"Happiness... it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative." - F. D. Roosevelt
Twelve years ago, Theatre Out started as an idea over burgers and fries. "We can do this and we can do this differently" seemed to be our motto; we can bring the lives and stories of the LGBT community to Orange County theatre in a way that celebrates our cultural identity and allows others to become allies and friends. And with a "we can do this and we can do this differently" mantra, we forged ahead and opened our first production: the West Coast Premiere of THRILL ME: The Leopold and Loeb Musical. Since that time, we have been producing high quality, critically-acclaimed theatre at an affordable price, all while focusing on the LGBT community - from classics like THE GLASS MENAGERIE, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER and EDWARD II to modern masterpieces likes ANGELS IN AMERICA, BENT, TORCH SONG TRILOGY and SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES; from musicals like THE WILD PARTY, PAGEANT and HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH to new interpretations of SWEENEY TODD, CABARET and ELEGIES FOR ANGELS, PUNKS AND RAGING QUEENS and finally new work like SMALL DOMESTIC ACTS, STRANGE BEDFELLOWS, BRIEFS, THE MEDEA PROJECT and the holiday classic LAST CHRISTMAS I GAVE YOU MY HEART BUT THE VERY NEXT DAY YOU SAID YOU WERE GAY. And throughout these milestone productions the county, the state, the country and even the world noticed with reviews and articles about Theatre Out in the OC Register, the OC Weekly, The Blade, BroadwayWorld, Playbill, the New York Times and publications as far away as South Africa.
We now come to the next two milestones in our timeline. The first is that with the opening of our new show March 17 we will be celebrating our 100th production and we are so pleased that that production stars Theatre Out luminaries Lori Kelley, Andrew Villarreal and Jeffrey Fargo - three actors who have left a mark on our stage and shared their talents with us on multiple occassions. In fact, Lori has been involved with Theatre Out nearly from the start and has been in or stage managed 20 of our 100 productions.
The next milestone that we will be celebrating is bittersweet at most. Our 100th production will also be our last production...for now. We had planned on making next season our final season but ultimately, we have realized that the best thing for the theatre is for us to take a hiatus to rejuvenate and rekindle our creative spark. April 1 will be our final performance at 402 W. 4th, our home for the past five years.
This has been a truly difficult time for us as we came to this decision. But ultimately we come back to how awesome the past 12 years have been. We have worked with over 350 amazing theatre artists and created a safe space for our artists and our audiences to call "home".
We want to thank YOU, our patrons for your love and support over the past 12 years. Whether you just discovered us, or have been with us from the beginning, you have been a part of our history and success.
What's next? In the immediate future, please come and see us - celebrate our 100th production.
And after that? Support local small theatre. We cannot urge you enough to support the artists that are your backyard.
David and Joey