Department Overview

The South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA) offers the serious acting student a diverse theatre program. This program includes in-depth studies in acting, directing, musical theatre, repertory, theatrical design and construction, plus theatre and career management. The student’s first two years in the program are devoted to individual development in the areas of voice and diction, physical action, characterization, design and application skills (in the areas of scenery, lighting, makeup, costume, and sound), along with studies in acting and dance techniques. In the third and fourth years of study at the Academy, the student has the opportunity to participate in repertory acting, directing projects, theatrical management, design, choreography, apprenticeships in our program, as well as college and career guidance. In addition to this training, guest artists will be brought in continually to offer additional educational support toward the program. The teachers and staff are committed to achieving excellence in the theatrical education of each student. It is a strong belief of the SOCSA staff that to succeed in the industry today, the individual must have not only a strong educational background and diverse abilities, but also superior technical and management skills. Our commitment is that the student continues at an institution of higher learning, directly enters a career in the field of theatre, or is simply provided a better understanding of the art form.

Samantha Sanford chairs the Musical Theater, Acting, and Technical Theater pathways, and can be reached at sasanford@capousd.org

Incoming Audition Information

Female Factory Workers Strike in “The Triangle Factory Fire Project” (Spring, 2018)

Female Factory Workers Strike in “The Triangle Factory Fire Project” (Spring, 2018)

Course Descriptions

Drama 1/Advanced Drama: Freshman/Sophomore

Students enrolled in the Year 1 (Freshman) and Year 2 (Sophomore) Drama1/Advanced Drama classes are exposed to a variety of theater concepts including improvisation, mime, monologue/scene work, beginning direction/writing, critique/analysis; in addition to studying great playwrights including, but not limited to, Shakespeare, Simon, Moliere, and Miller.

Cecily and Algernon from “The Importance of Being Earnest” spark the beginning of their romance. (Fall 2018)

Cecily and Algernon from “The Importance of Being Earnest” spark the beginning of their romance. (Fall 2018)

Stagecraft

This course trains the student in set construction, set painting, and design. Students explore designing the other aspects of a theatrical experience in this course. Students have the opportunity to work on various backstage crews during rehearsals and productions, but it is not required through the class.

Theatrical Production

This advance course offers the student career experience/internship as a stage manager, scenic designer, costume designer, property master, lighting designer, spotlight operator, sound mixer, and make-up/hair designer. There is a prerequisite of two years of stagecraft and admission into the class is by portfolio/interview only.

The junkyard cats celebrate in “Cats” (Spring 2018)

The junkyard cats celebrate in “Cats” (Spring 2018)

Drama Musical Comedy/Rehearsal

This course provides the student with the opportunity to improve and showcase talents in specified roles, culminating in general public performances. Admissions into the rehearsal class is by audition only and is used as a time to instruct and rehearse a main-stage musical. 

Auditions for incoming students will be on the following dates. Please email Ms. Sanford to schedule an audition time in advance. Prepare 2 contrasting one-minute monologues to be placed in an appropriate acting class.

April 16 3:10 - 5:00 pm

May 14 3:10 - 5:00 pm

June TBD



The Spellers in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” await their next turn at the microphone. (Fall 2018)

The Spellers in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” await their next turn at the microphone. (Fall 2018)

Actor’s Repertory Theater: Junior/Senior

In addition to acting techniques and beginning direction/writing concepts acquired during the first two years in the program, Actor’s Repertory Theater offers the actor advanced experience in producing, dramaturgy, character analysis, and critique. Students have the opportunity to create their own pieces and perform them for audiences from the SOCSA and local community; performing in numerous shows throughout the year. There is a prerequisite of two years of advanced acting for this course and admission into the class is by audition only.

The two ‘batty’ aunts in “Arsenic and Old Lace” look on as their nephew rants about their insanity. (Fall 2017)

The two ‘batty’ aunts in “Arsenic and Old Lace” look on as their nephew rants about their insanity. (Fall 2017)

Drama Musical Comedy PE

This course provides the student with the opportunity to improve and showcase musical theater talents; culminating in general public performances. All students learn beginning acting, music and dance technique; in addition to basic choreography, staging, harmony, solo/choral singing, and beginning music theory. This class meets after school two days a week from 3:00 - 5:10 pm, and students are able to earn their Physical Education credit through this course.

Thespian Troupe 3805 and attendees at the 2018 California State Thespian Festival!

Thespian Troupe 3805 and attendees at the 2018 California State Thespian Festival!