Songs for a New World Press Release
Oceanside Theatre Company Presents Songs for A New World in Conjunction with Teatro San Diego June 3 – 26
Jason Robert Brown’s contemporary song cycle weaves together history and characters to spotlight social injustice in America
(Oceanside, CA) – Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) presents “Songs for a New World”, in conjunction with Teatro San Diego at the Historic Brooks Theatre June 3- 26 in downtown Oceanside. Adapted from Teatro San Diego’s successful inaugural production streamed during the Covid-19 pandemic, “Songs for a New World”, written and composed by Tony Award Winner, Jason Robert Brown (“The Last Five Years”, “Bridges of Madison County”), is a moving collection of powerful songs examining life, love and the choices that we make. “Songs for a New World” plays Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.. Tickets are available for $15 – $45 online at www.oceansidetheatre.org or by calling the box office at 760-433-8900.
The production, first seen in 1995 Off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre, is Co-Directed by Teatro San Diego’s Kevin “Blax” Burroughs and Julio Catano, with Choreography by Alyssa “Ajay” Junious, and Music Direction by William Ah Sing. Teatro San Diego’s original streaming production received three BroadwayWorld 2021 San Diego Awards, including Best Direction Of A Stream (Kevin “Blax” Burroughs), Best Editing Of A Stream (Christian Ezell), and Best Scenic Design Of A Play Or Musical (Reiko Huffman) and appeared on the Pam Kragen’s Best of 2021 list for the San Diego Union Tribune.
“This year-old, diversity-focused theater company impressed with its debut production,” wrote Kragen in December of 2021. “Director Kevin “Blax” Burroughs reimagined the scenes — about people through history about to make life-changing decisions — from a 2021 perspective.”
SYNOPSIS: Songs for a New World is, according to composer Jason Robert Brown, “about one 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 rousing score that blends elements of pop, gospel and jazz, featuring tight harmonies and daring vocals, Songs for a New World transports its audience from the deck of a Spanish sailing ship bound for a new land, to the ledge of a New York penthouse. Characters range from a young man in the Bronx who dreams of becoming a famous basketball player, to a forlorn and neglected Mrs. Claus lamenting as Christmas approaches.
A small but powerful and diverse cast along with a supercharged, well-crafted score appeal to old and new generations alike as each character — in their own way — takes hold of that one moment and enters a new world.
“What makes this production unique,” says Co-Director and Teatro San Diego Artistic Associate, Kevin “Blax” Burroughs, “is the fact that we took it from a streaming production last year to now a live audience with a live band and a new location – it’s exciting!”
“We were inspired by the civil rights movement of 2020,” says Co-Director and President of the Teatro San Diego Board of Directors, Julio Catano, “and we are now able to present it live in 2022. So, we are very excited to share these conversations that have been going on in the nation and among all of us as a community.”
Choreographer and Teatro San Diego Founding Member Alyssa “AJay” Junious says, “We have two ensemble dancers who are able to embody the story through movement, and I’m really enjoying weaving the cast all together. There are two things unique to this production: It’s a collaboration between two amazing theatre companies here in San Diego, and it is BIPOC led. I love the fact that Teatro San Diego is centered around that mission and that Oceanside Theatre Company is on board.”
“I’m excited to bring this bold production of “Songs for a New World” to Oceanside,” said Alex Goodman, OTC’s Interim Managing Director. “I think our North County patrons will be blown away by the immense talent and creativity that “Blax” and his team will showcase on the Brooks stage. We’re proud to help raise the visibility of an emerging company and share their very first live production with our audience. And there couldn’t be a better time to lift up a company that is specifically focused on telling diverse stories and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of our community.”
Located in the heart of downtown Oceanside, the Brooks Theater is the cultural center point of this North County region, uniquely recognized as only one of 14 inaugural Cultural Districts designated by the State of California.
About Oceanside Theatre Company:
Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), the resident professional theater company operating the Historic Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside is a center point of the Oceanside CA 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 adults; 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 and ongoing events and play readings 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 Teatro San Diego:
Teatro San Diego was founded in the midst of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in order to help San Diego become the vibrant, all-inclusive community it has always had the potential to be. At the time of the organization’s inception, the two largest minority communities in San Diego were Mexican and Filipino. Thus, the city’s two most prevalent languages aside from English were Spanish and Tagalog. “Teatro” means “Theatre” in both languages. These original San Diegans have been under-served and under-represented in San Diego’s performing arts community and Teatro San Diego works to rectify this disparity by emphasizing and accounting for the inclusion of all local nationalities and languages. To learn more, visit: www.teatrosandiego.org.
June 3 – 26, 2022
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 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* started her acting and singing journey at the age of 4. She recently completed a two year run in Las Vegas’s hit mash up, BAZ! Star Crossed Love, as “Juliet” and enjoyed being a finalist at the tender age of 15 in NBC’s THE VOICE.
Christian Duarte is a graduate from Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA), and received his B.A. in Theatre and Community from UC Santa Barbara. There, he was president of a student run theatre company and directed “The Last Five Years” and “Mamma Mia!”
Brittany Adriana Carrillo last appeared at OTC as Rapunzel/StepMother in “Into the Woods” in April. She is a cofounder of @abctheatreco and is currently pursuing her BA in Theatre Performance at SDSU.
Mikaela Rae Macias is currently a 3rd-year Theatre Performance student at San Diego State University. She graduated from Coronado School of the Arts’s Drama and Musical Theatre Program.
Keri Miller is a veteran to the stage and is an elementary school teacher at 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. Directorial Credits: Songs…New World, Carrie, Next To Normal & 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 – Co-Director National / International Tours: The Addams Family (Ancestor), West Side Story Centennial World Tour (Chino). Regional: Kiss My Aztec! (La Jolla Playhouse); Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (Theatre Under The Stars); Camelot (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Anything Goes (Arena Stage); West Side Story (Barrington Stage Company, Musical Theatre West and Lamb’s Players Theatre). Film/TV: Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, FOX’s Pitch, TNT’s 12. Education: Dance B.F.A. from The Ailey School / Fordham University. Executive artistic director of Teatro San Diego and adjunct professor at Syracuse University. @juliocatanoyee @ teatrosandiego”
Alyssa “Ajay” Junious – Choreographer Ajay is a choreographer, theatre artist, arts educator and pilates practitioner from Oceanside, California. She received her BFA in Performance, Choreography and Certificate of Arts Management from the University of California, Irvine. She is the founder of Continuum Arts & Pilates and Cofounder 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 Theater, Disneyland Resort, Entity Contemporary Dance Company, San Diego Dance Theater, 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 & Conductor.
Reiko Huffman – Scenic Designer is excited to be a part of the remount of Songs for A New World with Teatro San Diego and in partnership with Oceanside Theatre Company. Recent and upcoming credits for Reiko Huffman include, The Importance of Being Earnest and Silent Sky with Summer Repertory Theatre Festival, The Wiz with Teatro San Diego, Cinderella at the Rose Theatre in Omaha, NE, and Legally Blonde with the GREAT theatre in Minnesota.
Morgan Zwonitzer – Stage Manager Morgan’s credits with OTC include stage managing A Christmas Carol: A Radioplay (2021 & 2019) ASM for Foxfire (2019) and Dancing Lessons (2019) Other credits include: The role of The Kid in QueerSpawn for Diversionary (2018) and assistant directing Hir for Cygnet Theatre (2018)
Oceanside Theater Company Takes Center Stage with Long-Term Lease, Renovation and New Leadership
(Oceanside, CA) – April 13, 2022 – Now in its 11th year of operations, Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), the resident professional performing arts company at the “Sunshine” Brooks Theater, has served as stewards of the historic, city-owned theater and adjoining Studio 219 on North Coast Highway in Oceanside since the organization’s inception. Located in the heart of downtown Oceanside, the Brooks Theater is the cultural center point of this North County region, uniquely recognized as only one of 14 inaugural Cultural Districts designated by the State of California.
With a new 20-year City of Oceanside Use Agreement approved last Fall, OTC is taking bold steps to chart an expansive future for the organization – and the building. The previously all volunteer management team has hired its first Managing Director and has plans for a multi-phase, multi-year renovation of the 1930’s-era Brooks Theater to serve the cultural needs of a growing community in Oceanside and North County. The new agreement lays out required tenant improvements to the building, the first phase of which will be completed in the next 5 years.
“The Board is excited to have Alex join the OTC team as Managing Director,” says Board President John McCoy. “Alex has been involved in live theatre since childhood and that lifetime passion, combined with years of theatre management experience in Detroit, Chicago and, most importantly, San Diego, will provide OTC with a solid leadership platform for successfully moving the organization forward.”
Goodman comes to OTC from the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum where he led fundraising efforts in his role as Director of Philanthropy. Prior to that, he served as Managing Director of Carlsbad’s New Village Arts for nearly 6 years.
“My wife and I used to walk to OTC from the apartment we rented near the train station,” says Goodman. “I loved OTC’s production of Red by John Logan in 2018. I was fortunate to have seen the show at the Center Theatre Group in L.A. with Alfred Molina in 2012. OTC was able to deliver a product for North County audiences that held its own against that L.A. production. The story didn’t require much technically, and it was told beautifully by talented, local artists. That’s something I hope to continue during my time here. To share high quality theatre and arts experiences right here in Oceanside.”
Goodman will be responsible for fiscal management, operations and marketing oversight, and the development of a comprehensive fundraising strategy to support ongoing operating needs of the organization, as well as the upcoming renovation. He currently serves on the boards of North County Arts Network, The San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, and is the 2022 President of North County Philanthropy Council.
“The advances that Oceanside Theatre Company is making in programming and the facility are indicative of its ability to move the arts forward in Oceanside,” said CJ DiMento, Oceanside CA Cultural District Executive Committee. “With the strong leadership of the Board of Directors, now coupled with the experience and talent of Alex Goodman, the possibilities are endless for this Cultural District gem.”
Goodman comes on board as OTC wraps up the current joint production of Into the Woods with New Village Arts (running through May 1) and prepares for Songs of a New World, in conjunction with Teatro San Diego. Adapted from Teatro San Diego’s successful production streamed during the Covid-19 pandemic, “Songs for a New World”, written and composed by Jason Robert Brown, runs June 3 through June 26. This contemporary song cycle weaves characters and history together, illuminating the timelessness of self-discovery with each song and performer representing a form of social injustice in America such as Feminism, White Privilege, Gender Equality, and Racial Justice.
“I’m a huge fan of Teatro San Diego and am excited to bring their bold production of Songs for a New World to Oceanside,” says Goodman. “I think our North County patrons will be blown away by the immense talent and creativity that Kevin ‘Blax’ Burroughs and his team will showcase on the Brooks stage this Summer. And I am humbled and proud to raise the visibility of an emerging company that is specifically focused on telling diverse stories and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of our community.”