The High Desert may seem like a quiet, slow paced place to live, but with close to 10 theatre companies who are regularly putting on shows, the performers of the High Desert are quick to assure you that this little community is far from dull.
Three directors from three local theatre companies came forward with answers to some of the most popular questions about the High Desert acting scene, and gave some info on upcoming productions.
The Theatre Arts Guild (TAG) is one of the oldest and well established companies in the desert.
After releasing their exciting show lineup for the year, I decided to turn to director Heather Collins to find out some more details.
In January 2020, Ms. Collins will be directing the Tennessee Williams classic, A Streetcar Named Desire.
The show focuses on struggle, rocky pasts, and secrets. “This truly is a story that so many can relate to,” said Collins. “It shows us the pitfalls of love and loss.”
Theatre Arts Guild has many more great shows coming up this season, such as Curse of the Werewolf and Burlesque 2020 . However, Ms. Collins is most excited for To Kill a Mockingbird.
The Theatre Arts Guild is only one of the major companies in the High Desert.
Ghost Light Theater is another dazzling company, that has become popular by taking on productions with a darker tone.
Ghost Light Theater held two shows on Halloween weekend, The Pillowman and Den of Thieves.
Jacob Wilson, a co-director on Den of Thieves was very excited about these upcoming shows, and their spooky nature. “Audience members can expect a couple good scares from both shows,” said Wilson. “They share a dark theme that matches the atmosphere of the holiday.”
Ghost Light is known to be an ambitious company, and they are definitely showing that nature recently. Both of these shows were put on at the well known concert venue C47 in Hesperia.
This is a unique venue, because it is quite small, which makes for a very immersive theatre experience. “My favorite thing about working in C47 is that there is virtually no separation between the audience and the actors, and that is a fairly uncommon experience in the High Desert,” said Wilson.
However, Ghost Light Theater isn’t the only place you can find ambition in the desert. Coming in June 2020, director Bobbie Simone from the company PHIL 413 will be taking the reins on the show In The Heights, a large scale musical by the popular playwright Lin Manuel Miranda.
Putting such a large production in a small theater comes with limitations, but the actors and directors of the High Desert don’t back down from a challenge.
“The High Desert Center for the Arts is a charming place, and a historical landmark,” said Simone. “I’m confident that it is going to be an amazing show.”
For new performers, getting involved with new productions can seem overwhelming, but PHIL 413 is always welcoming new talent.
“To join [PHIL 413] is as simple as coming down for an audition and going from there,” said Simone. “As for stage crew, all you have to do is reach out through an email to the company director.”
All of the theatre companies in the High Desert feel the same way about new talent. Each director noted that they are always looking for new faces to put on stage, and that there is no need to be experienced.
So, if you ever feel the desire to join this tight knit, hard working community of actors, all you have to do is reach out by contacting one of the many theatre companies around town.
Make sure to check out all the exciting shows and auditions coming up at the High Desert Center for the Arts by going to their Facebook Page:
And take a look at the upcoming Ghost Light Theater productions on their Instagram page: