Press

DIRECTOR REVIEWS

la-times-logo-white.png
LWP- broadway picture.jpg

West Coast Premier of: 

Life Without Parole, by Warren Doody

Edgmar Center for the Arts,

Santa Monica, CA.

"Susan K. Berkompas directs her very talented and committed cast with the precision of a surgeon in a tightly-paced, illustrative narrative of what put these five women in prison." 

- Gil Kaan:

Broadway World, L.A.

"Berkompas's direction adds in welcome arcs within the storytelling, which allows the audience to absorb the characters' trauma bit by bit, with space between for their identities outside this one ruling narrative. Berkompas asked Doody to add more showing, less telling, and so Mark Piatelli brings to life the new character of the 'everyman' abuser of each women. It is a chilling addition and well worth Doody's efforts."

- Melanie Hooks:

The Colorado Boulevard

coloradoboulevard.net

"Director, Susan K. Berkompas, offers a dynamic, passionate and visceral production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet."

A hit is detected in

'Bullshot Crummond'

By KRISTAL SEEDEN

FOR THE REGISTER

 

"Surely, you would be making a monstrous mistake if you missed Bullshot Crummond."

On Theater: 'Around the World in 80 days' is fast, funny and furious.

Director Susan K. Berkompas has pulled out all the creative and comedic stops for this wildly ambitious production.

la-times-logo-white.png

-The Daily Pilot-

"Vanguard’s A Servant of Two Masters:  Broad, physical comedy abounds in director Susan K. Berkompas' rollicking production, with its servants and fools wearing masks in the traditional style of 18th century commedia. And one scene — in a restaurant late in the first act — is alone worth the price of admission.  Berkompas skillfully weaves this difficult and demanding play with its myriad plot lines, making full use of a revolving set which serves multiple functions at a frantic, often dizzying pace."

la-times-logo-white.png

-The Daily Pilot- 

In Development Vanguard University's world premiere of a new drama by Warren Doody, an English professor at the Costa Mesa college, schizophrenia is an inherited condition, passed down from a woman to her son and on to his son. It's a truly frightening premise, triggering a pair of unforgettable portrayals…Strained familial relationships are a byproduct of this maddening disease, and director Susan K. Berkompas — who requested a play on this subject from Doody — has elicited some electrifying performances from her mostly student cast.

la-times-logo-white.png

-The Daily Pilot-

 

On Theater:
Verdict: ‘Jurors’ remains gripping

By Tom Titus

"With some judicious tinkering by its author, the estimable Reginald Rose, this jury room drama now is evenly divided — six men and six women — and director Susan Berkompas’ superior Vanguard production crackles, in most respects, with the immediacy of today. Certainly the crucial Fonda and Cobb roles are in superb hands."

la-times-logo-white.png

-The Daily Pilot-

"VU's Our Town:  This show not only clutches at the heart, but also shows off the old classic in a new light. Director Susan K. Berkompas has cast two performers in the role of the stage manager — one male, one female — and they alternately offer cryptic comments about life in the fictional town of Grovers Corners."

la-times-logo-white.png

-The Daily Pilot-

THEATER REVIEW:
Vanguard actors excel in 'Othello'

By TOM TITUS

Of all the tragedies in the Shakespearean canon, none is more visceral, more gut-wrenching than Othello…This is particularly true when a collegiate producing group pours all of its resources into the production, including the recruitment of two seasoned professionals…This all leads to the sort of magnificent interpretation now on stage at Costa Mesa's Vanguard University…If you've never witnessed Shakespeare's Othello, the Vanguard production is the one by which to measure future local incarnations. It is college theater at its most majestic.

GOLDSTAR:

Metamorphoses Reviews

 

Written on Dec 14 2014

One of the best so far at Vanguard!! Original and creative. Well done !!

 

Written on Oct 31 2014

An excellent show! Always enjoy the shows at Vanguard and this was no exception.

-The Daily Pilot-

"Shakespeare in his most riotous incarnation is the fare at Vanguard University, where director Susan K. Berkompas has added even more laughter to the Bard's freewheeling farce, The Comedy of Errors."

-The Daily Pilot-

'Charley's Aunt' a Victorian romp at Vanguard.

"Berkompas has honed this antique comedy to the point that even the ostensibly mundane, talky sequences are calculated to delight.

-The Daily Pilot-

"A stark, visceral telling of the Holocaust"

 

         (ACTC  performance review)   

 By Tom Titus

"Susan K. Berkompas Directs this searing drama with a strong but tender hand, eliciting some superb performances..."

 

-The Daily Pilot-

T.H. McCulloh

Wide-Awake 'Dream'

"'Comparisons are odorous,' says Shakespeare's Dogberry, but sometimes they're interesting. Sir Peter Hall's recent staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Ahmanson Theatre was notable for how the dialogue was spoken, the beautiful treatment of the Bard's poetry. Yet the production itself was flat, unexciting and oddly lifeless... unlike Hall's production, Susan K. Berkompas' direction is full of life, humor and joy of its scenes of young love requited and unrequited."

la-times-logo-white.png
la-times-logo-white.png
la-times-logo-white.png
la-times-logo-white.png

Actor Reviews

-The Daily Pilot-

"ACTC’s Shadowlands:  It's a marriage made in theatrical heaven as Berkompas (with a fine New York accent) penetrates the snobbish world of English intelligentsia in a bravura performance."

la-times-logo-white.png
la-times-logo-white.png

-The Daily Pilot-

"ACTC’s A Streetcar Named Desire:  Susan K. Berkompas delivers a magnificent performance as Blanche, the fluttering, self-styled grand lady of the South, whose cheery surface bravado masks a frightening desperation. Berkompas captures Blanche's lilting, mocking cadence perfectly, rendering the playwright's often-purple prose with the smoothness of a mint julep."
 

la-times-logo-white.png

-The Daily Pilot-

"ACTC’s Bullshot Crummond:  Susan K. Berkompas, who heads Vanguard’s theater department and rendered a superb Blanche in last summer’s Streetcar is a triple threat in Bullshot She not only directs and portrays a comic villainess; she also came up with the hilarious sound plot so essential to a production of this type.  Berkompas is the deliciously scheming femme fatale to James Whitson’s evil German spy."

'Agamemnon' a rewarding slice of Greek drama

 

By Kam Kaminske

special to the Long Beach Press-Telegram

"Berkompas is striking and powerful in her presentation of the long-suffering queen. As an actor, she commands your attention wherever she is on the stage, and her ability to infuse her monologues with passion are a treat to experience, indeed."

backstagel.a.

New Pro Company in O.C.

 

"Costa Mesa's Vanguard University is set to begin sharing its Lyceum Theater with a new professional troupe, The American Coast Theater Company...ACTC's Producing Artistic Director, Susan K. Berkompas"

-The Daily Pilot-

"ACTC’s

Greater Tuna:  Berkompas has the fewest characters (five) but makes the biggest impression, particularly with her ditsy blond housewife Vera Carp."

la-times-logo-white.png

-The Daily Pilot-

Susan Berkompas elevates Vanguards theater program

By Tom Titus

"Whoever said 'those who can do; those who can't, teach'  obviously never encountered Susan K. Berkompas. This is a lady who not only both does and teaches, but she accomplishes these tasks exceptionally well in her capacity as chairwoman of the theater department at Costa Mesa's Vanguard University."

la-times-logo-white.png

-The Daily Pilot-

A strong 'shrew at vanguard

(ACTC Performance review) By Tom Titus

 

"Berkompas is superb as the lusty, brawling scold..."
 

la-times-logo-white.png