COMMUNITY FOUNDATION GRANT LIGHTS UP NO SQUARE
$1,000 grant shines on “BENT BROADWAY”.
Laguna Beach, CA, March 28, 2013 – No Square Theatre has completed another phase of its slow-but-steady improvement of the sweet performance space they call home. Since 2009, No Square has been in Historic Legion Hall, Laguna’s original schoolhouse, doing good work and carrying on the decades-long tradition of teaching, learning, and enriching our community from the iconic building. But with a handful of lighting elements, occasionally enhanced by rented equipment, the view inside the theatre has been less than ideal. Now, thanks to a fortuitous series of events, all that has changed.
When another Orange County theatre company closed in January, “Lagunatics” lighting designer Leslie Barry alerted No Square that the defunct company’s hardware was for sale. For a terrific price, “Leslie drove up with a U-Haul full of lighting instruments, cables, a board, bulbs, gels, everything imaginable. We had a crew of volunteers waiting for her who then loaded the stuff into No Square” says Artistic Director Bree Burgess Rosen. Next, Rosen called in UCLA Lighting Design student Phillip Powers to assess the materials and determine what would best fit the theatre’s venue inside Legion Hall. Not everything worked and even what did would not necessarily work in the old building. “A lot of lighting equipment has specific electrical requirements that we aren’t able to meet”, but Powers came up with a solid design, using the best of the used hardware. Yet the haul didn’t include a critical element: There was nothing to actually hang the equipment from. That’s where the Laguna Beach Community Foundation comes in. “The $1,000 grant from LBCF helped us purchase cable, chain, counter-weight, and two pieces of aluminum truss, which now hang on either side of the stage, providing much-needed side light for all our productions.”
The first to show to see the light was “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.”, which played to 3 sold-out and delighted crowds. Part of the company’s Square Roots youth education program, kids in the show ranged from 5 to 12. “Each of them deserved a spotlight of their own…which we don’t have yet.” Laughed Board Member Joe Lauderdale, who served as music director on the show, and ran the newly installed light board. “It was great to be able to see everyone’s smiling faces.” The final installation on the lights was completed this week, and will light up the singers in “Bent Broadway”, April 12 & 13. Part of No Square’s hugely popular Great American Songbook series, this concert steps away from the biographical elements of the series, and comes back with a twist. “Bent Broadway” will feature show tunes, but with the men singing the lady’s songs and the ladies singing the men’s. It promises to be another great concert in the little theatre. The little well-lit theatre. Joe Lauderdale is the director of the concert with Roxanna Ward directing the music, and playing piano for the 15 talented singers.
Lighting Designer Phillip Powers, and co-worker T.J. Gordon, have been helping No Square Theatre with the light up-grade since their first summer out of high school. Powers is now a junior at UCLA, and he and T.J. have started their own lighting company, Luna Lux. Rosen ebues obvious pride in the policies of the theatre she founded. “We look for young talent on and off the stage, nurturing it with direction, and endorsing these young artists with actual jobs. “No one’s getting rich, but I’m proud of the fact that we bring on these young, up-and-coming designers.” Powers designed the lights for “Rocky Horror Show”, “Xanadu”, and last summer’s smash hit “Ruthless”. Rosen also writes, directs and performs with Pacific Symphony in the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, where Powers designed the lights for her “Halloween Spooktacular”. “He’s passionate, talented, and puts as much heart into his work with our little No Square as he does with Pacific Symphony.” The lighting budgets are worlds apart, but the excitement of the artists involved with both organizations is evident. Down at No Square, Rosen watched as Powers flipped a switch: “The place is looking like a real theatre.”
See the Laguna Beach Community Foundation’s grant at work, and enjoy a ribald night of show tunes April 12 and 13.
WHO: A cast of talented vocalists, local students and professionals, including Marc Marger, Scott Ruiz, Ron Dier, Ella Wyatt, Nora Kennedy, Paul Nygro, Jay Rechter, Bridget English, Grant Yosenick, Bailey Jaeger, Gabrielle Crivello, Leslie Merle, Joe Lauderdale, Roxanna Ward, and Bree Burgess.
WHAT: “Bent Broadway”. Where the men sing the lady’s songs and the ladies…well, it’s going to be fun. The Great American Songbook concert series is sponsored by the Laguna Board of Realtors and Affiliates Charitable Assistance Fund, the Festival of Arts Foundation, the Lodging Establishments and the City of Laguna Beach, Mark W. Brisley, DDS, and the Laguna Beach Community Foundation.
WHEN & WHERE: Friday April 12 and Saturday April 13 at 7:30 PM. Seating is extremely limited. Reserved seats are $20 and available exclusively at nosquare.org. If available, tickets may be sold at the door for $25. www.nosquare.org
WHY: Lush music, good lighting, and laughter.