NIGEL TREBLIN/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: NIGEL TREBLIN/AFP/Getty Images)


The Diary of Anne Frank
Fullerton College
Bronwyn Dodson Theatre
321 E. Chapman Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
(714) 992-7150
Dec. 5 to 7
www.theatre.fullcoll.edu

You read it in school and now experience the heart-wrenching drama on purpose as an adult. The love, sacrifice and horror detailed by “Anne Frank” has been masterfully captured by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett in the original stage production. Feel the passion and lose yourself in the emotional journey as director Chuck Ketter brings Wendy Kesselman’s stirring new adaptation, including first-hand survivor accounts, to the Bronwyn.

Christopher Schmidt is a freelance writer experiencing and espousing the glory that is Orange County. Driven to travel, drawn to sports, spirits and celebrity, Chris’ work can be found on
Examiner.com.

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