Alchemy followed up Redneck Wedding with A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Jesse Runde. Produced at Huntington Beach Central Park Amphitheater, the show was remarkable for the fun and approachable staging that has become a hallmark of Alchemy's Annual Shakespeare in the Park Productions.
Inspired by the traveling players in Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, as well as Alchemy's own status as a company with no permanent home, Runde framed Shakespeare's text with a preshow that included the arrival of the company by way of a gypsy wagon which contained the set, props, and costumes. The players proceeded to cast the show, calling upon one of the audience to fill in for a suddenly disappeared company member.
Please click here for details about attending our next Shakespeare in the Park Production.
Alchemy's Founding Ensemble Members: Jeff Lowe, Stephen John, Jesse Runde, Tiffany Berg, and Cory John, A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2013. Photo by Robert Ladd, all rights reserved.
Alchemy's first show was a bespoke production commissioned as a fundraiser for the Fullerton chapter of Soroptimist International, a local service organization working to better the lives of women and children in our community. Conceived of and directed by Stephen John, the show was part long form improv, part musical theatre, part immersive event, completely hilarious, and a great success as a fundraiser, netting a much higher return than the previous years fundraisers.
Redneck Wedding has since been performed at the Covina Center for the Performing Arts and Alchemy continues to create new productions for their friends at Fullerton Soroptimist International each year as part of their annual fundraiser. The shows have come to be known as Alchemy du Fromage.
To find out about ordering your very own show du Fromage, or attending an already scheduled fundraiser, click here.
PERFORMING UNCOMMON ACTS OF THEATRE IN ORANGE COUNTY, LA, AND BEYOND SINCE 2013
Alchemy Theatre Co.
Tyler Campbell as Bottom with Company Members Adam Ferry, Tiffany Berg, and Kathleen Switzer in Alchemy's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Robert Ladd, all rights reserved.
The final show in Alchemy's inaugural season was An O. Henry Christmas, by local playwright Howard Burman. Directed by Jesse Runde, this site-sympathetic production played on the streets of Santa Ana, where the actors portrayed an unlikely collection of homeless souls acting out familiar stories as they attempt to survive a long winter night. The production was free to the public, attracting passersby including members of the local displaced population. Alchemy donated a portion of donations collected to Mercy House Transitional Living Center in Santa Ana.
The unconventional staging of a nontraditional holiday show set the stage for what would become a more experimental trend in Alchemy's work running alongside the Du Fromage and Shakespeare productions: an interest in local playwrights, immersive & site-sympathetic works, and an enduring commitment to assisting local non-profit organizations working to help the homeless population in Orange County.
Company Member Amy Lauren Gettys and Tyler Campbell listen to Glenda Wright on the streets of Santa Ana in Alchemy's production of An O. Henry Christmas. Photo by Robert Ladd, all rights reserved.
Taras Wybaczynsky and Company Member Jon Sparks walk down the aisle in Redneck Wedding. Photo by Alchemy Theatre Company, all rights reserved.
ALCHEMY THEATRE COMPANY
was founded in 2012 by Cory John, Jeff Lowe, Jesse Runde, Stephen John, and Tiffany Berg. The ensemble met working on productions around Orange County and decided to band together out of a desire to diversify the scope of theatre generated in their local community.
Produced in 2013, their first season drew upon the team's complimentary skills to include three unique shows that have served to define their signature style as a community-conscious itinerant theatre company staging uncommon acts of theatre in locations all over Southern California.