Fomenting the Future of Theatre

3:32pm | If you don't know, Cal State Long Beach is the resident powerhouse when it comes to local theatre, with a program that has spawned both Alive Theatre and the Garage Theatre, as well as an undergraduate program that puts on interesting work in its own right.

And then there's California Repertory Company — or Cal Rep, as it's more commonly known — the graduate arm of the program that is capable of staging work of the highest caliber. (Their fall '09 production of Melissa James Gibson's Current Nobody, for example, remains one of the best evenings of theatre I've experienced.)

It's no surprise, then, to find CSULB's Theatre Arts Department hosting this weekend's TheatreFest, an annual competition between over 700 participants from 30 L.A. and O.C. high schools, with the whole shebang administered by Cal Rep's graduate theatre management students and 200 volunteers.

TheatreFest sprung to life in 1999 from a Theatre Management grad student's thesis.

Student participants will be involved in professionally-taught workshops, undergraduate performances, and friendly competition. "Students compete to win awards in categories including comedic and dramatic scenes and monologues, musical theatre, improvisation and technical theatre," explains the event announcement. "The goal of TheatreFest is to promote a healthy learning environment in which the students can enjoy themselves, challenge their own preconceptions, and showcase their talents."

Along with CSULB staff, among the professional contributors to TheatreFest are Geffen’s Story Pirates, Center Theatre Group, CSULB’s Summer Comedy Academy, South Coast Rep and Long Beach Playhouse.

Although the event is not open to the public, additional information can be obtained by contacting Jesse Randle at 562-985-4500 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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