The Conversation That Can Heal America

The Western Stage Presents, “Of Thee I Sing,” a dramatized reading of selections from “Citizen: An American Lyric,” by Claudia Ranke, this year’s NEA Big Read featured work. This afternoon, I had a conversation I never thought I’d have on purpose. More likely it would have been an imagined version of this particular conversation, or […]

An interview with Resident Director, and director of “The Boondawgle Estate,” Jeff McGrath

Tell us about your background as a director. The very first show I directed was called Icarus’ Mother and that was in undergraduate school at Chico State. It was part of the student directed One Acts and our highly influential teacher Donna Breed, at the time, was advising and coordinating the festival – a great […]

National Women’s Equality Day: Looking Forward

It’s a cold and foggy August day in Salinas. “Must be Summer,” Melissa says with a wry grin. In light of National Women’s Equality Day, I had the pleasure of sitting down with The Western Stage’s Artistic Program Director, Melissa Chin-Parker, to learn about her vision for next year’s SpringFEST, The Western Stage’s annual pre-season […]

Hartnell Success Stories – Jeff Wester

We love a good Hartnell success story, and Jeff Wester, creator of our “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” animated promos and founder/director of Wester Creative in Portland, Oregon is no exception. In an interview,  Jeff tells me about how animations are made, how he followed his passion in art to create his own business, and how Hartnell College […]

Summer at the Theat(re)

Four Reasons To Make Your Community Theater the New Hot Spot Remember Blockbuster movies? I’m not talking about the rapidly-flourishing-then-rapidly-obsolete movie rental chain (although, I think we all do miss it fondly). I’m talking about the arrival of summer, which brings with it, the arrival of summer blockbusters at the movies. The term blockbuster in today’s usage, refers […...

Scott Free, from “Born Yesterday”, gives a little insight on playing the bad guy

As an actor, one may receive opportunities to play multiple different types of characters. The process on how an actor becomes the character can be an easy task (if the character is a lot like themselves), or it can be a difficult adventure (if the character is the exact opposite personality of the actor). Scott Free […]

A Weekend With Harvey: Getting to Know the Playwright

Tell us how you came to The Western Stage. What positions have you held here over the years? In 1980, I was teaching at CalArts and looking for something to do in the summer when CalArts is closed.  At that time Western Stage was a summer only operation. I sent out inquiries and Tom Humphrey […]

Meet the Leading Lady of “Miss Electricity”

The leading lady of “Miss Electricity” gives us a little insight into who she is and her experiences in this show. Tell us your name, age, and grade in school. Lauren Arquero, 11 years old, 6th grade. What role are you playing in “Miss Electricity”? I play the character, Violet, aka Miss Electricity. What similarities […]

The Artist and You

How to Co-Exist with the Artist in Your Life (in 5 Easy Steps!) We all know them. That co-worker [you know the one] who invites all his colleagues to see his new community theater show every 3 months and gives you the cold shoulder if you miss one. The barista who loves telling you about […]

“Dear Elizabeth” Q&A

Our resident blogger, Heather Osteraa, decided to catch up with the director and cast of “Dear Elizabeth”. Here’s what she found out! Susanne Burns, Director How long have you been directing professionally? For about 10 years. How did you discover you wanted to direct? When I was in undergrad for acting.  I took a directing […]