Free program for local youth teaches theater and life skills, culminating in mainstage production
of “Disney’s Beauty & the Beast, Jr.” Nov.11-13, 18-20 at The Brooks
(Oceanside, CA) – Sixty-three students ages 8 to 18 will perform in Disney’s Beauty & the Beast, Jr. program as part of the annual Youth Outreach program underwritten by the Oceanside Theatre Company and the Boys and Girls Club of Oceanside. This free program introduces participants to the magic of the theater arts during a 3-month long after-school program. Culminating in eight performances – six for the general public and two school performances – this tale as old as time comes to life on November 11-20, 2022 at the Brooks Theater in the heart of the Oceanside Cultural District. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m., Sunday performances are at 2 p.m. Tickets are available through OceansideTheatre.org or directly at OceansideTheatre.VBOtickets.com.
This will be elementary school student Ximena Rodriguez’s second attempt at theater, but first performance. She found the dance steps confounding the first time she tried out for a play, but now as a villager in this year’s Beauty and the Beast, Jr., she’s excited because, “I get to be in lots of parts of it…I’ve never been in a theater before and I loved acting when I was little.”
Designed to attract youth from a diversity of socio-economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds throughout the community, OTC’s Youth Outreach Program and Boys and Girls Club of Oceanside draws students from its network of schools throughout the North County. Much like the characters they embody onstage, the young actors undergo a transformation throughout the program as they practice collaboration skills, build new friendships, and learn theater disciplines including acting, singing, and dancing.
This is Ricardo Roblero’s second year in the Youth Outreach program and he was drawn to it, because, “I get to hang out with new people I’ve never seen before and I could probably make new friends. And, I like acting and playing, it’s my favorite thing…” (Well, second favorite, he clarifies, after drawing and crafting.) He believes people should come see Beauty and the Beast to appreciate all the hard work that he and his new friends have put into it.
Kai DiMaggio, who plays Gaston, couldn’t agree more. “People should come see Beauty and the Beast because this cast is overly talented and it’s going to be an amazing show! Super good!”
Beauty and the Beast is a charming fairytale telling the story of an unkind prince who has been magically transformed into an unsightly creature as punishment for his selfish ways. To revert into his true human form, the Beast must learn to both love and earn the love of a bright, beautiful young lady – who he has imprisoned in his enchanted castle – before it is too late. “My favorite part of all this is where all these magical things like candles and clocks and dishware are actually turning back into their regular selves,” explained Keaton Russo. Adapted for the stage with great warmth and a touch of hilarity, this story warms the hearts of children and adults alike. The play is directed by Sharon and Anna Duchi, and produced by Genevieve Koesling.
The OTC Youth Outreach Program is presented with generous support from the City of Oceanside, San Diego County, Oceanside Community Foundation, Union Bank, Pratt Memorial Fund, and the California Arts Council.
About Oceanside Theatre Company: Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), the resident professional theater company operating the Historic Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside, is a focal point of the Oceanside California Cultural District (OCCD). OTC’s mission is to produce professional theatrical, visual art and musical productions for the entertainment and enrichment of the community, present educational opportunities in the arts for children and adults, and provide a safe, state-of-the-art public venue for expansion of artistic endeavors in North San Diego County and greater Southern California. OTC produces a four-show mainstage theatre season in the 198-seat venue, as well as a Music Series, play readings and various other events in the adjacent black box theater, Studio 219. An important part of OTC’s mission is inspiring and sharing the arts with local youth through the Youth Theater Arts Program, which includes Summer Theater Camps and Youth Theater Arts Outreach in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside during the school year. To learn more visit www.oceansidetheatre.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside: Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside (BGCO), celebrating 70 years of building great futures in Oceanside, is a youth development organization that is dedicated to providing a safe, fun and enriching environment for youth during non-school hours. BGCO remained open to serve youth during the entire pandemic. From May 2020 through August 2021, BGCO’s Emergency Food Program provided more than 55,000 free and nutritious meals to youth under 18 regardless of membership status.
BGCO is a local, nonprofit organization affiliated with Boys & Girls Clubs of America but raises 100% of the funds that support its life-changing programs through individual giving, events and grants. For 70 years, BGCO has continued to uphold its mission to inspire, develop and enrich young people to reach their fullest potential as confident, responsible, caring members of society. To learn more visit www.bgcoceanside.org.