Best College Theater Production Orange County 2008 - Cypress College New Play Festival
Mark Majarian and the rest of this community college's theater department deserve a chorus of hosannas for launching and growing a new-play festival as strong as any in Southern California. This year marked the 13th installment of the summer event, which has premiered or helped develop more than 70 plays. Many of the writers—and several of the plays—have subsequently received full-fledged productions at regional and off-Broadway theaters. While that's a worthy feat to crow about, it's secondary to what makes new-play festivals such as Cypress' truly meaningful: They provide encouragement and incentive to playwrights, a strange breed of animal that chooses to work in an artistic field where recognition is hard to come by and financial compensation nearly impossible.