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Summer Stock Austin presents- CyberStock, a hybrid musical/film extravaganza, Co-created by local students and industry professionals
Aug 16, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Summer Stock Austin (SSA) is jumping off the stage and on to your screens Sunday, August 16 at 7:30pm. When most live arts and summer programs closed their doors due to the pandemic, SSA pivoted and found a new way to engage young artists this summer. Forty high school and college students — empowered to become storytellers and creators — are collaborating with a team of industry experts, ranging from Emmy award winners to Hamilton stars. Together, they combine song, dance, and storytelling to produce a hopeful and impactful evening of entertainment.
“It’s original. Nobody has or is doing anything like this.”
-LJ Salinas, Sophomore at Austin Community College and first year SSA company member
While this year will undoubtedly look different than our previous 15 years producing musicals live on stage, what remains is our commitment to education, community, and artistic excellence. Rather than forcing live theatre into a virtual context, we are inventing something tailored to the digital world … a fictional reflection of our reality using a series of short films framed by musical theatre numbers, told through the lens of young artists.
“Summer Stock Austin has been a key component in my artistic career & has helped me transition from a student to a creator. This summer, I’m incredibly excited to be on the other side of the Summer Stock table and give back to a program that has given so much to me.”
– Donelvan Thigpen, Prince in Purple Reign in Las Vegas and SSA participant for 6 seasons including Ren in Footloose, The Baker in Into the Woods, and Harold Hill in The Music Man
CyberStock, A Teenager’s Guide to Surviving the World, began with a series of masterclasses taught by industry professionals in songwriting, screenwriting, film direction, and choreography. With the question “how do we express our shared humanity through art,” teams of students proceeded to create original short films taking them from the pitch process to completion. Each project is student-led (with professional mentors) every step of the way.
People should watch this because of… “the diversity and inclusion. There are so many people from different backgrounds with different stories and amazing talent to share.”
-McKenlee Wilson, Junior at Weiss High School and first year SSA company member
Directly from the stage of Hamilton, Vincent Jamal Hooper and J. Quinton Johnson, in addition to serving as mentors and directors, created original songs to frame the short films created by our young artists. The opening number titled “When Despair Comes” sets the tone for a dystopian society of teenagers who have lost their passion, creativity, drive, and connection. They are provided a series of digital content starring young people that look just like them, each short film inspiring the teenagers to choose joy, happiness, and hope as they imagine a better world.
“It is my belief that we cannot dream things that we haven’t seen. So it’s incredibly exciting to be a part of a process that allows young artists to see themselves as not only interpreters but writers, directors, choreographers, collaborators, etc. CyberStock is providing a platform for students to explore their humanity and dream futures, both personal and interpersonal, they never thought possible.”
-Vincent Jamal Hooper, Hamilton performer and SSA company member for 3 seasons
Join us on the cutting edge of the transformation of art as we know it… where the next generation finds their voices through art and impacts the world.
“People should watch this because it conveys the human condition well, especially during this time of uncertainty and where we are adjusting to a new normal. I think people will enjoy the message and will walk away learning something new.”
-Lauren Foutch, Marymount Manhattan College student and first year SSA company member
7:30pm on Sunday August 16, 2020 for the Youtube Premiere, CyberStock, A Teenager’s Guide to Surviving the World. Inspiring, impactful, and entertaining for ages 8 to 800.
Visit us at summerstockaustin.org for more information on how to watch the show and how to support the program.
ABOUT SUMMER STOCK AUSTIN
Since July 2005, college and high school students from across Texas meet to mount several productions with professionals from Austin and around the country in a one-of-a-kind experience. They work as a traditional “stock” company; each member performs, designs, builds, and assists on various aspects of theatrical productions. Similar programs charge high school students tuition—Summer Stock Austin not only offers the experience to all participants free of charge, but many of the college students receive a stipend and also work as mentors through the process.
The company is led by a host of professionals with experience ranging from Austin to Broadway. Through this work, college students begin making invaluable connections as they embark on their professional careers. High school students will have a similarly unique experience as they gain firsthand knowledge of working in a professional setting.
Summer Stock Austin’s philosophy is to create an environment of shared learning by incorporating high school students, college students, and professionals in a fast-paced production series where everyone involved shares in the responsibility of creating high-quality theatre.
Past Summer Stock Austin Productions: Sister Act, How to Succeed…, The Music Man, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Spamalot, Annie Get Your Gun, The Addams Family, Carnival, Guys & Dolls, Into the Woods, Footloose, Much Ado About Nothing, West Side Story, Rumors, The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Stoopid Tales, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Assassins, Oklahoma, Bat Boy, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sweeney Todd, Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, A Year with Frog and Toad, The Producers, Urinetown, Legally Blonde, Chess, Pippin, Swing!, The Bremen Town Musicians, Chicago
For the past 6 years Allen Robertson and Damon Brown, of Biscuit Brothers fame, have created an original musical for family audiences, starring Summer Stock Austin students in a world premiere.
World Premieres: Haunted, Rob1n, A Shoe Story, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Tortoise & Hare, Stone Soup
For more info about Summer Stock Austin, please visit www.summerstockautin.org.