Category Archives: Theatre – News

AVPA Welcomes our new Creative Director of Theatre

AVPA Welcomes our new Creative Director of Theatre

The Culver City High School Academy of Visual and Performing Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Kirsten Opstad as our new Creative Director of Theatre. Kirsten is no stranger to AVPA, having served as our Technical Director in the past and having worked with our AVPA Film program and 9th grade English classes last year as a teaching artist. Kirsten will be joining the Culver City High School faculty teaching CTE (Career Technical Education) Theatre courses.

Originally from Claremont, CA, Kirsten is an interdisciplinary theatre artist that holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Design and Technology from Emerson College in Boston. Early in her design career, Kirsten worked at Available Light, a firm that designs lighting for architecture, museum exhibition, trade shows, and events – there, she helped design the lighting for acclaimed projects like the Ocean Hall exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, GA. Shortly after, Kirsten joined the production staff at The American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA where she served as the assistant lighting designer on a season of phenomenal Broadway-bound productions – highlights include being thanked for her work on Once at the 2012 Tony Awards and drafting the first version of Chris Akerlind’s lighting design for Porgy & Bess, which went on to win the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. As a designer in her own right, she has designed at the ART, Brown University/Trinity Rep, UC Riverside and Pomona College among countless, smaller companies.

Kirsten is also a veteran perform and writer. Between 2009-2013 she served as an actor, writer and improv instructor at Boston’s premier comedy theatre Improv Asylum, located in the city’s historic North End. While on the Mainstage cast, she performed 5-8 shows per week, nearly every weekend, for three years. While in Boston, she co-founded an improv program for 7-12th grade students at Artbarn Community Theatre in Brookline, where she discovered her passion for teaching. Kirsten is also a singer-songwriter and has written, recorded and produced over ten collections of work in as many years. She has toured as a musician and improviser throughout the United States.

Since returning to Los Angeles in 2013 to be closer to family, Kirsten helped open the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, co-founded arts education organization Arts Next Door, served at the Technical Director for AVPA for two years, served as the Lighting Coordinator at Campbell Hall School, as a Teaching Artist for Center Theatre Group, and as a Lecturer in Lighting Design at CSU Cal Poly Pomona. Kirsten has also been a part of the consulting team for the renovation of Frost Auditorium and beautification of the theatre swing space.

“While serving as Technical Director, I was consistently impressed by the professionalism and talent of the students in AVPA,” Kirsten said. “It is with immense pride and honor that I take on the role of Creative Director of Theatre for Blurred Vision Theatre Company.”

Welcome, Kirsten!

CULVERCITYLAND

CULVERCITYLAND

CULVERCITYLAND A Musical Revue of Hollywood Songs Made in Culver City AVPA’s Spring Musical celebrates the Culver City Centennial with a revue featuring many memorable hits made famous by film and TV produced right here in Culver City. The golden age of musicals from M-G-M’s heyday are the centerpieces in a revue that will tell… Continue Reading

2016 Fall DTASC Theatre Festival

On Saturday, October 22nd, Culver City High School’s AVPA Blurred Vision Theatre Company participated in the DTASC Fall Festival held at James Monroe High School in North Hills, California. DTASC stands for Drama Teachers Association of Southern California. DTASC is committed to supporting and rewarding theater education.   The DTASC festival features scenes directed and… Continue Reading

Almost, Maine

Almost, Maine

Welcome to Almost, Maine, a town that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States—it’s almost in Canada. And it almost doesn’t exist. Because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it’s just…Almost. One cold, clear Friday night in the middle of winter, while the northern lights hover in the sky above, Almost’s… Continue Reading

AVPA Theatre at CETA 2016

AVPA Theatre at CETA 2016

BVTC takes CETA again!! CETA stands for California Educational Theater Association. This yearly festival was on the last day of finals, January 15th and extended until Sunday, January 17. The Blurred Vision Theater Company, along with Ms. Novick and parent chaperones Christine Barocio and Eric Mercaldo, boarded the bus and we were off to Fullerton… Continue Reading

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

On January 29th twelve members of the Blurred Vision Theater Company went to the Kirk Douglas Theater to watch a marvelous one act, one-man show called The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. The play is about a murder investigation of a 14-year-old boy, Leonard Pelkey, who is brutally murdered for openly being himself and embracing… Continue Reading

AVPA Goes On the Town!

AVPA Goes On the Town!   On the Town is a musical with book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and music by Leonard Bernstein, based on Jerome Robbins‘ idea for his 1944 ballet Fancy Free, which he had set to Bernstein’s music. The musical introduced several popular and classic songs, among them… Continue Reading

The Mental State

AVPA’s Blurred Vision Theatre Company presents The Mental State, an exciting and deeply emotional family drama that addresses addiction, faith and mental illness in our society. The playwright, drama teacher Josh Adell, raises important and relevant questions about the way our culture handles mental illness. Andrew Cady, played by junior Ben Hilsberg, struggles with school,… Continue Reading

AVPA Theatre at 2015 DTASC Festival

Claire Skelley, President of Blurred Vision Theatre Company Last weekend, many members of AVPA’s Blurred Vision Theatre Company attended the Fall 2015 DTASC Festival (Drama Teachers Association of Southern California) in Downtown Los Angeles. The scenes and monologists we entered into this year’s festival were some of the best we’ve had. The Sweeney Todd musical… Continue Reading

AVPA Theatre at 2015 DTASC Festival

AVPA Theatre at 2015 DTASC Festival

Last weekend, many members of AVPA’s Blurred Vision Theatre Company attended the Fall 2015 DTASC Festival (Drama Teachers Association of Southern California) in Downtown Los Angeles. The scenes and monologists we entered into this year’s festival were some of the best we’ve had. The Sweeney Todd musical scene (directed by Paxton Amor, Claire Skelley and… Continue Reading