Oceanside Theatre Company and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside Offer Free After-School Youth Outreach Theatre Program for Ages 9-19

Auditions for Disney’s Little Mermaid begin August 29 with full stage production at the Brooks Nov. 10-19

August 21, 2023 (Oceanside, CA) – The Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside (BGCO) are offering a free theatre program for youth ages 9-19 from August 29 through November 19 at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside and the Brooks Theater. Introducing participants to the magic of the theater arts through the production of Disney’s Little Mermaid, the program will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:45 – 6 p.m. The three-month-long program will culminate in eight performances – six for the general public and two school performances. For information on registration, visit https://oceansidetheatre.org/youth-programs/little-mermaid-2023/

“The Youth Outreach Program isn’t just about theatre; it is about teaching kids important personal and life skills to carry with them for the rest of their lives,” said Sharon Duchi, who is the OTC Youth Academy Director and will co-direct the play along with her daughter Anna Duchi.  

“We also emphasize teamwork and friendship in our program. The actors learn to sing, act and dance while becoming a theatre family,” said Anna Duchi.

Designed to attract youth from diverse socio-economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds throughout the community, the program is open to all performance levels from beginners to advanced. It draws students from schools throughout North County. 

“Like many theaters across the nation that responded to the call to address racism and diversity of management, casts, and audiences, Oceanside Theatre Company is taking steps to make our theatre a place that represents and serves our broad community,” said Alex Goodman, OTC’s Managing Director. “Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as holding auditions and ‘voila’, you have a diverse cast. The roots of the solution go deeper than that – to achieve diversity, you must have a diverse talent pool to pull from, which means building relationships and trust within the community and developing talent from a young age. It takes time and intentionality. Our Youth Theatre Academy and Outreach program helps us build these relationships from the ground up and improve equity in theatres throughout our community – not just for today, but for the future.”

Oceanside Theatre Company and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside began their collaboration in 2019 to fill a gap in arts education left by reduced arts funding in schools. Last year, 63 students were involved in the co-production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast which sold out its six public productions and 2 school field-trip productions. OTC is hoping to accommodate up to 50 students in the production to give more kids and teens the opportunity to gain theatre experience.

“Our incredible partnership with the OTC  has been a wonderful opportunity for our youth to learn and grow through the arts,” said Jodi Diamond, CEO of BGCO. ”We are thrilled to see [our members] take the stage and showcase their talents. This partnership has been a great use of shared resources and has allowed for the exchange of ideas and talent. As an organization committed to providing opportunities for youth in our community, we wholeheartedly support the Youth Outreach Theatre Program.” 

Auditions will take place on August 29 at the Boys & Girls Club of Oceanside located at 401 Country Club Lane to cast this year’s performance of the beloved Disney’s Little Mermaid, offering rich costumes and sets, as well as the chance to perform some of the best-known songs from the past 30 years. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.”  

The OTC Youth Outreach Program is made possible with generous support from the City of Oceanside, San Diego County, and the California Arts Council, as well as the contributions of individual community donors. This year, the theatre is seeking support from the public to offset the costs of the production. Supporters can visit OceansideTheatre.org/Little-Mermaid-Sponsorhips  to learn more.

About Oceanside Theatre Company
Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), the resident professional performing arts company operating the Historic Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside, is a focal point of the Oceanside California Cultural District (OCCD). OTC’s mission is to produce professional theatrical, visual art and musical productions for the entertainment and enrichment of the community, present educational opportunities in the arts for children and adult, and provide a safe, state-of-the-art public venue for expansion of artistic endeavors in North San Diego County and greater southern California. OTC produces a four-show mainstage theatre season in the 198-seat venue, as well as a Music Series, play readings and various other events in the adjacent black box theater, Studio 219. An important part of OTC’s mission is inspiring and sharing the arts with local youth through the Youth Theater Arts Program, which includes Summer Theater Camps and Youth Theater Arts Outreach in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside during the school year. To learn more visit www.oceansidetheatre.org.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside
Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside (BGCO), celebrating over 70 years of building great futures in Oceanside, is a youth development organization that is dedicated to providing a safe, fun and enriching environment for youth during non-school hours. BGCO remained open to serve youth during the entire pandemic. From May 2020 through August 2021, BGCO’s Emergency Food Program provided more than 55,000 free and nutritious meals to youth under 18 regardless of membership status.

Leann Garms
Public Relations
Meg Pierce
Marketing Manager
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