While the Santa Barbara-based Proximity Theatre Company has yet to unveil its yearly masterpiece—its rendition of Romeo and Juilet opens this August at Center Stage—it’s giving us plenty of reasons to party down now. This Sunday, July 25, the nonprofit hosts a night full of drinks, dancing, and live music at SOhO, with proceeds benefiting the group’s forthcoming production. Below, the company’s executive director, Ken Urbina, gives us just a few reasons to come out and support this event. For tickets and information, call 962-7776 or visit proximitytheatrecompany.org.
1] The Music: Keeping in line with Proximity’s cutting-edge style and mission statement, Sunday’s musical lineup is about as eclectic and progressive as they come. Repping for the youngsters are Santa Barbara’s own up-and-comers, Windmill Vandals. The garage rockers, composed of high schoolers from around the city, may be a recent addition to the S.B. music scene, but their tunes have already scored spots on hit TV shows like 90210 and Entourage. Also on deck are L.A.-based hip-hop-meets-soul duo Sin City, who are currently prepping their debut LP. The onstage talent will be rounded out by the soulful Elijah Allan-Blitz and world-fusion artist Montino Bourbon, who’ll be performing a smattering of new material.
2] The Prizes: Throughout the night, Proximity will be hosting both a silent auction and a raffle for attendees. Among the good up for grabs are a new iPod, gift certificates to local eateries like the Sojourner Café and Ca’ Dario, and stays at the swanky Presidio Motel. And all ticket sales proceeds go straight back to the production.
3] The Play: While last year’s premiere of the original play The Marvelous Story of Shandy Wilkes (written by Proximity founder Karina Richardson) proved to be a smash for the Proximity clan, this year the company is going the more conservative route—sort of. The group’s production of Romeo and Juliet is a far cry from the company’s previous ventures, but was picked with purpose. “This one just spoke to us,” explained Urbina. “But it’s one of those things that speak to everybody. There are so many things involved in the story, and so many different layers, that it just seemed like the right thing to do.”.
4] The Kids: Unlike so many youth theater companies, Proximity is all about pushing its players to think and create outside the box. The group’s rigorous rehearsal schedules and multi-faceted activities (from reflexive writing assignments to yoga to group camping trips) are geared toward turning its young actors into conscious and capable physical thespians. In other words, this ain’t your average children’s theater.