Napa Valley College (NVC) Performing Arts will present a season of five in-person performances this fall including productions of “All Together Now,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Elf Jr.,” as well as college choral and jazz ensemble concerts.
“This fall season is all about a safe and fun return for performing arts,” said NVC Performing Arts professor and artistic director Jennifer King. “We will limit ticket sales for our main theater productions and music performances in order to allow for social distancing. We are also inaugurating a new outdoor courtyard theater for some of our performances.”
The first show of the fall season is “All Together Now, a global event celebrating local theater,” directed and choreographed by NVC Theater instructor Olivia Cowell. Featuring beloved songs from contemporary and golden age Broadway musicals such as “Pure Imagination” from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Spread Love Around” from “Sister Act” and “Take a Chance on Me” from “Mama Mia,” “All Together Now” will be presented live in the Performing Arts Center main theater as well as live streamed on Saturday, November 13 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, November 14 at 2 p.m.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the return of live theater at the NVC Performing Arts Center with a musical revue,” said “All Together Now” director and choreographer Olivia Cowell. “This family-friendly show features some of the most recognizable and well-loved songs from musical theater. Music director Dr. Christian Howell added, “The multi-generational cast is comprised of actors, music students and community actors from Napa Valley and beyond.”
Opening in repertory on December 4, 2021, are “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Elf Jr.” First presented at Napa Valley College in 2018, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”will once again be directed by NVC Theater program alumna Jessica Romero and will feature students and community members in a stage rendition with music from the classic holiday television program.
“In these challenging times, ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’is a timeless story that reminds us that things do get better,” said director Jessica Romero. “Charlie faces feelings of depression and frustration, but, with the help of his friends, is able to see that perhaps all we really need is a little love.”
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” will be performed on Saturday, December 4 at 1 p.m., Sunday, December 5 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Saturday, December 11 at 1 p.m. and Sunday, December 12 at 11 a.m.
Co-directed by Olivia Cowell and Aimee Guillot “Elf Jr,” a co-production with Cafeteria Kids Theater (CFT), brings the film “Elf” to life on stage with a multi-generational cast of children and NVC students.
“We are beyond ecstatic to be partnering again with Napa Valley College Performing Arts in our return to live theater,” said Cafeteria Kids Theater (CKT) founder and co-director Aimée Guillot. “CKT is the only nonprofit in Napa Valley dedicated solely to educational performing arts programs for kids and teens, which has made and Napa Valley College an ideal partner and is an incredible supporter of our mission to bring the performing arts to our community.‘Elf the Musical Jr.,’ with its timeless message of the importance of finding yourself and discovering what really matters – love, family and concern for others — is the perfect show to bring to Napa Valley audiences this holiday season.”
“Elf Jr.” will be presented on Saturday, December 4 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Sunday, December 5 at 1 p.m., Saturday, December 11 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Sunday, December 12 at 1 p.m.
Both “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Elf Jr.” will be performed outdoors in the new Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center courtyard theater, adjacent to the Performing Arts Center lobby.
“This dynamic 50-seat performance space, on the east side of the Performing Arts Center, will have an awning and heaters to keep patrons comfortable during the fall and winter seasons,” said Matthew Cowell, Napa Valley College’s technical director.
Audiences will return indoors with the final two music events this fall, both performed in Performing Arts Center main theater.
The Napa Valley College Chorale will present a live, in-person concert celebrating winter holidays on Sunday, December 12 at 3 p.m. Inspired by the journey from isolation to celebration, this concert will turn the focus to the future and will feature guest artists Abigail Summers, cello (NVC cello instructor), and Justin Respicio, percussion (NVC student). Dr. Howell will conduct repertoire ranging from Sarah Quartel’s haunting “Snow Angel” with narration by Jennifer King to the Carpenter’s “Christmas Medley.”
“I could not be more excited to be ‘in the room where it happens’ again,” said instructor and music coordinator Dr. Christina Howell. “Singing over digital media was a wonderful place holder for the last 18 months but it just cannot replicate the sound or the feeling you get from hearing a group of people blending their sounds together as one. Hearing music in the halls of the Performing Arts Center again brings me so much joy!”
After a lengthy hiatus, the Napa Valley Jazz Ensemble will return to live performance on Monday, December 20 at 7 p.m. Led by local trumpet player Peter Estabrook, students and community members will perform together in classics like Ellington’s “Mood Indigo,” American Standards like Kern’s “Smoke Gets in your Eyes,” and new works like “Jive Samba” by Adderley.
Tickets go on sale October 15. For more information, visit performingartsnapavalley.org.
About Napa Valley College Performing Arts
Napa Valley College Performing Arts creates high quality-instructional theater and music experiences on stage and in the classroom. Serving all segments of the community including transfer students, lifelong learners and college staff, students are offered the opportunity to learn from professional artists in a way that inspires a passion for the artistic process. Napa Valley College is committed to student success by creating nurturing and inclusive environments that promote self-discipline, positive self-esteem, critical thinking skills and teamwork.
About Cafeteria Kids Theater
Cafeteria Kids Theater (CTK) is a unique performing arts program that uses theater as a vehicle to bridge different ethnicities, backgrounds and perspectives. Through full-scale musical productions, in-school residencies, after-school classes, acting workshops and summer camps, CKT has impacted more than 6,000 students in Napa Valley since its inception in 2006. CTK encourages children to investigate the commonalities that exist in all people as they journey through the creative process which, in turn, builds inner confidence, imagination and empathy. Cafeteria Kids Theater’s goal is to give children of all ages the tools they need to discover the artist within them and live in the world from a place of creativity, compassion and love.