The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage


Photo taken by Tomiris Gumar
The New Village Arts building in the Carlsbad Village is surrounded by palm trees and ocean breeze. New Village Arts is excited to entertain the Carlsbad community with Christmas plays.

The exciting month of December brings a lot of thrilling expectations as the holidays begin to appear. A heart of artistic Carlsbad is located in the Village, specifically in the Village theater located at 2787 State Street Carlsbad. 

New Village Arts is excited to spread holiday cheer this Christmas. 1222 OCEANFRONT: A BLACK FAMILY CHRISTMAS, is a world premiere musical that welcomes the audience to take in the joy of Christmas and witness the drama of a family gathering. 

The play tells the story of a family matriarch, Dorothy Black, and her family drama. Every Christmas, the Black family gathers in her house in Carlsbad, bought 30 years ago with her deceased husband.

The stage stands empty, ready for the upcoming show. During the performance, the stage lights up as the actors perform. (Photo taken by Tomiris Gumar)

Dorothy becomes a widow, who raises two sons, James Jr, and an adopted son, Havier, whose parents died of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

At this Christmas gathering, Dorothy wants to announce her relationship with her mailman also known as “Lil Nas X’s grandpa,” and a “black cowboy,” Victor, and let the family know that this Christmas will be their last gathering in their beloved house. 

The family is upset with Dorothy’s decision, especially James Jr, who finds it challenging to accept his mother’s new love life. 

The play was created by playwright and Co-Director, Dae Hurston, and a working group of four artists. 

The unexpected quarantine in 2020 led the staff to postpone the play. After the summer 2020 protests of the police killings of Black people, the play was edited and changed its direction.

Founder and executive artistic director, Kristine Kurner, shared that in the American theater canon, the vast majority of plays are told from the white perspective. New Village Arts is working towards broadening the horizons of typical theater plays by including the stories of those less highlighted in society.

Although the play is about a Black family, Hurston hopes everyone will see their family in the Blacks.

“As a Black performer, it’s important to be part of [a] theater that allows me to be myself. I don’t have to use that code-switching where I have to act white to be part of this,” Milena Sellers Phillips, who plays Dorothy, said. “I can stay me and be comfortable being me and I like that. That’s why I love being part of New Village Arts.”

New Village Arts welcomes its audience with Christmas decorations. In January, the building will go through a major renovation. During this time, plays will be hosted in the Oceanside theater. (Photo taken by Tomiris Gumar)

New Village Arts has a variety of talented actors who have the freedom to express themselves in their own unique way. The actors transfer all the emotions of their characters to the audience, allowing the viewers to feel like a part of the story. 

Currently, New Village Arts is trying to increase the diversity of its staff members. Inclusivity, diversity and equity, have become New Village Arts slogans. New Village Arts acknowledges the differences and uniqueness of their staff, making an effort to welcome those who have been historically oppressed and making changes in order to address differences in privilege. 

“We’re really trying to live inside of each character and make them as real as possible so it doesn’t look like a caricature of someone, but they’re real people with real issues and real love,” Frankie Alicea-Ford, who plays Havier, stated. 

The drama of the family is truly visible through the actors’ performances. The energetic songs and choreography make the audience feel the vibe and go along with the rhythm of the songs. Collaboration between choreographer Lesa Green and original music composers Philips and John-Mark McGaha create the dynamic and lively energy in the room. 

“I liked the singing, it reminded me of [the movie] Frozen,” sophomore, Petyr Dimmick, said. 

Traditional Christmas songs are mixed with the play’s original songs that reflect Black southern culture.

Savannah Britain worked on setting the stage house. The setup house is decorated with traditional African masks, a Christmas tree, and Kwanzaa decorations. The house truly reflects the warm connection of the family and their holiday celebration. 

The actors come on stage for the last time for an ovation. The end of the play shows how the family united once more, but this time the family celebrates the holiday with a new member of their family. (Photo taken by Tomiris Gumar)

“It’s super lively and very festive and super Christmassy,” Dimmick said. 

The holiday musical is saturated with the spirit of Christmas. Although the play is an easy Christmas comedy, each sees their own interpretation of the main message of the play. 

For Kurner, the message of the play is that you can find love at any age and family is everything. For Dimmick, it’s never get jealous and expect the unexpected. 

The last 1222 OCEANFRONT: A BLACK FAMILY CHRISTMAS play will be held on Dec. 26, so run to get the last tickets to experience the atmosphere of Christmas, giggle at the comedic moments, and find out how the family will solve their drama.  

The general ticket price is $52. New Village Arts offers discounts for military, senior citizens and students. Students get a $25 discount if they bring their student ID. 

In order to attend the shows, audience members have to go through a couple of safety procedures. All attendees are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the show. 

The theater building also has carbon dioxide monitors throughout. The staff is keeping track of air quality and air circulation. 

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  • M

    Milena (Sellers) PhillipsDec 22, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Thank you for your wonderful review. I love being a part of this play and I am so thrilled to know the love of this family shines through. The message is true love conquers all. Avoid the foolishness of selfishness.