Tag Archives: Segerstrom Center

Grand Opening of Argyros Plaza and Center for Dance and Innovation October 18 at Segerstrom in Costa Mesa

Segerstrom Center for the Arts will celebrate the opening of the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza and the Center for Dance and Innovation on Saturday, October 28. The Michael Maltzan designed Argyros Plaza and Center for Dance and Innovation (CDI) are transforming the Center campus with the addition of inviting and flexible outdoor spaces for performances, community events, international festivals, pre-show dining and picnicking. The day will begin with an opening ceremony and dedication at 11 a.m. followed by a full day of free family activities and an array of performances on the new permanent outdoor stage. As soon as the sun goes down, the new Argyros Plaza lighting design will add a glow for music and dancing to ‘60s — ‘70s ‘let go and let dance’ band Orgone and Bay Area soul band Monophonics. For a dramatic climax to the day, BANDALOOP returns to the wall of Segerstrom Hall high above the stage with another gravity-defying vertical dance performance that weaves intricate choreography with the art of climbing and rappelling.

Segerstrom Center President Terrence W. Dwyer said, “The Julianne and George Argyros Plaza and Center for Dance and Innovation, and the programs they host, reflect our commitment to complementing great performances with innovative community-focused initiatives to contribute in every possible way to the vitality of the county. We look forward to welcoming families and guests of all ages to the Argyros Plaza, a welcoming new public gathering place where people can connect culturally and celebrate the dynamic diversity of the County’s many wonderful communities. Performances and events on the Argyros Plaza and programs offered through our Center for Dance and Innovation and Center Without Boundaries will provide new ways for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the arts. This Grand Opening celebration is just the beginning of the Center’s ‘Next Act’ – expect more great things to come!”

On opening day, the entire Center campus will be activated and ready to be enjoyed: the lively, full-service café, permanent stage, shaded seating and picnic areas with free Wi-Fi, and an observation deck atop the café where visitors can take in the plaza ‘scene’ or pose for selfies. It’s a perfect location to catch the Center’s new fountain at the entrance to the Argyros Plaza, a reflection pool 60 feet in diameter with arches of shimmering streams of water shooting 24-feet in the air.

There will be entertainment throughout the day by a diverse array of community artists, choirs, school ensembles, a marching band, Taiko drummers and folklorico dancers. Center resident companies Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Pacific Chorale will also join in the festivities, as will South Coast Repertory and Orange County Museum of Art.

Kids of all ages will get a jump on the Halloween weekend, decorating trick-or-treat bags and trick-or-treating at candy stations throughout the Center campus. Other fun attractions will include a caricature artist, face painting, dance class for all, Imagination Playground, food trucks, Music Mobile, puppet shows, and opportunities to observe classes by students of the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School and the School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities. Center Docents will provide tours of the Argyros Plaza, theaters and Center for Dance and Innovation.

As evening arrives, imaginative lighting will transform the Argyros Plaza. It’s a whole new look and vibe, as audiences will discover during the free opening performances by California bands Orgone and Monophonics. Orgone delivers California funk/soul/Afrobeat – the gritty funk and soul of the ‘60s and ‘70s mixed with the musical cultures colliding in LA during the late ‘90s. Monophonics was influenced by many of the classic acts such as Sly and the Family Stone and Funkadelics, but their music embraces the psychedelic sound of the ‘60s and ‘70s as well.

Returning to deliver breathtaking ‘thrill’ entertainment will be BANDALOOP. People still talk about the vertical dance company’s first two visits to the Center. BANDALOOP will perform a World Premiere high above the new Argyros Plaza stage. Their daring choreography draws on aerial, vertical and horizontal movement that leave people questioning the laws of gravity. It’s more than dance, BANDALOOP performances are experiences.

High-Risk Students Star in Free Performance at Segerstrom

Summer at the Center (SATC), Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ program for high risk and underserved teens, will have its 26th annual session July 17 – 28. The program, which was adopted by the U.S. Department of Education as one of its model programs, offers high school-age teens facing personal challenges a safe environment in which to develop self-esteem, confidence and positive friendships with peers along with positive/productive goals. SATC professional teaching artists use elements of musical theater to engage participants in fun, creative lessons, and exercises.

The two-week program includes vocal training, dance, improvisation, audition techniques, and stagecraft, with a special emphasis on how these presentation skills translate into success in their personal and professional lives. On Saturday, July 29 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Samueli Theater, the students will perform a Broadway revue-style show demonstrating their newly discovered talents developed through teamwork and collaboration. The performances are free and open to the public; no reservations are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. More information is available at www.scfta.org/satc.

Summer at the Center is a collaboration between Segerstrom Center and the Orange County Department of Education. It was the first performing arts program to be offered to ACCESS (Alternative, Community and Correctional Education Schools and Services) students in Orange County. Students completing the program receive five fine arts credits with ACCESS. Summer at the Center was the first Center education program specifically created for high-risk teens.

Summer at the Center students come from homes and lives that include substance, mental and physical abuse, abandonment, social problems, gang affiliation and learning disabilities. SATC is a rigorous and disciplined experience that helps them to build critically important life skills. Their tools are collaborative and interactive lessons in singing, dancing, and acting. Guest speakers, such as musicians, actors, directors and program alumni, reinforce what the students are learning in their daily sessions.

Participants are selected through an interview process, developed deliberately as an opportunity for students to begin to step outside their comfort zones. These interviews help program coordinators to assess the level of interest and commitment to the program. They evaluate the applicants’ abilities to work in a team environment, adapt to new challenges and take the first steps towards positive change. This year, approximately 45-50 students will be selected from an applicant pool of more than 100 to participate in the program.

Bill Brawley, who has directed Summer at the Center since its first year in 1991, will return this year. Brawley has been the artistic director for The Young Americans® for more than 40 years and works alongside his wife Robyn, who is the choreographer for Summer at the Center

Lightwire Theater’s Moon Mouse Comes to Segerstrom Center’s Family Series – April 22 & 23

Marvin the mouse wants to be popular. Constantly bullied and picked on by the “cool” rats, he is labeled as a loser and a geek. As respite from the continuous badgering, Marvin retreats into his science books and a world of fantasy. He longs to have adventures and to be the hero. Join Marvin on the space adventure of a lifetime: a trip to the surface of the moon on his homemade rocket, where he meets a strange cast of misfit creatures, learns of infinite peril and views awesome beauty. Will Marvin make his dreams come true and experience the glory and acceptance he craves? Lightwire Theater is proud to present Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey, a cosmic adventure about celebrating differences. Combining dance, puppetry, and traditional theater, the costumes, props and sets come to life as electroluminescent wires create dazzling and colorful 3D sculptures. This wondrous electroluminescent production features more than 40 delightful characters and a variety of music from pop to classical. The 1 p.m. performance on Sunday, April 23 will be ASL interpreted.

Tickets are $20 each and available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787.

Audiences are encouraged to arrive an hour before each performance for free creative activities. The Center’s Education Department offers these enriching experiences to provide young people and their families more opportunities to play together creatively. Studies show that this is critical in helping to develop the ability to think and problem solve.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts applauds The Charles & Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation, Inc. for its support of the Family Series. Parenting OC is the Media Partner of the Family Series. Kia is the Official Automotive Partner of the Center and United Airlines, Official Airline of the Center.

About Lightwire Theater
Lightwire Theater combines optical illusion with technology to produce a theatrical experience. Lightwire Theater creators Ian and Eleanor Carney were both born and raised in New Orleans and met at the age of 13, through ballet class. An immediate connection was made between the kindred spirits as they discovered their mutual love of art, theater and technology. After coming across a product called, “EL wire,” the lights turned on and the possibilities seemed endless. Together they began to experiment with shapes and designs to develop puppetry-based neon creatures that quickly came to life. Since then, they have become internationally recognized for their signature brand of electroluminescent artistry, poignant storytelling and music scores designed to evoke imagery. Lightwire Theater continues to create and deliver innovative theatrical experiences to audiences worldwide based out of New Orleans, LA.

Adam Savage Brings Brain Candy Live to Segerstrom Center on April 4

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is thrilled to announce the new show, BRAIN CANDY LIVE!, starring Adam Savage, editor-in-chief of Tested.com and former co-host of the Emmy-nominated Discovery series MythBusters, and Michael Stevens, creator of award-winning YouTube Channel Vsauce, will make its Orange County debut for one night only on April 4, 2017 in Segerstrom Hall.

BRAIN CANDY LIVE! is an outrageous evening of entertainment from two of the most amazing minds of our times. Adam Savage, one of television’s most loved personalities, has joined forces with Michael Stevens, one of YouTube’s biggest stars. Together, the two are bringing along more than three tons of their crazy toys, incredible tools and mind-blowing demonstrations for a celebration of curiosity that’s been described as a cross between TED Talks and the Blue Man Group.

Single tickets start at $39 and will go on sale Friday, October 28 at 10 a.m. They will be available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket savings for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236. Savage and Stevens can’t wait to unleash their collective sense of wonder, curiosity and fun for audiences to join-in and get their minds messy. Adam and Michael’s BRAIN CANDY LIVE! experience is like a two-hour play date with Walt Disney, Willy Wonka and Albert Einstein.

Ask yourself, “Is it possible to 3D print a human – live onstage?” “Can you slow down the effects of gravity with something we throw away every day?” “What happens if everyone on earth jumps in the air at exactly the same time?” Discover all this and more as Adam and Michael entertainingly answer questions, question answers and talk Mother Nature into doing some things she’s never done before!

The tour will play 40 venues across the United States for a three-month run. This is the first time these two explosive minds bring their version of interactive, hands-on, minds-on theatrical experience to cities across the US.

Doktor Kaboom! Comes to Segerstrom Center’s Family Series – April 1 & 2

Doktor Kaboom! is an interactive one-man science variety show. Creatively blending theater arts with the wonders of scientific exploration, Doktor Kaboom’s supercharged (and super safe!) science experiments will have audiences erupting with laughter and bubbling with curiosity. With more than 1,000 performances since 2009 Doktor Kaboom! has performed for more than 500,000 people. Join him for a side-splitting journey of increasingly spectacular, and often successful, experiments and demonstrations. Co-commissioned by the Kennedy Center, LIVE WIRE! The Electricity Tour explores the fundamentals of electrical energy and the history of humanity’s adventures into its potential. At the dawn of the 19th century mankind first harnessed the power of electricity, the world changed and the journey still continues. The 1 p.m. performance on Sunday, April 2 will be ASL interpreted.

Tickets are $20 each and available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787.

Audiences are encouraged to arrive an hour before each performance for free creative activities. The Center’s Education Department offers these enriching experiences to provide young people and their families more opportunities to play together creatively. Studies show that this is critical in helping to develop the ability to think and problem solve.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts applauds The Charles & Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation, Inc. for its support of the Family Series. Parenting OC is the Media Partner of the Family Series. Kia is the Official Automotive Partner of the Center and United Airlines, Official Airline of the Center.

About Doktor Kaboom!
Doktor Kaboom! is the creation of Actor/Comedian David Epley. David has been fortunate enough to discover two passions in his life. Science, his first, took him to studies at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. His second, performing, became his career, and for more than 20 years David has made his living writing, performing and directing original interactive comedy across the U.S. and internationally. Since creating the character of Doktor Kaboom, science education has become David’s life, taking him to theaters and schools all over the world. He has had multiple national television appearances, performances at the John F. Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, and the World Science Festival and recently participated in a Global Online Town Hall hosted by former Vice President Al Gore.

American Ballet Theatre Premieres ‘Whipped Cream’ at Segerstrom on March 15-19

Segerstrom Center for the Arts will present the World Premiere of American Ballet Theatre’s new production of Whipped Cream, choreographed by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, with sets and costumes by pop-surrealist Mark Ryden. ABT will give seven performances of the full-length work March 15-19, 2017 in Segerstrom Hall. Whipped Cream is based on Schlagobers, a two-act ballet with libretto and score by Richard Strauss that was first performed at the Vienna State Opera in 1924. The Pacific Symphony will perform the score live. The opening night principal cast includes: Daniil Simkin (The Boy); Stella Abrera (Princess Tea Flower); David Hallberg (Prince Coffee) and Sarah Lane (Princess Praline).

“I am particularly excited for audiences to experience Strauss’ music in this ballet, Whipped Cream. There is real craziness in this score which inspired me to approach the pop surrealist Mark Ryden,” said Ratmansky. “He is creating an incredible world that is a little scary, full of weird details and super precise. His technique is astounding, and I am matching him with my own tiny choreographic details.” A dollop of delightful whimsy, this thoroughly inventive full-length premiere tells the story of a young boy who overindulges at a Viennese pastry shop and falls into a delirium. To help him escape from his attending physician, the boy dreams of his triumphant rescue by Princess Praline and her court, replete with Princess Tea Flower, Prince Coffee as well as marching Marzipan, concluding in a festive celebration! As light as meringue, Richard Strauss’ score is the perfect inspiration for this all-new production destined to delight ballet fans of all ages.

This new production springs from the imaginations of Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky and popsurrealist visionary Mark Ryden. “I am so very intrigued by this unique story and the approach Alexei and Mark are taking,” said Kevin McKenzie, ABT Artistic Director. “The combination of fantasy and surrealism will prove something dreamlike from both of them.”

Tickets to American Ballet Theatre’s Whipped Cream start at $29 and are now available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office located at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 5562787.

Segerstrom Center’s Off Center Festival 2017 Announced – January 12 – 28, 2017

Segerstrom Center’s annual Off Center Festival returns January 12 – 28, 2017 with an acclaimed line-up of creative, contemporary and sometimes controversial artists and shows. The festival will present Keith A. Wallace in THE BITTER GAME, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Marga Gomez in Latin Standards, Belarus Free Theatre in Time of Women, Choir! Choir! Choir! and Justin Vivian Bond in Justin Vivian Bond Shows Up. The Off Center Lounge in Leatherby’s Café Rouge will be open again with a special low-cost post-performance menu and the opportunity to mix and mingle with festival artists.

Buy more, save more! Single tickets are $25 and are on sale now. If you buy two productions, tickets are $20. If you buy three or more productions, tickets are just $15. (Choir! Choir! Choir! is free but a ticket is required to reserve a spot. Reservations accepted beginning January 8.) Tickets can be purchased online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787.

ADA/AVA – Theater Review – Segerstrom Center for the Arts

ADA/AVA tells the story of the bereaved twin ADA dealing with the loss of her sister AVA. The story is performed live and engages the audience as a full-length cinematic feature.

Performance Dates: January 19 & 20 at the Samueli Theater in Costa Mesa
Director: Drew Dir
Cast: Manual Cinema featuring puppeteers: Kara Davidson, Sam Deutsch, Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller and Musicians: Maren Celest, Michael Hilger, and Kyle Vegter.

From Chicago, Manual Cinema tells the story of ADA and AVA, two elderly twins. Their story is told using the ancient form of storytelling known as shadow puppets. As you enter the Samueli Theater, you see a large open stage and your eye is drawn directly to a white screen and a table with four old-style overhead projectors.

The performers now approach the stage. Three musicians provide the score and foley effects. Their instruments include two keyboards, a cello, electric guitar and clarinet. Two laptops provide the sound effects for the show.

Five puppeteers provide the action. Characters are portrayed using cutout cardstock figures placed on the overhead with transparent plastic attached aot the puppet’s joints to simulate movement. The only the main characters of AVA (Kara Davidson) and ADA (Julia Miller) are performed live as shadows against the screen. Backgrounds are created with photographs and graphics printed on transparency film and props are created with cutout cardstock.

As the puppeteers, place backgrounds, characters and props on any of the four overhead projectors, the performers are able to create dozens of unique visual effects, like lightning, and dozens of cinematic effect like scene transitions and focus transitions. Through perfected choreography, the musicians and puppeteers can tell a 60-minute story that is visually stunning and engaging. The fact that the performers are there on stage in front of you, revealing their tricks, is even more amazing and at times leaving you dumbstruck.

The story is also told without dialogue. ADA and AVA are identical twins. As children, they are competitive, but quickly learn that they are a truly inseparable pair. Today, ADA and AVA are seniors. They live together, shop together, play chess together and run the town lighthouse together. Before you know it, AVA passes away, and the rest of the play follows the grieving process of ADA as she attempts to cope with her everyday life as half of a duo.

Life and loneliness do not treat ADA well. Soon a mysterious carnival comes to town, the same carnival that ADA and AVA loved as children. ADA is drawn to the carnivals Mirror Maze, and it is here that ADA is plunged into a journey of life and death. ADA’s spiritual journey can only be told with this unique form of shadow puppetry from Manual Cinema.

ADA/AVA is part of the annual Off Center Festival at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. I encourage you to check out not only ADA/AVA by Manual Cinema but the other performances during the festival. Think of it as an alternative to the movies and television shows we review. There is a spectacle and daring element to a living performance that you can’t feel on film or streaming on your computer. The Off Center Festival is happening now and ends on January 31. Go to www.scfta.org/offcenter for more performances.