The American Coast Theater Company (ACTC) was founded in 2007 by Producing Artistic Director Susan K. Berkompas and Broadway performer/Producing Artistic Director Amick Byram. In 2008, ACTC became fully incorporated as a non-profit theater under Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our premiere production was Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, which opened to rave reviews at the Lyceum Theater on the campus of Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California. In 2018, ACTC, which operates rent-free, dissolved the separate 501c3, so that our status would not be perceived as a conflict of interest to the parent organization, Vanguard University of Southern California. ACTC currently falls under the 501C ownership of Vanguard University.


We have produced 2-3 productions annually since 2008: a Christmas Cabaret in December and a musical and straight play during the summer. The current Producing Artistic Director is Founding Artist Susan K. Berkompas. She is also the Theatre Arts Department Chair at Vanguard University, and ACTC serves as an integral part of the Theatre Arts program. Each year, eleven interns are selected from the pool of theatre majors at Vanguard University, and they receive work study and internship course credit towards their major requirement (2 units). These interns are trained to manage and operate all the production areas, and they are given the title of associate producers to mount and run each production.


We outsource a good percentage of our design/creative team, supplemented by in-house staff. We also occasionally hire guest directors. We have developed a production relationship with Ranch MMC (a newly developed city called Rancho Mission Viejo in South Orange County, California), and they hire ACTC to produce shows on their outdoor stage in July of each year. Key company members can be found in our ‘About’ section. ACTC also produces kids camps in July.  We are teaming up and partnering with Broadway Musical Theatre Mayhem with Broadway veteran Nikki Snelson and Friends (Megan Hilty, Ben Cameron, Eric Stretch, Telly Leung, Mandy Gonzalez, and Alex Brightman) starting July 2022 (see our website).


Highlights from ACTC’s 17 years as a professional theatre company include The Hiding Place, Shadowlands, the repertory productions of Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, and the 2016 production of Life Without Parole at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Los Angeles. As written in our mission statement, we are deeply committed to honoring diversity and inclusion within our company members and casting.

Past Productions

2007 – A Streetcar Named Desire

2008 – Bullshot Crummond

2008 – Love Letters

2009 – Greater Tuna

2009 – Boomers

2010 – Boomers

2010 – Shadowlands

2011 – The Hiding Place

2011 – Godspell

2012 – Taming of the Shrew

2012 – Enlightenment.com

2013 – Development

2013 – Last Train to Nibroc

2013 – Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

2014 – All My Sons

2014 – Cotton Patch Gospel

2015 – Comedy of Error

2015 – Always a Bridesmaid

2015 – Life Without Parole

2016 – Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

2016 – Hamlet

2016 – Christmas Cabaret

2017 – The Beat Goes On

2017 – Christmas Cabaret

2018 – Grey Gardens

2018 – MacBeth

2018 – Christmas Cabaret

2019 – The Beat Goes On

2019 – Christmas Cabaret