By Gina Yarbrough
Carlsbad, CA–New Village Arts’ world premiere of “Desert Rock Garden” and Final Draft New Play Festival has been moved from its original location at the Oceanside Theatre Company to its home theatre in Carlsbad due to the COVID-19 pandemic, theater officials said.
The new dates are February 11 to 18, with opening night on February 19 and closing on March 13. The Final Draft New Play Festival will take place from April 1 to 3.
“In addition to all of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Village Arts is also working around the plans for our building renovation,” says Executive Artistic Director Kristianne Kurner. “Construction was slated to begin in January but was postponed until April, so we decided to present the World Premiere of Desert Rock Garden and the Final Draft New Play Festival in our home theatre.“
“Desert Rock Garden,” written by Roy Sekigahama, is a fictionalized historical story about a young orphan and a Japanese immigrant who forge a friendship in the Topaz War Relocation Center in 1943, revealing the inherent human ability to transform nothing — loneliness and barren desert — into something long-lasting and precious.
“I wrote Desert Rock Garden as part of the 2019 New Village Arts’ Final Draft New Play Festival, and I am grateful to NVA for helping launch the world premiere of the full play this year,” said Sekigahama. “The story is a memory play about belonging, family, and creating something beautiful out of nothing, and I hope it brings attention to the history of Japanese incarceration camps in the United States.”
Opening night will feature a commemoration to mark the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 resulting in the forced removal of 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry to incarceration camps across America.
New Village Arts received its first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of this thrilling new work, which is also supported by the California Civil Liberties Program and the City of Carlsbad Cultural Arts Office.
Previews of Desert Rock Garden run from February 11 to 18. Opening night begins February 19 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run from February 20 to March 13.
New Village Arts is located at 2787 State Street in Carlsbad. For more information, call (760) 433-3245.