Mid-June Theatre Offerings on the Central Coast of California
As we make our way on into June and move ever closer to the OFFICIAL beginning of summer, I hope you will plan on including going to a couple of shows at any number of the various live performance and theatre venues here on the Central Coast of California!
Written by Deborah Tobola and directed by Molly Williams Stuckey, with musical direction by Mark Stuckey, the play follows an amorous alien who lands in the middle of a prison yard on Earth, only to mistake his new surroundings for Heaven and the inmates for angels. He gradually transforms the prison with his loving touch. "There's this thing in prison where kindness is seen as weakness. We wanted to turn that on its head," Tobola explains.
With its large cast and elaborate costumes and sets - designed by Milly Benson and Bo Richards, respectively, Planet of Love is a departure from past Poetic Justice Project productions, which include the dramas Blue Train, Off the Hook and Women Behind the Walls. The latter, a stripped-down version of Claire Braz-Valentine's play, opened in 2011 on San Francisco's famed Alcatraz Island, while Tobola's Off the Hook toured prison towns through the state.
Stuckey and Tobola acknowledge the challenges of working with largely untrained actors who must juggle rehearsals with work, school, court hearings and probation meetings (scheduling conflicts forced them to recast some of Planet of Love's 20 parts, played by 17 actors). At the same time, Stuckey says, these fearless performers will "try anything you ask them to do. They just lose their inhibitions and give it their all."
Ideally, Tobola says, audience members will walk away with fresh insight into the correctional system. "It's a very difficult subculture to penetrate unless you're locked up, visiting or working there," she says, noting that there's a talk-back session after every performance.
"I hope that the audiences see people that have been incarcerated in a different light," Tobola says. "These are real people. They are not monsters. They're people who have made mistakes and are trying to find a way back to their lives."
SLO Little Theatre’s (www.slolittletheatre.org) current mainstage production, The House of Blue Leaves, directed by Jill Turnbow, will run through June 17 (NOTE: Saw the opening weekend Sunday matinee and this is a wonderful show with an amazing cast!). And be sure to check out the Academy of Creative Theatre’s (http://www.slolittletheatre.org/pages/classes) children & youth theatre opportunities for this spring and summer!
The Pewter Plough Playhouse (www.pewterploughplayhouse.org) in Cambria will present Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks June 22 – July 29.
The Theatre at the Cambria Center for the Arts (http://artistsofcambria.com/cambriapac/index.html) will present DRAMARAMA - Youth Acting Classes June 4-28.
Templeton Performing Arts Center of the North County Dance and Performing Arts Foundation (http://www.northcountyperformingarts.org/) in association with Class Act Dance will present SYNERGY, a summer dance recital, on June 23.
Kelrik Productions (www.kelrikproductions.com) will present their summer musical, Grease, June 22 – July 8, and their Grades 1-10 Summer Camp/Performance Class production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr in early August.
Next up for The God Is Still Speaking Players (https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/92718528887), is a summer musical production of Snoopy – auditions July 16 & 17, performances August 31 - September 9.
Espressivo! Chamber Theatre (http://espressivotheatre.com/) will present The Botanical Engineers June 7 at Poalillo Vineyards in Paso Robles.
Upcoming performances at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center (www.pacslo.org) include Ryan’s American Dance Studio’s I Got A Feeling on June 8,DPAC’s Tribute to MJ on June 10, Dance Obispo’s Student Showcase on June 24, and Leslie Jordan on July 7.
Murder In Mind Productions (www.murderinmind.com) will present Pirates of Pirates Cove opening July 1.
Exit Pursued By a Bear (https://www.facebook.com/events/405235212833014/) will present Much Ado About Nothing and Titus Andronicus, running in repertory in parks on the Central Coast 2 weekends in August - stay tuned for specific dates, times and locations.
Upcoming performances at the Clark Center (www.clarkcenter.org) include Everybody Can DANCE and Santa Maria Civic Ballet’s Cinderella, Chopiniana & Giselle Act 1 June 9 & 10, and Coastal Dance and Music Academy’s Rhythm Nation on June 24.
The Great American Melodrama (www.americanmelodrama.com) in Oceano is proud to present a Vaudeville Spectacular through June 10 ... a full night of Vaudeville Revue taken from the best of the best from years past and packed into one night of high energy entertainment. Whether it's a classic comic routine or one of your favorite song and dance numbers, you're sure to have a good time as you take a trip down Memory Lane [NOTE: Attended the early Sunday evening performance this past weekend and laughed my a … uh, had a GREAT time!].
The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (www.pcpa.org), the Central Coast's Resident Professional Theatre Company, located on the Allan Hancock College Campus in Santa Maria, will present Little Women, the Broadway Musical, June 14 - July 1 at the Solvang Festival Theater and The Rivals June 21-30 in Santa Maria (July 5-22 in Solvang).
The Santa Maria Civic Theatre (www.smct.org) recently closed The Battle of Shallowford – stay tuned for details on their next production!
The Lompoc Civic Theatre's (www.lompoccivictheatre.com) upcoming summer production of tick, tock … BOOM! will run August 3-19.
So, whatever you might have on your list of things to do in the weeks ahead, I hope you will find or make the time to add attending some of the shows at any of the several theatre and live entertainment establishments here on the California Central Coast!
Curt Miner ... your BroadwayWorld.com guy on the ground with the California Central Coast theatre "news & views"