41st Pageant of Arts returns to McGaugh

Retired teachers Terri Epps and Karen Ferretti construct the taxi for Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks”.

It’s Lights, Camera, Action for this year’s performance of the Pageant of the Arts at McGaugh Elementary School. Performance dates are Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

To bring this marvelous annual event to the Seal Beach community, all McGaugh students have created the stage set in the Art Lab under the direction of Anya Cappon, whose teaching position is supported by the fundraising efforts of parent group, Project SEEK.

This year’s debut artists are Dan Miller, Monica Valentine, and Judith Scott, whose outsider art originated at Creative Growth, their workspace in Oakland. An innovative approach to this year’s debut masterpiece has allowed the study of these three artists who have had no formal art instruction.

The stage set, inspired by the works of Dan Miller, Monica Valentine, and Judith Scott will integrate a crisscrossed line mural, “sequined” metallic sphere, and “wrapped sculptures,” found in the design of the costuming. All parts of the set came about through inspiration of McGaugh students’ inventive interpretation of each artist’s work. This year’s debut piece will be featured alongside familiar artists such as Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Hopper, and Magritte.

Fourth grade students have auditioned and been cast as the artists who introduce their masterpieces. Fifth grade students began their Pageant commitment in September 2023. They learned the choreography of past and present pieces, auditioned, and have been cast in the eight pieces that will be performed. Matt Cohn, former Berlin keyboardist, provides the amazing original music that accompanies each piece.

McGaugh teachers, current and retired, volunteer their time to continue this beloved tradition. They do everything from teaching the dances, coaching the narrators, and sewing costumes, to building, moving, and striking the stage sets. Leslie Obert, Pageant Director, orchestrates all the moving parts.

This year’s Pageant is dedicated to the memory of Robin Fort-Lincke, SBTV03 icon whose presence is greatly missed. Robin was a great supporter of the Pageant of the Arts, filming, editing, and producing each year. She was instrumental in the Pageant winning a WAVE (Western Access Video Excellence) award from The Alliance of Community Media.

Tickets are available online at https://mcgaughms.seatyourself.biz or at the door, limited availability, CASH only.