by Rebecca Potts
Selma Arts Center is quickly becoming the premier theatre in the Valley, and in their quest to build a fantastic 2020 season, they’ve created a dazzling lineup of hilarious, heartfelt, and magical shows that will bring you back again and again. From the Harry Potter-themed straight play Puffs to the culturally impactful musical Zoot Suit, Selma has chosen a beautiful variety of stories to tell next year. I sat down with Director Nicolette C. Andersen to talk about the new season and how Selma will evolve in the years to come.
KRL: What’s in store for your audience for the 2020 season?
NCA: Selma’s mainstage shows include Puffs, a story of lesser-known Harry Potter characters; the Disney classic Tarzan; the musical comedy Head Over Heels; the legendary tribal love-rock musical Hair; the cult favorite Little Shop of Horrors; the musical comedy Rocky Horror Picture Show; and the Chicanx epic, Zoot Suit. SACTeen will also feature the 1950s musical Zombie Prom, that tells the story of a teenage boy who is brought back to life by the love of his high-school sweetheart. Cool Kid Players will feature two musicals as well: Seussical the Musical and Disney’s Moana Jr.
KRL: How did you choose your new lineup?
NCA: The Selma Arts Center has always been open to new ideas and talents. During the process of choosing our season, the Arts Council holds an open submission period that allows directors to come forward and present a show they would like to produce. All submissions are welcome but only some may be chosen. After the proposal period, the Arts Council deliberates and votes to put together a season that will excite our current patrons and, hopefully, attract new ones. This year, our season’s theme is meant to inspire acceptance and inclusion.
KRL: Which shows are you most excited about this upcoming season?
NCA: All of our shows are pretty exciting, but to emphasize our theme, I’m most excited for Head Over Heels, a Valley premier, directed by Michael Flores. Featuring music from the GoGos, the show is packed with upbeat music, high energy laughs, and a strong LGBTQ+ message of acceptance. Second is our family musical, Tarzan. Directed by me and Ben Deghand, and partnering with Vizual Voices director Heather Lemon. Through the vision of Ms. Lemon, we will be incorporating American Sign Language fully into the production. We welcome deaf and hard of hearing actors to come out and audition. Lastly, we will be producing the cultural piece Zoot Suit, directed by Juan L. Guzman. The show recounts the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial and the Zoot Suit Riots. It was the first Chicano play on Broadway.
“Based on actual and historic events, Zoot Suit’s poignant ending reminds theater-goers of the importance of fighting discrimination and celebrating the diversity of voices in art.” Juan L. Guzman.
KRL: Can you tell me more about SACTeen and Cool Kid Players?
NCA: SACTeen is our teen theater program that the Selma Arts Council started two years ago. In that time, we have produced School of Rock: The Musical and High School Musical.
“The mission of the SACTeen program is to give a creative space to teenagers ages 13-19. The program provides education to help ease the transition into the competitive theater community.” Adrian Oceguera, creator of SACTeen.
The Cool Kid Players is a performing arts program that provides opportunities for children ages six-18 to perform in a full-scale musical production. The program has been in existence for almost 20 years and has been under my direction for the past 13. In the last few years, we have expanded our production teams, including directors, to accommodate an average of 65 participants per production. This year we are excited to do Moana Jr. and Seussical the Musical.
KRL: What’s new at Selma Arts Center (besides your dazzling 2020 lineup)?
NCA: We are mostly excited for our new riser seating that gives the audience a better viewing experience. It has so far improved our attendee satisfaction.
Other events we’re looking forward to this year are our special events and workshops. We will be bringing back Rocky Horror Picture Show and extending the run. This special event was a blast and one of our audience favorites! As planned, we will be hosting Selma Originals, organized by Cladio Laso, which is a series of short plays written by Valley writers that will premiere at the Selma Arts Center.
KRL: When and where will auditions take place?
NCA: All our main show productions are open to the public. Participants can find all our audition dates for the upcoming 2020 season on our website, selmaartscenter.com/audition. Most, if not all, auditions will take place at the Selma Arts Center, 1935 High Street, Selma 93662.
Through our website you will have the opportunity to sign up for an audition slot of your preferred time, as well as receive reminders and find all audition information.
KRL: Where can people get tickets (or season tickets!)?
NCA: For show tickets, patrons can visit our website, www.selmaartscenter.com, or call or visit our box office at (559) 891-2238 during normal business hours, Tuesday-Friday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Season Tickets and Gift Certificates are available by calling our box office or ordering online.
Tickets are $21 for Adults, $19 for Seniors/ Students/ Military, and $17 for Children under 13.
Season Memberships are $95 for Adults and $85 for Seniors.
KRL: Where can fans and prospective actors follow SAC’s updates?
You can also check KRL’s local theatre page, and auditions page for info, and watch for our reviews of these shows!
Check out even more local theatre reviews & articles in our Arts & Entertainment section!
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors (some of whom you have seen on the Selma Arts Center stage). You can check the podcast out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Play, and also on podbean.