What is a McGucken, you ask?

McGucken is a long weekend to play with others who share your passion for performing, directing, backstage tech, costuming, sound, lights, makeup, singing, dancing, acting and all things associated with live theater:

* Try new things by getting onstage to strut your stuff or try something new
* Learn more about the avocation we share by participating in the workshops
* Take naps, work on that play you're writing, find new material for auditions, sing a song
• Brush up your audiencing skills

Labor Day weekend - Friday 4:00 p.m. through Noon on Monday

The weekend is held at the 216 acre CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) Retreat Center near Occidental in Sonoma County. Facilities are comfortable; new cabins with bunk beds - better than that summer camp you experienced earlier in life.
Most activities and meals are held in the beautiful main lodge. There are two swimming pools; one for lounging or laps and one for some serious water volleyball games. There is a separate "party cabin,"well-maintained trails in the woods, an outdoor campfire (fire conditions permitting), a basketball court, and a lawn behind the lodge balcony where you can see deer, wild turkey, and other wildlife.

Morning workshops have included acting, singing, dancing, making fake stage food, makeup, puppetry, directing, lighting, costuming, auditioning, stage combat, playing handbells - you name it, we do it.
Afternoons include water volleyball, sun bathing, practicing for the nightly show, and those wonderful naps!
Saturday and Sunday nights, you get ten minutes of fame! Sing a song, dance a dance, act in a scene, juggle something, do some stand-up - your choice. Give something new a shot; you'll never know for sure if you can do it if you don't try. Indeed, trying new stuff is a major feature of McGucken. You will never face a more knowledgeable audience or a more supportive one.

Some people prepare acts before they come to camp, but the most exciting things are the shows put together on the spot. Give yourself a shot!

Late nights are full of fun, too. Dance to throbbing pagan music, sing folk songs around a campfire, play dominos or a board game, finish a huge jigsaw puzzle . . .
There's plenty of food and drink of all kind. We have our own bar . . . that's right - an OPEN bar (24 hours). This is why the event is only open to persons 21 and over.

A little history . . .

It all started in 1975. The original Performing Arts Committee (PAC) was first formed at St. Elizabeth's Parish in Oakland when some parishioners who shared an interest in theatre decided it was time to get away from it all and provide an opportunity to enhance their theater skills and open new performance possibilities. The group booked a weekend at what was then known as Camp Armstrong/McGucken Center. It grew as other area actors were invited to join in at what became known as "The McGucken Theatre Workshop" or more commonly, just "McGucken."

Over the next decades, that wonderful idea has morphed into an annual retreat for theatre people to blow off steam, share experiences, participate in theater related workshops, promote their latest project, or try something new in front of friends to stretch their skills and get knowledgable critiques.

The Performing Arts Committee (PAC)

The Performing Arts Committee (PAC) is a group of people involved in theatre throughout the Bay Area. Beginning each January, we meet monthly to plan the McGucken weekend.

Committee activities include choosing a theme for the weekend, deciding on interesting workshops, selecting workshop leaders and hosts for the two shows.

PAC is always looking for people who would like to help plan and run the McGucken Weekend. If you're interested in joining the fun of putting this event together, email us: mcgucken49@yahoo.com Note: Committee members do not receive a discount to attend the weekend.


Chair - Jeff Seaberg
Vice-Chai - Mary Lou Stenger
Treasurer - Donna Turner and
Secretary - Stephanie Lauck

Rob Bradshaw, Diana Godet, Don Hansen, Marsha Hansen, John Hull, Stewart Lyle, Carolyn Rising
, Jerry Telfer

The main lodge was named the McGucken Center at Camp Armstrong in honor of Archbishop Joseph Thomas McGucken.

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Archbishop Joseph T. McGucken

Archbishop McGucken (1902-1983) studied in Rome and was ordained in 1928. In February 1962 McGucken was appointed Archbishop of San Francisco and served for 15 years before retiring in 1977. During his tenure, he authorized/built nine parishes, three high schools, a number of church buildings, and a seminary.