Introducing Our New Majors: Beatrix & Adam!


Beatrix Ketcham is freshman transfer originally born and raised as a missionary kid in France, but now lives in San Clemente. As a musical theater major, Beatrix chose Vanguard because of its reputation for strong community and awesome theater department. One of Beatrix’s favorite things to do is dance, especially swing and hip-hop.



Adam Dovel is a freshman performance and directing major from Nebraska. He chose Vanguard because of it’s small size and community feel. He wanted a nice place away from home to further his education in a solid Christian atmosphere. Adam says, “Since day one I’ve always felt welcome and wanted.” When not doing theater, you can find Adam doing a variety of activities from playing guitar to downhill mountain biking.

We’re so excited to watch these two new faces grow and learn as they study what they’re passionate about. Look for them in upcoming productions!


ACTC Reflection

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Life Without Parole is coming to LA with your help

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Dear Theatre Patrons,

Life Without Parole, a play inspired by the work and research of the late Dr. Elizabeth Dermody Leonard, will be professionally produced at the Edgemar Theater in Santa Monica for three weeks in October and November 2016 by American Coast Theater Company. Written by Professor Warren Doody, Life Without Parole tells the story of Helen Broker, a woman serving fifteen years to life for the second-degree murder of her abusive husband, and who is seeking parole for the first time. This Los Angeles premiere will be directed by VU Theatre Arts Chair Susan K. Berkompas.

The Global Center for Women and Justice is serving as a producer for this show, and we are asking for your help in meeting the various costs associated with this production. The theater itself has already been rented and reserved, but the production still needs to raise the $15,000.00 necessary to pay the professional cast and crew. The Elizabeth Dermody Leonard Memorial Fund, designed specifically for those projects that continue and extend her research, represents a means for you to contribute to this project, one intended to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence.

Robert Leonard, her surviving husband, has written of the play and the memorial fund,

“Nothing would have pleased Elizabeth more than to know that the work that meant so much to her continues, thanks to the continued efforts of those who share her desire for justice for all women who have suffered from an abusive relationship or who have been denied justice by our legal system.”

 If you are willing to help raise the funds necessary to produce this work, please send your tax-deductible donation to the Elizabeth Dermody Leonard Memorial Fund at the address below. Please make checks payable to Vanguard University—GCWJ in Memo. If you would like to make an online donation, please visit

Vanguard University
Attn: Global Center for Women and Justice
55 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Yours in peace and grace,

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Sandra Morgan, PhD, RN
Director, Global Center for Women and Justice
Vanguard University

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~Bon Voyage, Class of 2016~

Our 2016 Theatre Graduates

Come this may our department will have seven of our majors graduating. These majors include Austin Nunn (Performance/Directing), Winter Bassett (Musical Theatre), Josiah Dominguez (Musical Theatre), Kristina Leopold (Double major in Musical Theatre and English), Caitlin Leamon (Performance/Directing), Tricia Foster (Technical Theatre), and Kayla Dowd (Musical Theatre). Each of these students has made a lasting impression on our department. We are sad to see them go, but also excited to see them grow as artists. Bon Voyage, Class of 2016!

FIDM Field Trip

FIDM Field Trip

This past weekend our Costume Design class taught by Professor Lia Hansen took a field trip to FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in LA. They had approximately two dozen displays in their costumes from major motion pictures exhibit which also featured all the costumes from the 2016 Oscar Nominees. In addition to that there was also an exhibit on women’s fans which discussed their historical importance and how they set women apart in different social standings. During the trip we discussed the different styles of sewing and techniques of costume design. Professor Hansen walked us through each display from Disney’s Cinderella and Star Wars to Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant and asked questions on whether the stitching was primarily vertical, horizontal, or curved linear; what the costume designer’s intent was when they decided to enhance certain features; etc.

My favorite part of the exhibit though wasn’t learning about the costume design techniques though (sorry Professor Hansen). It was being up close and personal with the costumes of some of my favorite characters from my favorite films. Being able to stand five feet away from Kylo Ren’s costume from Star Wars had me giddy on the inside. It was also really interesting to be able to see these costumes at such a close proximity because it gives you a renewed appreciation for the costume designer’s work who is often an unsung hero in the production of a show. The detail that you’re able to see in the costumes is amazing and was very interesting to be see the differences in how they appear in the film vs how they actually appear in person. Overall this was an amazing trip. Who knew you still got to take field trips in college?


The Winter’s Tale

The Winter’s Tale

A Romance Drama that takes the chill off of unwarranted jealousy and evil schemes

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Susan K. Berkompas

In terms of strength of character, unity of plot, and audience satisfaction, The Winter’s Tale may be the best of Shakespeare’s later romances. While still presenting the danger and power of evil in the world, its happy ending sets it apart from the earlier histories and tragedies. Warm up to this tale of true love and the healing of a repentant heart. | Suitable for teens and older

Friday, February 27 …………….. 8:00 pm (Open Forum)

Saturday, February 28 …………. 8:00 pm

Sunday, March 1 ………………… 2:00 pm

Thursday, March 5 ………………. 8:00 pm

Friday, March 6 ………………….. 8:00 pm

Saturday, March 7 ………………. 2:00 and 8:00 pm

Sunday, March 8 ………………… 2:00 pm

Visit or call the theatre box office at 714.668.6145 to purchase tickets. Ticket prices are $14 for general admission and $12 for seniors, children, and groups. All performances at the Vanguard University Lyceum Theater.


What it Means to be on Popular Demand

What’s it really like to be on Vanguard’s Popular Demand?

We Asked several of the members and here is what they said.


1. How would you define Popular Demand?

“I would define Popular Demand as an improv/sketch comedy group where a bunch of friends basically get to play around and make up really fun ideas for shows for our fellow students.” – Winter Bassett, Popular Demand performer, senior.

2. What do you love most about the team?

“I love the process of preparing sketches. It is fun to see how one person can bring in one idea and then through everyone else’s feedback, and feeding off of each other, it can morph into something complete. I also enjoy getting to perform with my friends!” – Johanna Jacobsen, Popular Demand performer, junior.

3. How’s your outreach been?

“Great! I have been a part of this team since it started my Freshman year here and it has been so cool to see it grow on campus. I love seeing new faces in the audience of people who have not come before!” – Kate Frampton, Popular Demand member and Team Leader, junior.

4. Any future plans for the group?

We hope to continue to grow and transition into more sketches rather than improv” – Kate Frampton

5. Are there any upcoming shows?

“We have some really fun things planned this semester! Nothing has been set in stone yet.” – Austin Nunn, Popular Demand performer, senior.


Popular Demand is Vanguard’s Theatre Department’s on campus sketch improv team. Four of the members are theatre majors and the other four members are from a diverse amount of departments across campus. Their work typically consists of a mix between improv games and sketches though according to team leader Kate Frampton they are aiming to make the shift to more consistent sketch work rather than improv games. There are plenty of shows to come up this semester, but the seats fill up FAST, so make sure to grab your friends and head out for some laughs ASAP.

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Spotlight: Theatre Chapel BRAVO

A quick spotlight on the Department’s weekly Theatre Chapel, Bravo!


With college classes taking up mornings and afternoons, and rehearsals/performances being held in the evenings there isn’t much time outside of that to have a social life. Your friends become other Theatre majors because those are the people you see daily, work with, and trust.  The Theatre Department is in itself its own little community and Bravo is a place where this community can come together to support one another and praise God.  For one hour every Monday students are able take a step back from the hustle and bustle of a regular performance filled day and join their classmates in Bible study, student testimonies and worship. The first Monday of every month is a full hour of worship. It’s by far the perfect way to start a new month. The following weeks adjust depending on the needs of the students.

Our former Theatre Manager, Bill Hughes, began Bravo over five years ago and it’s been amazing to see how much this program has grown.

Here’s what Bill had to say about Bravo:

“The Theatre Department always encouraged spiritual development activities for the Theatre majors, but they would ebb and flow depending upon the initiative of the students. After earning my bachelor’s degree through the VU Religion Department in 2009, I asked Sue if I could make it more structured and and be the representative from the Department who would be responsible to keep it functioning.

Since it was always the result of student generated activity, my leadership philosophy was to encourage that to continue and equip them with whatever they needed to keep that type of activity going. Therein lies the success. They keep it going. They minister to each other. They seem to know what they need from each other. I would just facilitate.

So, there have always been student leaders. And that is a great thing. It creates an opportunity for the leaders to exercise their gifts and it creates an environment for the group to be self-owned. It is their group.

They would say I did more, but what I always tried to do was know the pulse that was flowing through the group and guide them in it. The ‘Spiritual Sexuality’ topic is a good example. I sensed it. I brought it up. And they jumped on it. I think it was really really helping a huge issue for them. But again, they were doing all of the work. I would get the discussions going and then they would take off. It was great!

They don’t need another talking head. They need intimate open time with each other, to build relationships. We always made it a point to make sure that God’s Spirit was welcome and present. And over and over again He showed up and took over the meetings. It was always a wonderful awesome beautiful experience to be in His presence together with them.”

Now, not only do we have half of the Theatre Department joining weekly, we have students from other majors sitting in as well. College can be a stressful place. Without community one could become lost.  For many Theatre students Bravo has become a safe area to open up and speak what’s in their heart, as well as a time to refocus on why we’re here: to serve and praise our Lord.


ACTC’s Winter Wonderland Christmas Cabaret

American Coast Theatre Company’s

A Winter Wonderland Christmas Cabaret

After you see the musical Christmas is Here Again, come back to see ACTC’s old variety style cabaret, A Winter Wonderland Christmas Cabaret! It is sure to invite, delight, and excite! Picture the backdrop of a gorgeous winter wonderland ice pond surrounded by beautiful snow flocked trees that glisten with twinkle lights. This 90-minute song and dance show will highlight scared and popular Christmas folk tunes with six of the most talented professionals in Orange County. Afterwards, homemade hot chocolate and cider will be served with fresh Christmas desserts and a meet-and-greet with the actors.

Monday, December 7 – 7:30 pm

Tuesday, December 8 – 7:30 pm

Wednesday, December 9 – 7:30 pm

Sunday, December 13 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, December 17 – 7:30 pm

Friday, December 18 – 7:30 pm

Saturday, December 19 – 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm

Sunday, December 20 – 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm

Monday, December 21 – 7:30 pm

Tuesday, December 22 – 7:30 pm

Wednesday, December 23 – 7:30 pm

Tickets per person for show; beverage & dessert: $25

Visit or call the theatre box office at 714.619.6424 to purchase tickets