Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2015 BroadwayWorld Awards

Congratulations to all nominees and winners of the 2015 BroadwayWorld Santa Barbara Awards! Out of the Box Theatre Company won six awards for our productions of BARE: A Pop Opera and The Wild Party: 

Samantha Eve: Best Director (BARE/The Wild Party)
Kacey Link: Musical Director (BARE/The Wild Party)
Best Musical/Opera (BARE)
Theodore Michael Dolas: Best Scenic Design (BARE)
Community Theatre Company of the Year
Luana Psaros: Outstanding Performance (BARE

Congratulations to all!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Website Woes

Some of you may have noticed that our flashy new website has been down for a week. Rest assured, I am doing everything I can do to get it up and running as soon as possible... lesson to be learned, folks: when you get a confirmation email, read it carefully because there may be a link for you to click. Anyway, I'm tired of compulsively refreshing my webpage to see if it's back up, so I have turned my fickle attention back to Blogspot.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all of you who came out to support Out of the Box Theatre Company by purchasing tickets for our recent production of Spring Awakening. It's a show I have always loved, a show I felt an immediate connection with from the first time I saw it. It's a show I knew would be a perfect fit for Out of the Box, and I can't tell you what it meant to be able to share it with all of you. Thanks should also go to the cast, the band, the fabulous production team, Salon Patine for providing some truly kickass hairstyles night after night, and DNA Imagery for helping us out with our promo video. 

 Since the closing of the show, Out of the Box Theatre Company has been taking some giant leaps forward and making some changes for 2013. There is big news on the horizon! I can't make any official announcements yet, which is EVEN WORSE than the website being down, but they're coming soon. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Awakening Bios

EVAN BELL (Otto) is returning to Santa Barbara after spending some time studying musical theatre at the University of Northern Colorado. He is a frequent of the Santa Barbara stage, having performed with such local theatre companies as Up Stage Left Productions, Dos Pueblos High School, Rubicon Theatre Company, and now Out of the Box Theatre Company. Past roles include William BarfĂ©e in 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, Benny in Rent, "Daddy" Warbucks in Annie, and Greg in A Chorus Line. He dedicates this performance to his teachers and mentors, the real reason he is able to do what he does. 
 DEBORAH BERTLING (Adult Women) is excited to make her debut with Out of The Box Theatre Company and to work with such a darling and talented cast! Theater credits include Life Support, Sylvia, It Runs in the Family, World Goes Round, Oliver!, Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan, Who’s In Bed With the Butler? and Don’t Mention My Name. Opera credits include Italian Girl in Algiers, Magic Flute, Madama Butterfly, Hansel & Gretel, Merry Widow, and La Traviata. Deborah has also appeared in PSAs for Santa Barbara City TV and played Norma Shearer in Paul Merton’s Birth of Hollywood for BBC Bristol. She is a member of Opera Santa Barbara’s OPERA LAB outreach team and serves as a music docent for CAMA. She is also President of Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation. 
QUINLAN FITZGERALD (Wendla) is thrilled to be involved in Spring Awakening with Out of the Box. Though this is her first show with the company, past credits include: Godspell, Little Women: the Broadway Musical (Jo), Macbeth (Lady Macbeth), Learned Ladies (Henriette), The Wizard of Oz (Glinda), St. Joan (Joan of Arc) and Annie (Annie). She would like to thank the amazing cast and production team for their hard work and the memories that were made along the way. Also, a special thanks to her friends and family for their love and support; it means the world to her. 
JESSICA GOTSMAN (Anna) is thrilled to be joining such a talented cast and crew in this production of Spring Awakening. This is her first show with Out of the Box Theatre Co. but she has been doing theatre ever since high school. She most recently performed in The Vagina Monologues, Rent, Aida, and The Pajama Game. She is currently a junior at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is studying Communication and English. She’d like to thank the directing team for this amazing opportunity and also her cast, family, and friends for being so supportive and enthusiastic. Enjoy the show! 
ROB GRAYSON (Adult Men) Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Rob is part of a family that spans 4 generations in this beautiful city. Spring Awakening is Rob's third production with Out of the Box, and he has been participating in professional and community theater since he was very young. His previous productions include: Evil Dead, Assassins, George M, Damn Yankees, Heartstrings, Godspell, Snoopy, and A Chorus Line. Rob also appeared in the Disney film Newsies. In addition to his work in the theater, Rob is currently the Director of Development for Casa Esperanza and the owner of Body Boot Camp of Santa Barbara. 
CHARLIE KATE HARPER (Ensemble; u/s Thea) is a freshman at Santa Barbara City College studying theatre. Though a native of Santa Barbara, she actively started performing while living in Arizona for six years. Some recent theatre credits include Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast, Seussical, The Laramie Project, and RENT: School Edition. Charlie Kate plans to pursue acting professionally. She would like to thank her parents for their consistent support of a career almost as unstable as the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts (and for putting up with eleven years of constant Harry Potter references). 
 ETHAN HARTSELL (Hanschen) has been acting in plays since he was 11, despite alack of what his ex-girlfriend Tina calls "talent," "stage presence," and "the ability to make any woman happy." Some of his favorite shows have been the Wizard of Oz, in which he portrayed Lunchkin Munchkin, and Into the Woods, in which he portrayed Tree #3. He would like to thank you for your support of local theater. And if Tina comes to see the show, he would appreciate it if you would pretend to be a high-powered Hollywood agent who just has to cast Ethan as the ruggedly handsome but intelligent and sensitive male lead in a blockbuster action franchise. 
ANALICIA HAWKINS (Thea) is 18 years old and a freshman at Westmont College. This is her first production with Out of the Box Theatre, and she is so excited to be a part of it. Most recently, she has performed in Animal Farm (Moses), Peer Gynt (Helga), West Side Story (Anita), and The Wiz (Dorothy Understudy). She would love to thank Samantha for giving her this opportunity, and her parents and friends for supporting her. 
 SKYLER JONES (Georg) is extremely excited to be back on the stage. He is in his first year at UCSB and is majoring in music. His most recent roles include Jesus in Godspell, and Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He has had a lot of fun working with the rest of the cast and is looking forward to the performance. He hopes that everyone enjoys the show! 
MAGGIE LANGHORNE (Martha) is extremely excited to be a part of Out of the Box Theatre Company's production of Spring Awakening! Maggie has worked with several of Santa Barbara's local theatre organizations including Opera Santa Barbara, The Music Academy of the West, and Santa Barbara Children's Theatre. Some of her favorite roles include Laurie in Oklahoma!, Maria in The Sound of Music, Sally in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. Maggie is currently a senior at Bishop Diego High School, and will be pursuing a degree in vocal performance at Oberlin Conservatory in the fall. She would like to thank her family and friends for their constant support. 
 ALLISON LEWIS TOWBES (Ensemble; u/s Anna) is a 16 year old sophomore at Laguna Blanca School. A native of Virginia, she has been acting since age 3. Allison moved to Santa Barbara in 2008. Since then she has played Meg in Damn Yankees, Smitty in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and she had the opportunity to sing with Andrea Bocelli with SBYET. She played Sarah Brown in Guys & Dolls, Marty in Grease with Stage Left, and Belle in Beauty and the Beast with Big Stage. She was featured as Clarisse in The Liar at Laguna Blanca School. Allison studies dance at SBDA, vocal technique with Dauri Kennedy, and hones her skills as an actor with Deborah Lemen. When she is not acting, Allie can be found dancing, skiing, reading, and hanging out with her friends. Thank you to the directors, cast, and crew of Spring Awakening for this wonderful opportunity. 
MIGUEL MIRANDA (Ernst) This is Miguel's 2nd production with Out of the Box Theatre Company. Miguel was last seen in Assassins last spring (John Hinckley Jr.) He has also been in The Santa Barbara Revels Bavarian Christmas (Ensemble), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (William Barfee), Singin' in the Rain (Male Diction Coach), Les Miserables (Ensemble). You can see him perfom every weekend at the Santa Barbara Zoo in How to Train Your Dinosaur where his co-star is a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Duncan. He is absolutely thrilled to be in this production of Spring Awakening with an amazingly talented cast. 
MARC NICOLAS (Ensemble) earned his BA in Theatre: Scenic Design from Vanguard University. Born in Santa Barbara, Marc has performed with various groups throughout the community- Hula Anyone? Santa Barbara Chamber Singers, Isla Vista Juggling Festival, Lobero Circus Camp and Santa Barbara Revels to name a few. He would like to thank his family and friends for their love and support. "...to whom much was given, of him much will be required..." 
DANIEL RUSSELL (Moritz) is currently a student studying History and Film & Media at the University of California Santa Barbara. He comes from a lovely family of six in Studio City, California. He thanks his parents for inspiring him to do theater arts and for their endless support in fostering his life goals. This performance is for you. "Do not worry that no one acknowledges you; seek to do what will earn you acknowledgement."-Confucius 
WILL SCHNEIDERMAN (Melchior) is proud to be in his first production with Out of the Box. He has been involved in many shows, including Riff in West Side Story and Roger in Rent (Stage Left Productions). He would like to thank his friends and family for all their support, and wishes many broken legs to his fellow cast and crew. 
SAMANTHA EVE (Director; Ilse) is the founder and Artistic Director of Out of the Box Theatre Company and is thrilled to start off its third official season by rocking out with Spring Awakening! Recent credits: Wizard of Oz, Oliver, Peter Pan, and Grease (The Muny), Reefer Madness, Hair, Assassins, and Evil Dead (Out of the Box Theatre Company), Tea With the Enemy (Theater 150). BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School at CAP21. Lots of love and thanks to my family and the entire SA crew! 
JESSICA HAMBRIGHT (Choreographer) started dancing in Santa Barbara when she was 8 years old. Fourteen years later, she is a full time teacher after getting her B.F.A. in Choreography from the University of California, Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Now specializing in Broadway and Jazz styles, Jessica has choreographed 8 full length musicals and assisted on 5 more, a 45-minutes original thesis, and has had her work seen by some of the academic dance world’s most respected choreographers. Jessica has also performed a featured role in an original 15-minute musical off-Broadway in New York City, and has trained with some of the most up-and-coming choreographers in the business (including Smash’s Josh Bergasse). She teaches jazz, Broadway, and lyrical styles at SBDA and at several schools in Santa Barbara. 
EMILY JEWELL (Vocal Director) Emily is thrilled to be joining Out of the Box for the 4th time! You may have seen her as Mae in Reefer Madness, Ronny in Hair or as Emma Goldman in Assassins. Serving as Vocal Director has been a wonderful experience! Emily graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI in 2006. She performed regionally in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas and Illinois. While living in Chicago, she toured with Imagination Theater’s Senior Spotlight for three seasons, delighting senior citizens all over the city. Emily relocated to Santa Barbara almost three years ago and has performed with Ensemble Storybook Theater, Santa Barbara Children’s Theatre, Speaking of Stories, Out of the Box Theatre Company, Santa Barbara Revels and Elements Theatre Collective. She served as music director for Big Stage Productions and Santa Barbara Revels and choreographed for Bravissimo. She also teaches private voice lessons. Many thanks to the SA cast for all their hard work! 
CYNTHIA MOORE (Stage Manager) is involved in her third show with Out of the Box. Previous shows include Assassins and Evil Dead: The Musical. She plans to move to Syracuse and continue her education. She wishes lot of broken legs to her cast and crew. 
SARA RADEMACHER (Dramaturg) A native of the Central Coast, Sara studied theatre from a young age and received her BA in Dramatic Arts from UCSB. Before graduating, she studied abroad in South Africa, where she wrote, produced and directed her play Ngizobona. Since graduating, Sara has been Directing, Casting, Assistant Directing, Dramaturging and Interning in regional theatres across the country including The Guthrie Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis and Santa Barbara's own Ensemble Theatre Company. She also directed Out of the Box Theatre Company's premier production of Reefer Madness, and guest directed scenes for Assassins. As Artistic Directors, Sara and the very talented Emily Jewell founded Elements Theatre Collective in 2011. Sara directed Elements' premier production, boom, and will be directing Gruesome Playground Injuries, opening this July. 
MANDEE SIKICH (Music Director; Pianist) received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from The Master's College and has been admitted to the graduate program at UCSB to begin her Master of Music degree in Accompanying in Fall 2012. Mandee serves as the Westmont College Choir accompanist and maintains private teaching studios in Santa Barbara and Santa Clarita. This is Mandee's third production with Out of The Box Theatre and she is thrilled to be working with such a talented cast and crew. 
 KATIE WILLIAMS (Asst Stage Manager) is a recent graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a degree in dramatic arts. At UCSB she had the pleasure of stage managing The Office, Revolution Bunny, Merry Wives of Windsor, and She Stoops to Conquer. She has also stage managed Roses with Ratatat Theater Group and Boom with Elements Theatre Collective.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We've all got our junk, and my junk is you...

Say hello to the cast of Out of the Box Theatre Company's production of Spring Awakening, opening in April at Center Stage Theater in downtown Santa Barbara! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Spring Awakening Audition Songs

"What should I sing for Spring Awakening auditions?" 

I have heard this question more frequently over the past few months than I can count, and of course, it's a question I wish I could answer... but I can't. I can give guidelines. I can tell you that we'd prefer to hear a straight-tone, alternative rock or folk rock sound... but in the end, it all comes down to you. The song that shows off what you can do well and the song that you have a strong personal connection to will serve you best. But... because it's been such a popular question, I did some research of my own and found some really fascinating concert clips of the various Spring Awakening casts singing the songs they auditioned with. Take a look! 


Andy Mientus [Hanschen] Damien Rice - "The Blower's Daughter"
Anthony Lee Medina [Otto] The Who's Tommy - "Smash The Mirror"
Matt Shingledecker [Georg] Jesus Christ Superstar - "Gethsemane"
Chase Davidson [Swing] The Beatles - "Hey Jude"
Kayla Foster [Ensemble] Avril Lavigne - "Nobody's Home"
Justin Scott Brown [Ensemble] Lifehouse - "Hanging By a Moment"
Sarah Hunt [Martha] Jesus Christ Superstar - "I Don't Know How To Love Him"
Gabrielle Garza [Anna] Kelly Clarkson - "Beautiful Disaster"
Krista Pioppi [Swing] Heart - "Alone"

Christy Altomare [Wendla] Joni Mitchell - "River"
Kimiko Glenn [Thea] Joni Mitchell - "River"
Taylor Tresnch [Moritz] Spring Awakening* - "Left Behind"
Krystina Alabado [Ensemble] Michelle Branch - "Everywhere"
Ben Fankhauser [Ernst] Ryan Cabrera - "On the Way Down"
Steffi D [Ilse] Sarah McLachlan - "Angel"

Matt Doyle [Hanschen] David Gray - "Lately"
Amanda Castanos [Martha] The Beatles - "Come Together"
Emma Hunton [Ilse] Sheryl Crow - "Strong Enough"
Blake Daniel [Ernst] Nathan Beaver - "Let Her In"

Eryn Murman [Ensemble] Norah Jones - "One Flight Down"
Caitlin Kinnunen [Thea] The Who's Tommy - "Smash The Mirror"
Jesse Swenson [Swing] Oasis - "Wonderwall"
Jenna Ushkowitz [Swing] Spring Awakening - "My Junk"
Alice Lee [Ensemble] The Beatles - "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" 

Morgan Karr [Ensemble] Rooney - "Popstars"
Gabe Violett [Otto] The Beatles - "Let It Be"
Andrew Durand [Georg] Edwin McCain - "I'll Be"
Zach Reiner-Harris [Ensemble] Edwin McCain - "I'll Be"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spring 2012

Thank you everyone for your wonderful support with Evil Dead: The Musical. It's hard to believe we're already gearing up for our next show, and it's a big one...

We'll be starting off our third official season (insane, right?) with Spring Awakening, the rock musical adaptation of a controversial 1892 German play of the same name by Frank Wedekind, featuring music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater. 

 Director: Samantha Eve
Music Director: Mandee Sikich
Vocal Director: Emily Jewell
Choreographer: Jessica Hambright
Dramaturg: Sara Rademacher
Set/Lighting Design: Theodore Michael Dolas
Stage Manager: Cynthia Moore
Asst. Stage Manager: Katie Williams

Open auditions will be held in February 2012 and rehearsals will begin in early March. The show will run from April 19-29, 2012 at Center Stage Theater. Stay tuned for more information!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Three-Hour Production Meeting

I started an update about a week ago, but everything had to be scrapped after our three hour production meeting. What was that? You wish that YOU could sit through a three hour production meeting? It's your lucky day. Here is the reader's digest version, summed up in a tidy breakdown.

1PM We arrive Starbucks on De La Guerra (thank you for all of the wonderful new upstairs seating that makes it easier to have meetings/get my caffeine fix). Iced coffee, notebook, W9 forms, budget info, pencils, pens... we're set. My mother is filling in as our official note-taker, as both our stage manager and our assistant stage manager have started school for the Fall semester.
1:15PM I spy Maggie downstairs and give her a wave. She and her partner-in-crime George head upstairs and join us at the table. Polite hellos, nice-to-meet-yous. George happens to have an Evil Dead tattoo, obscured by articles of clothing.
1:20PM We go through every special effect in the show, from the first page of the script to the last. We mark the big blood splatter moments. Discuss how the various dismembered hand effects will be accomplished. I saw a recent production of the show in Martinez, CA and we might be able to rent certain props from them... but which props are worth renting and which are worth making? Masks turn out to be a particularly challenging bump on our path. Maggie and George aren't fooling around with this special effects stuff. Masks include molding, then latex, then painting. However, we simply can't find the money in the budget to have six individual masks made. George has a brilliant idea to make the masks from two more generic molds, and we keep going.
2:10PM George goes downstairs to get a coffee. Maggie and I are distracted by a gemstone-covered iPhone case in the shape of an animated character (that I cannot remember now for the life of me.)
2:12PM We regain focus. Do we need intestines for Scott, after he's been gored by tree branches? How does Jake's stabbing occur? Linda's beheading? What about the giant demon massacre at the end, to the tune of "It's Time"?
2:20PM Elisha, our set designer, arrives. More introductions.
2:25PM We all get nifty scaled sketches of what the set will look like. We circle where the major blood splatters are going to happen.
2:30PM Elisha and I go over what set materials I was able to scrounge up from my backyard (also known as our set graveyard from both Hair and Assassins) and what we still need. A construction company in town has agreed to provide what we don't already have at cost, which means we can redistribute some of our set construction budget to special effects. Even so, it's looking grim. Maggie and I discuss putting together a joint Kickstarter campaign to raise money to cover the costs of materials, not to mention their time and labor, and a small amount of weight seems to lift magically from my shoulders.
2:40PM We head over to Center Stage Theater. Maggie and George have never seen the space, and the first thing we all do is crane our heads back to peer into the darkness at the grid. Blood has to spray from somewhere, right?
3:00PM It will NOT be spraying from the grid. Lights, curtains, and a whole score of expensive, delicate things dangle precariously near our splatter range. We scrap the idea of spraying blood down and begin to think about spraying it out. We take another look at Elisha's drawing and try to find places to hide tubes.
3:15PM Elisha and Brad mark out the location of our "Splatter Zone" with their steps and sit in the arranged seats. I stand on stage and jump around as Teri sits in the audience on the far right. "Can you see me?" I take two steps to the left. "Can you see me?" Two more steps. "Still can see me?"
3:30PM Teri strongly encourages me to schedule an additional tech day for the Monday before our opening. I take a look at the pages of notes that we've taken, the list of special effects from Maggie and George and the picture of our set... I nod.
3:45PM More talk about the blood spraying, which I have quickly realized is going to be the most challenging technical element of this production. Once blood has been sprayed, it can't be sprayed again unless there's time for a quick refill. Every splatter of blood requires someone behind the set, triggering it. We discuss the possibility of finding volunteers (on Halloween night? Yikes.) In a perfect world, Maggie and George would be there for each of our performances, setting off blood splatters and keeping an eye on things... and we're back to the idea of a Kickstarter campaign again. Stay tuned for more information in future blog posts...
4:00PM We go over a quick review of our more immediate to-do lists and say our goodbyes. We all seem to be on the same page at this point, and the show finally feels real. It's happening, and it's happening soon... that is, if the Halloween decorations that are already being featured in the drugstore are any proof.
4:15PM I walk down three aisles in the parking lot before I find my irritatingly nondescript car.

And that about sums it up! With October creeping closer, we've been busy brainstorming some creative advertising methods. The plan is to take Evil Dead promotions in a very contemporary direction, making use of guerrilla marketing with "missing" posters for Ash's detached hand, collectible postcards, viral media, and cast blogs! Get to know the cast and crew of Evil Dead: the Musical and get a behind-the-scenes look at rehearsals and more by visiting our brand new, shiny, blood-splattered EVIL DEAD BLOG.