Outside SCR returns to Mission San Juan Capistrano for The Old Man and the Old Moon

Take a theatrical journey this summer when South Coast Repertory returns for a final summer at Mission San Juan Capistrano with The Old Man and The Old Moon, book, music and lyrics by PigPen Theatre Co. The Outside SCR offering, which performs outdoors under the stars, runs July 20 through August 11.

Directed by SCR Associate Artistic Director Kim Martin-Cotten, The Old Man and The Old Moon takes audiences on an epic adventure across land, sea and sky – all in the name of love. Indie-folk music and ingenious staging transform this tall tale into a thrilling theatrical event like no other.

The Old Man who keeps the moon filled with light wakes up one morning to find his wife has gone, lured away by a mysterious melody. In his quest to find her, he encounters colorful characters, gets caught in an apocalyptic storm and is swallowed by a giant fish. Can he find her before the moon runs out of light and the world plunges into darkness?

The Old Man and the Old Moon is recommended for ages 7 and older.

Photos courtesy of SCR

Director and SCR Associate Artistic Director Kim Martin-Cotton

“Audiences are in for a terrific adventure in the best traditions of a transformational experience this summer. It’s amazing to think Outside SCR is moving into its fourth season in partnership with Mission San Juan Capistrano,” Artistic Director David Ivers said.

The Old Man and the Old Moon is a beautiful, family-friendly, music-filled journey offering the finest of what has become so special about a night of theater under the stars. I’m thrilled Associate Artistic Director Kim Martin-Cotten is making her SCR directorial debut and I am confident her artistry will elevate the experience into an unforgettable gathering.”

The Old Man and The Old Moon came from the minds of seven budding theater artists when they were still students at Carnegie Mellon University. The seven – Alex Falberg, Ben Ferguson, Curtis Gillen, Ryan Melia, Matt Nuernberger, Arya Shahi and Dan Weschler – later founded PigPen Theatre Co. The second play the group wrote, The Old Man and The Old Moon, premiered off-Broadway in 2012. It later played the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Writers Theatre outside Chicago, The Old Globe, Kansas City Repertory and the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills.

At each stop, it played to sold-out audiences, bringing critical acclaim for its folk music, innovative, use of low-tech materials, puppetry and storytelling combining wit and whimsy. In his New York Times review, Ben Brantley wrote, “This is a story of time and tides and quests, the sort of fable on which mythologies and religions are founded.”

The Old Man and the Old Moon is a magical adventure told by a shapeshifting indie-folk band that sails us across the sea, flies us into the stars and dives us into the belly of a giant fish – all in the pursuit of love,” Martin-Cotten said. “I am delighted we will be sharing this transformational tale in the gorgeous Mission setting for audiences of all ages.”

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Arya Shahi, one of the seven members of PigPen Theatre Co., which wrote “The Old Man and The Old Moon”

Martin-Cotten joined SCR in 2021 as associate artistic director and is the co-director of the Pacific Playwrights Festival. A producer, director, actor and educator who held the positions of artistic producer and associate director of New Works for Kansas City Repertory Theatre before coming to SCR, Martin-Cotten has directed The Moors, an eight-person Twelfth Night and a solo adaptation of Othello for Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s young company. Her other directing projects include The Dumbwaiter, Cabaret, Death of a Salesman, Proof and The Taming of the Shrew, among others. Martin-Cotten also served as project assistant to Anna Deavere Smith on her initial production of House Arrest First Edition at Arena Stage.

The cast features several SCR veterans, including Jess Andrews (Appropriate and The Little Foxes), Tommy Beck (A Christmas Carol), Huntington Beach native Armando Gutierrez (Million Dollar Quartet), Matt MacNelly (music director for Cambodian Rock Band and understudy for Million Dollar Quartet) and Joe Ngo (Cambodian Rock Band). It also features SCR newcomers Alex Lydon and Ana Marcu.

The design and creative team include Efren Delgadillo Jr. and Stephanie Bernardini, set design; Kish Finnegan, costume design; Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz, lighting design; Jeff Polunas, sound design; Michael Arden Larsen, associate director and movement coordinator and Matt Cotten, puppet designer and assistant director. Joanne DeNaut, CSA, is the casting director. Maisie Chan is the production manager, Kathryn Davies is the production stage manager, and Natalie Figaredo is the assistant stage manager.

Born out of the pandemic, Outside SCR began in 2021 as a way to safely return to live performances. It opened that summer with two plays – American Mariachi and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown – alternating performances. Million Dollar Quartet followed in 2022 and La Havana Madrid last summer. It brings SCR’s productions to new communities and audiences.

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“In Mission San Juan Capistrano, we found an ideal partner to share our passion for community and culture, and continue to be grateful for their support and commitment,” Managing Director Paula Tomei said. “As we head into our final summer performing there with Outside SCR, The Old Man and The Old Moon is a perfect choice for family audiences to experience in this beautiful setting. With its magical and enchanting storytelling, we will once again offer an unforgettable evening under the stars.”

“Mission San Juan Capistrano is eager to welcome back audiences for a fantastic summer showing of The Old Man and The Old Moon in its historic Central Courtyard. This lively tale will captivate audiences of all ages in a setting that is unparalleled,” Mission San Juan Capistrano Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence Adams said. “While this summer marks the end of our successful four-year run of outdoor theater at the Mission, we truly hope appreciative audiences far and wide will continue to support the masterful array of offerings wherever they take place by Orange County’s premier and award-winning South Coast Repertory.”

Outside SCR received generous support from Season Producers Michael Ray and Apriem Advisors and Honorary Producers Susan Shieldkret and David Dull. Haskell & White LLP is the Corporate Honorary Producer.

Ticket prices range from $40-$60, with special pricing for those age 25 and under. Single tickets are on sale now, either online at www.scr.org or by phone at 714.708.5555.

More information is available at www.scr.org.


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