Theatre Group at SBCC Presents AVENUE Q, Now thru July 28
The Theatre Group at SBCC returns to performing in the beautiful, newly renovated Garvin Theatre with the irreverent musical AVENUE Q, now through July 28, 2012.
Avenue Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that although the residents seem nice, it’s clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to mix jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life. Avenue Q mixes puppets with human characters to teach lessons that are definitely not for children. It contains adult language and material. It will be directed by Rick Mokler with musical direction by David Potter.
Avenue Q was developed as a stage production at the 2002 National Music Theatre Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut. Avenue Q opened Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in March 2003, where it gained rave reviews, and was extended four times. It won the 2003 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Musical, as well as a nomination for the 2003 Outer Critics Circle Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical award.
Avenue Q opened on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre on July 31, 2003, after previews beginning July 10th. Directed by Jason Moore and choreographed by Ken Roberson, the show was nominated for 6 Tony Awards and won 3, including Best Musical.
Avenue Q's success has spawned Las Vegas and West End productions, two national tours, and a variety of international productions. Avenue Q played its final Broadway performance on September 13, 2009 before opening Off-Broadway six weeks later.
The cast of Avenue Q features Equity Guest Artist Ryan Murray as Princeton, and Katherine Brady as Christmas Eve. Rounding out the cast will be Daniel Herrera, Sean Jackson, Emily E. Jewell, Janina Mason, Miguel Miranda, Tad Murroughs, Willie Simpson, Amanda Terman and Katie Thatcher.
Performances will be tonight, July 13 through July 28, 2012, Thursday through Saturday @ 7:30pm, Sunday @ 2pm, Previews at 7:30pm. Ticket prices: Previews $16 general/$13 seniors/$8 students, Friday and Saturday evenings $23 general/$18 seniors/$15 students, Thursday evenings and Sunday matiness $21 general/$16 seniors/$12 students. The Garvin Theatre is wheelchair accessible and has assisted listening. The Sunday, July 15, 2pm performance will be live-captioned for the hearing-impaired. Parking is free and near the theatres. Call the Garvin Theatre Box Office at 965-5935 or go to www.theatregroupsbcc.com for reservations and information.
The 2012/2013 season of The Theatre Group at SBCC will be Avenue Q, August: Osage County, Present Laughter and Becky’s New Car.
Katherine Brady (Christmas Eve) National tour: In the Heights (Carla, u/s Nina, Vanessa). Regional: Annie, Miss Saigon (Moonlight Amphitheater); Cats (MT West); Annie (Starlight CLO). Katherine graduated from the University of California, Irvine (B.F.A., Musical Theater). She is honored to be a part of the reopening of the Garvin Theatre and to be working again back at home in Santa Barbara.
DANIEL J HERRERA (Brian) was introduced and studied theatre at SBCC. He has acted, stage managed, directed, and produced over 30 plays locally. Some of his favorites include acting in To Kill a Mockingbird (Garvin Theatre), stage managing Bill W. and Dr. Bob (Center Stage Theatre), directing The Bible: The Complete Word of God [Abridged] (Jurkowitz Theatre), and Co-Producing/ Directing Dreaming of Graceland (Center Stage Theater). He is excited and honored to be back home on the Garvin Stage.
Sean Jackson (Trekkie Monster) graduated from SBCC in 2006 with "Actor Of The Year" honors. After graduating from UCI in 2008, he moved to Hollywood to pursue improvisation and sketch comedy with The Groundlings as well as various theatrical productions such as Sexual Perversity In Chicago at Silverlake's Lyric Hyperion Theater. Recent credits include Reefer Madness (The Lecturer), Evil Dead: The Musical (Jake) and Hair (Margaret Mead), both with Out of the Box Theatre Co. at Center Stage Theater, and The Drunkard (William Dowton) at Circle Bar B Ranch. Past SBCC credits include Baby With The Bathwater, Fortinbras, Gunfighter, Boy Gets Girl, Lives of the Saints, and Solid Gold Cadillac.
Emily Jewell (Kate Monster, Packing Box) is thrilled to be making her Theatre Group at SBCC debut with Avenue Q! Her most recent local appearances include Barbara in Boom with Elements Theatre Collective; Assassins, Hair, and Reefer Madness, with Out of the Box Theatre Company; Aesop's Fables and Pinocchio with Ensemble Storybook Theatre and Speaking of Stories' Gumshoe Dramas. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI and is one of the Artistic Directors of Elements Theatre Collective.
JANINA MASON (Gary Coleman) is currently enrolled in the Theatre Arts Acting and Directing program here at SBCC. It is her second year of study. Although Avenue Q is her first production with the Theatre Group at SBCC, she has performed in many other musical productions; favorites include: Hairspray, Annie, Curtains, and Once on this Island. She most recently took a part choreographing Dos Pueblos Theatre Company's Production of TARZAN and hopes to pursue her passion in choreography by majoring in Dance for Film at the California Institute of the Arts.
MIGUEL MIRANDA (Nicky) is an acting student at SBCC. Some of his previous productions include Spring Awakening (Ernst), The Santa Barbara Revels’ Bavarian Christmas (Ensemble), Assassins (John Hinkley Jr.), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (William Barfee), Singin' in the Rain (Male Diction Coach), Les Miserables (Ensemble). You can see him perform at the Santa Barbara Zoo in How to Train Your Dinosaur where his co-star is a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Duncan. Avenue Q marks his first production with the Theatre Group at SBCC.
Ryan Murray (Princeton) is a native of California, grew up in Palo Alto and is no stranger to Santa Barbara. Before moving to New York to go to NYU, Ryan was a proud member of the SBCC family. 12 years later he still considers Santa Barbara a 2nd home and is overjoyed to have the opportunity to be back and to christen the beautiful new Garvin Theatre. While out east Ryan has graced the stage and screen. Along with a handful of Off Broadway productions, and after being second in line for Princeton in Avenue Q on Broadway, he was seen in the Broadway-bound production of Lone Star Love, which became famous for its “unruly Hollywood celebrity,” just ask TMZ. He also had a 2 year stint on Guiding Light as the Head of Towers. His commercial for Bridezilla’s as a dancing cater-waiter is still airing and you may have seen him as the new face of Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million fragrance. Coming up in NYC, Ryan is thrilled to be holding the inaugural benefit for The Wishing Kids Foundation, which offers financial support for individuals and families fighting terminal illness, which he founded after his mother’s passing last year. He is also ecstatic to begin recording for his debut album.
TAD ALAN MURROUGHS (Bad Idea Bear, Ricky, Packing Box, Newcomer, Trekkie Right Hand) was last seen as Albie Coots in the Rubicon Theatre's production of Hello! My Baby. He has performed at SBCC once before as Dill in To Kill A Mockingbird. He looks forward to returning to the Garvin Theatre and hopes he will have more chances to do so in the future.
WILLIAM "WILLIE" SIMPSON (Rod) moved to Santa Barbara from Long Beach. He was last seen as Lt. Cable in South Pacific with Gallimaufry Performing Arts in Laguna Beach and as a tenor in the Long Beach Chorale and Chamber Orchestra. Willie has enjoyed performing in both musical theatre and vocal ensembles at the Playboy Jazz Festival, Long Beach Terrace Theatre, Newport Theatre Arts Center and Orange County's Curtain Call Dinner Theatre.
AMANDA TERMAN (Bad Idea Bear, Mrs. Thistletwat, Packing Box, Nicky Right hand) most recently starred in It’s Only Human, an original TV musical airing later this summer on TVSB Channel 71 and later this year on Cox Channel 72. Local stage credits include Pinocchio (Ensemble Storybook Theatre), The Drunkard (Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre), and Hair (Out of the Box Theatre Company). Other credits include the award-winning film Love Fool, screened at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and various national radio and print ads.
KATIE THATCHER (Lucy) is once again singing for joy at the opportunity to perform with the Theatre Group at SBCC family having just had the honor of being a featured singer in the recent Gala to celebrate the re-opening of the gorgeous Garvin Theatre .This is Katie’s 20th production with The Theatre Group at SBCC, having started as a mere child. Some of Katie's favorite roles at her " home away from home" include Meredith in Bat Boy,(Indy Award), Into The Woods (Baker’s Wife), Expecting Isabel (Miranda), Time Of My Life (Laura), Resident Alien (Priscilla, Indy Award), and various characters in Parallel Lives (Indy Award). Katie has worked with many local theatre companies including Center Stage, Lobero Theatre, and Ensemble Theatre Company and is thrilled to be in Avenue Q with such a lovely and talented cast.
THE PRODUCTION TEAM
RICK MOKLER is a director, writer and teacher with 38 years’ experience in professional and educational theatre. He is Professor Emeritus and retired Production Chairman of the Theatre Group at Santa Barbara City College, where he directed 52 shows in his 20-year tenure, including Grease, Sweeney Todd, Man of La Mancha, Jane Eyre, Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story, Bat Boy: The Musical, and The Rocky Horror Show. Prior to that Rick taught and directed high school and junior high school theatre for 17 years and was widely recognized for his work, including being named Teacher of the Year in Santa Barbara. He has been the subject of two educational documentaries and is one of only three people to be recognized by the Santa Barbara Independent with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He created the original musical review From the Met to Broadway that featured Music Academy of the West alums and future Metropolitan Opera stars Erich Parce and Kaaren Herr-Erickson and, working alongside composer Stephen Schwatrz, he directed The Baker’s Wife, starring Tony Award-winning actress Wanda Richert. Avenue Q is the 14th musical he has directed at the Garvin Theatre and his 19th collaboration with musical director David Potter.
David Potter (Musical Director) has conducted, musically directed and played in over 232 musical productions. He was musical director for Jesus Christ Superstar starring Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson at the Concord Pavilion. He musically directed The Baker’s Wife with Wanda Richert, and in Los Angeles, They’re Playing Our Song with Joyce Dewitt and Richard Kline, and Bells Are Ringing with Nancy Dussault. For the Rubicon Theatre Company, David has been Musical Director for Man of La Mancha, Old Wicked Songs, High Button Shoes with Jason Grae and Susan Egan, and Tintypes. Last year, he musically directed the Ensemble Theatre’s production of Fantasticks. For The Theatre Group at Santa Barbara City College he has recently musically directed productions of Bat Boy, the Musical, Violet, The Rocky Horror Show, The Spitfire Grill and The World Goes 'Round. He composed the music for the musical drama Joan of Arc performed locally in Santa Barbara and also in New York’s Westside Theatre. David attended California Institute of the Arts and Music Academy of the West, where he accompanied for Martial Singher. He has accompanied many singers in concerts including Marni Nixon, Marvin Hayes, Erich Parce and Eduardo Villa. Four years ago, he was the organ soloist with the Santa Barbara Symphony with their performance of the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony. He is Co-founder and President of the Contemporary Music Theatre of Santa Barbara, David is presently the Director of Music and Liturgy for San Roque Catholic Church. David has won several Drama-Logue Awards, five Independent Theatre Awards and the local Hero Award from the Independent.
Julie Ferrin (Sound Designer) is honored to be making her debut here in Santa Barbara with Avenue Q. Many thanks to Pamela Shaw for thinking of me! Julie most recently designed Spamalot with Musical Theatre West, Kiss Me Kate with Merry Go Round Playhouse, Miss Saigon with McCoy Rigby Entertainment and launched the national tour of Peter Pan starring the amazing Cathy Rigby. Ms. Ferrin is president of Sound Advice LLC, a sound design, engineering and rental company.
THEODORE MICHAEL DOLAS (Lighting Designer) Ted has been designing scenery and lighting for the theatre for over 30 years. He has received six Independent Theatre awards, one KMGQ award, and one Denver Drama Critics Award for best scenic design of the season for The Lonely Planet. His selected resume contains over 300 produced designs from all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. Ted is a member of United Scenic Artists Local #829 New York.
PATRICIA L. FRANK (Scenic Designer) Pat serves as the Director of Design and Technology for the Theatre Department. In over 25 years at SBCC Pat has been involved with the execution of over 130 productions. As a Designer at SBCC and in the community she has designed over 90 productions. Recently Pat designed the sets and lights for the critically acclaimed premiere of Through the Fire, in the Jurkowitz Theatre. She also designed the set for the Gala which launched Theatre Group's newly remodeled home. Pat has an MFA in Visual Art and an MA in Dramatic Arts.
Pamela Shaw (Costume Designer) is delighted to be the newest faculty member in the Theatre Arts Department. Ms. Shaw was Assistant Costume Designer for the Academy Award winning Best Picture & Best Costume Design 2011, The Artist, with designer Mark Bridges. Credits include Trojan Barbie (SBCC), Ghosts, Lion In Winter (Ensemble Theatre Company), Home Siege Home (Ghost Road Ensemble at Inside the Ford), Hamlet, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Christmas Carol, Tom Sawyer (Will and Co.), Doubt, The Little Foxes, The Rainmaker, Lonesome Traveler, Steel Magnolias, Defying Gravity (The Rubicon Theatre), The Elephant Man, Children’s Hour, The Rocky Horror Show, Lope De Vega’s Lo vingido ferdadero (Loyola Marymount University), Bleeding Through, Evangeline Queen of Make Believe (About Productions), Camping with Henry and Tom (McCoy Rigby Entertainment), and the annual Holiday Parade for Universal Studios Theme Park. Ms. Shaw completed the second season as Assistant Costume Designer for period costumes on the hit television show Vampire Diaries. Shaw is co-author of the definitive costume resource guide, Shopping LA: The Insiders’ Sourcebook for Film & Fashion, 3rd edition. She received her M.A. from California State University, Fresno and M.F.A. (2012) from California State University, Long BeacH. Shaw served two terms as Vice President of the Costume Designers Guild, Local 892 and is currently a Trustee for the Western Region Board of United Scenic Artists, Local 829.
SANDARBH TRIPATHI (Production Stage Manager)was born inAhmadabad, India and came to America to study theatre and film. He began at SBCC as back stage crew and was an ASM for The Foreigner, Rough Crossing, and The World Goes ‘Round. Sandarbh stage managed The Bible: The Complete Word of God, Over the Tavern, Moonchildren, and Hamlet’s Twelfth Night (UC Riverside). He directed the one act Universal Language and ran film production for Painted Elephant. He wrote and directed We Do Exist (First Gujarati Film in Science Fiction genre), Sucks To Be Me, and An American Christmas. In 2009, he was chosen as Student of the Year for the Theatre Group at SBCC. At UC Riverside, Sandarbh trained to become an Equity Stage Manager. He has worked on over two dozen shows, behind the scenes as a theatre technician, carpenter, and electrician.
ASHLEY SARESS LEMMEX (Assistant Stage Manager) is currently a Theatre Arts and Business Management Major at SBCC. She recently Assistant Stage Managed the Theatre Group at SBCC original production Through the Fire. Having a history of work in film production, Ashley has happily made the transition to live theatre, both as an assistant stage manager and as a performer.
Photo credit: Rick Mokler