Sunday was the last performance for the Orange Community Players Young Peoples Workshop’s production of “Breaking the News 2.” It was a fun filled show premised as a news program with commercials; current and make believe.

The cast was actually small compared to other years. Usually the workshop is filled with 50 or more eager theater students. This year there were only about 35 kids in the classes. Alaniz Vasquez, one of the directors said he thinks a church camp was in session the same time as auditions.

The smaller group didn’t matter; it was the quality of the kids that blew them away.

“Where have these kids been hiding?” directors kept asking each other. Vasquez said, “These kids are great! It’s the next generation. We want to keep these kids together.”

The OCPTV news desk. RECORD PHOTOS: Penny LeLeux

Vasquez said the last group of young people this cohesive has graduated and gone off to college. The directors are making plans to keep this group together with other projects throughout the year. “Maybe just one production; but definitely some workshops,” said Vasquez.

The Young People’s Theater Workshop began in 1985 under the leadership of Diana Hill and Jeff Hattman. Hattman recently passed away. She was the last founding member of Orange Community Players Inc.

The workshop provides a full theatrical experience from learning about costuming and makeup, to stage fighting and auditioning. After a week of classes, students prepared auditions and started work on their production of “Breaking the News 2”

I find it interesting directors feel they have found the “Next Generation” right at the passing of the last generation. Could Hattman not only have been a “director to the end,” but a director still? Hmmmm, many have long suspected there are spirits about the theater. Could Hattman have joined the ethereal cast? Who knows? Either way, Vasquez is hoping he has the makings of the next youth board.

Actors are listed in alphabetical order: Tristen Anding, Jessica Bean, Rachel Belcher, Rachel Brady, Marlee Bradley, Addie Branson, Bryan Buzbee, Chase Courtier, Jonah Courtier, Emily Daigle, Lani Daniels, Julia Droll, Sabrina Droll, Kayla Foster, Jaden Henry, Regina Marley, Nikki Mathis, Trey Mathis, Mamie McClelland, Aimee McNeil, Abbie Noah, Bailey Noah, Tyler Ragan, Lila Reynolds, Edward Rucks, Lara Sanford, Carissa Slaughter, Raven Wedgeworth and Audrey Zeto.

Zumba mania on the OCP stage.

The crew included: directors: Anne Lilyquist, Alaniz Vasquez and Codie Vasquez; assistants: Deah Daigle and Diana Hill; music directors: ‘Rico Vasquez and Josh Scales; stage manager: Barry Foster; lights: Anne Lilyquist; sound: Alaniz Vasquez; instructors: Josh Cuccio, Alli Howard; Choreography: Anne Lilyquist and John Grey; construction: Daryll Droll, Mike Reynolds and Brian Daniels; marquee: Jean Hamerly, Janet Bland and Chase Townsend.

The new season at Orange Community Players Inc. begins Aug. 16th with “A Salute to Carol Burnett” directed by Kevin Doss. Other productions next season included “The Full Monty” directed by Brook Doss, “Mama Won’t Fly” a Jones Hope Wooten comedy, and the final chapter in the Nunsense series, “Nunsense A-Men!” The season has been dedicated to Jeff Hattman.

A dance number during “Breaking the News 2”.


About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.