Oceanside Theater Company will present “Songs for a New World,” in conjunction with Teatro San Diego at the Historic Brooks Theater June 3-26 in downtown Oceanside. Adapted from Teatro San Diego’s successful inaugural production airing during the Covid-19 pandemic, “Songs for a New World,” written and composed by Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (“The Last Five Years,” “Bridges of Madison County”), is a moving collection of powerful songs that examine life, love, and the choices we make. “Songs for a New World” plays Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are available for $15-$45 online at www.oceansidetheatre.org or by calling the box office at 760-433-8900.
The production, first seen in 1995 Off-Broadway at the WPA Theater, is co-directed by Kevin “Blax” Burroughs and Julio Catano of Teatro San Diego, with choreography by Alyssa “Ajay” Junious and musical direction by William Ah Sing. Teatro San Diego’s original streaming production received three 2021 BroadwayWorld Awards in San Diego, including Best Direction of a Stream (Kevin “Blax” Burroughs), Best Editing of a Stream (Christian Ezell), and Best Design Stage of a Play or Musical (Reiko Huffman) and appeared on Pam Kragen’s Best of 2021 list for the San Diego Union Tribune.
“This year-long, diversity-focused theater company has impressed with its first production,” Kragen wrote in the December 2021 outlook 2021.”
Songs for a New World is, according to composer Jason Robert Brown, “about a moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back.” With a catchy score that blends elements of pop, gospel and jazz, with tight harmonies and bold vocals, Songs for a New World transports its audience from the deck of a Spanish sailboat bound for a new land, to the edge of a New York penthouse. The characters range from a young man from the Bronx who dreams of becoming a famous basketball player to a desperate and neglected Mrs. Claus who bemoans the approach of Christmas.
A small but powerful and diverse cast and supercharged, well-crafted score appeal to generations old and new as each character – in their own way – captures this unique moment and enters a new world.
“What makes this production unique,” says Kevin “Blax” Burroughs, co-director and artistic associate of Teatro San Diego, “is the fact that we took it from a streaming production last year to a live audience now with a live band and a new location – it’s exciting!”
“We were inspired by the civil rights movement of 2020,” says Julio Catano, co-director and chairman of the board of Teatro San Diego, “and we are now in a position to present it live in 2022. So we are very excited to share these conversations that have taken place across the nation and among all of us as a community.”
Choreographer and founding member of Teatro San Diego, Alyssa “AJay” Junious, said, “We have two ensemble dancers who can embody history through movement, and I really enjoy weaving the cast together. There has two unique things about this production.: It’s a collaboration between two amazing theater companies here in San Diego, and it’s led by BIPOC. I love that Teatro San Diego is focused on that mission and Oceanside Theater Company on board.
“I’m thrilled to bring this bold production of ‘Songs for a New World’ to Oceanside,” said Alex Goodman, Acting General Manager of OTC. “I think our North County customers will be blown away by the immense talent and creativity that ‘Blax’ and his team will showcase on the Brooks stage. We are proud to help raise the profile of an emerging business and share their first-ever live production with our audience, and there couldn’t be a better time to launch a business that specifically focuses on telling diverse stories and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of our community.
Located in the heart of downtown Oceanside, the Brooks Theater is the cultural center for this area of North County, recognized as one of the first 14 cultural districts designated by the State of California.
About Oceanside Theater Company:
Oceanside Theater Company (OTC), the resident professional theater company that operates the Historic Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside is a focal point of the Oceanside CA Cultural District (OCCD). OTC’s mission is to produce professional theatrical, visual and musical productions for the entertainment and enrichment of the community; present educational opportunities in the arts for children and adults; and provide a safe, state-of-the-art public venue for the expansion of arts activities in northern San Diego County and southern California. OTC produces a main theatrical season of four shows in the 198-seat venue, as well as a musical series and ongoing events and play readings in the adjacent black box theatre, Studio 219. ‘OTC is to inspire and share the arts. with local youth through the Youth Theater Arts Program, which includes summer theater camps and youth theater arts outreach activities in partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside during school year. To learn more, visit www.oceansidetheatre.org.
About Teatro San Diego:
Teatro San Diego was founded in the midst of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic to help San Diego become the vibrant and inclusive community it always had the potential to be. At the time of the organization’s founding, the two largest minority communities in San Diego were Mexican and Filipino. Thus, the two most common languages in the city, aside from English, were Spanish and Tagalog. “Teatro” means “Theatre” in both languages. These original San Diegans have been underserved and underrepresented in the San Diego performing arts community and Teatro San Diego is working to rectify this disparity by emphasizing and accommodating inclusion of all nationalities and local languages. For more information, visit: www.teatrosandiego.org.
June 3 – 26, 2022
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available for $15-$45 online at www.oceansidetheatre.org or by calling the box office at 760-433-8900.
Timyra-Joi (AEA Actor, NBC’s THE VOICE), Christian Duarte (UC Santa Barbara), Brittany Adriana Carrillo (Into the Woods), Mikaela Rae Macias (San Diego State University), Keri Miller (The Last Five Years), Joshua Washington (Jabbawockeez tour in China).
Kevin “Blax” Burroughs – Co-director, co-founder of Teatro San Diego, Julio Catano – co-director, co-founder of Teatro San Diego, Alyssa “Ajay” Junious – choreographer, co-founder of Teatro San Diego Oceanside, California, William Ah Sing – Music Director and Conductor, Reiko Huffman – Scenic Designer, Morgan Zwonitzer – Stage Manager