Sources: Another home for Shakespeare

SHAKESPEARE ORANGE COUNTY is moving to Santa Ana College from the Festival Amphitheater in Garden Grove. Above is a scene from a SOC production of “Two Gentlemen of Verona (File photo).

The new year is still more than a month away, but events move so fast these days we have to look into the future to try to shape it. Here are two situations worth keeping an eye on.

SOC on the move once more

The tumultuous history of Shakespeare Orange County took another dramatic turn in 2018 as the SOC – begun in 1979 as the Grove Shakespeare Festival – found itself muscled out of the Festival Amphitheater.

With a steady lineup of rock and pop music concerts promoted by LFA, the 500-seat open air facility in the Village Green Park in Garden Grove didn’t have room to share with SOC, despite a plan to do so.

The 2018 season was cancelled, but SOC isn’t. Santa Ana College is the new home of the organization, lead by John Wolcott. In 2019, the company is planning to stage “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Anthony & Cleopatra, “Zoot Suit” and “Death of a Salesman” at SAC’s three on-campus theaters.

Looking over the organization’s history, SOC has been up and down and up. The GSF became controversial because some members of the Garden Grove City Council grumbled that Shakespeare wasn’t quite what the locals wanted. When GSF founder Tom Bradac left (and the GSF folded), Tom resurrected The Bard’s work locally by forming SOC at Chapman University in Orange.

In 2004 – with bygones becoming bygones – SOC was invited back to the Amphitheater where it continued to produce Shakespeare’s works through 2017. 

Now it’s off to Santa Ana College. We will keep an eye on how that edition of Shakespeare Orange County does in its new home.

Look, up in the sky! It’s … not a superintendent

One of the more surprising events of 2017 was the early ouster of Cynthia Paik as superintendent of the Westminster School District in October of that year, after only four months in the position.

Since then, the WSD – a K-8 district serving most of Westminster and portions of adjacent cities – has had three interim superintendents. Will there be a new permanent top educator in the district in 2019?

According to Trish Montgomery, public information officer for WSD, any decision will wait until after the new board – with three new members – is seated. A firm has been hired to find suitable candidates, and a selection could take place by spring.

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