Press Release - ​​​​​​The Witches

South Coast Repertory's Junior Players Present The Witches Mar 22-30

COSTA MESA, Calif. (​​Feb. ​20, 2016) - The Witches, adapted by David Wood from Roald Dahl’s popular fantasy novel, and directed by Mercy Vasquez, will be presented by South Coast Repertory’s Junior Players in the Nicholas Studio, March 12-20, 2016.

The cast are members of SCR’s Junior Players (grades 6-8), chosen through audition after at least two years in the Theatre Conservatory.  These young actors attend class twice weekly during the school year, with additional rehearsal time prior to their annual performance. 

The Junior Players portray all the roles in Wood’s stage version, which includes puppet characters. Vasquez is working with SCR Properties Carpenter David Saewert to create hand-held puppets to be manipulated by the actors.

But the witches are real!  And they’re not the evil ones with pointy hats.  Everyone idolizes these witches—their leader is a pop icon—but they’re cooking up a plan to get rid of all the children in the world by turning them into mice.  Standing in their way (or trying to) are Grandma and Boy.

According to Vasquez, the boys who have been turned into mice, and their mice characters, will exist in a special kind of virtual reality, which playgoers will have to see to enjoy.

“The play is set in modern England,” Vasquez tells us.  “It’s a dark and yet compelling world.  Grandma has seen it all and is wiser for the wear.  She’s up against the Grand High Witch, whom no mere mortal suspects of being the mastermind of a terrible plan.  There are tense and tragic moments in our story, but through them we find that love is the most powerful force on earth.”

Vasquez, who teaches the Junior Players during the school year, as well as directing their production, graduated from UCLA with majors in English literature and theater.  She received dramatic training in London at King’s College, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Acting Intensive Program in SCR’s Theatre Conservatory.  She has performed on stage at SCR, Garden Grove Playhouse, Theater Theater and Heritage Square Theater.

The Witches
By Roald Dahl
adapted by David Wood
directed by Mercy Vasquez
Set Designer Derek Epstein
Costume Designer Kate Poppen
Lighting Designer Karyn D. Lawrence
Sound Designer Jesus Rivera
Choreographer Laura Murphy
Stage Manager Andie Fitch

These witches don’t ride brooms—but watch out or you’ll soon be a mouse!  

Dates: Saturday March 12 at 2 and 5pm, Sunday March 13 at 1 and 4pm, Saturday March 19 at 5pm, Sunday March 20 at 1 and 4pm
Tickets: $10 (may be purchased through the SCR Box Office at (714) 708-5555 or online at

Cast List:
Dominic Brack -  Boy
Hannah Dawson - Lip Witch and Mom #1
Olivia De Los Santos - Boot Witch and Mom #2
Lauren Dong - Witch and Mrs. Jenkins
Tatum Harkavy - Tree Witch
Kayla Holliday - Witch, Chef #2, Frog
Sean Kato - Bruno and Bruno Mouse
Sasa Klein - Nose Witch and Boy’s Mom
Isabella Madrigal - Hair Witch
Erika Maggipinto - Witch, Doctor and Child
Sunaya Patel - Witch and Slug Boy
Caitlyn Roum  - Chicken Girl, Sailor and Witch
Sarah Sparks - Grandma
Ben Susskind - Lawyer, Doorman, Dad #2 and Mouse Boy
Louis Tonkovich - Mr. Jenkins, Boy’s Dad, Dad #1, Chef 31 and Mouse Boy
Ella Webb - Ensemble and Grand High Witch

Costa Mesa - Sasa Klein, Caitlyn Roum
Foothill Ranch - Sarah Sparks
Huntington Beach - Dominic Brack, Tatum Harkavy, Sean Kato
Irvine - Lauren Dong, Ben Susskind
Lake Forest - Olivia De Los Santos, Kayla Holliday
Newport Beach - Erika Maggipinto
San Clemente - Hannah Dawson, Ella Webb
Silverado - Louis Tonkovich
Temecula - Isabella Madrigal
Tustin - Sunaya Patel

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.