NewSCRipts Series Features Office Hour by Julia Cho

COSTA MESA, Calif. (March 4, 2015)—On a large university campus, one of the students is drawing the wrong kind of attention, and three of his professors have come together to figure out what to do about him. That's the set-up for a new play by Julia Cho, the author of The Language Archive and The Piano Teacher. It’s up next in South Coast Repertory’s NewSCRipts Reading Series on Monday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m., on the Julianne Argyros Stage. Tickets are available online at This SCR-commissioned work is directed by Neel Keller.

In Office Hour, three adjunct creative writing teachers are worried that the problem student they have in common could be real trouble. He sits in the back of the classroom wearing dark sunglasses and a baseball cap with the brim pulled down low. He never says a word. His writing is violent, ugly, perverse and artless. He scares the other students. He scares the teachers. But is he a time bomb about to go off, or just a mixed-up kid who uses his writing to vent, to get attention, to deflect attention, to protect himself? 

Cho’s full-length plays—The Language Archive, The Piano Teacher, Durango, The Winchester House, BFE, The Architecture of Loss and 99 Histories—have been produced by numerous companies including New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company, The Public Theater, Vineyard Theatre, Playwrights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop and regionally at Long Wharf Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The Theatre @ Boston Court. She has received multiple honors including the Susan Smith Blackburn Award for The Language Archive, the National Theater Conference’s Barrie Stavis Award, the Claire Tow Award for Emerging Artists and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award for Playwriting. She has been the recipient of a New York Foundation for The Arts grant and a Van Lier Fellowship from New York Theatre Workshop. She also was a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School and a resident at New Dramatists. 

SCR launched the NewSCRipts play reading series in 1985 to bring audiences into the process of creating new works with emerging and established playwrights. After each public reading on the Julianne Argyros Stage, audience members engage in lively exchanges with the playwright and are active participants in the play’s development by providing valuable feedback for the writer.

Past NewSCRipts readings include Donald Margulies' Collected Stories, Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain and Amy Freed's Freedomland, all of which went on to New York productions. Six of the plays from the NewSCRipts series later become Pulitzer Prize finalists; Margaret Edson’s Wit received the prize in 1999. 

South Coast Repertory’s NewSCRipts series is generously underwritten by Elaine J. Weinberg.

 to the NewSCRipts reading of Office Hour may be purchased online at, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or in person at the SCR box office. Tickets are $16, and include an audience discussion with playwright Cho and dramaturg John Glore.

 South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available off Anton Blvd. on Park Center Drive.

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.