Oceanside Theatre Company Announces 2024 Main Stage Season
Curated by OTC’s New Artistic Director Kevin “Blax” Burroughs
(Oceanside) December 18, 2023 – Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) is thrilled to launch its 2024 Main Stage Season at the Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside. Curated by new Artistic Director Kevin “Blax” Burroughs, the season includes a West Coast Premiere, a Southern California Premiere, and a brand new play staged for the first time.
“Rambunctious. Bold. Fearless. Loud. These four words describe not only what OTC’s 2024 Season is essentially about, but also who I am as a person,” said Burroughs. “I was incredibly excited to select a season that spoke to both me as an artist and an individual, while offering audiences a strong variety of shows.”
A family finds love and laughter amidst the drama after a death in the Southern California Premiere of Chicken & Biscuits March 8 through March 24. Hope hurts and heals a family in audience selected musical Next to Normal May 10 through May 26. The supernatural swings silly and absurd in the West Coast Premiere of Stranger Sings! A Parody Musical October 4 through October 20. Finally, two wise queens guide a recent high school graduate on a hip hop journey from home and back again in the brand new holiday play Manny and the Wise Queens December 6 through December 22.
Burroughs worked with OTC’s Emeritus Artistic Director Ted Leib and Managing Director Alex Goodman to develop the new 2024 season. “The mainstage season we have planned will be a bold step forward for OTC,” said Goodman.
Season Subscriptions are available beginning December 21 and Single Tickets are available beginning January 18. OTC is the resident company of Brooks Theater, located at 217 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054. (Parking at Civic Center, 300 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054.)
Chicken & Biscuits – MARCH 8 – 24
Written by Douglas Lyons
Directed by Kevin “Blax” Burroughs
“Family is a loaded word.”
Directed by Kevin “Blax” Burroughs, the Southern California Premiere of Chicken & Biscuits by Douglas Lyons March 8 through March 24, reveals the rivalry between sisters Baneatta and Beverly when they come together to bury their father. Between Beverly’s flaunting of her “blessings” at the chapel, the accompaniment of Baneatta’s son by his neurotic Jewish boyfriend of whom she disapproves, and Beverly’s overly inquisitive daughter poking into everyone’s business, the family is not so sure they can make it through the day without killing one another! Baneatta’s pastor husband tries to mediate the family drama while officiating the funeral, but when a shocking family secret is revealed during the ceremony, the siblings are faced with a truth that could either heal or break them.
“Chicken & Biscuits is unapologetically black,” said Burroughs. “The show came at a time on Broadway where there were a record-breaking eight black playwrights during the season, which in itself was inspirational to me as a black artist. As I read the show – laughing uncontrollably – that artistic inspiration grew even further.”
Chicken & Biscuits will be the first non-musical Burroughs will direct. “I am excited by this new challenge,” Burroughs said. “Audiences should be ready for a much needed therapeutic session of black joy, love, and laughter.”
Preview Night – Friday, March 8
Opening Night – Saturday, March 9
Military Matinee – Sunday, March 10
Artist Talkback – Sunday, March 17
Next To Normal – MAY 10-26
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey and Music by Tom Kitt
Directed by Frankie Errington
Musical Direction by Lyndon Pugeda
“The wasted world we thought we knew, the light would make it look brand new, so let it shine…”
Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, Next to Normal, written by Brian Yorkey with music by Tom Kitt, introduces audiences to a seemingly typical American family. In this production directed by Frankie Errington with musical direction by Lyndon Pugeda May 10 through May 26, the dad heads off to work as an architect, the mom prepares breakfast and lunch for the family, and the teenagers crack jokes at their parents’ expense. However, as the lights begin to shine onto their lives, the truth is illuminated, revealing the shadows of the mother’s 16-year battle with bipolar disorder and the roles each family member has had to play. Next to Normal tells a story of hope, love, and learning to let go.
“Next To Normal was the most requested show on our patron survey as a write-in option, meaning people really find a need for this story,” said Burroughs. “Including it in our 2024 Season was an absolute must. I am adamant that theaters listen to their patrons and give audiences what they want, when they can do so. This show also holds a special place in my heart as it sparks conversation about mental health.”
Preview Night – Friday, May 10
Opening Night – Saturday, May 11
Military Matinee – Sunday, May 12
Artist Talkback – Sunday, May 12
Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical – OCTOBER 4 – 20
Books, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Hogue
Directed by Kevin “Blax” Burroughs
“Bye mom, I gotta go study at Lucas’ house. Bye mom, I gotta go study at Mike’s house. Bye mom, I gotta go ride my bike through the dark woods in the middle of the night with no adult supervision………god I love the 80’s.”
The West Coast Premiere of Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical written by Jonathan Hogue and directed by Kevin “Blax” Burroughs offers a hilarious, fun-filled romp into the supernatural world of the Netflix hit, Stranger Things October 4 through October 20. Set in the otherwise sleepy town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 80s, the parody embraces the nostalgia for days when kids were left free to wander around unsupervised – in this case into portals to a hellish upside down world. Featuring songs about how to get the girl, being the third wheel, and adventures, this show is wonderfully silly with a few interdimensional battles and singing demogorgons along the way.
The original production of Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical ran from September 2022 to May 2023 off-broadway in New York to sold out audiences and won a significant amount of awards. It was so popular that the production company streamed it worldwide. “The show is campy, the show is silly, the show is wonderfully nostalgic,” said Burroughs. “After I got a chance to watch the stream, I listened to the cast recording religiously, and fell more in love with every aspect of the production with every listen.”
According to Burroughs, OTC’s production of Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical will differ from the usual OTC mainstage shows, in that it will offer an immersive experience with some audience members sitting onstage and certain actors weaving in and out of the audience.
Preview Night – Friday, October 4
Opening Night – Saturday, October 5
Military Matinee – Sunday, October 6
Artist Talkback – Sunday, October 6
Manny and The Wise Queens – DECEMBER 6 – 22
Written by Idris Goodwin
Directed by Jacole Kitchen
“….but part of what makes Christmas Christmas is that the other three hundred sixty four days aren’t…..it’s like you said Wise Queen Ella, the importance of the feeling…”
OTC presents the first full staging of Manny and the Wise Queens written by Idris Goodwin and directed by Jacole Kitchen December 6 to December 22, introducing audiences to the small town of Bethlehem, U.SA., where a bright star draws distant visitors to usher in a new era one December night in 2020. The gift-bearing travelers find themselves in the attic of Manny, a depressed recent high school graduate, who has locked himself away to escape the remnants of holiday cheer in his quarantined town. Luckily, the sudden arrival of the two wise queens provides a potential key to Manny’s deliverance in this comedic celebration of home, hip-hop and unexpected gifts.
“This show is the perfect fit for the season and I’m thrilled to be able to produce it!” said Burroughs. He was introduced to the show by OTC’s Managing Director, Alex Goodman, who had seen it at La Jolla Playhouse’s DNA series. “I am a huge fan of new works and premieres of any kind. The future of theatre is built on someone taking a chance on an original piece.”
Goodwin’s critically acclaimed plays, including And In This Corner Cassius Clay, How We Got On, and Hype Man: A Break Beat Play, are widely produced across the country at professional theaters, college campuses, and non-traditional spaces. He’s been honored with developmental support from The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O’Neill Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, and The Playwrights’ Center.
Preview Night – Friday, December 6
Opening Night – Saturday, December 7
Military Matinee – Sunday, December 8
Artist Talkback – Sunday, December 15
Preview Nights offer discounted tickets, Opening Nights include a VIP reception before and after the show, Military Matinees offer free tickets to veterans and active duty military, and Artist Talkbacks include a post show discussion with members of the creative team, made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Prebys Foundation.
Additional surrounding events, including a new Cultural Pioneers program, the Live! At the Brooks concert series and the new Lived Experience Community Conversation series will be announced at a later date.