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Time in Greater Orange County: More than ten eyars

Neighborhood: Mission Viejo, CA

Instagram: @jstagemeragejcc

What's your mission?

Our mission is to create a safe, inclusive, and encouraging creative space that provides access to high quality theatrical experiences for artists and audiences alike. We strive to offer opportunities for artists to learn new skills, hone their craft, and showcase finely-tuned work that they know represents their own excellence, while providing access for local audiences to experience the magic of live theatre presented at a high professional standard. We are committed to honest, specific, and intentional storytelling, and a firm belief that there is great joy to be found in showcasing something that is undoubtedly a reflection of your very best efforts. Our intention is to offer people of all backgrounds access to artistic experiences that enrich their lives through the cultivation of self-expression, creativity, empathy, compassion, and community.

Is there a story behind your organization's name?

JStage is a program proudly offered to the greater Southern California community by the Merage Jewish Community Center of Orange County.

What kind of productions and programming could we expect from your organization?

We are proud to offer full-length musical productions featuring talented and dedicated artists, presented with high production values.

What's your origin story?

JStage was a program that successfully produced youth musical productions for many years, directed by our current show director, under the oversight of our current JStage producer. Our inaugural full-length community production took place in the fall of 2022, with our production of Little Shop of Horrors. The actor who played the starring role of Seymour Krelbourn had, unbeknownst to us, done professional design work for community and regional theatres all over Orange County. He didn't tell us any of this when he casually offered to help out with our set, and then proceeded to gift us with the most elaborate and professional looking set that we had ever had. We hired him on the spot to design our spring shows, thus gaining the exciting addition of professional scenic, costume, hair, and makeup design. In 2023, we received the support of our wonderful underwriter, Mark Schwartz, which enabled our program to continue to grow. That summer, our long-time resident show director was promoted to the full-time position of JStage Artistic Director, and JStage was able to expand into its own department.

Outside of your main productions, do you offer other programs for the community?

In addition to full-length community musical productions, JStage also offers two junior musical productions per year, as well as a variety of classes, workshops, and enrichment programs for kids of all ages.

What are your organization's short and long term goals?

In the short term, we would love to meet and work with more wonderful local actors, and continue to expand our staff to include additional resident members of our production team, as well as professional backstage crew members. Our long-term goals for JStage include expanding to produce more productions per year with longer show runs, the creation of additional full-time jobs for artistic professionals, continuing to provide opportunities for mentorships, internships, workshops, and classes, and building additional opportunities for further community outreach.

How would people get more involved in your organization?

We hold open auditions for all of our community productions. Registration for our kids' programs are also open to the community, including registration for our JStage Jr. musical productions. We encourage everyone to stay abreast of our current offerings by visiting our website at (select Arts+Culture, then select "JStage") and to follow us on Instagram @jstagemeragejcc and Facebook (JStage Irvine).

Name one last thing you want people to know about your organization.

JStage is proud to present Into The Woods, running April 20-28, 2024. All JStage productions feature professional direction, as well as professional lighting, sound, costume, and scenic design, and take place in the beautiful 488 seat Isidore C. & Penny W. Myers Theatre at the Merage JCC in Irvine.


Jstage - Merage Jewish Community Center

A community oriented theatre program run by professional paid theatrical staff aimed at educating and fostering theatre arts on local Irvine community.

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