A new Artistic Director, a new show, and now enrolling for Summer Camp
Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) – operating out of the Brooks Theatre at 217 North Coast Highway recently named Ted Leib as their new Artistic Director. Leib will direct PICNIC, by William Inge – the final production of OTC’s 2016/2017 Season running from May 5 – 21. The vibrant company that has long had a strong education program, has also opened up registration for it’s annual Youth Academy Summer Camp.
We caught up with Leib to get some insight into all the current activity at OTC.
Q: Congratulations on being hired as the new Artistic Director at OTC. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your history with the San Diego arts community.
Ted: I’m a proud San Diego native. I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees at SDSU. My interest in current events and community led me to an undergraduate degree in Political Science followed by a graduate degree in film and television. I’ve enjoyed directing, performing and designing sound and lighting at venues across San Diego and Orange County – working with Moonlight Theatre, Vista’s Broadway Theatre, Scripps Ranch Theatre, Fullerton Civic Light Opera, Musical Theatre West, Hunger Artists, Stagestheatre, OC Pavilion Theatre, The Tustin Area Council for Fine Arts, Intrepid Theatre, and Lamb’s Players Theatre.
Q: How did you first become interested in theatre and what role do you see it playing in our community?
Ted: My love for theatre began as a child performing at San Diego Junior Theatre in Balboa Park. My mother and grandfather – both actors – instilled a love and value of the arts at a young age as did my uncle and aunt, Don and Bonnie Ward – who ran Starlight Musical Theatre for many years. The shared experience of theatre was always a natural part of my family culture, and I am forever thankful for that. It taught me to examine, question and discuss themes that affect our society as reflected on stage. I see a swinging back of the pendulum for people who are seeking this kind of connection. I think we can be overwhelmed by the disconnect and accessibility of technology in our lives – and it’s natural to seek the human connection and reflection that theatre offers. Oceanside is a community experiencing wonderful growth and transition. Culturally, OTC wants to be in step with that transition and continue to provide a source of artistic value to the community.”
Q: You are currently directing PICNIC, by William Inge, the final production of the 2016/17 Season. Can you share some thoughts on the production?
Ted: PICNIC is Inge’s Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece, set on Labor Day weekend in a small Kansas town in the 1950’s. It’s an innovative story with a strong focus on women. There’s Flo Owens – the protective mother of two teenage daughters, Madge and Millie. They have a boarder Rosemary, and a neighbor Mrs. Potts who together create a firsthand look into the real life struggles of these single women. Themes of loneliness, love, beauty and aging are all wrapped up in this piece. I love delving into this classic Inge with OTC. I especially appreciate the fact that there are teenage roles in this piece for some of San Diego’s emerging young talent. Education is a big focus at OTC with our Summer Youth Academy – and I love having the opportunity to encourage talented young artists as they work alongside more seasoned performers from the community”
Q: Speaking of talented young artists – aren’t you gearing up for your Youth Academy Summer Theatre Camp?
Ted: Yes! Which gives us another opportunity to get to know the youth performers in the community for potential future roles on our stage. Enrollment is open for the summer session that runs from June 19th – July 14th for kids ages 7-17. We’re very excited to have Heather Reba join us as Director of this years Youth Academy Summer Program and spend the summer with our kids. Heather brings with her a long history of arts education as well as performance. They’ll work on just about every element of theatre – acting, singing, dance, improvisation and Theatre Games as well as technical aspects of lighting, sound and stagecraft. All of the kids in the camp will perform in the fantastical musical based on the Academy Award-winning Disney film The Little Mermaid, Jr. We are also offering some financial discounts for Military Families in our community as well as for siblings who attend.
To learn more about the upcoming production of PICNIC – running from May 5 – 21 at Oceanside Theatre Company, you can check them out online at www.oceansidetheatre.org. Slots are limited for the summer theatre camps for kids ages 7-17, and you can reserve online now at www.oceansidetheatre.org/academy There is a 10% Discount at checkout for Military Families (“MILITARY10”), and Siblings (“SIBLING”)