Santa Barbara, CA. (May 7, 2021) – Lights Up! Theatre Company has managed not only to stay open throughout this pandemic, but they’re coming out of it with a full production ready for a full audience. The audition-based acting company for teens ages 12-19 will present a live outdoor performance of The Sound of Music and earlier this year students also staged and filmed a production of Man of La Mancha.The Sound of Music will be performed at Garden Street Academy Thursday, May 13 – Sunday, May 16 at 6:30 pm. Viewers can bring their own chair, picnic, and blanket to watch this live show under the stars.The conservatory finished performing their mainstage musical, The Music Man, at the Marjorie Luke in March of 2019 just before everything came to a halt.
“After that, we held weekly zoom meetings to keep everyone together, and then I offered an intensive one-on-one acting workshop by Zoom over the summer,” said director Amy Love, who co-founded the group with Jen Gamble and Jenna Berg. “We’ve also been running outdoor improv classes, and then this fall, we went right into production on our current shows.”With both Man of La Mancha and The Sound of Music, keeping students safe is their first priority. The company has kept strict distancing, masking and sanitizing protocols at their outdoor rehearsal space at Garden Street Academy. Students rehearsed Man of La Mancha at their “sound stage” at the Community Arts Workshop, which is completely open on one side with cross-ventilation.“We have adopted LA Film Commission protocols for safe shooting, including, among other things, Covid testing, distancing, sanitizing, establishing zones on the set which correlate to the amount of PPE required for the specific shooting conditions,” Love said. “We are filming masked and distanced when in groups, and doing a separate shoot with unmasked soloists one at a time with no other actors present in the room.”After winter break, the company was able to return to rehearsing their final show of the season, The Sound of Music.
“Rehearsing outside for this live, outdoor performance has added a sense of lightness and springtime to our days,” Love said. “We can’t wait to perform for our first live audience since last year’s Music Man.”It’s a lot of hard work and preparation, but as teens have faced school closures and increased isolation, Love finds it imperative to provide this safe, creative, and social outlet for her students.“The beauty of theater is it’s collaborative nature,” Love said. “When you’re sharing a dream with other like-minded people and all working so hard to achieve something beautiful together, it can make all the difference in someone’s life.”In addition to preparing for their performances, these young actors can be found warming up with a guided meditation led by Love or cracking up at a group improv game. “Theater develops confidence, courage, imagination, and cooperation – all skills teens will take with them wherever they go,” Love said.
“We all need a creative outlet (especially now!), and for many teens, that’s best expressed through the work of theater, whether as an actor, crew member, musician, costumer, set or props designer – there are endless ways to lose yourself in the imaginative world of the stage,” Love said. Tickets for The Sound of Music can be purchased at: www.lightsupsb.com. A limited number of tickets for each production are free and sponsored by the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation for students 18 and under. To inquire about availability of these tickets please send a request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.