The Old Globe Announces Lineup For George L. Stevens Senior Center's Annual Juneteenth Celebration

The Old Globe Announces Lineup For George L. Stevens Senior Center's Annual Juneteenth Celebration

For the third consecutive year, The Old Globe will participate in the George L. Stevens Senior Center's annual Juneteenth Celebration by presenting an original work developed through The Old Globe's arts engagement program coLAB: The Ruby in Us, with book and music written by Karen Ann Daniels, Director of the Mobile Unit at New York's Public Theater. Music for the piece was composed by Brandon Cerquedo, and language for the performance was collaboratively evolved in a workshop setting at the Center with the senior community that hosts the annual celebration. Award-winning director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (Skeleton Crew at the Globe, Globe Classical Directing Fellow) returns to helm this wonderful program alongside lauded jazz musician, musical theatre favorite, and The Ruby in Us music director Leonard Patton.

The Juneteenth Celebration event on June 19 begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m. A shortened preview of Daniels's The Ruby in Us will take place as part of the event at 1:00 p.m. RSVP is required to this presentation by calling (619) 266-2066. Lunch is provided and is priced at $13.00 a plate. Three full presentations of the piece will take place: on Friday, June 21 at 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday, June 22 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at the Fourth District Seniors Resource Center at 570 S. 65th Street, San Diego, CA 92114. There is a suggested donation of $20.00. All proceeds go directly to the Fourth District Seniors Resource Center.

The Ruby in Us, is about the life of Ruby Bridges, an American activist who, at age six, was the youngest of a group of African American students to integrate schools in the American South. Ruby made history during this battle for school integration in 1960, becoming a symbol of the civil rights movement. But what value does it have for her-and us-50 years later?

The cast includes Bryan Barbarin as Minister and Coryphe, Yolanda Marie Franklin as Adult Ruby, Joy Yvonne Jones as Mama, Jake Millgard in various roles, Victor Morris as Papa, Erika Beth Phillips as Barbara Henry, and Alexandra Slade as Young Ruby.

The presentation will feature a live chorus with community members of the Fourth District Seniors Resource Center alongside professional singers and actors.

"The Ruby in Us is the most ambitious project we have created through coLAB," shared Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, Director of Arts Engagement of The Old Globe. "We are constantly asking ourselves, 'How are we making theatre matter to more people?' We have done several projects with our Fourth District family, but none like this. The musical is the most complex form of the modern theatre, and it's what our partners wanted. I couldn't be prouder to go on this journey with our friends and partners at the Fourth District Seniors Resource Center. We have worked with each other on this project and created a story that others in the community will love. It connects our shared history and empowers us to continue to fight for what is right today. Karen Ann Daniels has crafted a powerful book with participants from the Fourth District and created a terrific score with Brandon Cerquedo. Delicia Turner Sonnenberg delicately guides this production with music direction by the gifted Leonard Patton. All of San Diego is welcomed to this very limited engagement that is set to benefit the George L. Stevens Senior Center."

Karen Ann Daniels (Book, Music, and Lyrics) currently lives in New York City, where she is the Director of the Mobile Unit for The Public Theater. Before moving to New York she was Associate Director of Arts Engagement at The Old Globe, where she managed the Globe's arts engagement programs and community partnerships, being instrumental in piloting and implementing key programs such as Globe for All (the annual tour of free plays across San Diego), coLAB (devising original performances with the community), Community Voices (playwriting for new writers), and Reflecting Shakespeare (teaching Shakespeare in corrections) across communities. Prior to joining the Globe, she was a teaching artist and director with Studio East's ArtsReach program, as well as a private voice and acting coach. Daniels is an accomplished actor, vocalist, and musician. She holds a B.A. in Art History from UCLA, an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University, and a certificate in Shakespeare from the British American Drama Academy.

Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (Director) is a founder and the former Artistic Director of MOXIE Theatre. She directed Skeleton Crew for The Old Globe and Romeo and Juliet for The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. She was a 2019 Classical Directing Fellow in The Old Globe Classical Directing Fellowship, led by the Globe's Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. Her work has also been seen at San Diego Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego State University, Cygnet Theatre Company, New Village Arts, Diversionary Theatre, and Playwrights Project. Her honors include Theatre Communications Group's New Generations Program grant, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards, Women's International Center Living Legacy Award, Van Lier Fund fellowship (Second Stage Theatre), and New York Drama League's Directors Project. She is married to designer Jerry Sonnenberg and is the proud mama to August and Zoë.

Since 2002, the Fourth District Seniors Resource Center (FDSRC) has worked to enhance and embrace the quality of life for its "seasoned ambassadors" by providing a wholesome and safe environment for them to thrive in, while assisting them to live more independently and proactively. It provides quality services to its district's lower-to-moderate-income seniors and their families through a variety of resources. FDSRC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or political opinion or affiliation. The new George L. Stevens Senior Center was formally opened in March 2006. The building itself is LEED certified, which means it is environmentally friendly, and green in materials and in all aspects of the facility's maintenance. This allows the center to sell its energy back to the gas and electric company, which becomes a source that helps the organization sustain itself.

The Old Globe created coLAB workshops as part of its continued effort to make theatre matter to more people, expanding our work in service to the public good. This arts engagement program involves a collaborative art-making process between community members and artists, uniting storytelling and playmaking. The goal is to develop original pieces and showcase them in established community festivals.

Arts Engagement Programs Manager Katherine Harroff (Producer) manages the free AXIS performing-arts series, the Community Voices program, and the coLAB workshops, and she has been a solid figure in this production, overseeing partner relations, casting, tone, and rehearsals.

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