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Oct. 16, 2017

14 Theatre Bay Area Award Nominations!

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We celebrating 14 Theatre Bay Area Award Nominations! Thank you to all the talented people that make our shows such a bloody good time, both on and off stage. A huge congrats to all of our Ray of Light family members who were nominated for their work at other amazing Bay Area theatre companies.

Best Musical- Little Shop of Horrors
Best Musical- Silence! The Musical
Best Direction of a Musical- Jason Hoover, Little Shop of Horrors
Best Direction of a Musical- Jason Hoover, Silence! the Musical
Best Musical Direction- Ben Prince, Little Shop of Horrors
Best Musical Direction- Ben Prince, Silence! The Musical
Best Principal Actress in a Musical- Mary Kalita, Little Shop of Horrors
Best Principal Actress in a Musical- Anne Norland, Silence! The Musical
Best Principal Actor in a Musical- Sam Faustine, Little Shop of Horrors

Best Principal Actor in a Musical- Brian Watson, Silence! The Musical
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical- Katrina McGraw, Little Shop of Horrors
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical- Brendon North, Little Shop of Horrors
Best Ensemble- Little Shop of Horrors
Best Ensemble- Silence! The Musical

LIZZIE_002
Sep. 16, 2015

Who Brings the Riot (Grrl)?

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This guest post is penned by our Assistant Director, Maro Guevaro. Most recently, he appeared on stage as Benji in Crowded Fire’s production of ‘Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them’. 

When centuries turn, it’s rarely a quiet affair. That’s as true as it was in the 1990s (when the women of the Riot Grrl seized the male-dominated world of punk by its balls) as it was it 1892 when the Borden murders shook the tranquility of a small town called Fall River.

But what exactly is it about the last decade of a century that seems to push the world careening toward change? You can chalk it up to selective memory or a romanticism about how we’d like to think about history’s forward march: sometimes lurching, sometimes stalling, and every so often breaking into a full on sprint. Or maybe, there really is something electric about the last year’s of a century that makes everyone want to fuck shit up.

Rebellion, sex, violence, and an unapologetic takedown of the patriarchy were at the core of Riot Grrl, a musical manifesto that exploded in the 1990’s and challenged the idea that the punk world was exclusively a boy’s club. A flier from a Bikini Kill (a key instigator of Riot grrl) tour spells it out:

“[Riot Grrrl is …] BECAUSE we girls want to create mediums that speak to US. We are tired of boy band after boy band, boy zine after boy zine, boy punk after boy punk after boy… BECAUSE we need to talk to each other. Communication/inclusion is the key. We will never know if we don’t break the code of silence… BECAUSE in every form of media we see us/myself slapped, decapitated, laughed at, objectified, raped, trivialized, pushed, ignored, stereotyped, kicked, scorned, molested, silenced, invalidated, knifed, shot, choked and killed. BECAUSE a safe space needs to be created for girls where we can open our eyes and reach out to each other without being threatened by this sexist society and our day to day bullshit.” 

What does the mission and vision of Bikini Kill and Riot Grrrl have to do with the Lizzie Borden of our show? Her friend and (and in our show, lover) Alice Russell probably says it best when it comes to the aspirations of our four leading ladies: “Young girls cannot go and do and have.” In a world where class structure boxed women into a few limited roles and heavily policed their every move, there was a lot to rage against. Not so different from the women at the vanguard of Riot Grrrl who fought to claim space in a male dominated arena, and railed against the idea that women should be quiet, demure, passive, and subservient.

It’s no wonder that the music of Lizzie draws so naturally from the well of righteous indignation of the 1990s. The Victorian world is a rapidly changing landscape worthy of the turn of a century: on one hand the lives of women are strictly controlled and prescribed, on the other, new possibilities are opening up: the right to vote (for some women), more opportunities to enter the workforce, and even the arrival of things like the bicycle which helped challenge the idea that women shouldn’t be physically active. But our characters are cut off from all of that, locked up in a house where they see the world go by without being able to partake. They are bursting at the corset seams to go, and do and have–but the patriarch of the Borden house and Victorian society are working hard to keep those dreams dead.

The Borden House brings enough homegrown terrors to drive anyone to the brink of rage and rebellion.The same spiritual, mental, and physical destruction of women’s lives and bodies that female rockers of the 1990’s mobilized against is the very thing that makes up our Lizzie’s daily life in 1892. When the heat of that pressure cooker becomes too much to bear, her hands reach for the microphone over and over again– until they reach for the axe instead.

LIZZIE opens at the Victoria Theatre on Friday, September 25th and runs through October 17th. Tickets are available at rayoflighttheatre.com/lizzie.

 

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May. 22, 2015

Five Things You Didn’t Know About…Jessica Quarles

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image2 As we get closer to opening night (TONIGHT!) of Bay Area premiere of Heathers: The Musicalwe will be introducing you to our amazingly talented cast. Pop on by to meet some of the faces you’ll see on the first day of senior year at Westerberg High!

We’re truly thrilled to welcome Jessica Quarles back to Ray of Light. She was last seen as Gertrude McFuzz in ROLT’s 2006 production of Suessical the Musical. Since then, she’s traveled to faraway places, lived by the sea, and (true to her character!) tried to make the world more beautiful.

Join us as we learn a little more about Jessica.

1. Jessica was the first ever Sleeping Beauty (Princess Aurora) on Disney Cruise Line. She performed on cruise ships with Jean Ann Ryan productions for a few years after that and had some incredible experiences traveling all over the world.

image32. Jessica is a direct descendant of Pocohantas.

3. She has an irrational fear of swings (like the ones at playgrounds or theme parks). It doesn’t matter the size or location, they all freak her out.

4.  Jessica didn’t meant to live in San Francisco. Her husband Kevin brought their little family (Violet, almost 3 and Owen, 9 months) out here from NYC to design Smokestack, an incredible BBQ restaurant out in Dogpatch. They originally planned to be here for 4 months, but they fell in love with this incredible city and have been here for over two years (and we’re so glad!!).

5. Jessica used to be a singing waitress in Times Square at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. It was the hardest job ever but SO much fun at the same time. She made lifelong friends and met the most talented people she knows!

Don’t miss Jessica as Veronica Sawyer in Heathers this month! Heathers: The Musical runs from May 22nd (this Friday!) through June 13th at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets are available at Rayoflighttheatre.com/Heathers.

The boys
May. 22, 2015

Five Things You Didn’t Know About…Jordon Bridges

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387070_3560256014597_1179898865_n (1) As we get closer to opening night (TONIGHT!) of Bay Area premiere of Heathers: The Musicalwe will be introducing you to our amazingly talented cast. Pop on by to meet some of the faces you’ll see on the first day of senior year at Westerberg High.

We’re truly thrilled to welcome Jordon Bridges to the Ray of Light stage. He has recently appeared as Eddie Birdlace in Dogfight (OMG, I Love that Show!), Tommy Gnosis in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Boxcar Theatre), and Henry in Next to Normal (Custom Made Theater).

Join us as we learn a little more about Jordon.

1. Jordon was born and raised in Hoquiam, Washington and is the oldest of four brothers.

2. Jordon lived in North Dakota on a Native American reservation, home to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikira nations, where he worked in a diesel mechanics shop to pay for arts school.

LAUREN!3. The brain fascinates Jordon, and he had every intention of studying neuroscience until he discovered theatre!

4.  Jordon moved out at 15 in the middle of his sophomore year of high school.

5. Jordon loves anime and red curry. But not together. We think….

Don’t miss Jordon as JD in Heathers this month! Heathers: The Musical runs from May 22nd (this Friday!) through June 13th at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets are available at Rayoflighttheatre.com/Heathers.

www.Redblueredblue.com
May. 21, 2015

Five Things You Didn’t Know About…Joceyln Pickett

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www.Redblueredblue.comAs we get closer to opening night (TOMORROW!) of Bay Area premiere of Heathers: The Musicalwe will be introducing you to our amazingly talented cast. Each week pop on by to meet some of the faces you’ll see on the first day of senior year at Westerberg High!

We’re truly thrilled to welcome Jocelyn Pickett to the Ray of Light stage. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she’s appeared in many shows, including The Producers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Aida, and most recently, Violet. When she’s not on the stage, she spends her days as the Drama Specialist at Bullis Charter School.

Join us as we learn a little more about the Queen of Mean, Heather Chandler.

1. If you run into Jocelyn off-stage, ask her to show you how she can touch her tongue to her nose.

2. Jocelyn has a slight obsession with all things Harry Potter.

www.Redblueredblue.com3. Vroooom, vroom…Jocelyn has her motorcycle license!

4.  Bugs? Gross? No way. Jocelyn thinks insects are magnificent, she loves them!

5. It’s been a childhood dream of Jocelyn’s to live long enough to see life on other planets.

Don’t miss Jocelyn as the Mythic Bitch herself, Heather Chandler in Heathers this month! Heathers: The Musical runs from May 22nd (this Friday!) through June 13th at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets are available at Rayoflighttheatre.com/Heathers.

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May. 20, 2015

Five Things You Didn’t Know About….Paul Hovannes

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IMG_24284753146623As we get closer to opening night (THIS WEEK, AHHH!) of Bay Area premiere of Heathers: The Musicalwe will be introducing you to our amazingly talented cast. Each week pop on by to meet some of the faces you’ll see on the first day of senior year at Westerberg High!

We’re truly thrilled to welcome recent Bay Area transplant Paul Hovannes to the Ray of Light stage. He made his local debut late last year in a vaudeville-style cabaret with Thrillride Mechanics. And, if you dig him as Kurt…good news! He’ll be returning to the ROLT stage this October to play Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show.

Join us as we learn a little more about Paul, aka Kurt Kelly.

1. As a kid, Paul was a member of the SweeTarts fan club. Membership included an ID card and a rad velcro wallet.

2. He will only allow you to call him Paulie if you do so with a New York accent.

3. Paul has a crested gecko named Underling, who is equal parts cool and adorable.

4.  Paul’s recent obsessions include the Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast, Neil Gaiman, and Postmodern Jukebox.

IMG_259650429532235. When Paul grows up, he wants to be Tony Jay.

Don’t miss Paul as Kurt in Heathers this month! Heathers: The Musical runs from May 22nd (this Friday!) through June 13th at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets are available at Rayoflighttheatre.com/Heathers.

Zachariah Mohammed Photo #2
May. 19, 2015

Five Things You Didn’t Know About…Zachariah Mohammed

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Zachariah Mohammed Photo #2 As we get closer to opening night of Bay Area premiere of Heathers: The Musicalwe will be introducing you to our amazingly talented cast. Each week pop on by to meet some of the faces you’ll see on the first day of senior year at Westerberg High!

We’re thrilled to welcome Zachariah Mohammedto the Ray of Light stage. He was last seen in Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s production of The Music Man. Other theatre credits include RENT (Angel),  Thoroughly Modern Millie (Ching Ho), Avenue Q (Rod) and A Chorus Line (Paul).

Join us as we learn a little more about Zachariah, aka Boy #2, aka the Preppy Stud.

1. In his youth, Zachariah played soccer for nine years and never scored a goal. (Whatever, soccer is hard. We still think he’s great)

Zachriah Mohammed Photo2. Sorry, he’s taken! That’s right, Zachariah has been in a loving and committed relationship with Netflix for the past two years.

3. We know you saw his picture and wondered, so yes, it’s true. His hair is full of secrets.

4.  Zachariah is currently studying Business Marketing at Saint Mary’s College of California.

5. In his spare time, Zachariah enjoys deep conversations with his cat, Indiana.

Don’t miss Zachariah in Heathers this month! Heathers: The Musical runs from May 22nd (this Friday!) through June 13th at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets are available at Rayoflighttheatre.com/Heathers.

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May. 11, 2015

Five Things You Didn’t Know About….Jon Toussaint

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IMG_2577As we get closer to opening night of Bay Area premiere of Heathers: The Musicalwe will be introducing you to our amazingly talented cast. Each week pop on by to meet some of the faces you’ll see on the first day of senior year at Westerberg High!

We’re thrilled to welcome Jon Toussaint to the Ray of Light stage. He’s performed with many theatre companies across the Bay Area, including Broadway by the Bay, Dragon Productions, Hillbarn Theatre, Saint Francis High School, Woodside Community Theatre, San Carlos Children’s Theater, Stanford University, and Starting Arts.

Having just finished his junior year at Saint Francis High School, Jon hopes his senior year is less shocking than that of Veronica Sawyer!

Join us as we learn a little more about Jon, aka Boy #2:

1. If you’re thinking that Jon looks like an actual high schooler, you’re right! Jon is the baby of the cast, he’s 16 years old. He’s about to finish his Junior year of high school and hopes his senior year is less shocking than Veronica Sawyer’s!

IMG_25792. Jon is known for wearing blue shirts.

3. Jon looooooves to tap dance.

4. Not only does he have talented feet, but he also has a talented nose! That’s right, Jon dabbles in the art of the nose flute.

5. Jon is colorblind, and loves to use it as an excuse.

Don’t miss Jon in Heathers this month! Heathers: The Musical runs from May 22nd through June 13th at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets are available at Rayoflighttheatre.com/Heathers.

3-grape
May. 05, 2015

Five Things You Didn’t Know About…Mischa Stephens

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1-valjeanAs we get closer to opening night of Bay Area premiere of Heathers: The Musicalwe will be introducing you to our amazingly talented cast. Each week pop on by to meet some of the faces you’ll see on the first day of senior year at Westerberg High!

We’re thrilled to welcome Mischa Stephens back to Ray of Light after playing Jan-the-Wise in Yeast Nation last fall. He’s also recently appeared as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables (Tri-Valley Rep and SBMT), Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar (WVLO), Motel in Fiddler on the Roof (WCP), and Houdini in Ragtime (SBMT).

Join us as we learn a little more about Mischa, aka Ram’s Dad/Big Bud/ Coach Ripper:

 

4-batman1. Mischa is an Australian citizen, which makes being a double agent WAY easier. NSA, you can stop reading this now. Seriously, please stop, we can hear you breathing and it’s very distracting.

2. Mischa used to work at Google, which isn’t really that interesting anymore since the guy sitting next to you right now probably works there. Hi, Frank!

3. In 2006, Mischa dressed up like Borat to go see the Borat movie. People lined up for selfies and autographs thinking he was Sacha Baron Cohen. He has not grown a mustache since.

4. He loves the classic BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers so much that he adapted an episode for the stage and directed it in a blackbox theater on a shoestring budget of $50. If you haven’t seen this show and you’re looking for a cheap way to give yourself a nervous breakdown (from laughter…probably), it is on Netflix. Go watch it now.

5. Mischa’s first role was Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof when he was 15. The rest of the cast was between 10 and 13 years old, so it made sense. Very adorable sense. And no, you cannot see the DVD, it is locked in a vault guarded by falcons with lasers. Very adorable lasers.

Don’t miss Mischa in Heathers this May! Heathers: The Musical runs from May 22nd through June 13th at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets are available at Rayoflighttheatre.com/Heathers.

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May. 01, 2015

Five Things You Didn’t Know About…James Mayagoitia

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1521284_10100339577191429_791396265_nAs we get closer to opening night of Bay Area premiere of Heathers: The Musicalwe will be introducing you to our amazingly talented cast. Each week pop on by to meet some of the faces you’ll see on the first day of senior year at Westerberg High!

We’re thrilled to welcome James Mayagoitia to Ray of Light. James has most recently appeared in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Boxcar Theatre), A Chorus Line (SFSU), I Never Lie (99 Stock Productions) and Candide (Lamplighters Music Theatre).

Join us as we learn a little more about James, aka Boy #1.

1. James is a classically trained singer and originally planned on being an opera singer.

2. James co-founded a local theatre company called 11th Hour Ensemble with some colleagues from SFSU.

3. In addition to acting, James has a full-time job as an office assistant. Additionally, he also directs, assistant directs, stage manages AND teaches. Whew!

4. James is a huge foodie. He loves everything about food and drink, including where it comes from, how it’s made, its history and of course, its flavor. He’s so happy to live in San Francisco where he has access to some of the best food and drink in the world!

5. James is a Burner! He attending Burning Man last year and had the time of his life. If you’re going this year, swing by his camp, Orphan/Endorphin for a cool drink!

Don’t miss James in his Ray of Light debut this May! Heathers: The Musical runs from May 22nd through June 13th at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets are available at Rayoflighttheatre.com/Heathers.