Theater department ends on positive review

The seating filled up this year for the Pierce College Theater Department, reaching an 85% overall seat capacity while still in their temporary home; a 15% increase from last year’s numbers.

The real boost came from the subscription increase: 44% of people bought tickets for all four plays this past year including fall of 2012, which reflects the 13 sold out shows they accomplished.

“Laughter on the 23rd Floor” was the hit of the season, reaching 97% capacity with five sold out shows, while “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” had the biggest production but required a big effort for the department to put on.

“We had a very successful year, we’re happy people were pleased with the plays we offered each semester,” said Michael Sande, managing director for the theater department.

Though all the plays this year incorporated comedy, the department was pleased with the wide variety throughout the different plays and the messages they all conveyed.

With the limited backstage space presenting a setback for the entire department they worked with for the year, they are excited to announce that in the 2014 spring semester, the department will be back in the newly renovated Performing Arts Center for the last two plays of the 2013-2014 year.

Rounding up the end of the year with new announcements and classes ending, the department will be participating in the Annual Student Awards brunch on June 3 honoring three students that played major roles in the success of the department this year.

The list includes:

Amber Bruegel, stage manager for “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” who will be receiving the Otis Ball Achievement in Technical Theater Award,

Nick Yastremski, who played Rosencrantz in “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” and is receiving the Jane Hawkins Achievement in Acting Award, and

Nikki Kentor, who helped in all four productions and is receiving the Robert Baker Overall Achievement and Academic Award.

The 2013-2014 season kicks off their lineup with a production dedicated to former teacher and wife of the founder of the LAPC Theater Department, Ellen Albertini Dow.  They are presenting her favorite musical play “Fantasticks,” which is  considered the  world’s longest-running Broadway production according to the official website of the the production.

Dow directed the play here at Pierce College back in 1968 during the time she was a part of the theater department.

“To open the department with this play means a lot to the department, we will be having it on October in celebration of Ellen’s 100th birthday, which she is still with us for,” said Sande.

Following the opening play, another three plays will be spread out throughout the year:  “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Time of Your Life,” and “Independence.”

Going back to the newly-renovated building, they look forward to bringing back plays that have history with Pierce College, including “The Time of Your Life” which was originally performed in 1981.

Season subscriptions for the upcoming year are on sale now and range from $37-$60.

Auditions to be cast in the fall semester’s plays are during the first week of school all week starting August 26, 2013.