Posted by: mhubler on Aug 20, 2012
For a wheelchair-bound senior at the Veterans Home in Yountville, it can seem like an impossible distance to travel from Napa to New York City to see the bright lights of Broadway. But here it was -- songs from the magical production of "Broadway Under the Stars" in their own Holderman Hall.
Many seniors who live in institutional settings have very limited mobility and find it difficult to get around. One of the great benefits that Bread & Roses brings to its isolated audiences is a live cultural experience that would be challenging for them to enjoy any other way.
The Transcendence Theatre Company’s recent production of “Broadway Under the Stars” in Glen Ellen is a great example. Last December, Bread & Roses brought its director (and one of its principal stars) to perform for close to a hundred disabled elderly veterans almost all in wheelchairs. Imagine their pleasure at seeing Stephan Stubbins, who until recently has performed most often on the stages of musical theatres in New York and Los Angeles.
Stephan’s trained voice and youthful energy transported all to Broadway in Times Square with songs performed from musicals like “Mary Poppins” and the “Man From La Mancha.” Some songs he accompanied himself on the VA’s baby grand piano. Others he sang while dancing to professionally recorded orchestra tracks. He also played some beautiful original songs on his acoustic guitar including a tribute to his grandmother.
Former Bread & Roses Board member David Stollmeyer met Stephan in Sonoma last fall. Impressed by the talent of this young actor/singer who was starting a musical theatre company, he thought that Stephan would also be an incredible addition to Bread & Roses roster of volunteer performers.
“Dare to Live the Dream” is the motto of the Transcendence Theatre Company that has now launched its first season with a series of concerts at Jack London State Park. In response to the California state budget crisis, their efforts are part of an innovative collaboration to help raise funds to keep the park open. We greatly appreciate that Stephan shared a preview of his summer concert series with a Bread & Roses audience.
We would love to know if you have had a cultural experience that has transported you to another place. Please share your comments below.
Don't miss the chance to support this talented ensemble of performers. Their "Wonderful World" concert runs through August 26 in Sonoma.
By Marian Hubler