Theater Turns to Uplifting ‘Hope Songs’
The Westmont Festival Theatre offers uplifting songs of joy and love in “You Will Be Found: Hope Songs” Nov. 19-20 at 7:30 p.m. in Porter Theatre. “We all could use a little hope right now,” says Mitchell Thomas, director of the event. Tickets to the all-ages fundraiser, which cost $15 for general admission, $10 for students, may be purchased at westmont.edu/boxoffice. All proceeds will equally fund the annual spring Fringe Festival and CALM, a Santa Barbara County non-profit that prevents and treats childhood trauma.
“Our 2021-2022 season is eclectic, embracing a broad range of styles, genres, periods and forms,” Thomas says. “But we’ve leaned into plays and productions that embrace resilience, joy and transformation in choosing ‘Kitty Hawk or Kill Devil’ as our mainstage play and ‘You Will Be Found: Hope Songs’ as a fall musical revue. The material comes from musical theatre, praise music, original songs, covers of rock and folk hits and classic music from the 1930s and ’40s.”
The event features 11 student performers and a special musical guest who will perform an original song. “‘You Will Be Found: Hope Songs’ was designed to be collaborative with performers bringing in ideas and pieces they were interested in, and we chose the program together,” Thomas says.
Masked audience members will be encouraged to sing along to the evening’s finale. “We are in a fragile space right now as a community and country,” Thomas says. “Audiences are longing to be together again and to be moved and uplifted by music, ritual and story. We want to meet audiences in a safe place where we recognize the challenges we’re all facing and intentionally make space and time for light, hope and love. We hope audiences will be encouraged, entertained and inspired by the performances.”
The theater will require evidence of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of show date. All patrons will be required to wear masks at all times when inside campus buildings. All performers will be unmasked for the performance and are taking part in approved, county-mandated vaccination and testing protocols for the performance.