Local dance and theatre students will showcase their talents at 4th annual Mission Viejo Readers’ Festival on Sunday, October 14. The event, which brings books to life, is from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Oso Viejo Park and the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way.
Saddleback College dance instructor Deidre Cavazzi choreographed a 20-minute piece based move-by-move on a famous 1972 Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky international chess championship match, which took place in the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. The dancers will perform on a giant 40’ x 40’ painted chessboard at Oso Viejo Park.
Bleachers will be set up for folks to see the performances, which take place at 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The dancers have been working hard and have learned much about the game of chess.
“It has been an exciting challenge to create choreography based on an actual chess match; I have enjoyed doing the research for this project, and figuring out how to translate the 1972 Fischer-Spassky game into dance phrases for a cast of 32 performers,” Cavazzi said. “From the entrance and advance of the chess pieces, through vicious battles between knights, rooks, bishops and pawns, and culminating with the dramatic hunting done by the black queen, it has been thrilling to watch this game come to life!”
Along with Saddleback College dancers, the City is seeking participants (age 8 and over) to take part in the 45-minute human chess game at 3 p.m. People can sign up that day at the information booth. A drawing for positions will take place at 2:15 p.m. at the “chess booth.” Folks selected will be outfitted in a chess piece T-shirt and the appropriate prop. A professional chess player will help them make strategic moves.
In addition to the game, college acting instructor Bill McGuire will direct his “roving Shakespeare” students in scenes from “Romeo and Juliet”; “The Taming of the Shrew”; ”Henry V”; and “Cyrano de Bergerac.” The scenes, which fall in line with the Readers’ Festival Middle Ages theme, will be performed on the Troubadour Stage at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Saddleback College’s Entertainment and Theatre Technology program led by Kent McFann and with Professor Karen McNulty will also create a compelling entrance to the Readers’ Festival to capture the essence of the era. The department has designed scenery for numerous theatre productions and various City special events.
The City’s fun-filled Readers Festival will feature popular authors like former baseball player Jim Abbott, chef and TV personality Stephen Raichlen, novelist T. Jefferson Parker, former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark and actress Molly Ringwald.
Along with meeting their favorite authors inside the community center, festival-goers will enjoy live demonstrations of archery, knights in battle, catapult launching and craft activities. The event includes celebrity and author readings, book signings and sales, photo opportunities, fabulous fare and so much more. Queen Elizabeth 1 will stroll the venue knighting folks who recite a poem or sing a song for her.
A free shuttle service from the Mission Viejo Library at 100 Civic Center will run from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
For more information about this one-of-a-kind festival, visit cityofmissionviejo.org/ReadersFestival.