Oceanside Theatre Company in the News

Theater Notebook: San Diego’s favorite character actor, Ralph Johnson, is playing dead — again

It’s hard work playing a dead guy. Just ask Ralph Johnson, who is performing the title role in the musical “Lucky Stiff” this winter in a co-production that runs Jan. 28-Feb. 19 at Scripps Ranch Theatre, then moves to North County for a second run with Oceanside Theatre Company March 3-19. The beloved San Diego character actor said that even though he doesn’t have to memorize any lines or stage blocking for the show, it takes a great deal of concentration, listening and stillness to play the role of Tony Hendon. Hendon is a newly dead American millionaire whose final request to his nephew and sole heir, Harry, is to take Tony’s corpse on an all-expense-paid gambling vacation in Monte Carlo.

Oceanside Theatre Announces 2023 Subscription Season

A musical farce full of miscreants. A heartwarming dramedy exploring hard choices. Trills, thrills, and romance. A hilarious holiday experience. Oceanside Theatre Company’s 2023 season offers a chance to smile and laugh over life’s absurdities, hardships, horrors, and traditions with a splash of comedy in every show.  Tickets range from $20 for Preview Nights to $45 for Opening Night with Season Subscription and Group Rates available. They can be purchased through OceansideTheatre.org or by calling the Box Office at 760-433-8900.

Oceanside Theatre Announces 2023 Subscription Season

A musical farce full of miscreants. A heartwarming dramedy exploring hard choices. Trills, thrills, and romance. A hilarious holiday experience. Oceanside Theatre Company’s 2023 season offers a chance to smile and laugh over life’s absurdities, hardships, horrors, and traditions with a splash of comedy in every show.  Tickets range from $20 for Preview Nights to $45 for Opening Night with Season Subscription and Group Rates available. They can be purchased through OceansideTheatre.org or by calling the Box Office at 760-433-8900.

Live! at the Brooks: Swedish Queen of Swing

Sweden’s Queen of Swing, Gunhild Carling, sings, dances, and plays over 10 instruments including trombone, trumpet, recorder, bagpipe, harmonica, drums, and piano sometimes all in one song! Born to a family of musicians in 1975, Carling’s home life was filled with a variety of artistic endeavors including acting, circus tricks, dance, music, Vaudeville, and novelty. Carling became infatuated with jazz music and instruments at a young age and is now one of the world’s truly great jazz performers.

Music Notebook: Music Notebook: Jon Mayer and Roy McCurdy at Dizzy’s, Gunhild Carling at Brooks Theatre, Hot Moms Club at Soda Bar

Trying to top Gunhild Carling on stage can be a formidable challenge. In addition to singing and performing with equal vigor on trombone, harmonica, bagpipes and several other instruments, she plays three trumpets — simultaneously — at her concerts. Often billed as Sweden’s “Queen of Swing,” the now-California-based Carling sometimes performs with a band that includes her two teen children, Idun and Viggo. Both are, unsurprisingly, also multi-instrumentalists.

Oceanside Theatre Company Set To Grow In 2023

As Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) looks forward to a new year of growth, the resident company of the Historic Brooks Theater adds six new members to its board of directors, the largest influx of board leadership in the 12-year history of the organization. A multi-talented group of individuals, including educators, public accountants, program managers, and community advocates, the new additions to the board of directors are a step towards OTC’s commitment to expanding and diversifying its governing body spearheaded by its first Interim Managing Director Alex Goodman who was hired in April 2022.

Oceanside Theatre Company & Six String Society Announce 2023 (Music) Season

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) and Six String Society will collaborate on a new music series, “Live! at the Brooks,” featuring an eclectic series of nine concerts throughout 2023 at the historic Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside. With local and national acts ranging from blues to jazz, from soul to gospel, and rock to hip-hop, this enthralling musical collaboration promises to surprise and delight a variety of audiences. “Over the past several years, we have put on some fantastic Six String Society shows in this historic theater in downtown Oceanside,” said producer Kenneth Rexrode. “It’s a great venue with a large theater-style stage, yet it remains very intimate as well. We are 100% committed to bringing in some exciting local, national, and even international acts to the OTC music series which will commence in mid-January.”

Beauty and The Beast Jr. Encore!! Encore!! What a production!


The opening night, 11/11/2022, of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast Jr. at the Brooks Theatre in Oceanside was a HIT!! Where do I begin…. The set for this production was very professional and impressive, to say the least. The setting for the castle perfectly suited the stage and space. The props that were moved on and off stage were vibrant and just enough to depict the change in environment. I loved how the settings and props afforded the cast an opportunity to create depth within their space. There was a dungeon and an upper East and West Wings, it was clear that the castle was a multi-level house and that each room was located on a different floor. As a fan of Beauty and the Beast, as soon as I saw the set, my eyes were drawn to the vibrant red rose in the glass capsule in the West Wing. I couldn’t help but wondered how the infamous rose petals would fall throughout the production as it sat untouched. Fortunately, as scripted, the last petal fell on cue and I thought, “how did they do it?”

Synthia L. Hardy who wrote and stars in the play Billie! Backstage with Lady Day currently playing at the Brooks Theatre in Downtown Oceanside until October 2


“Theatre doors are theatre doors, it really does not matter what color. If there is something they want to see, they will come and see it.” We had a very nice conversation with Synthia L. Hardy who wrote and stars in the play Billie! Backstage with Lady Day which had its San Diego premiere on September 23 produced by the Oceanside Theatre Company. Billie! had its debut in 2009 at The Whitefire Theater in Los Angeles and has had annual encore performances. Let us dive into Synthia’s world for a few lines and enjoy what she had to share…

You wrote this piece that has been around for 13 years, what inspired you to write it?

I have always loved jazz and the big band sound. Growing up I would just hear the different people in my family, the adults talking about Billie Holiday and all of those things and then one day, I can’t tell you what click to make me say I wanted to write her story, but I decided to write her story and a couple of others as a one-person show and this one seemed to come out ahead of the other two. 

History Comes Alive Onstage with Oceanside’s Billie! Backstage with Lady Day


One part exposé, one part jazz show, and one part history lesson, Billie! Backstage with Lady Day brings iconic performer Billie Holiday to life at Oceanside’s Brooks Theater through October 2nd. This musical, a one-woman show which features playwright/actor/vocalist Synthia L. Hardy as the music legend alongside pianist Woody Woods and jazz combo musicians Russell Bizzett, Dr. Marcus Wilcher, and Gedeon Deák, is in some ways a historic impersonation production more than a play, an approach that places the audience squarely in the 1950s. During Act 1, Billie breaks the fourth wall, interview-style, to recount various events and experiences from her formative years and intermission shifts the locale to the mainstage of the club itself as the headliner takes the stage. This format, while simple, provides a peek into how Billie Holiday’s traumas shaped her art before unabashedly putting the art on display.

Review: Oceanside Theatre’s ‘Billie! Backstage’ offers poignant look inside Holiday’s final years

Synthia L. Hardy has clearly spent many years studying and performing onstage as Billie Holiday. But she doesn’t glamorize the famous jazz singer in her well-written play with music “Billie! Backstage with Lady Day.” Portraying Holiday in the mid-1950s, Hardy starts the play by storming up a side aisle from the lobby muttering a stream of obscenities at those who have wronged her.Holiday drank herself to death at age 44, just a few years after this play is set, and her character’s proud delusions about her sobriety and her “good” husband Louis McKay — who would embezzle her earnings and leave her penniless — are poignant insights about the singer’s troubled life.

Meet Alex Goodman, Managing Director Of Oceanside Theatre Company

The Historic “Sunshine” Brooks Theater has long been considered the cultural center point of Oceanside and undoubtedly contributed to the city being named one of only 14 inaugural Cultural Districts designated by the State of California. Now, with a new 20-year City of Oceanside Use Agreement the Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), is taking bold steps to meet the cultural needs of a growing North County community. The first step for the previously all-volunteer OTC management team was to hire its first Managing Director, Alex Goodman. 

Oceanside Theatre and New Village Arts Collaboration is a Win-Win for Everyone

It has taken two years of patience on the part of two outstanding theatre arts companies, Oceanside Theatre Company and New Village Arts Theatre, but the wait was well worth it on their latest collaboration, the award-winning musical Into the Woods. A shut down of all theatre companies during the COVID pandemic restrictions and a major remodel of Carlsbad’s New Village Arts Theatre led to NVA’s founder and director Kristianne Kurner and OTC’s Producing Artistic Director Ted Leib joining together to stage one of the classics of musical theatre on the OTC stage.

Review: ‘Into the Woods’ is fresh, funny and well sung in Oceanside production

The first thing to know about recently passed Broadway composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is that he was a genius. The second is that Sondheim’s scores can be treacherous to perform. Their intricate melodies, blazing-fast lyrics, changeable tempos and multilayered harmonies are devilishly difficult work for singers, musicians and directors to pull off. So that’s what makes New Village Arts and Oceanside Theatre Company’s new coproduction of Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods” such a pleasure.

Brooks Theater Reopens for Youth Arts Camp

After restrictions lifted in June, the theater was able to reopen its doors after a year’s hiatus for its annual Youth Theater Arts Camp. The camp invites children between 7 and 17 years of age to participate in a several-week-long camp that teaches theater skills like singing, dancing, acting, poetry, and choral reading.

As Part of SD Theatre Week, Tours of the Brooks Theatre to be given February 21st

In honor of San Diego Theatre Week, OTC is offering behind-the-scene tours of the historic Brooks Theatre on February 21st at 11:00am & 1:00pm. At the end of the tour, patrons will receive the option to purchase discounted tickets (2 for $30) to one of the upcoming 2017-18 season productions.

“Outside Mullingar” A Sentimental Journey at Scripps Ranch Theatre

“There was a girl, there was a boy. If they had met they might have found a world of joy. But he lived on the morning side of the mountain and she lived on the twilight side of the hill. They never met, they never kissed. They will never know what happiness they’ve missed ‘Cause he lived on the morning side of the mountain and she lived on the twilight side of the hill. For love’s a rose that never grows without the kiss of the morning dew. And every Jack must have a Jill to know the thrill of a dream that comes true. And you and I are just like they for all we know our love is just a kiss away”

Scripps Ranch Theatre and Oceanside Theatre Company Co Produce OUTSIDE MULLINGAR

Scripps Ranch Theatre, located on the campus of Alliant Int’l University in Scripps Ranch has opened OUTSIDE MULLINGAR, by John Patrick Shanley, a co-production with Oceanside Theatre Company. The production runs from January 19th – February 18th at Scripps Ranch Theatre. Outside Mullingar continues its run with Oceanside Theatre Company housed at the Brooks Theatre from February 23rd – March 11th.

“Foxfire” preview on KNSD Channel 39


Oceanside Theatre Company Presents MIRACLE ON 34th STREET

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) to present MIRACLE ON 34th STREET, the second show in their 2017/2018 Season. The production is directed by Heather Reba with musical direction by Noelle Marie Kerr . OTC performs at the Brooks Theatre in Oceanside.

Michelle Marie Trester and Eric Hellmers Lead Cast of SAME TIME NEXT YEAR

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) announces casting for Same Time Next Year, by Bernard Slade, the first show in their 2017/2018 Season. Their four show season starts in October of 2017 and runs through May of 2018. They perform at the Brooks Theatre in Oceanside. (More)

William Inge’s PICNIC to Close 2016-17 Season at Oceanside Theatre Company

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) will produce the Pulitzer prize winning play PICNIC, by classic American Playwright William Inge, as the final production of OTC’s 2016/2017 Season. The show runs from May 5 – 21 and is directed by OTC’s new Artistic Director, Ted Leib.

Oceanside Theatre Company Welcomes Ted Leib as New Artistic Director

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) named Ted Leib as their new Artistic Director, effective March 1, 2017. Leib will direct PICNIC, by William Inge – the final production of OTC’s 2016/2017 Season running from May 5 – 21 and will be announcing the company’s 2017/2018 Season in April.

San Diego Theatre Week returning for a third go-round

You could argue that every week is theater week in San Diego — one of the most active theater towns in America, with a reputation that stretches to Broadway and beyond thanks to the new work developed here.

‘Outside Mullingar’ is full of Irish wit

“Outside Mullingar” is a play involving four characters in the Irish countryside. Scripps Ranch Theatre has rolled out this production full of wit and humor, and is presenting it on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 18.

Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Same Time Next Year” Remains a Funny, Romantic Comedy

The first play of Oceanside Theatre’s 8th Season and first under new artistic director Ted Leib still retains the humor, sensitivity and timelessness even though it covers a relationship spanning 1951 to 1975. When it first appeared on stage at Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City, starring award winning actress Ellen Burstyn and Charles Grodin, critics referred to the play as a “funny comedy about love and adultery”. The play would run on Broadway for four years.

‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Outside Mullingar’ are nice Valentine’s options

Valentine’s Day is a couple of weeks away, but love is already in bloom at Scripps Ranch Theatre, which is staging a quaint and shamelessly romantic production of John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar. This four-person play set on adjoining cattle and sheep farms in the Irish countryside was presented two years ago by the San Diego Rep. The Scripps Ranch version—a co-production with Oceanside Theatre Company and directed by Kathy Brombacher—is a reiteration of the 2014 love story’s charm. It’s also a reminder of the script’s fatal flaw in the motivation department. No spoilers forthcoming.

“Outside Mullingar” at Scripps Ranch Theatre

John Patrick Shanley stated he wanted to create a story about a family farm he was familiar with and a love story that dealt with all of the feelings surrounding this emotion. Shanley, 2005 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner for “Doubt”, wrote this play “Outside Mulligar” after his 60th birthday. It appeared on Broadway in 2014 and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play and received two Drama Desk nominations for Best Play and Outstanding Featured Actor. He actually used the real names of his relatives for the story.

THEATER REVIEW: “Outside Mullingar”

Some people never forget a slight. Others don’t know a come-on when they see it. Playwright John Patrick Shanley takes his own very Irish family as a starting point for “Outside Mullingar,” a romantic comedy about two (fictionalized) feuding families.