This fall, the Department of Theatre will present Present Laughter, a 1939 Noel Coward comedy classic featuring sparkling dialogue and larger-than-life characters.  At the helm of the production will be Andrew Barnicle, who served as artistic director of The Laguna Playhouse from 1991 through 2010, producing over 100 shows and directing over 40 of them, including many world, U.S., west coast and Southern California premieres. Mr. Barnicle also previously served as Head of Theatre at United States International University’s School of Performing and Visual Arts in San Diego, where our very own associate professor of theatre Tamiko Washington studied with him as a professor!

No stranger to working with students, Mr. Barnicle is looking forward to bringing his expertise into the university again.  He is particularly interested in helping the students learn how to create human characters in a play that is often performed as a farce.  Says Mr. Barnicle, “Every acting student should have the experience of working in a show in this style, just as they learn Shakespeare and naturalism.  Noel Coward presents a lot of challenges for young actors, from the language component of his plays to the preconceived notions of style the students may have.  It is important for them to round out their training through experience with the most successful playwright of the twentieth century”.

Present Laughter plays in the Waltmar Theatre from September 26-28 and October 3-5.  For ticket information, visit or call 714-997-6812.