Kevin “Blax” Burroughs Appointed Associate Artistic Director of Oceanside Theatre Company
Burroughs to begin work on developing the 2024 Season
(Oceanside) August 1, 2023 – OTC is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin ‘Blax’ Burroughs as the new Associate Artistic Director of Oceanside Theatre Company. In this role, Burroughs will work alongside OTC Artistic Director Ted Leib to support the artistic vision of the organization and programming of the mainstage subscription season, as well as auxiliary programming and other special projects.
“The energy and experience that Blax brings to OTC is just what we need at this moment,” said OTC Board President John McCoy. “He has the ability to lead a production from the director’s seat, is fluent in the language of designers, is an incredibly talented performer and has a real vision for the future of not only Oceanside Theatre Company, but theatre in America. We could not be happier that Blax has agreed to continue his artistic leadership journey with OTC.”
2022 Craig Noel Award Winner for Outstanding Specialty Artist, Burroughs is a proud African-American singer, dancer, actor, director, choreographer, and lighting designer born and raised in San Diego. He’s been a performer, board member, and/or member of the creative team with companies that include Moonlight Stage Productions, New Village Arts, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Cygnet Theatre, OnStage Playhouse, CCAE Theatricals, SDMT, and La Jolla Playhouse, as well as youth theaters and educational institutions.
He worked as a performer and choreographer right out of high school, before adding lighting design to his repertoire later in his career. He’s proudly self-taught, having learned to become a lighting designer via YouTube videos, collaborating with other designers, and through on-the-job experience designing show after show.
“Having worked with Blax at New Village Arts in the past, I know what he is capable of as a performer, a creative and a collaborator,” said Oceanside Theatre Company Managing Director Alex Goodman. “I look forward to partnering with him on many projects at OTC. He is a phenomenal talent and inspiring leader. There’s nothing he can’t do.”
Burroughs last worked with OTC on the co-production of Teatro San Diego’s inaugural live performance of Songs for a New World in June of 2022. Along with fellow Teatro San Diego co-founder and co-director Julio Catano, Burroughs brought a fresh and modern concept to the production, re-setting the show in the “new world” of the post-George Floyd/Black Lives Matter era. Reviewer Cassiopeia Guthrie described the production as, “brilliantly ideated and flawlessly executed from start to finish.”
First on Burroughs’ to-do list is to work with current staff and board to select a 2024 Season. “Creating the new season will be a challenging, yet exciting, task that I’m eager to take on,” said Burroughs. “I truly look forward to collaborating within OTC to develop a program our community will love. I believe there is a place in any season for every kind of patron, whether you’re interested in dramas, jukebox musicals, parodies, or something else. There are so many exciting possibilities.”
The Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Specialty Artist, which Burroughs received in 2022 is a rare and prestigious honor, which is not given every year and then only given to one person, with no nominees, only when the critics notice someone going the extra mile. The night he won the award, Burroughs wrote on his Facebook page, “This truly surprised the absolute hell out of me. I am someone who deals with his own feelings and wonders if he should keep going or not in this business. And I know I’m not alone. [This award] was the biggest green flag to keep truckin’ on…This award is dedicated to any and all people who feel like they work on their craft ONLY to survive and need something to keep pushing through. Artists of all kinds, you are seen. Your work does not go unnoticed. Your blood sweat and tears are incredibly appreciated. We truly are all in this together. I will never forget this moment. I love you all. Let’s continue to make great theatre.”
Feel free to send Burroughs a note of congratulations and encouragement to Blax@oceansidetheatre.org