Riverside City College is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its nationally recognized musical theater program with the performance of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” opening Oct. 25.
“It’s so exciting to be part of a program that is so popular and has been so successful,” said Jodi Julian, chairman of the RCC Theater Arts Program, who founded the musical theater program in 2002.
RCC’s program been recognized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the performing arts in Washington D.C. as one of top musical theater programs in the country.
“That’s unheard of for a community college that is competing against four-year schools with graduate programs,” Julian said.
Graduates of the program have moved on to successful careers in the industry. They work at Disneyland, Universal Studies, Disney TV and are touring with theater companies across the nation. One RCC alumni is performing on Broadway.
Julian credits talented students and a supportive administration for the program’s success. Her contributions include ties to the industry and a drive to excel.
“I work really hard and I'm a huge recruiter,” Julian said. “I love to build it and they will come.”
When the program’s summer conservatory fell victim to budget cuts, Julian said everyone’s efforts focused on the fall production.
“Somehow the arts always survive,” she said. “It’s kind of a cool thing. We can escape and make people laugh and cry and feel.”
Five performances of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” are scheduled. Tickets are available for the 7 pm shows on October 25, 26 and 28 and the 2 pm matinees on October 27 and 28 through the Landis Performing Arts Center Box Office at (951) 222-8100 or www.landispac.com
Julian plans to host an alumni evening during the Friday performance where anyone who has ever performed in the musical theater program can attend for free and be invited to talk about their experiences.