Collaborative Arts Development Experience (CADE) provides artists and lifelong learners with unique opportunities to learn by doing through the arts.

CADE was created through the collaboration of three top Orange County Universities — UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, and Chapman University.

While the collaboration is in transition, we look forward to innovating new projects and programs in the future. Check back here often for details on what we are working on.

Program Archive

The 2016 and 2017 two-week sessions traveled in July, included immersion in the London theatre scene through backstage tours and talk-backs, the opportunity to work with the UK’s best actor training programs including RADA, ArtsEd, and The Globe, and accessed the arts + culture that have made London a cultural hub for centuries.

  • World Premier of Groundhog Day at The Old Vic


Schedule Archive

JULY 15 Depart United States for London, United Kingdon
JULY 16 Arrive in London, Travel to Stratford-upon-Avon, CADE Orientation, Walking Tour
JULY 17 Shakespeare's Birthplace, Actor Talk-Back, PERFORMANCE - Antony & Cleopatra @ The Royal Shakespeare Company, Travel to London
JULY 18 Housing Orientation, PERFORMANCES - Angels in America (Parts 1 & 2) @ National Theatre
JULY 19 WORKSHOPS @ ArtsEd - Day 1
JULY 20 TOURS - Red Bus, Thames River, PERFORMANCE - 42nd Street @ Theatre Royal Drury Lane
JULY 21 WORKSHOPS @ ArtsEd - Day 2
JULY 22 WORKSHOPS @ Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA)
JULY 23 FREE DAY - Explore London!
JULY 24 PERFORMANCE - A Tale of Two Cities @ Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
JULY 25 WORKSHOPS @ Shakespeare's Globe, PERFORMANCE - Much Ado About Nothing @ Shakespeare's Globe
JULY 26 PERFORMANCE - The Girls @ Phoenix Theatre London
JULY 27 FAREWELL DINNER @ Joe Allen, PERFORMANCE - The Play That Goes Wrong @ Duchess Theatre
JULY 28 FREE DAY - Explore London!
JULY 29 Depart London for Los Angeles

Meet the Faculty and Staff

John B. Benitz

Associate Professor, Chapman University – John is Chair of the Department of Theatre at Chapman University. He directed Annette Bening, Laura Dern, and Common, among others, at theatres such as The Kennedy Center and The Kirk Douglas Theatre.  He acted Off-Broadway at the Victory Gardens Theatre and Fountain Theatre, as well as in various television and film roles. John wrote and directed the award-winning film Children of the Struggle, recognized by the NAACP Film Commission for its “true and poignant portrayal of the fight for black voting rights”, and shown in film festivals, on PBS’ KQED, and in high schools and colleges nationwide to commemorate Black History Month. John received his undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College and his MFA in Acting from Brandeis University.

Mitch Hanlon

Professor, CSU Fullerton – A highly sought after artist and coach, Mitch has worked at the Hollywood Bowl for 20 seasons, as pianist, vocal director, and Assistant Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He has worked with many stars including Julie Andrews, Kristin Chenoweth, Patrick Stewart, John Lithgow, Patti LuPone, Jeremy Irons and Carol Burnett, has accompanied many more including Audra McDonald, Chita Rivera, Bernadette Peters, Marin Mazzie, Hugh Jackman, Shirley MacLaine, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Alice Ripley. He is the founder of the Mitch Hanlon Singers. Mr. Hanlon is Professor of Musical Theatre at California State University Fullerton and Coordinator for the nationally-acclaimed BFA program in Musical Theatre.

Don Hill

Senior Lecturer, UC Irvine – Don has worked for 35 years as a stage manager, production manager, director, producer and union negotiator including at the Los Angeles Theatre Center and the Geffen Playhouse. Hill worked with Tony Award winning producer Barry Brow on Company in Concert and with such personalities as Carol Burnett, Bebe Neuwirth, Bill Pullman, Philip Baker Hall and Elaine Stritch. Hill served on the board of LA Stage Alliance, as production stage manager for the LA Actors Fund Tony Awards Gala, and as an active member of Western Regional Stage Manager’s Committee for Actors’ Equity. He is currently the Head of the Graduate Stage Management at UC Irvine and has been voted Outstanding Professor of the Year at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Bill Lett

Professor, CSU Fullerton – Bill is an award-winning choreographer specializing in dance for musical theatre who holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from California State University, Long Beach and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre from the University of Arizona in addition to his training at the EPCOT Institute of Entertainment Arts, the Academy of Dance on Film, and the Goodsell Grande Institute for the Arts and Humanities. As a performer, he has worked in regional theatre, civic light opera, television, voice over and film, including work for, CBS, NBC Touchstone Pictures and The Walt Disney Company. Bill has served on the faculty at the Orange County High School of the Arts, the College of the Desert and currently is a master clinician for The Walt Disney Company: Disney Performing Arts and a Senior Lecturer in Musical Theater and Dance at California State University, Fullerton.

Brandon Force

Program Coordinator, CADE – Originally from Orange County, Brandon received a BFA in Theatre Performance from Chapman University in 2005. Upon graduating, Brandon moved to London, where he has worked ever since as an actor, director and theatrical agent. He is an Associate Director at the London Theatre Workshop where he directed Romeo & Juliet, Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness!, and Tennessee Williams’ Interior: Panic. Acting credits include Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors, Richard III, and Assassins. Force has over 3 years’ experience working as a theatrical agent’s assistant at Mitchell Maas McLennan (London) and he has spent the last year working as a junior agent for Boland & Reeve (London).

Megan Belmonte

Program Director, CADE – Megan is an experienced arts manager who joined the staff at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts in January 2012. Prior to beginning her position at UC Irvine, Megan completed her MA in Arts Management at Claremont Graduate University, and held positions in cultural hubs including in the Cultural Affairs unit at the City of West Hollywood, the Arts Council for Long Beach and the Pasadena Arts Council. Megan completed her BA in Art History at Occidental College and continues to act as a mentor to the Occidental Women’s Soccer Team where she was a three year captain and a four year starter as a student.

What's Included








How to Apply


Students participating in the workshops, submitted an Artist Statement, Resume and Letter of Recommendation to be accepted into CADE.

Apply Now


Observers registered directly for CADE, and did not participate in the workshops listed above.

Register Now


Contact Program Director Megan Belmonte at UC Irvine with questions and for more information:

Megan Belmonte


Claire Trevor School of the Arts

UC Irvine

200 Mesa Arts Building

Irvine, CA 92697-2775


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