CARLSBAD — Finally, New Village Arts will showcase its 20th anniversary season and this year will be a callback to the theatre’s roots.
While it’s officially the Carlsbad playhouse’s 21st year, the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 20th-anniversary schedule. But on April 8, the show will go on and this time the backdrop will be at the iconic Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.
Due to COVID-19 guidelines and a $1 million renovation, the NVA needed space for its shows so they are teaming up with the Flower Fields for a five-week run of outdoor performances, according to Kristianne Kurner, NVA’s executive artistic director.
Capacity will be limited to 50 people for the first three weeks and should San Diego County move down to the orange tier, capacity will increase to 80 people she said. Regardless, Kurner said a slate of musical acts is ready and NVA is thrilled to be back on stage.
“We did an annual summer show every year in those early years,” Kurner said. “It was thinking about, we live in Carlsbad and blessed with fantastic weather. We’ve always talked about outdoor space and the Flower Fields has it already.”
The number of performers will be kept low, Kurner said, as a precaution to help keep those in attendance safe. Each weekend will feature a new show and the expectation is to run the 20th season through October, she added.
NVA and the Flower Fields are already in negotiations to continue the season as shows run on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Kurner connected with Joni Miringoff of the Flower Fields for the initial five-week showcase and now the likely extension.
Kurner said even if the renovation was complete, the 100-seat theatre would only be able a fraction due to the health orders. So, Miringoff was able to secure the Flower Fields and allowing NVA to finally get back to the stage.
Kurner said when NVA first opened 21 years ago, the nonprofit held free Shakespeare in the Park events. The arrangement now is a pseudo-callback to NVA’s roots.
“We believe NVA’s residency at The Flower Fields will bring exciting new opportunities for our guests,” Miringoff said. “I’ve been a longtime fan of Kristianne and New Village Arts and am excited to partner with them to bring new live arts to Carlsbad.”
Opening week will showcase a cabaret series featuring Jasmine January, who starred in the NVA production of “Around the World in 80 Days” in 2019, along with Zackary Scot Wolfe (“Oklahoma!”) and JD Dumas (“Murder for Two”).
Tickets are $30 for opening weekend and then increase to $50 and $65, although ticket prices include the admission price to the Flower Fields. Patrons will also be able to get snacks at the Strawberry Shack, which is operated by the Carlsbad Strawberry Company.
The shows start at 6:30 p.m. each day and guests can be admitted before then to view the Flower Fields.