Below are reviews from cast, crew, and audience members of Paraphrase Productions.
We would like to thank those who have continually supported our endeavors.
Paraphrase Productions produces excellent work and fosters an accepting environment for those still finding their way with their art. I have had the pleasure of working with these incredible artist for the past three summers and it is astounding how much work the creative team puts into these shows. This theater company has a rare atmosphere of having high expectations of their performers while cultivating a low stress rehearsal space, both of which I believe is essential to putting together great theater.
The executive members of Paraphrase surprise me each summer in their ability to improve exponentially with every new venture. They do not stay stagnant in their professionalism or artistic capabilities. These directors learn from their mistakes and are not afraid to listen to their actors. This is a feat which requires great temperament and humility which is scarce in this theater community.
Simply said, Paraphrase is a breath of fresh air. These young artists will keep getting more ambitious and more hungry every season and I am eager to see this non-profit succeed.
Ty Barrett - Cast Member since 2015
It is so great to work with a theater company that genuine cares about each member of their cast and crew. Paraphrase makes you feel valued and important--and they create such an awesome environment for growth and learning!
Andrew Marderian - Production Staff since 2016
Paraphrase has been such a blessing in my life over the years. I have been with Paraphrase since its beginnings in 2015 and each production has allowed me to grow more and more in my artistic abilities. The fact that I am able to work with such talented individuals in a field that I love has kept my drive for Theater alive.
Paul Davis - Executive & Artistic Director
What can I say about Paraphrase Productions? From the time I auditioned until the end of the load-out, I have been so impressed with the professionalism of Paul, Andy, Victoria, Sierra, Justin, Jerrod and the rest.
First the auditions were extremely well-organized. No time was wasted, and the process was efficient and relaxed, the auditioners encouraging and supportive. Callbacks were also well done. What impressed me most was being asked to improvise during the
callbacks--i.e. asking me to put Ty (Pippin) on my lap,asking another actor to play it as if blind. Very cool! It invited us to stretch and may have given Paul some idea of how well we could take direction.
Then, during rehearsals, one thing I noticed that I had never seen before in community theater was Paul's use of large pieces of paper, posted on the walls of the rehearsal space, with the set design on them--birdseye view--and his use of small post-it notes to identify the actors, which, presumably, he could move around if he wished to change the blocking.
Paul's ability to work with other theaters such as Paper Wing and the Forest Theater Guild guaranteed Paraphrase venues in which to perform, and his insistence upon recognizing these theaters, when posting pictures, for example, went a long way toward cementing relationships with them for the future. (Also, I don't know how he arranged it, but the rehearsal space he provided for us was ideal.)
I know from past experience that getting tax exempt status is not necessarily an easy process. Paraphrase has successfully navigated it, at least in part by making the mentoring program such an essential aspect of the company. The mentorees were significantly part of the rehearsal and production process of both Pippin and La Mancha, in preparation for their own production of The Glass Menagerie at the end of the summer.
Both Paul and Andy were wonderful directors, with vision and "people skills" enabling them to elicit the very best performances from their actors. Both were also excellent at delegating and trusting their crews so they could focus on directing.
Everything was so professional! Even the programs, which other theaters often run off on a xerox machine, were polished, artistic, and worthy of Broadway--glossy and in color. May not seem like much of a much, but it surely impressed me!
Before rehearsals even began, Paraphrase presented a fundraising program worthy of a full-fledged, polished production, free, but accepting donations. It speaks to the quality of the performance that they were able to raise enough money to begin to fund the shows.
The fact that the eight performances--4 each of Pippin and La Mancha--were presented to nearly sold out houses speaks volumes about their excellence. Word of mouth as well as aggressive pre-production publicity, passing out posters and cards, all done by the casts and crews, resulted in packed audiences.
Bottom line, I have never been so impressed by a theater company, and I hope so much to be a part of their future productions. Thank you so much, Paul and Andy.
Linda Felice - Cast Member since 2017
When someone says a person or group "has potential," I usually get the impression it's just a nice way of saying "not that great." However, when I say Paraphrase Productions "has potential," I mean to say that, if they can accomplish all the incredible things they have with the few resources they currently have, they have SUCH great potential to accomplish SO MUCH more given just some more resources.
I was a member of the pit band for Paraphrase's production of Pippin, and it was incredible seeing the show come together from its humble beginnings. The cast was so diverse in their talents and what was most intriguing was seeing the large age span of the actors involved. This intrigued me because I remember my days playing trumpet in middle school and looking up to all the "big kids" in high school who were far more advanced than myself. I could look up to them and they could mentor me in my studies. Then, all of a sudden, I was the "big kid" in high school mentoring the middle schoolers who all looked up to me. This is exactly the kind of mentoring experience that can and does happen in Paraphrase shows. It's a beautiful thing to watch and see everyone's hard work come to fruition in a professional-quality show, and I hope to see many more years of Paraphrase shows!
Taylor Safina - Cast Member since 2017
Outstanding professionalism and talent coming from these young college age adults! These two 2017 summer productions-"Man of La Mancha" and "Pippin", well surpass the larger productions we have seen in the LA area. Across the board-from the actors to directors, producers, stage managers-this production company is a well deserved 5 stars. Looking forward to their next season!