OCP Junior Board helps set up for Saturday event

Published 4:09 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


A benefit performance for Orange Community Players (OCP) will have some assistance from the newly formed OCP Junior Board.

The Jr. Board will help set up chairs and tents before the event, but will not be at the Ain’t That Rich benefit.

The show about money is written and performed by Kate Robards. A performance based on a broke, small-town, Texan (not Anna Nicole) shares some insights and refreshing perspective after marrying a one-percenter.

Kate grew up “poor.” She thinks her husband is “rich.” His family says that’s not a nice word. As Kate straddles two different extreme ways of life, she realizes what money can and cannot buy, including the possible salvation for a loved one.

Kate Robards is an award-winning writer and performer. She has lived around the world, including Amsterdam and Shanghai, but identifies deeply with Orange, a where she spent the first 22 years of her life. Her work often deals with the sense of home, rootedness, and identity.

Her first solo play Mandarin Orange was originally a 15-minute performance piece developed with Solo Sundays in San Francisco. It evolved into a full-length play premiered in Washington, D.C. in 2014, where it was a named a “Fringe Festival highlight,” by The Washington Post, and “pick of the week,” the Washington Times.

The play was later performed in San Francisco at The Exit Theatre where it won a “sold out award,” and at The Marsh Theatre as part of their “Rising Talent” series.

In the Maui Fringe, Kate was awarded the Hoku Award for favorite performer.

She performed a benefit of her first solo play for her hometown theatre, Orange Community Players, and raised thousands of dollars for the non-profit theater.

Ain’t That Rich, Kate’s second solo play was developed with assistance from Solo Sundays at Stage Werx and The Marsh, both in San Francisco. It premiered at Capital Fringe in Washington DC where it was named “Best of Fringe,” and given five stars by DC Metro Theatre Scene. The show has also been performed in Maui, Montreal, and New York.  An excerpt was published in Luna Luna Magazine. The play ran for seven weeks at The Marsh in San Francisco in 2017.

Her one-act-play, Madame Pearl, ran at CCA’s Orange Box Play Space in San Francisco. As an actor, she has performed with San Francisco Olympians, Shanghai Repertory Theatre, Urban Aphrodite Shanghai, Cutting Ball Theatre, and The Barrow Group among others. She has been featured in independent films and web series, playing everything from a 1940’s housewife to a modern-day crack-addicted prostitute.

Kate is a company member of FOGG Theatre and has served on the board of directors at Cutting Ball Theatre, both in San Francisco. She has a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from California College of the Arts. In addition to writing and performing she teaches and performance and writing. She lives in New York.

Director Christopher Murray is an Actor/Writer/Producer from Beaumont, Texas where he graduated from Lamar University. His has written produced several web series and onstage has been seen as Lloyd Boateng in ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ at the Heritage Theatre Festival, and as Lank Hawkins in Crazy for You. Chris has a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Virginia Arlington. He is excited to work with his Lamar University alumni friend Kate Robards on this production of Ain’t that Rich. He currently lives and works in New York.

The doors will open at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Orange Depot located at 1210 Green Ave. in Orange for hor d’oerves and wine. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. Seating is limited, and tickets are still available at ocplayers.org or Lookin’ Good Salon.