OCEANSIDE, Calif. – “Songs for a New World,” a musical written and composed by Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (“The Last Five Years,” “Bridges of Madison County”) premieres this weekend -end at the Historic Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside.
The Oceanside Theater Company (OTC) presents “Songs for a New World”, in collaboration with Teatro San Diego. The show is adapted from Teatro San Diego’s successful inaugural production that aired during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Songs for a New World” is a moving collection of powerful songs examining life, love and the choices we make. 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.
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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.”
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“Songs for a New World” premieres June 3-5, tickets are available for $20. Opening night is June 10 and the show runs until June 26. The show is played on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and on 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.
SYNOPSIS: 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 like weaving the cast together. There’s two things unique to this production.: It’s a collaboration between two amazing theater companies here in San Diego, and it’s run by BIPOC. I love that Teatro San Diego is focused on that mission and that ‘Oceanside Theater Company be 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 to share their very first live production with our audience.And there couldn’t be a better time to raise a company that is specifically focused on telling diverse stories and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of our community.
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* began her career as an actress and singer at the age of 4. She recently completed a two-year run in the hit Las Vegas mash-up, BAZ! Star Crossed Love, as “Juliet” and enjoyed being a finalist at age 15 on NBC’s THE VOICE.
Christian Duarte is a graduate of the Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA) and received his BA in Theater and Community from UC Santa Barbara. There he served as president of a student-run theater company and directed “The Last Five Years” and “Mamma Mia!”
Brittany Adriana Carrillo last appeared on OTC as Rapunzel/StepMother on “Into the Woods” in April. She is the co-founder of @abctheatreco and is currently pursuing her BA in Theater Performance at SDSU.
Mikaela Rae Macias is currently a 3rd year theater student at San Diego State University. She is a graduate of the Theater and Musical Theater program at the Coronado School of the Arts.
Keri Miller is a veteran of the scene and an elementary school teacher at the Leonardo daVinci Health Sciences Charter.
Joshua Washington is an accomplished dancer, recently seen in Jabbawockeez Prism and Jabbawockeez China Tour.
Kevin “Blax” Burroughs – Co-director (He/Him/His) is a performer, director, choreographer and lighting designer. Production Credits: Songs… New World, Carrie, Next To Normal and others. Choreographer credits: Little Shop Of Horrors, In The Heights, Legally Blonde, James…Giant Peach, Matilda and others. Performance credits: Bobby/Memphis, Armand/Once On This Island, Benny/In The Heights, Judas/Jesus Christ Superstar, Enjolras/Les Miserables and others. Lighting design credits: The Addams Family, Matilda, Next To Normal, The Little Mermaid, Carrie and others. Co-founder of Teatro San Diego. Instagram: @kevinblaxburroughs @teatrosandiego
Julio Catano – National/International Tour Co-Director: The Addams Family (ancestor), West Side Story Centennial World Tour (Chino). Regional: Kiss my Aztec! (La Jolla Playhouse); Broadway by Jerome Robbins (Theatre Under the Stars); Camelot (Shakespeare Theater Company); It’s Alright (arena scene); West Side Story (Barrington Stage Company, Musical Theater West and Lamb’s Players Theatre). Movie/TV: Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from Amazon, Pitch from FOX, 12 from TNT. Executive Artistic Director of Teatro San Diego and Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University. @juliocatanoyee @ teatrosandiego”
Alyssa “Ajay” Junious – Choreographer Ajay is a choreographer, theater artist, arts educator and Pilates practitioner from Oceanside, California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in performance, choreography and certificate in arts management from the University of California at Irvine. She is the founder of Continuum Arts & Pilates and co-founder of Soultry Sisters Arts + Wellness Collective. She has choreographed for New Village Arts/OTC (Into The Woods), Teatro San Diego (Songs of a New World) and NVA (Beehive: a 1960’s Musical). Her work has been featured at Art Produce, Oceanside Museum of Art, LUX Art Institute, Temecula Front & Main Dance Festival, Palm Springs Dance Festival, RAW Artists San Diego, Orange County Dance Festival, The Vine Theater and Oceanside Public Library. Her professional performance credits include: La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Musical Theatre, Disneyland Resort, Entity Contemporary Dance Company, San Diego Dance Theatre, Oceanside Theater Company, Legoland Resort, PGK Dance Project, Disney’s ABC Christmas Special, Demi Lovato, Anika Noni Rose and Cheryl Burke. To learn more, visit AlyssaRJunious.com and @continuum.sd
William Ah Sing – Music Director and Conductor.
Reiko Huffman – Scenic Designer is thrilled to be part of the revival of Songs for A New World with Teatro San Diego and in partnership with Oceanside Theater Company. Recent and upcoming credits for Reiko Huffman include, The Importance of Being Earnest and Silent Sky with Summer Repertory Theater Festival, The Wiz with Teatro San Diego, Cinderella at the Rose Theater in Omaha, NE, and Legally Blonde with the GREAT theater in Minnesota.
Morgan Zwonitzer – Stage Manager Morgan’s credits with OTC include stage management A Christmas Carol: A Radioplay (2021 and 2019) ASM for Foxfire (2019) and Dancing Lessons (2019) Other credits include: Role of The Kid in QueerSpawn for Diversionary (2018) and Directing Assistant Hir for Cygnet Theater (2018)
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. A significant portion of the OTC’s mission 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 Oceanside Boys and Girls Clubs 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 the inclusion of all nationalities and local languages. For more information, visit: www.teatrosandiego.org.
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