Welcome and Thank You…

…for joining us at our first annual holiday event for New Art City Theatre! We’d like to wish you all a very happy holiday season!

As we look back on the past year and reflect on New Art City Theatre’s first 10 month’s of operation, it’s very easy for us to count our blessings. Top of our list is you, our enthusiastic NACT supporters! With your help and belief in the New Art City Theatre mission, you’re making the dream of more original top quality professional theatre in this region a reality. Ventura County is such a beautiful part of this state. With the right nurturing, we’re certain there will be a time in the future when people flock to this area as much to see world class theatre as they do to visit our beaches, taste our wine, and go to amusement parks!

The mission at NACT is to forge a new path to opportunity for writers who create theatre. By giving equal access to diverse voices and inviting a broader audience to join us, NACT aspires to elevate all that is compelling about original theatre and its ability to promote unity, inspire curiosity, and provide joy.

In order to fulfill this goal, we’ve planned a festival of new works that will take place April 25-28 at the Museum of Ventura County in Downtown Ventura. New Art City Theatre Festival ’24 will bring four writing teams to the area to present their early work to the public in a series of readings and discussion forums. This fall, we received 175 submissions of plays and musicals from all over the country for consideration this first year. We’ll be sorting through them over the next few months and presenting the most compelling to you, our patrons, in the Spring. We hope you’ll join us. It will be a stimulating and exciting week.

As for tonight, we want you to join with us and sing along as we celebrate this holiday season with songs and traditions we all share.

Kirby and Bev Ward

Founders/Co-Producing Artistic Directors


New Art City Theatre
presents

A Holiday Special Event

3 CHEERS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

FEATURING
David Burnham Beverly Ward Kirby Ward

THE BAND:
Christopher Bratten (Piano) Omar D. Brancato (Bass) Jesse Brickel (Drums)

Stage Manager
Erica Christensen

Assistant Stage Manager
Arianna Alonso

Technical Director
Cameron Probe

Music Direction by
Christopher Bratten

Directed by
Kirby Ward

This program has been made possible in part through the sponsorship of The Field, with funding provided by the generous donors who support NACT. 


THE CAST

DAVID BURNHAM (Singer) was last seen on Broadway in the musical, “Wicked”, playing Fiyero, a role that he originated in the workshops of the show. He is an original Broadway cast member of the musical The Light In The Piazza, performing both on the Tony Awards and the PBS telecast “Live From Lincoln Center.” He is the recipient of the Helen Hayes Award for his portrayal of Fabrizio in the national tour of Piazza… Other national tours include playing Joesph in Joseph And The Amazing… and Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar. He has numerous regional theater, film and television credits, and has recorded two solo albums. www.davidburnham.com

BEVERLY WARD (Singer, Co-Artistic Producer) fell in love with the performing arts as a child while attending the acclaimed San Diego Junior Theatre. By the time she was eighteen she was working with Anne Miller and Mickey Rooney in the National Tour of Sugar Babies. She has collaborated with husband Kirby Ward on multiple directorial projects and together they have written three musicals. Over the last three decades, Bev has appeared on and Off-Broadway, in numerous National Tours, and has sung with renowned musicians and orchestras all across America. You’ll find her first EP, Bev’s Noble House Of Pancake, featuring her original music, on iTunes. By special request from the Gershwin Estate, she and husband Kirby were invited to guest star with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra where their singing and dancing stopped the show in front of 18,000 people. She has performed for British Royalty, as well as First Ladies Hilary Clinton and Laura Bush. Bev is also a visual artist and has had several showings of her work in and around New England.

KIRBY WARD (Singer, Co-Artistic Producer) is an actor, writer, director and choreographer. Ventura audiences have enjoyed his work behind the scenes as director and choreographer for She Loves Me, Return to the Forbidden Planet and Big River at Rubicon Theatre. Broadway audiences know his work in Hal Prince’s Show Boat, Woman of the Year and Never Gonna Dance. He received an Olivier Award nomination for his portrayal of Bobby Child in London’s West End premier of Crazy For You. He’s appeared onstage with Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller in Sugar Babies, traded tap steps with Harold Nicholaus in My One and Only and toured the world with Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. His film work includes Bette Midler’s For The Boys and Blake Edwards’ S.O.B.

THE BAND

CHRISTOPHER LLOYD BRATTEN (Music Director, Piano) is a graduate of the Musicians Institute in Hollywood and currently pursuing a masters from Berklee. He also has an AA degree in ASL Interpreting. He’s the co-creator and former music supervisor of For The Record, a nationally acclaimed theatrical concert series based on films from famous directors. He’s had the pleasure of working with countless performers from stage, studio, and screen: Adam Pascal, Evan Rachel Wood, Leslie Odom Jr., Megan Hilty, Billy Porter, Rumer Willis, Neil Patrick Harris, Courtney Act, Adam Lambert, Eden Espinosa, Shoshana Bean, and more. Currently, he heads the musical theatre department at Hussian College Los Angeles.

OMAR D. BRANCATO (Bass) is a Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator, Session Player, Music Director and Chicago Cubs fan. His work has been heard and seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional Theaters, Film, TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Theme Parks, Corporate Events and his parents’ living room. He’s been nominated for some awards and has even won a couple of ‘em. Thanks to GHS, Risson Amps and JH Audio. Now let’s sing some songs! @omardbrancato

JESSE BRICKEL (Drums) is a multi-instrumentalist from Brooklyn, NY. An alumnus of NYU Steinhardt, Brickel is an active performer and recording artist and has toured internationally as a live keyboardist and drummer. He has performed in countless musical theatre productions, including as a percussionist on Broadway (Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark) and more recently in LA, drumming for the premiere of Menstruation: A Period Piece with the Big Little Theater Company and the first LA iteration of the 24 Hour Play Festival. After releasing two solo pop albums under the moniker Young Yeller, Brickel released the “Cosmic Sands” EP as Blood Moon in 2014 with Imaginary Friends Records. He self-released his debut LP ‘Future Nostalgia’ in 2016 followed up by “Sucker” in March 2018. He’s currently in the process of mixing his long-awaited follow-up album in 2024.

BEHIND THE SCENES

JULIET JOHNSON (Stage Manager) is a recent valedictorian graduate of Pepperdine University with a BA in Theatre Arts (Acting). This will be their first show post graduation! Juliet has previously been a stage manager for Pepperdine University’s Dance in Flight and the Rubicon Theatre’s summer educational production of Once On This Island Jr. Her acting credits include Leontes in The Winter’s Tale and Ellen in the premiere show of Americana: A Murder Ballad at Pepperdine University. Their previous directing/ choreography credits include The Clean House (Director), Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Assistant Director/ Movement Coordinator), and Dance in Flight (Choreographer) at Pepperdine University.

JULIET JOHNSON (Stage Manager) is a recent valedictorian graduate of Pepperdine University with a BA in Theatre Arts (Acting). This will be their first show post graduation! Juliet has previously been a stage manager for Pepperdine University’s Dance in Flight and the Rubicon Theatre’s summer educational production of Once On This Island Jr. Her acting credits include Leontes in The Winter’s Tale and Ellen in the premiere show of Americana: A Murder Ballad at Pepperdine University. Their previous directing/ choreography credits include The Clean House (Director), Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Assistant Director/ Movement Coordinator), and Dance in Flight (Choreographer) at Pepperdine University.


COMING IN APRIL


Special Thanks

To our silent auction donors: California Beer Festival and Vincenzo Giammanco, Chris Brashears, Betsy Chess, Steve and Caroline Doll, Crowne Plaza and Danny Quintana, Neal and Sandy Lassila, Greg Wray, and Barry Pearl, Michael Tucci and Kelly Ward for their help with the Grease poster.

Betsy Chess for her help and support.

Greg Wray (again) for help with printing.

The NACT Advisory Board: Anne Paul King, Sandy and Neal Lassila, and Judy Russo.

The Field NYC

Thanks to Our Supporters

* Member of the NACT Board of Advisors

If you have contributed to NACT and don’t see your name listed above, please, let us know!