Partner With Us!
As much as young Addison Glines’ young life may read and sound like a maudlin after-school special or made-for-TV movie, every detail of the incredible young man’s life was true. As he was about to play the lead role in a historical World War II drama written and directed by Theatre Arts Department instructor Bob Jensen, Glines was forced to drop out of the play just days before its opening night performance. A virulent form of cancer he thought he had beaten had returned – this time in the form of lung cancer. He started battling the ailment at age 17 and perished from it on November 2, 2001, at the age of 20.
But no one can say that Glines gave in to his illness or its rigorous treatment. In fact, quite the opposite: He lived for all things theater and found meaning and inspiration in every facet of live theater performance, from acting and playwriting to directing. And even when it appeared he might not live much longer, he was busy applying to top-tier universities, including Carnegie-Mellon, and launching a non-profit foundation designed to bring the joys of the arts to pediatric cancer patients.
Glines, who has been described as a “wunderkind” when it came to theater, had graduated high school early just so he could attend courses at Fullerton College’s highly praised Theatre Arts Department in fall, at age 17. During the school’s annual playwright’s festival, Glines felt a pain in his hip. While being repeatedly dismissed by various doctors, an emergency room visit revealed that he had contracted Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare cancer unique to Caucasian teenagers. Determined to beat it, Glines embarked upon a 15-month regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. While undergoing treatment, he took the time to write “Gabriel,” his first, and only, play, which was produced at the following year’s Fullerton College Director’s Festival.
After his treatments ended, in March 2000, Glines dove full-bore back into F.C. theater productions, including acting roles in “The Kentucky Cycle” and three Playwrights Festival plays: “Women and Wallace,” “The Dumbwaiter,” and his own “Gabriel.” In fall 2000, he played Oberon in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and was cast in the lead role of Raoul Wallenberg in director Bob Jensen’s original play “Wallenberg.” In an interview with OC Weekly, Glines said he strove “to do as much as I can while I’m here, and to learn and grow as an artist – and the best way to do that is to just do.”
By late October, though, he developed a persistent cough, the source of which x-rays revealed as lung cancer. Jensen said the somber news “broke the hearts of everyone here.” The 19-year-old dropped out of the play to begin undergoing more chemotherapy. Because director Jensen had just 12 days to find a new lead for his play, he considered cancelling the production – but decided against this when Glines’ mother said “the last thing Addison wants is to cancel this play.” F.C. theater alum Brian Kojac took over the role, memorizing his part in less than two weeks. While still receiving chemotherapy, Glines attended a performance. He reported to friends that the treatments were going well, proving true Jensen’s statement that “Addy never made it about him.” He also bore out his mother’s description of his work in the Theatre Arts Department as her son’s “passion. There is nothing else he would rather be doing. He has incredible energy and optimism.” So devoted was he that in September of 2001, just weeks before his death, he and some theater friends established the ADDYG Foundation to help bring the joys of the performing arts to pediatric cancer patients.
Addison Glines was “one of local theater’s youngest, brightest figures” who “brought talent and enthusiasm to everything he did.”
—Joel Beers, OC Weekly, November 2, 2001
Addison Glines was “incredibly focused and talented.”
—“Wallenberg” stage manager Erin Coggins
“Addison Glines and Bronwyn Dodson personify what it means to be part of an ensemble and to look out for each other.”
—Dean of Fine Arts Robert Jensen, July 3, 2012
Theatre Arts Department
Best of the Fest nominations (three)
Fullerton College Director’s Festival, June 2000
Bronwyn Dodson Scholarship winner, 2001