December 10, 2001
Groundbreaking Held for Performing Arts Center
Hundreds of people attended the groundbreaking ceremony Monday, Dec. 10, for the Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons. Construction of the nearly $15 million complex is expected to begin in early 2002, with completion projected by the summer of 2003.
Dignitaries from College of the Canyons, the City of Santa Clarita and various state and federal offices attended the event under sunny skies at the future site of the new center. The structure, whose architectural design will resemble that of the Library, will be built just east of the Student Center off the main access drive, and it will be set back but prominently visible from Rockwell Canyon Road.
The project is a joint effort between the college and the city, which is contributing $2.4 million to expand the main performance hall's capacity to 950 seats. The additional seats will allow a greater number and variety of performances to be held - by both students and community-based performance groups.
"The Performing Arts Center will let the various groups grow and create more opportunities for all of our students," Superintendent-President Dianne G. Van Hook said.
Students from the college's music, dance and theater departments performed during the ceremony.
"I'm so excited about this, I'm tempted to enroll in some classes just so I can get some extra time in this wonderful new structure to come," Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste remarked to the crowd.
"This Performing Arts Center and the city's partnership with COC is a significant component of the city's Cultural Arts Master Plan," Weste said. "And it will only enhance the outstanding amenities and the quality education this college has worked so hard to provide."
Also included within the two-level, 42,898-square-foot complex will be a smaller "black box" modular theater that will provide space for more intimate, experimental productions. This theater will seat approximately 125 patrons.
The complex also will encompass an outdoor sculpture garden in front of the lobby where guests can stroll or relax while viewing three-dimensional art mounted on concrete pads.
In the main performance hall, the first level will accommodate the main orchestra seating for approximately 550 people, as well as the stage, sound and lighting control booths, a hydraulic orchestra pit, and makeup, dressing, costume and locker rooms. The second level will hold balcony seating for about 400 patrons, as well as costume storage and mechanical rooms.
December 4, 2001
Diverse Performers Share Common Theme for 'Holiday Voices'
The cast fits perfectly with the theme for the College of the Canyons Theatre Department’s third annual production of "Holiday Voices." After all, the cast members are as diverse in their ages and backgrounds as the holiday customs that will be explored during the two-hour presentation at the Santa Clarita Repertory Theater.
Show times are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 through Saturday, Dec. 22, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 23. The theater is at 24266 San Fernando Road, in Newhall. The student cast of 10 performers ranges in age from 17-year-old Aaron Levine to 65-year-old Ann Klein. "It’s a wonderful ensemble," says director Susan Hinshaw, chair of the Theater Department. "It’s a very diverse group."
That goes hand-in-hand with the diverse holiday customs that will be explored through music, dances and storytelling. The wide array of subjects that will be touched upon include "Angels," "A Celtic Christmas," "A Latino Christmas," and "Hanukkah." There will also be a segment that honors the heroes who emerged from the terrorist attack of September 11. "It’s a very uplifting show," Hinshaw said. "We try to look at many different holiday customs."
Above all, Hinshaw said, the show will focus on the common experiences that we all share. "We are all the same and we all share a commonality," she says.
From the writing, to the performers and the production quality, Hinshaw said the elements are in place for an entertaining show. As a director, Hinshaw said she benefited from writing and launching her own one-woman show, "Nirvana," that debuted last July in Los Angeles and will perform in Albuquerque and New Orleans next summer. "Through the process, I learned how to work with the actors and get their stories on paper," she said. "It’s an opportunity for our students to write about their life and see their work performed on the stage."
The production should also benefit from a partnership with a design team from UC Santa Barbara. The group includes Vicki Scott, a professional lighting designer and faculty member of UCSB’s Theater Department, along with set designer Kristie Griffith and technical director Lee Keenan. They have combined with the College of the Canyons production team that includes production coordinator Tami Toon, choreographer Ken Roht and musical director Nancy Horak.
The show played to sold-out audiences last year and seating is limited at the theater. The cost is $8 for general admission and $5 for students and children.
December 4, 2001
College of the Canyons Presents Fall Dance Concert Series
A wide range of dance styles, including hip-hop, will be showcased when the College of the Canyons Dance Program presents its Fall Dance Concert Series on Thursday, Dec. 6, and Friday, Dec. 7, in the Physical Education building, Room 110.
The concerts, which will be directed by Phylise Smith, will start at 8 p.m. both nights.
The concert on Thursday will feature hip-hop performances by College of the Canyons students. There will be a wide range of dance styles performed Friday by students and faculty members including Shannon Levy-Heath, Dan Glickman, Rene Baum, Fredda Manzo and Smith.
There is no charge for Thursday’s concert. A donation of $3 for ages 12 and older is requested for Friday’s concert.
December 4, 2001
Performing Arts Center Groundbreaking Slated
A groundbreaking ceremony for the college's much-anticipated Performing Arts Center has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at the future construction site at the college. The public is welcome to attend. Visitors should go to the groundbreaking site, just east of the Student Center and west of the main entrance drive off Rockwell Canyon Road.
Dignitaries from College of the Canyons and the City of Santa Clarita are scheduled to attend. Students from the college's music, dance and theater departments will perform briefly during the ceremony. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony.
Once work begins, the project will take approximately 18 to 24 months to complete.
The center is a joint effort between College of the Canyons and the City of Santa Clarita, which is contributing money to increase the capacity of the main performance hall to 950 seats.
A smaller "black box" theater also will be incorporated into the structure, allowing more intimate, experimental productions.
The center will take architectural and visual cues from the college's library, most notably in its curved, two-story wall of glass (see artist's rendering). The Performing Arts Center will be built on the northern side of the existing main entrance driveway off Rockwell Canyon Road and just east of the Student Center.