South Bay Musical Theatre announces new virtual programming for January and February, 2021

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Anna Marie Sharpe who plays the title role of Rachel in SBMT's next online play on January 29 and 30, is a mother, actor, director, and writer in the Bay Area. She graduates with a BA from UC Berkeley this Spring from the Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies department. Rachel is a play written 100 years ago by Black poet Angelina Grimké. It will be streamed over Zoom and YouTube, with free admission. Tickets: SouthBayMT.com/estudio.

(January 26, 2021 – Saratoga, CA) South Bay Musical Theatre (SBMT) has announced several new virtual events that will be streamed over Zoom and social media in January and February 2021. The company was among the first community theatres in the Bay Area to reinvent itself for the COVID-19 era by switching from traditionally staged musicals to a prolific schedule of online programming. Click here to watch a video trailer for these upcoming events, exploring the theme of contrasts in the world of theatre. More information is available at SouthBayMT.com/estudio.

“2020 was a tumultuous year,” says South Bay Musical Theatre’s Executive Director Sara K. Dean. “But our community rallied to our rescue as we pivoted to online programming. Since COVID began, we’ve held more than 65 virtual events with more than 200 performers, panelists, and lecturers who volunteered their time to show their support of SBMT and the value we offer. We are excited to continue connecting and engaging with artists and audiences in 2021!”

SCHEDULE OF UPCOMING PROGRAMS

Broadway by the Decade: The Musicals of the 1980s (part one), with Heather Kenyon
Tuesday, January 26, 7:30 p.m.

Description: Join West Valley College instructor and SBMT Set Designer Heather Kenyon for this Musical Theater History Class. The 80s were such a rich decade that we’re breaking them into two parts. On January 26, Heather will discuss The British Invasion (Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Starlight Xpress, Les Misérables, and Miss Saigon). In March, we’ll reconvene for “The 80s, Part Two,” and discuss such musicals as  Sunday in the Park with George, 42nd Street, Little Shop of Horrors, and more. Open to all levels to gain deeper insight on how the decades have changed theatre.

Readers’ Theatre: Rachel, by Angelina Grimké
Friday & Saturday, January 29 (8:00 p.m.) and January 30 (3:00 p.m.)

Written in 1916, one of the very first plays authored and produced by a bi-racial Black woman playwright, Angelina Grimké’s RACHEL, is the story of a Black family’s insistence of dignity, intellect, and survival. Terrorized by the racism of their former Southern community, matriarch Mrs. Loving moves her two children to the North in hopes of leaving the past behind. But when her daughter, an effervescent Rachel, brings home a young boy named Jimmy, Mrs. Loving is forced to reveal the truth that will shatter Rachel’s rose-colored dreams of motherhood and starting her own family. Considered a pioneering Black American woman playwright, Grimké expertly documented a loving Black family life in the early 1900s that showcases the positive relationship of a mother and her children, and their striving to prosper as a Black community in the face of bigotry and hate.

BONUS! Following the Friday evening performance, we will host a post-show talkback moderated by the show’s director, Tanika Baptiste, and featuring Tracy Camp, Tossie Long, and Kathryn Smith. They will discuss artistry, race, and motherhood.

Professional film and TV actresses Tracy Camp, Tossie Long, and Kathryn Smith-McGlynn will participate in a panel discussion on “Artistry, Race, and Motherhood” immediately following the opening night presentation of Rachel (Friday, January 29 at 8 p.m.) The show’s director, Tanika Baptiste, will moderate. This free event can be streamed over Zoom or YouTube. Tickets and info: SouthBayMT.com/estudio.

Broadway by the Decade: Underappreciated Musical Gems, with Ron Susek
Tuesday February 9, 7:30 p.m.

Ron Susek will host another in a series of Musical Theater History classes, focused on lesser-known shows from the 70s from celebrated musical theater masters! Each of these shows is filled with memorable songs, but were overshadowed by its creative team’s other works.

Readers’ Theatre: Pride and Prejudice
Saturday and Sunday, February 13 (8 p.m.) and February 14 (3 p.m.)

Co-sponsored by Silicon Valley Shakespeare, Pride and Prejudice is a streamlined theatrical version of Jane Austen’s classic novel involving manners, courtship and relationships. Finding a husband is hardly Elizabeth Bennet’s most urgent priority. But with four sisters, an overzealous match-making mother, and a string of unsuitable suitors, it’s difficult to escape the subject. When the independent-minded Elizabeth meets the handsome but enigmatic Mr. Darcy, all feelings of attraction are muted by his pride and her prejudice. As their worlds keep colliding, their attraction increases. But they first must overcome their own weaknesses and many other obstacles before the most famous courtship in history can begin.

South Bay Cabaret: Classic vs. Contemporary Show Tunes

Wednesday, February 24, 7:30 p.m.

Each of our performers for this event will perform one classic show tune and one contemporary show tune, in a cabaret that should please all. This gives us a chance to contrast the changes in culture in Musical Theater from yesteryear vs. today. Performers include Kimberley Anjal, Melody Chen, Grace Colon, Aleisha Lew, Melissa Momboisse, Vinh Nguyen, Natalie To, Romelo Urbi, and Cindy Van—all of whom recently completed SBMT’s Beyond the Book Audition workshop series.

In addition to these events for general audiences, SBMT is also conducting ongoing dance workshops, film screenings, and online game show productions. Visit SouthBayMT.com/estudio for details.

ABOUT SOUTH BAY MUSICAL THEATRE

South Bay Musical Theatre was founded in 1963 and is now in its 58th year of entertaining Bay Area audiences as a non-profit organization. For more information or to obtain tickets online, visit their website at SouthBayMT.com.

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