2018 Season Announcement

Dear friends of SOC,
First of all, a huge THANK YOU for supporting us and being a part of the family in keeping the theatre alive in Garden Grove. You've done your part! And SOC has done ours!

OC MAGAZINE, in its upcoming issue, has named SOC "OUR FAVORITE THING IN GARDEN GROVE!"  How proud we are of that! And all we've done together. Did you know that over the past four seasons:

  • SOC has more than tripled its audience;
  • SOC has raised and invested nearly one million dollars in the Garden Grove community;
  • SOC has gained national prominence as a noted audience builder and innovative professional company;
  • SOC has been recognized by the State of California with it's California Arts Commission's LOCAL IMPACT AWARD for "using the Arts to improve your local community";
  • SOC has brought in more than 1,000 different artists, dancers, musicians, craftspersons, and actors to work at The Amphitheatre;
  • Over 30,000 people have come through our doors over the past four seasons, a great deal of them first-time theater-goers;
  • Our cultural outreach has resounded far and wide as we've worked with wonderful groups who've brought a rich diversity and heritage to our work, profoundly reflecting the amazing diversity of our community;
  • SOC has featured Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award nominees, as well as multiple winners of LA's top Acting Awards;
  • SOC has partnered with Orange County School of The Arts to create vibrant Apprentice and Educational programs, involving more than 500 OC students and children.

Well, yes... you probably knew that. Because you are the ones who've made it possible. THANK YOU!


Unfortunately, our City partners have not been as engaged and have struggled to keep up. It is with great sadness and disappointment that we have to notify you that our 2018 season of productions at The Amphitheatre has just been cancelled due to construction and permitting delays relating to refurbishing the theatre. SOC will not have its steady place at The Strawberry Festival, which is our major annual fundraiser, and construction has been delayed to the point that SOC can't be guaranteed by the City that our season will be unaffected. They have made it clear that we cannot be open for business if construction is underway, nor can they offer us any options in pushing our season a bit later in the summer. This is due to their obligations to LFA, the new tenant at The Amphitheatre. So, we have no reasonable and responsible choice, but to pull the plug on our productions this summer at the Amphitheatre. To proceed would be reckless, endangering our financial security and jeopardizing our professional product. I can't tell you how disappointed I am. This was all just relayed to us at a City meeting.

Our intention, at this point, as we consider alternatives, is to find locations to produce both our High School Intensive project and our Young Actors' Project (with Theater Seoul of South Korea) in July. We'd like to keep at least those alive this summer. As far as our larger productions go, we are, with deep regret, suspending those pending further notice, and we will see what the future brings. Everything is up in the air right now, as we try our best to deal with this. We are so sorry.

In an article in THE OC REGISTER (December 21, 2014), after Tom Bradac had given me the honor of taking SOC on and building on his 35+ years of work here, and in which THE REGISTER graciously named me one of its Most Influential People in The Arts, I said "We really need to find out if the City of Garden Grove wants to be a part of this..." As myself and this wonderful group of talented volunteers from outside Garden Grove took on the challenge of extending the life of SOC at this Amphitheatre, which we all loved, that was the question on all our minds. It seemed so clear to us what SOC could be in Garden Grove. I think the community at large has rallied around us. And we thank you for that.

The civic leadership has been more challenging. Garden Grove has a terrific new City Manager in Scott Stiles, and many exciting things are happening around the City. Mr. Stiles has proven a supporter of SOC in his time here, but he faces many challenges, his plate is very full, and is only one person. All of SOC thanks him for his effort on our part.

If you'd like to lend your support and gratitude, let him know at: sstiles@ci.garden-grove.ca.us He deserves the encouragement.

We are also very grateful to Jennifer and Larry at AZTECA restaurant and Doug at Doug's Downtown Diner, both on Historic Main Street (support them!) who worked hard with us. Otherwise, we have been unable (so far) to get any major Garden Grove investors, businesses or sponsors involved... so far.

Once again, THANK YOU all for being a vital part of our wonderful group.

I don't know where we go from here, but all the good stuff wouldn't have happened without you.

If you'd like to let someone know how you feel about this and about the value of SOC in this community, the person who needs to hear this the most is the Director of our City partner organization, John Montanchez, Director of Community Affairs. This is the branch of City assigned to take care of us and support us.  Mr. Montanchez can be contacted at:  johnmo@ci.garden-grove.ca.us.

It's up in the air right now. First, we will do our best to make our 2018 summer EDUCATION PROGRAMS big hit, including free children's performances of a musical version of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, produced in association with THEATER SEOUL OF SOUTH KOREA, and our always popular HIGH SCHOOL INTENSIVE. We'll involve a lot of kids and students in these programs, and they are open to everyone. You can support those and find more info at our website. We'll know the location soon.

The rest is TBA. If it matters to you to have SOC at The Amphitheatre, let the City know. We will hope for the best and keep you posted.

And again, THANK YOU for all your interest, support, donations, love, time, attendance and good words. If you don't support art, it disappears. You are the reason SOC has been here. We know you have many causes, concerns, and obligations. We are happy to have you be a part of our "ONE BIG FAMILY UNDER THE STARS." It's been a great pleasure and lots of fun. If you want more... let someone know.

With great admiration, love, and gratitude,

John Walcutt                                            Tess Lina
Producing Artistic Director                      Managing Director