South Orange County School of Arts

Theater Arts

Department Overview | Course Descriptions


Wednesday, March 14 – Saturday, March 17, 2018

7:00 pm Porthole Theatre

Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show is set amongst a larger- than-life junkyard playground and is alive with our favourite feline characters including Rum Tum Tugger, Mr. Mistoffelees, Macavity, Jennyanydots, Old Deuteronomy, Grizabella and Skimbleshanks.

The Jellicle Cats come out to play on one special night of the year – the night of the Jellicle Ball. One by one they tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, who must choose one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

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Triangle Factory Fire Project

Thursday, April 12 – Saturday, April 14, 2018

7:00 pm Porthole Theatre

On Saturday, March 25, 1911 at 4:45 pm in the Triangle Waist Factory off downtown Manhattan’s Washington Square—where 500 immigrant workers from Poland, Russia and Italy toil fourteen-hour days making lady’s dresses—a cigarette is tossed into a bin of fabric scraps. Despite desperate efforts, flames sweep through the eighth, ninth and tenth floors. Panic-stricken workers run in all directions. On the ninth floor, some make it to the fire escape, only to have it collapse beneath their weight. Others run to the exit door but find it locked—many, including the soon-to-be-married Margaret Schwartz, die with their hands on the doorknob. Dozens leap from the windows to their deaths, shocking the crowd of onlookers gathered below. And some through bravery or sheer luck make it out alive. In the space of twenty-eight minutes, the fire is under control, but 146 people, mainly young immigrant girls, have died. THE TRIANGLE FACTORY FIRE PROJECT uses eyewitness accounts, court transcripts and other archival material to create a dramatic moment-by-moment account of this historic fire and the social upheaval that followed. It culminates in the manslaughter trial of the owners, Isaac Harris and Max Blanck, whose shocking acquittal inspires new outrage across New York and the entire country, the repercussions of which shaped social, political and economic policies for decades to come. By using real words spoken by real people, from Ukrainian seamstresses to millionaire Fifth Avenue socialites, THE TRIANGLE FACTORY FIRE PROJECT paints a heartbreakingly clear picture of a disastrous day in American history and explores the human toll such a tragedy takes on us all.

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SOCSA goes to the theater…

SOCSA students were able to score some free tickets to see Once at South Coast Repertory!

Department Overview

The South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA) offers the serious acting student a diverse theatre program. This program includes in-depth studies in acting, directing, musical theatre, repertory, theatrical design and construction, plus theatre and career management. The student’s first two years in the program are devoted to individual development in the areas of voice and diction, physical action, characterization, design and application skills (in the areas of scenery, lighting, makeup, costume, and sound), along with studies in acting and dance techniques. In the third and fourth years of study at the Academy, the student has the opportunity to participate in repertory acting, directing projects, theatrical management, design, choreography, apprenticeships in our program, as well as at local schools and community theatres, job shadowing, and career guidance. In addition to this training, guest artists will be brought in continually to offer additional educational support toward the program. The teachers and staff are committed to achieving excellence in the theatrical education of each student. It is a strong belief of the SOCSA staff that to succeed in the industry today, the individual must have not only a strong educational background and diverse abilities, but also superior technical and management skills. Our commitment is that the student continues at an institution of higher learning, directly enters a career in the field of theatre, or is simply provided a better understanding of the art form.

Brittany Casey chairs the Musical Theater Major.  She can be reached at

Samantha Sanford chairs the Drama/Theater Tech Major.  She can be reached at

Course Descriptions

Theater Arts

SOCSA offers in-depth acting training to students with diverse performing aspirations. Throughout their theatrical journey within the program, actors use the fundamentals of theater to “hone-in” their craft; building yearly to create their own “method,” which will prepare them for the professional world.

Advanced Drama (Freshman/Sophomore)

Students enrolled in the Year 1 (Freshman) and Year 2 (Sophomore) Advanced Drama classes are exposed to a variety of theater concepts including improvisation, mime, monologue/scene work, beginning direction/writing, critique/analysis; in addition to studying great playwrights including, but not limited to, Shakespeare, Simon, Moliere, and Miller.

Actor’s Repertory Theater (Junior/Senior)

In addition to acting techniques and beginning direction/writing concepts acquired during the first two years in the program, Actor’s Repertory Theater offers the actor advanced experience in producing, dramaturgy, character analysis, and critique. Students have the opportunity to create their own pieces and perform them for audiences from the SOCSA and local community; performing in numerous shows throughout the year. There is a prerequisite of two years of advanced acting for this course and admission into the class is by audition only.


This course trains the student in all areas of the theater practice except acting. The student becomes proficient in analyzing set design, color, lighting, costuming, and stage makeup. Practical experience is gained in the construction of set and stage materials. Students work on various backstage crews during rehearsals and productions.

Theatrical Production

This advance course offers the student career experience/internship as a stage manager, scenic designer, costume designer, property master, video master, lighting designer, and make-up artist. There is a prerequisite of two years of stagecraft and admission into the class is by portfolio/interview only.

Drama Musical Comedy

This course provides the student with the opportunity to improve and showcase musical theater talents; culminating in general public performances. All students learn beginning acting, music and dance technique; in addition to basic choreography, staging, harmony, and solo/choral singing.

Drama Musical Comedy/Rehearsal

This course provides the student with the opportunity to improve and showcase talents in specified roles, culminating in general public performances. Admissions into the rehearsal class is by audition only and is used as a time to instruct and rehearse a main-stage musical.