What’s It Like to Win a Raffle Prize? – A “Playing With the Bard” Experience

Beth Fhaner
 | Jun 15, 2018

2017 raffle winners Sam and Tammy Tang (far right) with their guests (from left) Brent and Lori Borden and actors William McGuire and Nick Gabriel, from Shakespeare in Love.


SCR’s annual fundraising Gala kicks off Orange County’s theatre and social seasons in high style. This year’s Gala—with a theme of “Places, Please!”—will take place on Saturday, Sept. 15, at The Westin South Coast Plaza. This unforgettable evening gives theatregoers an opportunity to celebrate the backstage magic and artistic collaborations that make SCR’s productions so exceptional.


Proceeds from the Gala help support the theatre’s onstage artistry and arts education programs, and one way that theatre enthusiasts can help support SCR is by purchasing raffle tickets. As we get ready to announce the glamorous raffle prizes for the 2018 Gala, we recall one of the popular prizes from the 2017 celebration.

At last year’s Gala, Sam and Tammy Tang won the raffle prize titled “Playing With the Bard”—a distinctive experience that included a private Shakespearean acting lesson at SCR, followed by a sumptuous Elizabethan dinner. Conservatory Director Hisa Takakuwa led a fun workshop that featured one-on-one coaching in a private Shakespearean acting lesson. The Tangs and their guests read from and worked on a couple of scenes from Romeo and Juliet. At the end of their informative and entertaining session, the Tangs read the part of the Montagues (Romeo’s parents) and their guests read the part of the Capulets (Juliet’s parents).

Following the workshop, the Tangs, along with their guests, enjoyed a lavish feast held onsite at SCR. Two guest artists also joined the Tangs and their friends for dinner—actors from the cast of Shakespeare in Love, Bill McGuire (Fennyman) and Nick Gabriel (Ned Alleyn). The dining hall was festooned with Elizabethan costumes and props and included set pieces from Shakespeare in Love. Some of the beautiful ​touches for the event that helped set the scene were donated by Signature Party Rentals, a longtime supporter of SCR.

The Elizabethan-inspired menu was conceived and created by Crème de la Crème Gourmet Foods & Catering, another generous SCR supporter. The delicious banquet began with small plates such as marchipanes (marzipan fruits), mini tartlets of egg, artichoke and leeks; and preserved fruits and nuts. These tasty small bites were followed by field green salads and warm, cross-top white rolls (called “manchets” in the Elizabethan era) served in a napkin cloche. The menu featured mouthwatering entrée options like roasted beef filet with Danish bleu crust, shallots and plum steak sauce; in addition to the “Weekly Mandatory Seafood” dish consisting of colossal shrimp-wrapped scallops with beurre blanc. Served family style with roasted red potatoes and charred Brussel sprouts, these savory items were a big hit with the group.

For a sweet finish to the Elizabethan extravaganza, the Tangs and their guests indulged in a selection of decadent desserts including orange pudding with preserved gooseberries, apple tartlet with ginger and rose-scented short cake with Port blackberry sauce and Chantilly cream. As a one-of-a-kind event, “Playing With the Bard,” was a unique and engaging experience that the Tangs will never forget.

We’re getting very close to announcing the exciting details of t​he 2018 Gala raffle prizes, so please stay tuned!

Learn more about the 2018 Gala “Places, Please!”