Have you heard of the Women’s March? No, not January 2017… October 1789. Check out this video for THE REVOLUTIONISTS! #MoxieTheatre #MoxieRev
Have you heard of the Women’s March? No, not January 2017… October 1789. Check out this video for THE REVOLUTIONISTS! #MoxieTheatre #MoxieRev
The final play in our twelfth season is the fabulous Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists.
Did you know that for the first time in our history, we are producing in association with the Tony Award-winning The Old Globe? Our very own Delicia Turner Sonnenberg directs SKELETON CREW by Dominique Morisseau, starting performances April 8 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. #moxietheatre #moxiecrew
March 2017, San Diego CA.- MOXIE Theatre, the only theatre in Southern California dedicated to producing women’s work, is kicking off Women’s History Month with an exciting announcement. For the first time in their history, MOXIE will be hosting an awards gala Honoring San Diego Women with Grit and Determination. The MOXIEs , as the awards will be called, will be held Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 6 pm at the Lafayette Hotel, inside the historical Mississippi Ballroom . The awards ceremony will be a part of MOXIE’s annual fundraiser and will also feature a director’s cut performance of the company’s upcoming prem iere of The Revolutionists, by Lauren Gunderson, a raucous girl-powered comedy about feminism, art, and how we go about changing the world. The Revolutionists begins preview performances May 25 and opens May 27, 2017.
ˈ ē mox·ie mäk s (noun) NORTH AMERICAN informal
force of character, grit, determination, or nerve. “That girl’s got moxie.”
The MOXIEs will be awarded to ten women in San Diego who are transforming their communities and inspiring future leaders through their own leadership and accomplishments. In addition, the event will raise funds to support MOXIE’s mission to create more diverse and honest images of women for our culture and provide opportunities to female artists in San Diego.
“The time feels right,” says MOXIE Co-Founder Jennifer Eve Thorn. “I marched on Washington with my mother while my partners marched in San Diego, and our passion for our mission at MOXIE was reignited as we joined with women across the country. We want to celebrate women who live their lives with “moxie” and persist against all odds.”
MOXIE nominations are open to extraordinary and inspirational women in San Diego County from a variety of fields, including entertainment, business, sports, art, science, medicine, education, government and philanthropy. The MOXIEs Gala and Nomination Committee is chaired by Dea Hurston , longtime arts advocate, patron, philanthropist, retired teacher, and former commissioner of arts for The City of San Diego. MOXIE is accepting nominations from the community. Criteria and nomination information can be found on MOXIE’s website at http://www.moxietheatre.com/theMOXIEs.
MOXIE’s production of OUR LADY of KIBEHO boasts an impressively large cast of 16. Katori Hall’s play is inspired by the true events that happened in Kibeho, Rwanda starting in 1981 when three young Rwandan women claimed to be having visions of the Virgin Mary. The play explores the girls experiences and reactions of the people both inside and outside of their school while allowing the audience to make up their own mind about the truth surrounding the incredible events. MOXIE’s production of the play has an incredible team of actors who portray the villagers but also help make the special effects happen from behind the scenes (but we can’t give more than that away.) Without these incredible actors, the world of Kibeho would seem much smaller and the audience would laugh and gasp a whole lot less. Meet the Village.
Imahni King: When I saw a production of “Beauty and the Beast” at San Diego Junior Theater, I immediately fell in love with the stage. Since then, I’ve always been a performer.
Kimmy King: I got started in theater informally through my amateur live music career. Through the 80’s and 90’s to play in JKGhetto, Development of Souls and Tribe of Judah, so I spent a lot of time on stage developing a comfort ability with audiences. Then, when my children began enjoying participation in school theater presentations and junior theater, I took on the role of theater mom-a lot of backstage work. I fell in love with theater from backstage; watching the whole production become whole from the green room and the costume loft was a delightful courtship. I took a position as a music director for the Visual and Performing Arts program in the school district where I teach sixth grade, and found that it came with quite a bit of directorial responsibility, so I started an MA program in theater arts at SDSU!
John Brooks: When I was in Jr High, I played in the school’s orchestra and we put on an annual joint production with the drama department. “Peter Pan” was the first and I recalling watching the actors during rehearsal, wishing I was up on stage.
Taylor Mumin: I did my first show in fifth grade (Little Red Riding Hood) and I fell in love with performing. I took a break during middle school because my school didn’t have a program, but once high school began I dove right back in and haven’t stopped since then.
Durwood Murray: I got started in theatre in Junior High School. I needed to pick a second elective class after Home Ec (because, food), and was clueless. I asked my mom her opinion. She suggested Speech and Drama-she just had a feeling I’d be good at it. In my first play I played a character that had a girlfriend. At age 12, that hooked me for life.
What have you been in recently that people in San Diego may have seen you in?
Imahni King: “Ragtime” at the Speckles Theater. Critics and and people from all around California came down to see the production.
John Brooks: Absolutely nothing! I returned to music, after retiring from government service.
Taylor Mumin: Our Lady of Kibeho is my first show in San Diego, but I have done a few shows with Act 1 Theater Arts in Temecula. (RENT, Little Shop of Horrors and All Shook Up The Musical).
Durwood Murray: Recently in San Diego, I’ve appeared in A Civil War Christmas with Diversionary Theatre as well as To Kill a Mockingbird with New Village Arts Theatre.
Imahni King: I had no idea that this event happened. Believe or not, I had actually not been so thoroughly educated on the genocide before I heard about the audition.
Kimmy King: I hadn’t heard about Kibeho before this show, but I’ve done a bit of youtube research on it lately-fascinating!
John Brooks: No, I was not aware of the events at Kibeho. Fascinating story, however!
Taylor Mumin: Not at all. I was familiar with the genocide, but these preceding events that we see in the play I was not familiar with at all.
Durwood Murray: I had a vague familiarity with these events, but doing this show has been an incredible learning experience. There was so much to take in.
What do you think will be most challenging in working on this play?
Imahni King: I think that the most challenging part of being in this production is going to be staying in character while keeping a believeable Rwandan accent
Kimmy King: The Rwandan accent work seems like it will be challenging.
John Brooks: Keeping it together and complementing the others work will be my greatest challenge.
Taylor Mumin: The most challenging thing will probably be making sure that all the small moments that drive the show stay strong throughout the run. There are so many big moments that keeping the smaller ones strong and powerful could possibly be a challenge.
Durwood Murray: The most challenging aspect of working on this play has been the dialect work. I studied dialects in college as a theatre major, but nothing even close to the Rwandan accent. A lot of the words have such an unnatural feeling in my mouth.
Imahni King: The full knowledge of this event. I want them to be far more educated about the event than I was previously.
Kimmy King: After seeing the show, I hope people will take away a heightened sense of awareness and respect for the beliefs of others that are not necessarily understood or controlled. I hope that awareness engenders a desire to know more about the peoples of the world and a realization of how small our world is.
John Brooks: The take away for me in reading the script was: listen to your inner voice and do not dismiss that which you do not understand. I hope that audiences will feel the same way after experiencing this Moxie production.
Taylor Mumin: I hope the audience walks away wanting to look into these events and further their knowledge of what happened in Rwanda. It’s a powerful and devastating series of events and I hope that our show sparks a desire in our audiences to learn more about what happened.
Durwood Murray: I hope that after seeing this show the audience finds a way to hold on to their beliefs, but also find a way to question them, allow themselves to see other and opposing perspectives.
You can see the villagers in OUR LADY OF KIBEHO playing through May, 29, 2016 at MOXIE Theatre. Tickets available at http://www.moxietheatre.com or call 858-598-7620 for tickets
MOXIE is thrilled about our upcoming production OUR LADY OF KIBEHO by Katori Hall which is inspired by astounding true events that happened in Kibeho, Rwanda in the early 1980s. Three young women claimed to be having visions of the Virgin Mary, who delivered a message to them which they were asked to give to the President of Rwanda and the Pope. That message eerily foretold the coming of something dangerous and violent in Rwanda. In 1994, just ten years later, the Rwandan Genocide unfolded and over 800,000 people were murdered. In 2001, the Catholic Church officially approved the apparitions in Kibeho as a miracle.
The first to see the visions was a young woman named Alphonsine Mumureke, who is portrayed in MOXIE’s production by San Diego favorite, Cashae Monya, who takes a minute here on the MOXIE Blog to tell us about her process getting ready for OUR LADY OF KIBEHO.
How did you get started in theatre?
I did my first play, Romeo and Juliet, when I was 14 years old and I haven’t found anything since that has made me feel as happy and full of purpose.
I was last seen in the La Jolla Playhouse’s “DNA Series” in a concert reading of “Miss You Like Hell” and “To The Quick”.
I was unaware of the events that occurred in Kibeho before reading the play. I had never heard of the genocide either.
I think the most challenging aspect of working on telling this remarkable story will be physicalizing the ways in which the girls witness the Virgin Mary in a way that doesn’t seem gimmicky. I do not want to cheapen the gravity of what these women experienced by looking like something out of a bad horror film about demonic possession.
I hope the audience leaves the theatre knowing that a person’s value is not determined by monetary posessions, social capital or level of education but rather his/her ability to remain courageous and faithful in the mist of doubt and hardship.
See Cashae Monya and the rest of the cast of OUR LADY OF KIBEHO May 1-29 at MOXIE Theatre. Tickets available at www.moxietheatre.com or call 858-598-7620
MOXIE Theatre is located at 6663 El Cajon Blvd. Suite N San Diego, CA 92115.
Making a debut at a theatre company is the beginning of an exciting relationship. We’re thrilled to be opening a new door with actress Jyl Kaneshiro, who plays the challenging role of Merrell in MOXIE’s production BROWNSVILLE SONG (B-SIDE FOR TRAY) playing through Feb 28, 2016. “Kaneshiro is excellent in the difficult part of Devine’s mother Merrell…Her hesitant push-pull with Devine and Tray presents a moving portrait of a woman who messed up and knows she can’t make it right.: SDGLN
Kaneshiro is working all over San Diego at places like the La Jolla Playhouse where she performs in their POP Tour production of Alice Chan or Inner Mission Productions where she starred in the critically acclaimed production Precious Little. Here she gives us incite into her character and process for BROWNSVILLE.
How would you say your are alike or different from your character, Merrell?
One thing I am very different from Merrell is in a way that I truly envy, that being her ability to stand and define who she is. Who creates her family and what those who don’t accept that can do. It’s a fierce character trait when one can redefine and stand up to those who are supposed to be the definitive of kin for those who are yours absolutely in your heart and soul, your people.
“Jyl Kaneshiro is excellent in the difficult part of Devine’s mother Merrell (an English teacher before she lost her job due to addiction), who comes back into their lives in order to tutor Tray on that pesky essay.”-SDGLN
Has this role challenged you in any way?
Merrell is an incredibly challenging character to portray in several ways. Emotions, as an actor, are an easy card to call. One adjective that is incredibly difficult to play while trying to convey all the underlying emotions is stoic. And the character of Merrell is of one who has fallen into the pits of despair and is now trying to claw her way out to fight for what she comes to realize is the primary aspect in her life, her daughter. She tries to retain her passiveness so as not to show vulnerability.
What would you say is the most moving part of this play?
One of the things I really appreciate about this play is the individuality of it. His death is not jus another one. I love the focus on what we as a society lost, who this boy could have been. We are each a story separately and yet we are weaved together subtextually, because…humanity. The humanization of it, not the statistic. Also, I love the breakdown of defenses when we each realize how fragile life is.
What would you like the audience to take away from this production?
I would like people to reexamine the possibility of forgiveness. If there is something unsettled within their life, just to think for a moment because each moment is just that a fleeting period of time that we will not get back.
Don’t miss Jyl’ s performance in BROWNSVILLE SONG (B-SIDE FOR TRAY). Purchase Tickets Now or call 858-598-7620
2015 was a busy year for Sylvia M’ Lafi Thompson and a fruitful one. This past Monday night, Thompson’s cast mates in BROWNSVILLE SONG (B-SIDE FOR TRAY) which is running through Feb 28, 2106, leapt to their feet as she was awarded Actor of the Year at the San Diego Critic’s Circle Awards. We’re not in the least surprised. If you see her performance in this production, you’ll know why. Thompson made time to share some insight into her process and her character.
How are you alike or different from you character Lena in BROWNSVILLE SONG?
Lena and I are very much alike from the stand point of keeping children safe and giving them a strong foundation to guide them. I come from an era where the neighbors watched out for everyone’s children when the parents were at work. If you did something wrong they would let them know. Everybody in our neighborhood knew everybody else…when Lena says to Junior. .”I remember the day you were born” I can relate. How sad it is that it is not like that anymore.
Has this role challenged you in any way?
Every role challenges me because my commitment is to the language of the playwright…….their story, not mine and the vision of the director. I am always amazed that Delicia Turner Sonnenburg is not already on Broadway. She should be. Her third eye is unmatched. A true blessing for San Diego.
This piece of incredible artistry. Kimber Lee has written the play in real time prose…the way people speak….it has been a challenge sometimes to memorize in the “hip hop generation era” but, a pleasant challenge for sure.
What would you say is the most moving part of this play?
WOW. Impossible to say. Every night when I am not in a scene and have changed clothes I am peeking out to see the other scenes because I love this play so much and the cast and designers who have worked so hard to breathe life into this story. I am NEVER BORED . OKAY…every time Zoe and Tez (Cortez L. Johnson) do the Brother/Sister scenes/dances I am RIGHT THERE peeking. Just amazing and heart happy to watch. What incredible music composition and choreography.
What would you like the audience to take away from this play?
I think that our losses, our loves, our most priceless relationships, live on in a song…a story…a memory…a conversation and that senseless loss can not shut us down. Everyday God gives us”This is not the end ..it is the beginning “
BROWNSVILLE SONG (B-SIDE FOR TRAY) is playing at MOXIE Theatre through Feb 28, 2016. Tickets are $30 and groups of 15+ are $15. Buy Tickets Now or call 858-598-7620
We, at MOXIE, have learned that gratitude is our single greatest tool to survive as a non-profit. As theatre artists, we have so much to be grateful for, like you dear fans and supporters of MOXIE. On this day of thankfulness, we’re happy to share the thoughts of our fearless leader, Artistic Director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg about what makes her thankful to be an artist and a MOXIE.
What makes you thankful to be an artist in your local community?
D: I am thankful for the overwhelming generosity and support I feel from the entire San Diego Theatre community – board members, audience members, staff at both our organization and others, artists, big theatres, small theatres. It’s amazing to be a part of a community that feels genuinely supportive of each other.
What makes you thankful to be an artist at MOXIE?
D: I am thankful to work in a place and make theatre with people I respect, where I get to be my whole self – artist, administrator, wife, mother, mentor, student, loving or cranky. I am especially thankful that MOXIE provides my son and daughter an example of what it means to love your work. I tell them that while talent an intelligence can be used as a weapon, they can choose to use it to positively impact the world. But seeing is believing and having them grow up around MOXIE provides an example that no “talk” can capture.
What make you thankful to be a theatre artist in general?
D: I am thankful that I love my work. I am thankful for the opportunity to touch and be touched by people’s humanity.
In our final installation of interviews with cast members of ORANGE JULIUS, we’re thrilled to be talking with the actor who plays the dynamic role of Ol’ Boy, Steve Froehlich. This world premiere closes Sunday October 18, 2015 so don’t wait to get tickets!
You play a really fascinating character that’s different from the other characters in ORANGE JULIUS. Can you tell us about him?
My character’s name is Ol’ Boy. He is an Army Soldier in Vietnam, created out of the main character Nut’s imagination as she explores in dream-like sequences what it would be like to be present with her father Julius when he was fighting in Vietnam. Basically all of my scenes are exploring this dynamic with Nut and Julius: she’s trying to be manly, I’m extreme craziness and Julius is full of fear. It’s a unique dynamic. Nut has a wonderful line where she states her “father made me watch Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now every single year Veterans’ Day when they all played on television,” and Ol’ Boy is an amalgamation of the most gonzo caricatures of those films. Ol’ Boy has seen the worst of it and has learned how to use those experiences to keep him—and everyone else around him—alive. With his temper he can snap at any moment, but he is the type of guy you want next to you when the shit hits the fan. Oh yeah, and this is an understatement, but he swears A LOT! Every time he enters from backstage he’s swearing immediately, and sometimes it seems as if every other word spewing out of his mouth is an expletive. He is a tornado when he comes on stage.
How are you alike and different from him?
Just like Ol’ Boy, I am: Athletic, Committed, Focused, Funny, Intense, Loud and Loyal.
The famous acting teacher Uta Hagen taught (impressed upon her by Harold Clurman) that you must know yourself fully so you can bring all of yourself—or what is required of you—to that character. So in this role I rely a lot on my natural physicality to bring Ol’ Boy to life.
Unlike Ol’ Boy, I am not: Extremely fearless, nor do I have an uncontrollable explosive temper.
When I was younger I swore profusely, having to do with always playing competitive team sports, but I worked hard after college when I entered the professional world to tone down that behavior. Although, last week at coffee a friend of mine asked, “Why are you swearing so much? I’ve never heard you talk that way.” I guess Ol’ Boy has rubbed off on me a little bit; at least temporarily. Thanks for writing this Basil! Haha
As a child we moved around every three years or so because of my father’s career in the U.S. Coast Guard, but that was the closest I came to the military. So, no matter how much I can prepare being a soldier, I’ve never been there. During the “actor” talkback one Sunday after the show, multiple audience members expressed how they served during Vietnam, and they all had different and personal experiences to share. I just hope that I could bring truth and believability to Ol’ Boy and not let those patrons down. Thank you to everyone that has served our country! God Bless you and your families.
What research or preparation did you do to get into character?
When Casting Director Jennifer Berry called me about auditioning for the role, she specifically told me to think Robert Duvall during the napalm beach scene in “Apocalypse Now.” I’ve seen all the movies mentioned in the script and knew immediately what they wanted. And it felt beyond great when Basil Kreimendahl (the writer) told me that my audition was exactly how Ol’ Boy was imagined when he was being written. That took me by surprise!
My senior year in high school I took a military history class and we watched “Full Metal Jacket.” That was my first exposure to understanding the Vietnam Conflict. For the next few years, when I wasn’t reading a textbook in high school or in college, I was reading a book on Vietnam, the Korean War and World War II. I really enjoyed learning about those periods in history, so when I was offered this role, I had a lot of useful information floating around in my head to draw from in creating the back-story of Ol’ Boy. Plus, my father served 30+ years in the military, and so did his father, so growing up I was a military brat and I liked learning about the military and war.
One of my first acting teachers implored upon his students to watch a movie or TV show everyday as a way to learn, and for the past three years I daily watch just as much as I read. War movies and documentaries are a genre I routinely consume, so I had a lot to draw from visually when bringing Ol’ Boy to life: both the drill sergeant’s barking orders and the 1000-yard stare quote from “Full Metal Jacket;” Tom Sizemore getting shot at and standing fully upright in “Saving Private Ryan.” Creating the physicality of Ol’ Boy and how he moves in the jungle guided my approach.
What moves you most in the script?
What excited me more than anything in the script was that this is a World Premiere and I get to originate the role of Ol’ Boy. I wasn’t informed of this fact until after I was hired for the role. This is a first for me. Another first, which is a by-product of a doing a World Premiere, is that I get to work with the writer during the rehearsal period. Both of these firsts created a superb atmosphere for creating a character.
But in reference to the script, the Vietnam-era is something I’ve studied copiously so any script relating to that timeframe is always of interest to me.
From Ol’ Boy’s perspective, the camaraderie that’s required to stay alive in the Vietnam scenes is parallel to the relationships we all need in order to overcome the challenges and obstacles that real life brings.
Overall, the topic of family and relationships is poignant, especially trying to remember those that have passed on good terms and having to recreate those memories in our mind so we never forget them. The mother France chastises her daughter Crimp for the way Crimp remembers her father: “sometimes, I think you must’ve grown up in a different house.” Crimp remembered her father in a sweet way, even if it wasn’t necessarily true from the mother’s perspective. But sometimes that’s okay.
My mom grew up outside of Chicago and came from a huge family. So, every winter/holiday season, I would see all of my aunts/uncles/cousins and I always cherished those times. We’d sometimes have up to 25 people all staying for a week in my grandmother’s tiny house! After both of those grandparents passed away when I was about 14, since then the family has never gotten together like that again; so I have to hold onto “my” memories to keep that wonderfully warm time alive. Therefore, someday when I have a family of my own, we can do it the same way.
Catch Froehlich and the rest of the cast of ORANGE JULIUS before they close this Sunday October 18th at 2pm. Tickets available at http://www.moxietheatre.com or call 858-598-7620