It’s a Wonderful Life

“Vanguard regularly astonishes with its talent for squeezing large-cast shows onto the limited dimensions of the Lyceum Theater stage, and this one is no exception…heartwarming and infectious.”

-Daily Pilot , Feb 5, 2008

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

“If any performing group is well-versed in the art of presenting big musicals on small stages without losing any dimension other than size, it’s Costa Mesa’s Vanguard University. Directed by Amick Byram, one of the tastiest treats in the “oldies but goodies” file … a bouncy, tuneful and highly satiric piece of musical theater that you’ll enjoy — without even trying.”

-Daily Pilot, April 5, 2007

“Business’ is very good at Vanguard … Each musical number was a treat, with harmonious vocals and on-point dance moves. The entire cast excelled.”

-The Current – West, April 13, 2007

Glass Menagerie and For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls

“Susan K. Berkompas … has fashioned a superbly moving revival in her seamless 90-minute cutting of the original Williams drama. It’s not often that theatrical greatness and stinging satire can coexist on one stage, but Vanguard has accomplished this feat with its unique double bill, presented as both homage and satire.”

-Daily Pilot, March 1, 2007


“If you’ve never witnessed Shakespeare’s “Othello,” the Vanguard production is the one by which to measure future local incarnations. It is college theater at its most majestic.

Of all the tragedies in the Shakespearean canon, none is more visceral, more gut-wrenching than “Othello.” This is particularly true when a collegiate producing group pours all of its resources into the production. This all leads to the sort of magnificent interpretation now on stage at Costa Mesa’s Vanguard University— here updated to modern dress with riveting effect by director Susan Berkompas.”

-Daily Pilot, December 7, 2006

“Vanguard University’s brilliant staging of “Othello” proved to be the top production among local college drama departments. Directed by Susan Berkompas, it offered a searing, modern-dress rendition of the age-old story of the tragic effects of jealousy.”

-Daily Pilot, December 29, 2006

The Lion in Winter

“Lion’ Roars into Desert … Vanguard’s performance of ‘The Lion in Winter’ is picked among best in the region and will play at a competition in Arizona. Judges from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival selected the stage production as one of the six best in the region … from a pool of nearly 160 collegiate shows in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.”

“’The Lion in Winter,’ a veritable feast for actors, proved a banquet at Vanguard University … Director Marianne Savel brought the show into a modern setting without sacrificing the edgy intensity of the conflict between King Henry II of England and his captive queen Eleanor.”

-Daily Pilot, January 25, 2005


“Top Theater of Year Goes to Vanguard … That quaint little Scottish village, which only surfaces every 100 years, materialized at Costa Mesa’s Vanguard University long enough to establish itself as the top collegiate theater production among the three local institutions of higher learning in 2004.”

“… an intimate epic, a full-blown production delivered almost into your very lap, a wonderful, colorful and fully melodic revival of one of Broadway’s most romantic musicals. The Vanguard University production beautifully demonstrates how big things can happen on small stages.”

-Daily Pilot, December 31, 2004