APTOS—Local professional musical theater company Cabrillo Stage has appointed Andrea L. Hart as its new artistic director.
Cabrillo Stage is a nonprofit musical theater company that presents full scale Broadway musicals every summer at Cabrillo College in Aptos. The company aims to produce a diversity of shows in order to educate and entertain.
Hart was hired following the retirement of Jon Nordgren, who served as Cabrillo Stage’s artistic director for 17 years, in September. Hart is the fourth artistic director and first woman to lead Cabrillo Stage in its 40-year history.
Hart moved to Santa Cruz in July after finishing a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in Directing at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Studying how to make live theater during a pandemic was not what I set out in graduate school to do,” Hart said. “However, I feel incredibly fortunate to have been in school during that time. It served as a crucible to not only my artistic practice, but my thinking on how to keep live performance relevant to our communities as we move forward.”
Before graduate school, Hart lived in the Berkeley area for 20 years, where she was a co-founder and member of several small theater companies, including 6NewPlays, which focused on producing new plays by Bay Area playwrights. She also taught visual and performing arts and directed musicals and plays in schools all over the Bay Area.
In addition to directing, Hart is also an accomplished playwright and theater maker, having had her work developed at the Great Plains Theatre Conference (GPTC), New Ohio Theatre, Hyde Park Theatre, the University of Texas New Theatre Festival of New Work, and more. While working as Director of Education and Public Programs at the Oceanside Museum of Art, she began the first dance residency with dancer Alyssa Junious.
Having self-produced multiple shows and worked for many years producing a Fringe Festival at the GPTC, Hart has in-depth knowledge on the nuts and bolts processes needed to make live theater happen.
“Our national search for a new artistic director landed us a bright, young, articulate star in the theater firmament,” said Cabrillo College’s Dean of Visual, Applied, and Performing Arts John Graulty. “Andrea has the passion and talent to work collaboratively with the Cabrillo Stage team to take the company to even greater levels of success and service to our musical theater-loving community. We are thrilled to welcome her aboard.”
Hart says she hopes to continue growing and developing Cabrillo Stage’s community connections and importance.
“Theatre, by its very nature, is a local endeavor,” she said. “It exists in a particular place and time and it speaks to those who see it in that moment. I want Cabrillo Stage to represent the Monterey Bay community in all of its fullness and to be a place our audiences call home.”