Department of Theatre Arts Announces Orange County Premier in New 2015-16 Season

The Vanguard University department of theatre arts announces its 2015-16 season. The following five mainstage productions will be presented in Vanguard University’s Lyceum Theater:

  • A musical revue, The Beat Goes On
  • Life Without Parole, a contemporary drama
  • A new Christmas musical, Christmas is Here Again
  • A romantic drama production, The Winter’s Tale
  • The musical comedy, The Addams Family

The Beat Goes On will kick off the new season, in its return to the Lyceum Theater stage at Vanguard University. Longstanding faculty member, Vanda Eggington, will direct this production, along with the spring musical, The Addams Family. Life Without Parole was added to this season with a heavily revised script from playwright and Vanguard professor, Warren Doody. Susan Berkompas, MFA, chair of the department of theatre arts at Vanguard, will later produce Life Without Parole in Los Angeles, on a professional stage in 2016. Berkompas will also direct The Winter’s Tale, a timeless piece about jealousy, loss and forgiveness.

The 2015 calendar year will come to a close with the Orange County premiere of Christmas is Here Again, directed by Kevin Slay. This Christmas musical was originally cast by longtime friend, Rene Haynes, CSA casting director, as an animated feature, with a star-studded cast, including Kathy Bates, Ed Asner, Jay Leno, Andy Griffith, Shirley Jones, Norm MacDonald, and more.

This year, the National Association of Schools of Theatre accredited department of theatre arts is launching “Popular Demand,” a new improv comedy team. The new, student-directed “Cabaret Ensemble” from the department will also perform gigs and galas around Orange County and Los Angeles.

Season subscriptions to shows are on sale now by calling the theatre box office at (714) 668.6145. Individual tickets are for purchase at

For more information on Vanguard University’s department of theatre arts, visit


The Beat Goes On
September 18-20, 24-27, October 1-4

Life Without Parole
October 23-25, 29-31, November 1

Christmas is Here Again
December 3-6, 10-16

The Winter’s Tale
February 26-28, March 3-6

The Addams Family
April 8-10, 14-17, 21-24



Q Commons Hosts Event in Costa Mesa, Features Big List of Local Speakers

Q Commons brings the Q National event experience to Orange County, where the gathering will join 10,000 participants in over 75 cities, learning how to advance good in local communities. The program will be held Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m., at Wayfare HQ in Costa Mesa, California.

Q was founded by Gabe Lyons, author of The Next Christians: Seven Ways You Can Live The Gospel and Restore the World. Q was created as a place where church and cultural leaders could come together to explore ideas on how Christianity can be expressed within a cultural context.

“The next wave of Christian influence will come from the pews, not the pulpit,” said Lyons.

This year’s speakers at the Q Commons event include mayor of Compton, California, Aja Brown, Physician and Ebola survivor, Dr. Kent Brantly, and Q founder, Gabe Lyons. Dr. Sandra Morgan, director of the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University, as well as singer/songwriter and Vanguard alumna, Joy Olakodun, are also included as featured local speakers at Q Commons in Costa Mesa, on September 24.

“That kind of format allows Q to include both Richard Land from the religious right and Jim Wallis from the religious left; both will…discuss areas of potential agreement” said USA Today.

For additional schedule information or to attend Q Commons, visit


Service dog finds match in Vanguard University professor

Vanguard University chemistry Professor John Terhorst applied to Canine Companions for Independence in 2013 at his family’s urging and was later matched with his 2-year-old service dog Yan.

John and Yan gazed deeply into one another’s eyes. Their love was fresh, but it would last.

The two were introduced in February at a two-week retreat in Oceanside.

Leaders warned participants against setting their heart on a match until the end of the retreat, when formal pairs would be announced. But as soon as John and Yan met, they were inseparable. When the retreat ended, John put a leash on the golden-Labrador retriever mix and they went home together.

It might sound like a rash decision, but John had been thinking about Yan – or someone like him – since 2013.

Two years earlier, in his final year of working toward a Ph.D. in chemistry at Yale University, the 27-year-old sustained unexpected damage to his spinal cord during treatment for a congenital vascular malformation. After completing his degree, he moved back to California, where he had grown up, to be with his parents in Irvine.

Terhorst, who began using a wheelchair after the treatment left him disabled, felt little impetus to leave the house. When he did, he sensed people skirting by his wheelchair, discomfited by its presence.

His family suggested a service dog.

Canine companions

At first, John Terhorst, who began teaching chemistry in 2012 at Vanguard University, didn’t immediately buy in.

Read the full article on The Orange County Register website here.