• We’re Taking Some Time to Pause and Chart a New Course

    David Ivers and Paula Tomei
     | Jun 15, 2020

    A Message From Artistic Director David Ivers & Managing Director Paula Tomei

    We hope this letter finds you safe and well, as we all adapt to the changes that 2020 has brought to our lives.

    Last week we reopened our offices to staff only. With social distancing measures in place, some staff members have returned, some work remotely, and some—nearly half—are unfortunately still furloughed. Change is everywhere and adapting to it is paramount in our visioning, planning and moving forward.

    At this moment, we do not know when it will be safe for actors to rehearse again, for artisans to create together or for audiences to gather. And it is clear that the 2020-21 season we announced last March is simply no longer possible. So, we’re taking some time to pause, gather more facts and chart a new course. In mid-July, we will unveil a new season that works with the realities we all face, a new starting date, and some exciting new programs and initiatives. It’s a shame to waste a crisis, and we are working every day to make sure SCR comes through this stronger, more resilient and changed for the better.

    The subscription renewal deadline is paused, too.

    • If you’ve already subscribed for the 2020-21 season, the money you’ve paid is safe with us, and you don’t need to do anything at this point.We will be back in touch at the time of our July announcement to let you know the changes and your options.
    • If you haven’t renewed your subscription, your seats are still on reserve for you, and will be waiting should you choose to renew after our July announcement.
    • And because we realize that not all our audience members will be ready to return to the theatre at the same time, we are safeguarding your subscription seats until June, 2021.You will have the option to take the upcoming season off, and still keep the seats you love.

    The physical, mental and societal well-being of our audiences, artists and staff is vitally important, so we are proceeding with great care. We want—and need—you back when the conditions are right.

    If you have questions regarding your subscription, the ​Box ​Office phone lines are open Monday from noon to 5 pm and Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (714) 708-5599. You may also email us at BoxOffice@SCR.org.

    Thank you for being a part of the SCR subscriber family. We look forward to sharing more news with you in July!

    David Ivers

    David Ivers
    Artistic Director

    Paula Tomei

    ​Paula Tomei
    ​Managing Director

  • Richard Doyle: My Favorite Roles

    SCR Staff
     | Jun 11, 2020
    Richard Doyle
    Scott Ferrara and Richard Doyle in Outside Mullingar (2020).

    Actor Richard Doyle is a founding member of South Coast Repertory—one of six original actors who signed on in the early 1960s to make a go of what would become the Tony Award-winning, nationally renowned regional theatre. He was 19 when he joined the company.

    Over the course of 56 years—as of 2020—Doyle has been in more than 200 productions at SCR. At first, when you ask him about his favorite plays, he’ll smile broadly and say, “My next one!”

    He explains: “In my mind, it was not appropriate to look for or designate a ‘favorite’, because in many productions, the reason for the experience being significant or memorable may have had little to do with the play itself. Sometimes, these SCR experiences came along at significant moments in my life.”

    All that said, if you give him some time to reflect, he does admit to having some as he puts it, plays that were “memorable influences on me and my craft.”

    Candida by George Bernard Shaw (1965)
    Role: Marchbanks
    “I played opposite Founding Artistic Director Martin Benson’s Reverend Morrell. This was my “first big role,” when SCR was located at its Second Step location on Newport Beach Boulevard.

    Doyle in The Tavern.
    Leo Greene and Richard Doyle in Godspell.

    The Tavern by George M. Cohan (1973)
    Role: The Vagabond
    “It was my first chance at SCR to carry a show and learn what that meant to inhabit a role.”

    The National Health by Peter Nichols (1976)
    Role: Barnet, an Orderly
    “I learned what it meant to inhabit a character that spoke directly and, somewhat uncomfortably, to the audience. I learned a lot. Fun, hard work. Scary, but fun.”

    Godspell by John-Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz (1974)
    Role: Judas / John the Baptist
    “This was the first show where I became aware of the concept of doing a show as a gift to the audience. It grew our audience in ways that made it exciting. Some saw theatre for the first time at SCR and some stayed as patrons. Godspell was like being a rock star in ‘70s Costa Mesa!” SCR went on to produce this musical the next season as well because, as Doyle remembers, “we could not do enough shows!”

    Wild Oats by John O’Keeffe (1979)
    Role: Rover
    “This was my first big part in the theatre ‘new’ (current) location. I played a romantic, high energy, kaleidoscopic character. I was actually a last-minute choice for the role and was under the gun, but I was able to do it.”

    Men’s Singles by D.B. Gilles (1983)
    Role: Larry
    “In this story about three guys in a tennis club in New York City, we dressed and undressed onstage and discussed our love lives, or lack thereof. I was the  kind of actor who was always  “all in” leaving little to the imagination, but this was my first all off kind of role. I learned to focus on the story.”

    Unsuitable for Adults by Terry Johnson (1986)
    Role: Nick, a British stand-up comic / impressionist.
    “This experience taught me that, on my worst day as an actor, I never wanted to be a stand-up comic! The theatre put me with a real impressionist/comic and my counterpart, actor Karen Hensel, and I worked very hard. The result was that she came to the same conclusion I did: we loved being actors … it was exciting and memorable.

    Karen Hensel and Doyle in Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune.
    Jeanne Paulsen and Doyle in Holy Days.

    Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune by Terrence McNally (1989)
    Role: Johnny
    “Karen Hensel (as Frankie) and I teamed up again for a rough-edged love story about a waitress and fry cook. We took the show to the Singapore Centennial Arts Festival. This one stands out because of my respect and love for Karen and for the power of language to tell a story with very little manipulation and some disrobing!”

    Holy Days by Sally Nemeth (1990)
    Role: Gant
    “This story about a farm family in the dust bowl is a masterpiece, and there wasn’t a dry eye in house on our dust-filled stage.”

    Hospitality Suite by Roger Rueff (1992)
    Role: Larry
    “What I remember is the earthquake that stopped the show! But our audience wouldn't leave, so we went on.”

    Doyle and Don Took in Hospitality Suite.
    Kene Holliday and Doyle in Playland.

    Playland by Athol Fugard (1994)
    Role: Gideon La Roux
    “I played white, South African mercenary soldier who meets up with Martinus Zoeloe, a black South African (played by Kene Holliday, who nightly got to kick dirt on people in the front row!). Our characters worked behind-the-scenes of an amusement park to try to solve Apartheid. Tough love and some amazing text and emotional revelations made for a particularly memorable show."

    Proof by David Auburn (2003)
    Role: Robert
    “This play has stayed with me because it touched so many people, who expressed to me the degree to which I had spoken to them through this portrayal.”

    In addition, Doyle has fond memories of performing in Wit by Margaret Edson (1995), which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama; The Weir by Conor McPherson (2011); and Outside Mulligar by John Patrick Shanley (2020).

    Doyle says, “Have I loved every minute of it? Every role? Well suffice to say, some nights it could have been just a job were it not my SCR colleagues and our SCR audience. We have worked very hard to let our work speak for itself. Favorite or not, each play got the full measure of our commitment to SCR and the audience who had come to see and hear the story.”

  • Our Restaurant Partners Are Still Open

    SCR Staff
     | Mar 31, 2020

    Bon Appetit

    When we have performances on our stages, our Bon Appétit restaurant partners offer dining discounts to SCR ticketholders. Now that we’re at home, a number of these restaurants are offering online orders for curbside pick up or delivery—along with discounts.

    Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine

    • Available: Online or phone orders, curbside takeout + delivery (GrubHub, DoorDash or Postmates)
    • Takeout/Delivery Menu
    • Special Notes: 15% off all curbside take-out orders
    • Phone: (949) 387-8887

    Seasons 52

    • Available: Takeout, limited-area delivery
    • Menu
    • Special notes: 20% off to-go orders/ 25-35% off wine orders
    • Phone: (714) 437-5252

    Maggiano’s Little Italy (South Coast Plaza)

    • Available: Curbside pickup; delivery (via DoorDash)
    • Menu
    • Phone: (714) 546-9555

    Chapter One: the modern local

    • Available: Takeout & delivery (via Postmates)
    • Special notes: 25% off entire takeout order; 50% off beer, wine & cocktails to go orders
    • Menu
    • Phone: (714) 352-2225

    Check out our other Bon Appétit partners and contact them directly for their current status.

  • Skilled Artisans Bring Costumes to Life

    SCR Staff
     | Mar 30, 2020
    An array of costumes built by SCR's Costume Shop.
    Costumes from SCR's production of Little Black Shadows (2018).

    As you step into South Coast Repertory's Costume Shop, bolts of fabric are stored by color, making the perimeter of the room a visual delight. Large tables, sewing machines, mannequins and more populate the space. So what does it take to bring a designer's illustration to life as a costume for an actor to wear on stage?

    The Costume Shop is tasked with supplying all of the clothes for a production. The Wardrobe Supervisor works backstage and is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the clothes once the show is running in the theatre.

    Here's a look at some of the most common positions in a Costume Shop.

    Cutter/Draper – This position basically takes a two-dimensional rendering and engineers it into a three-dimensional garment that fits an actor.

    A cutter/draper studies a drawing of what the designer has in mind, takes the measurements of the actor and, on a piece of plain brown paper, develops the patterns needed to construct the garment. The cutter/draper cuts the pattern out of muslin for a mock up, fits this and then, after correcting the pattern, cuts it out of the fashion fabric.

    The cutter may develop this pattern mathematically, in what we call flat patterning, or may drape muslin on a dress form and then transfer that information to the paper pattern. In addition, they are well-versed in fabrics and which ones will produce the effect the designer wants.

    The cutter/draper also oversees the fitting and alterations of pulled (from SCR's inventory of costumes from previous shows) and purchased costumes while they are building the costumes that they are patterning. In addition, they supervise the work of the first hands and stitchers.

    First Hand - This position is the assistant to a cutter/draper or tailor. This person is knowledgeable about fabrics, is an excellent stitcher, can produce simple patterns for things for things including aprons, linings and collars. The first hand will assist in fittings by taking notes and helping the cutter/draper keep track of items of clothing. The first hand may also help guide the stitchers with construction techniques and may also help cut the fabrics for costumes under the cutter/draper's supervision.

    Stitcher - These people come in many skill levels from beginner to highly experienced. They primarily sew all day, either on the machine or by hand.

    Crafts - Craftspeople have a wide range of duties that they may perform. They dye fabrics; paint fabrics or shoes; make hats, jewelry, body padding, wings, armor, tails, ears, masks, amd other items. A craftsperson should be familiar with working with plastics, foam, fabric and other non-traditional materials. They take perfectly good clothes and make them look years old, muddy, dirty or bloody.

    Wardrobe Supervisor - This position takes responsibility for the costumes once they are moved from the Costume S​hop to the dressing rooms. The supervisor cleans, repairs and sets costumes where they're needed during a show (called presets). In addition, the supervisor must track costume pieces ​through a show, making sure to always know the costumes are where they need to be. The ​position will choreograph the quick changes for other dressers when necessary, set schedules for maintenance, assign duties for the run of the show and send out dry cleaning when needed. The wardrobe supervisor may also have to train stage management interns or wig run crew to perform quick changes when there are not enough hands backstage. The primary goal is to maintain a production, so that it looks the same on closing as it did on opening and all that entails.

    Learn more about SCR’s 2020-21 Season.

  • Women’s History Month: SCR Highlights Talented Playwrights and Directors

    SCR Staff
     | Mar 23, 2020
    Women's History Month

    In 1987, the month of March was officially designated as Women’s History Month, giving the United States a reminder to recognize powerful and influential women throughout history. South Coast Repertory would not be the theatre it is today without the talented and unique women who have written a range of plays, directed exceptional productions, staged readings and more. Read on to meet some of these prominent women throughout SCR’s history.

    An Overview of Women Directors

    Casey Stangl: Sense and Sensibility (2018); The Sisters Rosensweig (2018); Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business; In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play; Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!; Anastasia Krupnik; James and the Giant Peach; Venus in Fur; The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane; The Light Princess; Flora & Ulysses; The Siegel and Ella Enchanted as well as numerous Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF) and NewSCRipts readings.

    Jessica Kubzansky: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing; The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales; Orange and numerous PPF and NewSCRipts readings.

    Shelley Butler: James and the Giant Peach; Charlotte’s Web; The Brand New Kid; A Wrinkle in Time; The Borrowers; OZ 2.5; A Doll’s House, Part 2 and many PPF and NewSCRipts readings.

    May Adrales: Poor Yella Rednecks (2019), Little Black Shadows (2018); Vietgone and various PPF and NewSCRipts readings.

    Beth Lopes: The Velveteen Rabbit, Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook. Set to direct Our Town in 2020-21.

    Pam MacKinnon: The Parisian Woman; Completeness; Becky Shaw and Our Mother’s Brief Affair.

    Seret Scott: Crumbs from the Table of Joy; The Piano Lesson; Fences and Topdog/Underdog.

    Amy Brenneman

    For SCR’s upcoming 2020-21 season, celebrated actress Amy Brenneman (Heat, “Judging Amy,” “The Leftovers,” “Goliath”) wrote and will star in the world premiere of Threshold (Sept. 27-Oct. 18, Julianne Argyros Stage), directed and choreographed by Sabrina Peck. In this autobiographical journey infused with music and movement, Brenneman takes us along as she learns how to become a true ally to her daughter Charlotte, born with a rare chromosomal abnormality. Funny, poignant and powerful, Threshold takes a bold look at preconceptions of disability, what we consider “normal,” and the promise/challenge of a truly inclusive society. Amy has taught drama and creative process at UCLA, Harvard and the CHIME Charter school, which specializes in educating children of all abilities. Additionally, she directed the documentary The Way the World Should Be about special education in America. Her original writings have appeared in the literary journal HOW, The Hollywood Reporter and the Huffington Post. She has performed original spoken word pieces at SPARK, En Garde Arts and The Yard and was asked to write the spoken word piece “Hashtag Shameless” which has now been performed at various venues. Her podcast The Challengers can now be heard on Apple Podcasts.


    Amy Freed has been an important playwright to South Coast Repertory since her first SCR commission, Freedomland.(1997). Freed’s writing is commonly focused in on the human condition, which creates a relatable setting for her intricate dramas. Her other plays include The Beard of Avon (SCR commission, 2001), Safe in Hell (SCR commission, 2004), Restoration Comedy (NewSCRipts reading, 2005), You, Nero (SCR commission, 2009) The Monster Builder (Pacific Playwrights Festival Reading, 2010, and production, 2017) and SHREW! (an SCR commission, running March 24-April 21, 2018, on the Segerstrom Stage). Her additional plays include Them That Are Perfect, Restoration Comedy, The Psychic Life of Savages, Still Warm and Claustrophilia. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Freedomland and also received the Joseph Kesselring Award and the Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play for The Psychic Life of Savages. Freed’s plays have been produced in numerous venues including the Arena Stage, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, The Flea, Goodman Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theater, California Shakespeare Theater, The Canadian Stage Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. She calls San Francisco home, where she is an artist-in-residence at Stanford University.


    Playwright Lauren Yee has been earning raves since her play, King of Yees, debuted last year at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and at the Center Theatre Group in LA. ​Cambodian Rock Band, was developed and premiered at SCR in 2018 and had its off-Broadway debut this year. With her plays quickly rising in popularity, Yee is in great demand. Her current and upcoming productions include The Great Leap, The Song of Summer, Ching Chong Chinaman, The Hatmaker’s Wife, Hookman, In a Word and Samsara. Her numerous awards and honors include Kesselring Prize, Francesca Primus Prize an upcoming Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, as well as the top two plays on the 2017 Kilroys List (for Cambodian Rock Band and The Great Leap). She is an American Theatre Critics Association/Harold Steinberg Award winner and was a finalist for the Edward M. Kennedy Prize. Yee is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab and an alumna playwright of the Playwrights Realm and is currently commissioned by the Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center/LCT3, Mixed Blood Theatre, Portland Center Stage and Trinity Repertory.

    Karen Zacarías, a popular playwright and SCR regular, has been called the most-produced Latina playwright in the country by the National Endowment for the Arts and noted as one of the top 10 produced playwrights by American Theatre Magazine. Her recent works produced on SCR stages include Destiny of Desire (Segerstrom Stage, 2016) and Ella Enchanted: The Musical (Theatre for Young Audiences, 2017). Some of Zacarías’ other plays include Native Gardens, Olivério: A Brazilian Twist, Into the Beautiful North, The Book Club Play, Legacy of Light, Mariela in the Desert, The Sins of Sor Juana, as well as the adaptations of Just Like Us and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. Zacarías has produced 10 theatre for young audiences musicals (including Ella Enchanted: The Musical) with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma. Zacarías is a resident playwright at the Arena Stage and is a founder of the Latino Theatre Commons. She is the founder of the Young Playwrights’ Theatre, which teaches playwriting in the local public schools in Washington, D.C., where she lives with her husband and three children.

    Lauren Gunderson was named the most-produced playwright in America by American Theatre Magazine in 2017. Her works at SCR include Silent Sky (commission/premiere, 2011) and Emilie: Le Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight (commission, 2009). ​Works include Ada and the Engine, The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog!, Background, Bauer, The Book of Will, By and By, Exit, Pursued by a Bear, Eye of the Beheld, I and You, Leap, Miss Bennet, Parts They call Deep, Rock Creek: Southern Gothic, The Revolutionists, The Taming, Toil & Trouble, and We Are Denmark. ​She is also a screenwriter and short story author. A native of Atlanta, Ga., she received her BA in English and creative writing from Emory University and her MFA in dramatic writing at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, where she was also a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship.

    Julia Cho’s plays are familiar to SCR audiences, ​such as Aubergine (Segerstrom Stage, 2019), The Language Archive (Segerstrom Stage, 2010), The Piano Teacher (Argyros Stage, 2007) and Office Hour (Argyros Stage, 2016), all of which were produced at South Coast Repertory. Cho is recognized for her other plays including Durango, The Winchester House, BFE, The Architecture of Loss and 99 Histories. A resident playwright at the New Dramatists since 2004, Cho’s works have been produced at venues such as the Vineyard Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop and East West Players, among others. She has been the recipient of various awards including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Barrie Stavis Award, the Claire Tow Award for Emerging Artists and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award. An alumna of both Juilliard School and NYU’s Graduate Dramatic Writing Program, Cho’s play Durango was named one of the Top 10 plays of 2006 by Entertainment Weekly and one of the Best of 2007 by the Los Angeles Times.