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Calendar >  New Village Arts Presents STELLALUNA

New Village Arts Presents STELLALUNA

By   /  August 3, 2021  /  No Comments


Fully Staged Production for the Whole Family, Performed by Teenagers and Young Adults with Neurodiversity
August 19–22 at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch 

Carlsbad, CA—New Village Arts (NVA), the professional theatre in the heart of Carlsbad that is the cultural hub of North County San Diego, presents a fully staged production of STELLALUNA, performed by teenagers and young adults with neurodiversity and perfect for all ages. 

Based on the beloved children’s book Stellaluna by Carlsbad resident Janell Cannon, the play is adapted by Aleta Barthell and directed by Samantha Ginn. Performances are August 19 to 22 at the world-famous Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, where NVA is in residence for the 2021 season. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students. 

STELLALUNA is produced as part of NVA’s Inclusive Education Programming, which creates an inclusive arts experience for all members of the community. “We welcome all to our village, and strive to develop programming that will ensure everyone has access to quality arts education and entertainment,” says NVA Executive Artistic Director Kristianne Kurner.

NVA has partnered with Kids Act to develop fully staged productions for teenagers and young adults with neurodiversity, and their neurotypical peers. Working with top-quality arts educators and designers, students rehearse and develop fully realized productions. Past performances have included adaptations of The Little Prince, The Great Smelly Slobbery Small-Tooth Dog, and an original production entitled Secret Superheroes. Members of the cast and company for STELLALUNA range in age from 13 to mid- to late 20s. In addition to students on the autism spectrum, some have Down syndrome. 

STELLALUNA is sponsored by a Comcast/NBC7/Telemundo Project Innovation Grant, The Foundation for Developmental Disabilities, The Nordson Corporation Foundation, and The Qualcomm Foundation, with additional support from The Flower Fields and The Home Depot.

About STELLALUNA … Nearly escaping an attack from an owl, young Stellaluna must find their way in a world where they often feel upside down. This production has been created by a neurodiverse cast and crew, with dance and accompanying music performed by a live harpist. “Our real goal with this program is to put on a good show,” says Aleta Barthell. “The performers do an amazing job and the play is interesting, magical, and beautiful. The individual performers’ challenges become invisible, and everyone just enjoys a wonderful night in the theatre.”

Cast and Performers

Corbin Barrows (Vespar)Corbin was born in New York City and grew up loving theater there. In San Diego, he has been exploring sketch comedy with Monday Night Live! He also studied improv in Samantha Ginn’s Improv in the Park. 

Jacob Brown (Owl/Mango Tree)Jacob is a graduate of Torrey Pines High School and has been involved in Kids Act and New Village Arts Theatre’s Theater for All Program since the first session of improv. 

Rachel Ford (Mama Bird)Rachel is a graduate of Torrey Pines High School. Stage credits include: Servant of Two Masters, Around the World in 80 Days, The Mainstage Players, Monday Night Live! She performed the lead in The Great, Smelly, Slobbery, Small-Tooth Dog

Brendan Kerr (Fred) Brendan explores media that can express how he sees the world as an artist, photographer, and performer. Brendan has participated in improv performances with New Village Arts Monday Night Live! and The Old Globe’s Community Voices. A musician with perfect pitch, Brendan plays bass guitar as a band member of Jungle Poppins.

Max Lecanu-Fayet (Pip)Max has studied improv since 2018 through Monday Night Live! He has appeared in the 2018 production of Secret Superheroes, the 2019 NVA production of Around the World in 80 Days as a MainStage Player, and was a 2020 collaborating artist for the Old Globe Community Voices Program.  

Kaylah Lindauer (Twila)Kaylah was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, for about half her life. She has participated in Kids Act for three years.

Kenton Makings (Flap)Kenton is a native of Encinitas and 2017 graduate from LCC with a diploma. He took beginning acting in High School with Brad Golden and got interested in improv and theatre. He’s a veteran of Monday Night Live! at NVA and took Improv classes at MiraCosta College. 

Ethan Marr (Stellaluna)Ethan is a cheerful young man who loves performing in all its forms, whether it’s improv, community theatre, or performing as the drummer for his rock band, Jungle Poppins. His most recent performances are in The Servant of Two Masters and Around the World in 80 Days.

Stephanie Monis (Narrator / ASL Interpreter)Stephanie is from San Diego, where she has been a cast member in five different plays. In the past year, her focus has been on studying American Sign Language. She loves the theater; and is excited to be a part of Stellaluna using ASL.

Reid Moriarty (Narrator)Reid Moriarty is a familiar face at New Village Arts. He has recorded five solo albums and fronts the band Jungle Poppins. Reid hosts his own podcast and was featured in the IMAX film America’s Musical Journey

Liam Porter (Flitter)Liam Porter is 21 years old and attends Sierra Academy’s Adult Transition Program in San Diego. Liam has studied with Sam Ginn and Aleta Barthell at New Village Arts and Frankie Alicea at the La Jolla Playhouse. His favorite roles have been the title role in The Little Prince and Bee Man in Secret Superheroes

Nora Ryder (Echo)Nora Ryder is a Carlsbad resident and excited to be a part of this performance. This is Nora’s first theater experience. She is going into sixth grade and enjoys improv, volleyball, swimming and baking.

Claudette Santiago (Mother Bat)Claudette is a San Diego native who has been involved in the San Diego theatre scene for the past nine years. She is excited and thankful to be working with New Village Arts for the first time with Sam, Aleta, and this wonderful cast and crew of Stellaluna.

Alfredo Verde (Bob)Alfredo is a native of Cardiff-by-the-Sea. He is a social butterfly with lots of friends. His love for theater was sparked by studying improv with Samantha Ginn. This is his first theater production.

Artistic TeamAleta Barthell (Project Director/Dramaturge) Aleta is playwright, screenwriter, teaching artist and founder of the theater education program, Kids Act. Aleta grew up in Wyoming where her father once brought home a wounded bat from an evening walk—working on Stellaluna brings back memories of her family’s fascination and care of  this creature. 

Janell Cannon (Author/Illustrator of Stellaluna)Janell has always loved to read, study nature, and to draw and paint plants and animals. These interests eventually led to a career in picture book illustration and writing.Her first book was Stellaluna, published in 1993. 

Ludi Estrada (Graphic Designer)Originally from Guam, Ludi has lived in San Diego since 2007 and is a graphic designer and video editor. San Diego State University in Multimedia (particularly Graphic Design); Options For All program in 2018 for film production; TimeEnds Production for film production. 

Samantha Ginn (Director)Samantha Ginn is an actor, director, writer, teaching artist, and Inclusion Specialist from Carlsbad. She graduated from Sonoma State with a BA in Theatre Arts and has performed in over 50 productions in San Diego. Samantha is an Associate Artist with New Village Arts and has created inclusive theatre programs such as Monday Night Live!, Mindful Theater, and MainStage Players. She directed The Little Prince, Secret Superheroes, and The Great, Smelly, Slobbery, Small-Tooth Dog

Aster Hoffman (Costume Assistant)Aster has always had a creative mind. They love designing costumes and cosplay. They have designed and made costumes for their high school plays as well as working in productions at NVA. 

Karen Hoffman (Costume Assistant)Kadie loves living in San Diego with its abundant arts community. She learned to create and sew from her talented mother. After a career in the apparel industry as a pattern maker and production manager, she now enjoys using her skills to help local theaters.

Danita Lee (Costume Designer)Danita’s favorite projects include In the Heights (Music Theatre Wichita), Handbagged (MOXIE), and Bad Jews (Cygnet). HACD credits with Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and North Coast Rep. She holds an MFA in Costume Design from SDSU. 

Heather Magee-Hill (Harpist)Heather is a certified therapeutic musician who mostly plays soothing harp in medical settings. She has been co-creating with youngsters and young adults who neuro process in diverse ways for over 15 years.  

Joseph Prete (Stage Manager)Joseph is a stage manager as well as an actor from Encinitas. He has trained at MiraCosta College theatre in both backstage and performance, taking part in multiple productions such as Once on this Island, The Matchmaker, Oklahoma!, The Pirates of Penzance, Almost, Maine, and more.

Olivia Hussey (Choreographer)Olivia Hussey is an undergraduate at Columbia University studying political science and dance on a pre-law track. She has been dancing since the age of 3, and hopes to continue for life. 

Annelise Rowe (Scene Design)Annelise is a San Diego native who attends UCLA to study theatrical scenic and costume design. She is currently working for The Old Globe this summer in the props department. 

Cassandra Walker (Properties/Puppet Designer)Cassandra Lee Walker is an Expressive Arts Practitioner with an extensive background in Theatre Arts and Improvisation. She has studied and performed at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Second City, and the iO West Theater. Cassandra’s main focus is now on the healing arts, working beyond words. As a teaching artist Cassandra recently co-facilitated NVA’s Monday Night Live! and facilitated a puppet workshop for Stellaluna using recycled materials. Peers helpers: Malia Moren (Props Assistant) MJ Rintala (Properties/Costume Assistant)

About New Village Arts Celebrating 20 years of award-winning professional theatre, thrilling and unique visual arts, and thriving education and outreach programs, New Village Arts (NVA) has truly become the cultural hub of North County San Diego.

NVA attracts more than 20,000 patrons each year to experience professional theatre, currently presented outdoors at The Flower Fields. In addition to full seasons of plays and musicals featuring some of the best artistic talent in Southern California, NVA hosts talkback discussions and other supplementary events designed to create conversation and cultivate community. NVA also maintains The Foundry Artist Studios, a collaborative studio space for local visual artists, and offers robust theatre programs in partnership with local schools. NVA strongly believes that theatre and arts experiences should be accessible to ALL people and has become a leader in equity, diversity, and inclusion in San Diego. NVA has been fortunate to receive support from the City of Carlsbad and other local businesses, who recognize the importance of a resident professional theatre company as a crucial component of an inclusive and creative community. In turn NVA prioritizes serving its community by presenting works that respect its diversity, engaging every citizen with relevant and inspiring stories.

New Village Arts is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization listed under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS.

New Village Arts, Inc. 2787 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008 760-433-3245


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  • Published: 3 years ago on August 3, 2021
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