January 24, 2023

New Village Arts in Carlsbad has two reasons to celebrate – the theater will launch the newly renovated and renamed Conrad Prebys Theater with the first American production of a recent Tony winner since its run on Broadway.

The Prebys Theatre, part of the Dea Hurston New Village Arts Center in Carlsbad, will host the 2019 Best Play winner, The passer, which opens Friday in preview.

The show officially bows on February 4 and runs through March 5.

“From the moment I finished reading (playwright) Jez Butterworth”The passer“I knew it would be the highlight of my 20+ year career to be able to direct the show,” said Kristianne Kurner, Founder and Executive Artistic Director of New Village Arts.

The local cast includes Tom Daugherty, Joy Yvonne Jones, Kym Pappas, Antonio TJ Johnson, Max Macke and Lena Palke.

The passer tackles the effects of violence in the North Island 40 years ago through the lens of one family, the Carneys – and an unexpected visitor. Butterworth’s work has also won the Laurence Olivier Award in London for Best Play and on Broadway, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Best Play.

Tickets for the production are $50 (previews are $30), with performances taking place Wednesday through Sunday.

Actors and audiences alike will enjoy a modernized Carlsbad Village facility for New Village Arts, which sought a design that could serve as both a cultural gathering space and an arts hub.

It is named after San Diego arts philanthropist and playwright Dea Hurston, the first black woman to have her name atop an American arts center in more than 50 years and the only one on the West Coast.

Opening events at the Hurston Center and Prebys Theater include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Friday and a community celebration and open house on Saturday.


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