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The COC theatre department will present playwright Eric Bogosian’s gritty, but comedic, drama “subUrbia” for one weekend March 27-30 at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) Black Box Theater.

Focusing on themes of escape, personal re-invention and the American dream, “subUrbia” follows the evening activities of a group of aimless 20-somethings living in suburban New Jersey.  But when a chance encounter with a former classmate turned successful musician stirs the emotions of the group, each begins to examine the lies and excuses that have combined to keep them stuck in a seemingly meaningless, dead-end existence.

“We selected this production because of its powerful writing, relevant themes and vibrant characters,” said Paul Wickline, chair of the COC theatre department and the play’s producer. “But most importantly, it has allowed the students in our program an opportunity to apply the skills they have been learning in the classroom, to the stage.”

The cast of “subUrbia” will be composed entirely of students from the college’s theatre department.

“This production has been a great opportunity for me to work on such raw material,” said COC theatre major Devin Heath, who has been cast in the role of ‘Buff.’ “I’ve spent my entire life growing up in Santa Clarita, and to me ‘subUrbia’ really captures the language of angst associated with growing up in the suburbs.”

The COC production of “subUrbia” is being directed by John DeMita, whose credits at COC include the college’s productions of “Equus,” “Death of a Salesman,” “As You Like It,” and “Rumors.”

Performances will run at 8 p.m. March 27-29 and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students/seniors. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis, but may be limited.

This production contains profanity and adult situations and is recommended for mature audiences only. Children under the age of 5 are not allowed in the theater.

More About the Cast

The cast of “subUrbia” will be made up of an eclectic mix of COC theatre majors, with some having participated in a number of recent COC theatre productions and others performing at the college for the very first time.

Local theatregoers may recognize Devin Heath — playing the role of ‘Buff’ — from his appearances in the recent COC productions “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Meanwhile, newcomer Austen Parros will have his opportunity to shine in the role of ‘Tim.’ Parros is returning to the theatre, his stated “first love,” after serving in the United States Air Force as an aerospace propulsion journeyman, otherwise known as a jet engine mechanic.

Playing the role of ‘Sooze’ will be Bre Combs, who joined the cast after initially serving as an assistant stage manager for the production. Combs — a past recipient of the college’s Jay and Joyce Rodgers Performing Arts Scholarship — will return to the PAC main stage after having appeared in the COC production “The Heidi Chronicles,” as well as the 2012 New Works Festival.

“Overseeing the first three weeks of rehearsals as an assistant stage manager provided me with an extremely valuable perspective. I can’t say how much I appreciate learning from such an outstanding production team,” commented Combs. “Now that I’ve joined the cast, it’s amazing to be able to jump in with such a dedicated and gifted ensemble.”

The entire cast list for the COC theatre production of “subUrbia” is listed below:

* Bre Combs … Sooze

* Shamika Dodds … Pakeeza

* Celina Galang … Bee Bee

* Devin Heath … Buff

* Todd Hughlett … Jeff

* Timmy Jasperson … Pony

* Juan Juarez … Norman Chaudry

* Austen Parros … Tim

* Chelsea Van Duyn … Erica

For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.CanyonsPAC.com or call (661) 362-5304.

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