Saddleback arts delivering virtual shows this fall


Josh Gennings; photo art. Louie Bowling/Lariat

Virtual shows planned and already up and running on the school’s website

In lieu of live events during the fall semester, Saddleback College fine arts will go virtual to showcase their performances. Saddleback has figured out ways to entertain with virtual performances, competitions and live events. There are already links to some of these great ways to support the Fine Arts while the campus is closed and participate in the arts section of Saddleback’s website.

For many, being able to have an outlet for their creative expression is critical. Saddleback is offering something that will allow students who may have been unable to adapt to being inside by encouraging them to try something new. 

In an email, performing arts operations specialist Elliot Klinge said:

So, we all settled into working from home over the spring, but there was this sort of restlessness. The Division of Fine Arts is filled with so many incredibly talented artists and educators, and they all wanted to get back to what they do best. And with so many things shut down, we could feel that there was a need in our community for connection, for enrichment, for entertainment, for catharsis— all those things that art can provide.

One upcoming event to be excited about is the 2020 Virtual Vaudeville Competition. This is Saddleback’s first-ever virtual competition and students are encouraged to submit their own two to three minute productions to have the chance to win up to $500 in scholarships from Nov. 1 to Nov. 26. Participants have the opportunity to launch their careers, much like Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland and Houdini did in vaudeville performances in their day.

Vaudeville sounds like this antiquated thing, but what it really did back then was to give new, unestablished artists a stage and an opportunity to make their mark,” Klinge said.

In addition to the competition, there are 10 episodes of the “Saddleback Arts: Live at Home” series available for viewing. These episodes, presented weekly, are meant to inspire the viewer and offer some useful creative fuel.

The faculty and staff wanted to show our students and the community that we were still here, still making art, and still prepared to serve them,” KIinge said.

These 10 episodes provide some much-welcomed content that can spark a new interest or rekindle an old one. Videos include the topics of music production, lighting and sound design, dance, costume and makeup. Most episodes last about 30 minutes, with some pushing up to an hour of content made special for Saddleback by the faculty and staff.

There is also an event calendar with three new virtual performances scheduled. Theatre arts has two plays, including a vintage-style performance of beloved classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” in which the experience is purely audio-based, like an old radio play. Dance also has a virtual theatre performance coming up on Nov. 21 called “Signals and Circuits,” which will teach the audience about the brain.

Saddleback’s art gallery also has a virtual show ready to be viewed titled “How Very” from the spring student showcase. The department does not plan on opening its doors until campus reopens to students, according to an email from art professor Barbara Holmes. In the coming week, “Art for a Future Future,” a show featuring faculty and staff of the Division of Fine Arts and Media Technology’s work, will be launched as well.

Quarantine has been a time that has brought great change to nearly everyone’s lives and will continue to do so. Picking up a new hobby or learning about a new topic while at home is something that can boost attitudes and creativity.

Our new virtual spaces and classrooms are allowing us to share in different ways and do things differently than we might normally create and share in the classroom,” Holmes said in response to student’s creativity during quarantine. “Finding an interesting workaround for something lacking or taking on a new hobby at home can spark new ideas and be a catalyst for critical thinking and heightened creativity.”

These planned events can energize the time spent inside and provoke new thinking. Though it may seem like the days drone on in isolation, virtual performances can provide fun and entertainment. 

I am finding many students responding to the impact of current events in their artwork, which is really interesting and something I wholeheartedly encourage as an instructor,” Holmes said.

Online ticket information is still to be announced.

Connect with the Division of Fine Arts:

@saddleback_arts on Instagram