Vanguard University Department of Theatre Arts Announces 2014-2015 Mainstage Season

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The Vanguard University department of theatre arts announces its 2014-2015 season and gets the cream of the crop.

The World Premiere of "The Beat Goes On"

Our intent to build our musical theatre program to one that stands above the rest is on its way!

The Vanguard University department of theatre arts announces its 2014-2015 season. The following five mainstage productions will be presented in Vanguard’s intimate Lyceum Theater:

  •     World Premiere of The Beat Goes On: a musical revue that journeys through the decades of Rock and Roll
  •     Metamorphoses: a contemporary drama presenting stunning imagery and breathtaking storytelling
  •     World Premiere of Home for the Holidays: a comedy featuring several Christmas standards, and loads of entertaining fun
  •     Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness!: a tender comedy that explores coming-of-age and young love in idyllic 1906 America
  •     Kiss Me, Kate: the classic Broadway musical that cleverly reveals how “the show must go on!”

Vanguard University’s theatre department chair, Susan Berkompas, adds, "We are entering our second academic season of awarding five Triple Threat Scholarships for musical theatre students, and we are getting the cream of the crop. Our intent to build our musical theatre program to one that stands above the rest is on its way. We now deliver three out of five shows in our season that are musical theatre driven. Also, you won't want to miss our new comedy improvisation group, which will perform, free of charge, once a month throughout the year.”

The department of theatre arts opens its 2014-2015 season in September with the world premiere of The Beat Goes On, created and directed by Vanda Eggington. Eggington, also the creator of Boomers and Love Makes the World Go ’Round, is at it again with this rock and roll road trip through the last half of the 20th Century. With stops in small town malt shops, sunny California beaches, mirror ball disco halls, and MTV studio extravaganzas, this is a high-energy and family friendly look at the music that reshaped the world.

A play by Mary Zimmerman, and directed by Susan K. Berkompas, Metamorphoses is the critically acclaimed, record-breaking Broadway production that got Zimmerman the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director. "This will be the first time we've ever had a pool on the Ed and Dixie Arnold Stage at the Lyceum Theater, and there are other fantastical surprises that we are excited about as well! The director and cast will collaborate using a creative process called 'viewpoints' that is being experimented with all over the world and is relatively new. It is another approach to finding and building character through the principles of movement by the use of time and space,” explains Berkompas.

During the holiday season, the world premiere of the musical comedy, Home for the Holidays, takes the stage with original music and a few Christmas standards. Also directed by Eggington, this jump back to the 1950s visits fictional Perry Williams’ annual television Christmas show. A true heartwarming story with twists and turns, there’s no telling what may happen when the ON THE AIR indicator lights up.

In February, director Kevin Slay brings Eugene O’Neill’s magnificent storytelling to center stage. “Ah, Wilderness! is a break from the rough realism of Eugene O’ Neill’s renowned dramas, such as, Desire Under The Elms, Long Days Journey Into Night, and The Iceman Cometh,” says Slay. “Here, O’ Neill takes us back to a peaceful and idyllic time over the 1906 Fourth of July weekend in a quaint Connecticut town. He offers a delightful retrospective portrait of small town family values, teenage growing pains, and young love.”

Finishing out the season is the classic Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate. Cole Porter music and lyrics will serenade audiences through a trip back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Show Director Berkompas gives a tip of the hat to Shakespeare in this play-within-a-play, where each cast member’s on-stage life is complicated by what is happening offstage. The winner of five Tony Awards when it first premiered, Kiss Me, Kate has continued to be a regular crowd pleaser for decades.

Season subscriptions for all five shows, or partial subscriptions of four or three shows are on sale now. Subscription packages offer the lowest ticket price, and preferred seating benefits. Discounts are also offered for seniors age 60+, children ages 6 to 12, college students, and groups of 10 or more. Individual tickets are on sale now at

Contact Vanguard University’s Box Office at 714.668.6145 for season subscription purchases and more information.

For more information about Vanguard’s department of theatre arts, visit

September 19-21, 25-28, October 3-5

October 24-26, 30-31, November 1-2

Home for the Holidays – WORLD PREMIERE
December 5-7, 11-14

Ah, Wilderness!
February 27-28, March 1, 5-8

Kiss Me, Kate
April 10-12, 16-18, 23-26

Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-focused leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 10 regional college in the west for 2014 and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2014 "Best in the West" regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit


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Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications
Vanguard University of Southern California
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