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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Fresno Campus Director Takes the Stage

October 21, 2011

San Joaquin Valley College’s Fresno campus is hoping to make a big dent in the 2,100 seats available at Warnor’s Theatre on Sat., Nov. 5th at 5:00 PM for the live performance of Shep’s Christmas Wish. This year’s Toys for Tots theatrical fundraiser, sponsored by the United Way and Community Partners, promises to be wonderful family entertainment and includes a street faire for kids to age twelve, from 3:30-4:30 PM in front of the theatre.

As a 2011 United Way sponsor, SJVC is taking a lead role in this musical-comedy stage production, with Sue Smilie-Janecek as stage manager and Fresno Campus Director, Dr. John Swiger, projecting – if not leading man material – excellent 2-line eloquence. “I’m active in the United Way Cabinet,” says Dr. Swiger, “so taking part in this year’s play is a natural outcropping of our campus’s commitment of support. And if my brief appearance in this delightful play helps to spur interest from our campus to attend, I am happy to offer my meager thespian services.” He is a gentleman, a scholar, as well as a budding stage talent, it seems.

The play, written by Joe W. Ozier, centers on a young Marine named Dan, his dog, Shep, and their search to find a home, family and love. Plot twists and turns take the duo through tragedy and triumph – and not without a lot of spirited singing, heartfelt dialogue and dancing dogs. Dancing dogs? That, alone, is worth the price of admission – which is $15. General Admission and $50. for a VIP pass, which includes premium seating, food and drinks at an after-party celebration at Frank’s Place in the Warnor’s Complex and exciting door prizes, including a $3,000. gold and diamond necklace. Those who are able are encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift to contribute to Toys for Tots.

Sue Smilie-Janecek has made her commitment to this production a labor of love. She has enjoyed every aspect of involvement from assisting the cast with their costumes and painting sets, to coordinating rehearsal schedules. She is also delighted that her good friend, Joe Ozier, is the writing talent behind this year’s play; and she is certain that all who attend will enjoy its performance and come away with good feelings about its message. “The show will touch your heart and make you laugh – all at the same time,” says Sue.

100% of every ticket sold will go to the Toys for Tots program in Fresno County. “We hope to raise over $30,000 with this year’s performance,” says Sue, who is also hoping for a strong turnout of SJVC staff, faculty and students.

Winter Wonderland Street Faire
Warnor’s Center for Performing Arts – 1400 Fulton St.
3:30 – 4:30 PM
Free games, prizes, holiday decorations, meet actors in storybook characters

Shep’s Christmas Wish
5:00 PM Curtain Up (Doors open at 4:00 PM)

Tickets are available at,, or call Melissa at 559/243-3663.