Denali Gibson as the minstrel in a Scripps Theatre Arts production. (courtesy of Alicia Gonzalez)
Performing put on pause
Scripps Theatre Arts, a local youth theater organization that is only about two years old, has been put on pause due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“We were in the middle of our biggest production yet, ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ It was going to have the largest cast, set and audience. There were over 70 kids ranging from ages 4 to 16. The production was supposed to be in May,” Scripps Theatre Arts founder Alicia Gonzalez said.
From April to May, the organization held virtual rehearsals and master classes.
“Usually, a rehearsal is 12 weeks long, so you can’t really get into acting, it’s more about just memorizing the script. However, virtually it’s hard to do music, so the director switched the focus to acting. It was a great learning opportunity for the kids,” Gonzalez said.
The theater group was supposed to hold three camps over the summer. However, due to the Scripps Ranch Recreation Center not being open for use yet, it had to cancel all three of them.
Alongside the now cancelled summer camps, the third production of the year in September, which was supposed to be held at Marshall Middle School, is now cancelled as well.
Due to the ever-changing virus situation, they have decided to go on pause for the whole summer.
“At this point we are waiting on the Poway Center for the Performing Arts to start booking dates. Once we receive a date from the theater, we are planning to come back at 100 percent or more. The actors need a lot of support. I’m hoping the community comes out in full force to support and fills the theaters,” Gonzalez said.
The organization is mainly funded by ticket sales as well as donations from companies such as Dixieline and people who want to support those in the productions.
The theater group has only had one production this year in February: “Once Upon a Mattress.”
“With the production in February, we introduced a relatively unknown story with great success. Also, it was the most prepared that our youth had been,” Gonzalez said.
Scripps Theatre Arts focuses on equity, diversity and inclusion.
“We want to really include everyone and give children in under-served communities an opportunity and a way for some to get scholarships,” Gonzalez said.