"Put your hands up and go along for the ride. There is something really beautiful to be experienced and had"

Actress Kalyn West shares her journey being part of the cast of The Gardens of Anuncia, the Old Globe's upcoming production

Kalyn West in The Gardens of Anuncia. Photo by Jim Cox.
In the middle of 2019, going through life pandemic-free, Kalyn West was finishing up her participation in The Prom on Broadway. She received the script for a new piece that was going to be developed in San Diego. After reading it, something clicked. It spoked to her. "I was very moved. So profoundly moved, I had to go to another room because I started crying. It was that moving". 

The Gardens of Anuncia is a Globe-commissioned world premiere musical inspired by Argentinian dancer and choreographer Graciela Daniele 'Grazie', who has been working on Broadway since 1964, and will be honored this year at the Tony Awards for lifetime achievement in theater.

Once the engines had started, so did the pandemic. And as with many projects, everything held until further notice. "I was really upset and worried that this was not going to come back..."

Kalyn will be portraying the role of younger Anuncia. With the opportunity to have Grazie in the room and compare notes."She is such a playful, bright, effervescent kind of spirit" It was very special".

Graciela Daniele is also responsible for the direction and choreography of Anuncia. West describes it as a story about single women, powerful women, and women who had to overcome odds and find their own strength within themselves. "I resonate with that very powerfully. I saw a lot of my family in this story. I can relate even though I have my own history. It felt like it was mine in a way".

Rehearsals and a fast block

The Salt Lake City native is enjoying the beautiful setting in Balboa park surrounded by the San Diego sunshine. 

"The Globe and all of its family has made us feel welcomed and held. Acknowledging this time where we are coming from. There is a deep awareness moving into a different territory with a different environment mixed with new intentions".

(from left) Carmen Roman appears as Older Anuncia, Mary Testa as Granmama, Eden Espinosa as Mamí, Kalyn West as Younger Anuncia, and Andréa Burns as Tía in The Gardens of Anuncia. Photo by Jim Cox.

With the new normalities, West confirms that the piece was blocked at a good and fast pace being that everybody is in a collaborative state that is also playful and experimental. An incredible group of people true with their intention and vulnerability. "I feel very safe with this group that we have. Everybody is a 'yes and' kind of person. Safety is a huge gamechanger". 

Tackling a role based on an actual living person

Having a person direct and choreograph a show based on their life might feel a little intimidating, to say the least. Daniele took the pressure off Kalyn and fellow actress Carmen Roman who plays older Anuncia.

"We are not trying to imitate her. We are not literally doing imitations of Grazie and putting her on the stage. She has given us freedom to discover who this version of her within this world is. That is very freeing in a big way because it allows me to bring a lot of myself to the table"

Graciela Daniele. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.

"It's been fascinating and such a gift. We are building this homage to her life and to these incredible women who shaped her. Talking to her, looking into her eyes, and holding her hands. You are getting a direct window into her world and that is a unique experience. I have the blessing of having the woman in the room! she does not give me direction, she gave me a memory! it is such a tremendous gift".

What can audiences expect? 

Whether familiar or not with Graciela Daniele and her journey through Broadway, Kayla assures that you do not see many shows like this.

Michael John LaChiusa. Photo by Warren Abbott.
"I am very proud of what we have put up. It is a heart piece, it is a soul piece, it is going to pull strings that you didn't know were there and I do not know how Michael John does it. His orchestrations get down to the deepest levels of your heart and your soul tapestry and he just knows where the strings are and how to get to them with the tiniest amount of effort.

This is about the women, the history, the relationship, about lessons, guidance, and forgiveness. 

It is very magical. "

What is next?

After this, Kayla will bring her own spin to a new role coming her way. Something exciting that has to be a secret for now. In the meantime, Kalyn is aware, ready to shine in and with San Diego and also shares some thoughts on the current climate.

"I just hope that everybody is taking the time and the space that they need and hope that everyone is breathing. It is ok to reevaluate your boundaries with things. Making ourselves a priority in these upcoming months and years as we heal and move forward is going to be really crucial. I am wishing a lot of self-care and grace to everybody that comes and does not come to the show."

The Guardians of Anuncia is currently playing at The Old Globe Theatre until October 17. With book, music, and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa. For more information go to www.theoldglobe.org 

Get a glimpse of rehearsal here:


La visita a las exposiciones se deberá realizar con apego a los protocolos de salud vigentes en cada municipio y con uso correcto de cubrebocas en todo momento. La Admisión es libre, con control de grupos reducidos para mantener la sana distancia.  

Foto cortesìa Secretaría de Cultura de BC
La Secretaría de Cultura de Baja California mantiene abierta al público una serie de exposiciones colectivas e individuales en los diversos Centros Estatales de las Artes, con posibilidad de apreciarlas sin costo de 10:00 a 17:00 horas de lunes a viernes. 

En el Vestíbulo del CEART Mexicali se puede apreciar la exposición Fragmentos con obra de los Trillizos Torres Pacheco; una serie de siete pinturas resultado de las situaciones vividas durante el confinamiento por la pandemia actual. Y en la Galería Internacional se muestra la colectiva “Mujeres artistas en el patrimonio de Baja California”. 

En el municipio de Tecate el Centro Estatal de las Artes muestra “Una y lo otro. Conexión Tecate” con obra de Irma Sofía Poeter, en la Galería Internacional; mientras que “Discurso de mujer” de Gloria Estudillo Aldrete se exhibe en la Sala de Usos Múltiples. 

En la Galería Urbana puede apreciarse la colectiva “Pinta” con obras de Luis Cuevas, Blanca Huerta, Carlos Valdez, Eréndira Cisneros, Pedro Iribe, Vanessa Bello, Daniela Moller, Iván Chacón, Slush Tovar, Sergio Toledo; y en la Galería de la Ciudad, también en Tecate se puede apreciar la exposición “Y: acordando realidades” del sandieguino William Feeney y el tecatense Rosko. 

El CEART Tijuana mantiene abierta al público la V Bienal de Pintura José Atanasio Monroy en la Galería Internacional que incluye obra de los bajacalifornianos Iván Arévalo, Luis Verdejo, Jessica Sánchez y Pablo Castañeda entre las 63 piezas que la conforman y que permiten apreciar el estado actual de la creación pictórica en México. 
Foto cortesìa Secretaría de Cultura de BC

Para el público de Playas de Rosarito se exhibe en el CEART la retroperspectiva “De mi otro amor y los demonios” de Laura Castanedo, en la Galería Internacional; la Colección de Esculturas del Patrimonio Artístico de Baja California, en el Vestíbulo central.  

La visita a las exposiciones se deberá realizar con apego a los protocolos de salud vigentes en cada municipio y con uso correcto de cubrebocas en todo momento. La Admisión es libre, con control de grupos reducidos para mantener la sana distancia.  

First Comes Love? and then Comes Marriage?

Onstage Playhouse Brings a Deadly Twist to the Social Fairy Tale Stigma in The Drowning Girls
Currently Playing until September 26 at the Chula Vista Venue 

A Blog-View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Being at Onstage Playhouse for the first time and with plays coming back to in-person performances, was a nice treat.

Carla Navarro, Emily Candia and Sandra Ruiz. Photo by Darren Scott

As you come into the dark theatre, there are busts with feminine silhouettes covered in white tulle. There are also pictures of women throughout time. Early 1900s to current times, with a caption that reads "It was the happiest day of their lives". Next is the stage containing three bathtubs with working showerheads placed on different levels.

The image of a bathtub is one that -usually- evokes relaxation, calmness, and bubbles. Onstage Playhouse's bathtubs also evoke a very aesthetic creepiness. 

There is a huge gasp. Bessie (Carla Navarro), emerges from the bathtub followed by Alice (Emily Candia), and Margaret (Sandra Ruiz) wearing tight corsets and 19th-century underwear. They start telling the story while water from the showerheads pours. Wedding dresses and veils are pinned to the wall. They get dressed and we see three brides. 

This piece is based on the British serial killer and bigamist, George Joseph Smith who drowned his three wives in order to cash in on their financial benefits. The Chula Vista adaptation is by Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson, Daniela Vlaskalic.

A very creative way to expose not only the true facts of the murders but go beyond and challenge social stigmas like the value of a single woman versus the value of one that is married. "Not being alone", "Not dying alone", and the never-ending checklist within society and its imposed standards. Not to mention the famous "That was the happiest day of my life" phrase which is fine, to each their own but, why limit it to just one day being the happiest?

Sandra Ruiz,  Emily Candia andCarla Navarro. Photo by Darren Scott

Seeing Navarro, Candia and Ruiz perform in water and under running water putting clothes and stalkings on while WET with a full set of makeup, is a performance art bonus within the play.

The bathtubs are pandora boxes really, where props and props come out for each bride. James P. Darvas' direction of the hour-long tale is precise, explorative, and challenging. The murders happened between 1912 and 1914, how much have things changed since then for women, their independence, and choices?

The Drowning Girls is theatre for thought, and a perfect way to start off this season.

Tickets are $25 for adults. Senior/Student/Military $22.50. Groups of 10+ Discount  Call 619 422-7787

For more information and purchase click here.

Hair, The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical at The Old Globe. A pleasant surprise with a superb production and outstanding ensemble

 One-week extension due to popular demand. Performances running now until October 3rd 

A blog-view by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

I had the opportunity to work on the Broadway Touring Production in the San Diego engagement back in 2011 (wow, 10 years ago)... it was the revival and an amazing show to work on. I brought my dad who is a sixties kid, to one of the performances, and well, emotions flew everywhere so Hair is one of the meaningful ones on my list.

When I saw that The Globe was doing their own production I got very excited and curious. Then the pandemic hit and everything changed. The show instead of debuting in 2020, was set for the "pandemic come back" meaning, the first in-person theatre performance in almost 18 months. They had done a concert series in July and even though the concerts were moving and amazing, you could feel in the air a "maybe it is too soon" vibe.

Not with Hair. Audiences from all over came, gathered, and celebrated the comeback of this emblematic institution at the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. The outdoor space that houses Shakespeare each summer. The outdoor space that had not done "other plays" in over 20 years.

I was excited with all these elements at play. But also skeptical. Could The Globe pull it off? I mean, yes it is one of the important ones in the country, an incubator for Broadway and so on... but, I don't know, I had my doubts, go figure.

Tyler Hardwick as Claude in Hair, 2021. Photo by Jim Cox.
What a pleasant surprise. Not only is the production superb, the whole ensemble, one by one is outstanding. That is a difficult task to accomplish. It is like the boy bands, there are one or two singers and the rest are just backup. Not in this production. Everybody shines and that is just wonderful to see. Other aspects that were cool to see were the "local" or "Globe production" touches in the show like a BIPOC (non-White) Claude, played outstandingly by Tyler Hardwick, and a Spanish-speaking Woof (Angel Lozada). Not like Woof would just go off speaking Spanish but there were words and sentences here and there that were thrown. Personally, I felt it to be not as organic, but I appreciated the effort, I think the direction was geared towards the right path.

Andrew Polec's goofy and -in your face- interpretation of crew leader Berger is solid and on point. A really nice surprise is ensemble member Christopher M. Ramirez belting out powerful notes with a comedic twist.

Alfie Parker, Jr. and Delaney Love's dancing graces the scenes throughout the performance. What a joy it was to see their art. 

And of course Nyla Sostre as the powerful Dionne who starts us off and guides us throughout the show with those amazing vocals.

A night out at The Globe to see Hair and under the stars with this stellar cast, is the perfect evening.

You still have a whole month to catch it. Playing Tuesday Through Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Regular tickets prices start at $37.00. and can be purchased here

The cast of Hair, 2021. Photo by Jim Cox.

Se gradúa la primera generación de Cantantes y artistas escénicos de Baja California


El pasado 20 de agosto se llevó a cabo la Ceremonia de Graduación de la Primera Generación de egresados de la Licenciatura en Canto (2016-2021), la primera en la ciudad de Tijuana y el noroeste de México. Dicha ceremonia fue transmitida en vivo por Facebook @Ja’sit, Escuela de Formación Escénico Vocal, Instagram @jasit_licenciatura y YouTube @Ja’sit Escuela de Formación Escénico Vocal. 

Escuela de formación Escénico Vocal Ja'sit en la ciudad de Tijuana. Foto cortesía

El fruto de este trabajo colectivo de maestros, directivos de Ja‘sit, alumnos, madres y padres de familia,  es que hoy Tijuana cuenta con 8 jóvenes preparados egresados por una licenciatura en la que son cantantes y artistas profesionales que se suman al campo musical y artístico de México y Latinoamérica. 

Ja‘sit es una Asociación Civil que forma parte del Centro de Artes Musicales. El proyecto educativo es presidido por la Arquitecta María del Socorro Amaya de Curiel como Presidenta y cuenta con el apoyo de la Directora la Lic. Dulce María Romero López y de la Coordinadora Académica la mezzosoprano Eva María Monroy, egresada de la Escuela Superior de Música del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA),  que cuenta con una Maestría en Calidad de la Educación en la UDLAP. 

El proyecto ha prosperado gracias al esfuerzo de toda la comunidad educativa de Ja’sit y del fuerte compromiso por parte de empresarios baja californianos destacados quienes han brindado su apoyo al desarrollo de la cultura y las artes en nuestro Estado. 

Egresados de la Licenciatura en Canto 

Paulina Michelle Cejudo Rivas 
Sabrina Elizabeth Durazo Naranjo 
Luis Sergio Gutiérrez Alarcón 
Carlos Gutiérrez Valenzuela 
Yamel Anaid Kuri Guridi 
Nubia Andrea Montes García 
Israel Rodríguez Blanco 
Ivanna Gabriela Valadez Guzmán 

Como se creó Ja’sit? 

La Escuela de Formación Escénico Vocal Ja’sit inició su proyecto educativo en enero de 2015 con la implementación de una forma de trabajo orientada a proyectos artísticos, recibiendo clases de Canto, Lenguaje musical, Armonía, Piano complementario, Italiano, Francés, Alemán, Conjuntos corales, Historia de la ópera, Historia de la música mexicana, Historia del arte, Entrenamiento corporal para la escena, Expresión escénico-corporal, Actuación para cantantes, Informática musical y Gestión de proyectos artísticos. Las materias optativas son Taller de ópera, Taller de música sacra, Taller de música antigua y Taller de música mexicana  

En junio de 2016 la Licenciatura en Canto de Ja’sit recibió el Reconocimiento de Validez Oficial de Estudios del tipo Superior (RVOE),  por parte de la Secretaria de Educación Publica de Baja California (RVOE-BC-L006M2-16). 

Diversas actividades artísticas se han dado lugar en Ja’sit: Clases maestras, Cursos, Diplomados, recitales y conciertos en importantes escenarios como el Cecut, Teatro Xicoténcatl de Tlaxcala y la Catedral de Denver, Colorado entre otros. 

Clases maestras de Canto 

Francesco Vittorio Grigolo, Roma, Italia 
Guadalupe Paz, Ciudad de México 
Baltazar Zúñiga, Milán, Italia 
Teresa Rodríguez, Ciudad de México 
Tito Capobianco, Argentina 
Kamal Kan, Estados Unidos 

La Escuela de formación Escénico Vocal Ja´sit se localiza en el CAM Centro de Artes Musicales ubicado en Av. Perimetral s/n Manzana 26 3era Etapa del Río Tijuana. 

Las Inscripciones para ciclo escolar 2021 se encuentran abiertas ofreciendo cinco Diplomados y un Taller adicionales a la licenciatura que son:  

Diplomado en Dominio Vocal 

Diplomado en Canto Integral 

Diplomado en Canto y Entrenamiento Escénico 

Diplomado en Ejecución Escénica 

Diplomado en Pedagogía Musical 

Taller de Canto 

Mayores informes en su página de Facebook @Ja‘sit, Escuela de Formación Escénico Vocal y al correo coordinacionacademica@jasit.org

Escuela de formación Escénico Vocal Ja'sit en la ciudad de Tijuana. Foto cortesía