CGT announces holiday production, “Christmas is Comin’ Uptown”

Common Ground Theatre, in collaboration with SDCCD Continuing Education Division, will present its holiday production of “Christmas Is Comin’ Uptown” – December 6-22, 2013, at 7pm. (Friday and Saturday) and 2pm. (Sunday matinees) at the Educational Cultural Complex Theater.  The theater is located at 4343 Ocean View Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92113


The entire family will enjoy this 1979 Broadway musical, “Christmas Is Comin’ Uptown,” which is loosely based on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Gregory Hines played Scrooge in the original Broadway cast. The Scrooge in this adaptation is an inner- city slumlord about to foreclose on an apartment house, a recreation center and a church. He gets the usual visits from his late partner Marley; and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future take him on their rounds. All of those Dickensian characters are dancing, jiving and swinging to a Harlem beat. Celebrate this 50th Anniversary holiday performance with Common Ground Theatre.

“I am very excited to be bringing one of my favorite musicals back to Common Ground Theatre and the ECC stage,” said Charles W. Patmon, Jr., Executive Artistic Director of Common Ground Theatre and the production’s director. “With this updated version of such a holiday classic, I am sure that the San Diego audience will make this a holiday tradition for years to come.”

Each production will be performed at the Educational Cultural Complex – Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are $25 General Admission; $20 for Students/Military/Seniors/Groups of 10; and $15.00 for children 12 and under and groups of 20 or more.  For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact the CGT Box Office at 619-272-3209, or go online to

Common Ground Theatre Presents “Forever Free”




In celebration of African American History Month
and 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

February 22, 2013, 7:00 P.M.
Educational Cultural Complex
4343 Ocean View Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92113

Free Admission; Donations Accepted

David Walker, Charles Hamilton Houston, Harriet Tubman, James Baldwin
El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, John Oliver Killens, A. Philip Randolph, Frederick Douglass,
Martin Luther King, Jr., Barbara Jordan, Jessie Jackson, Sr., , Booker T. Washington,
Ida B. Wells Barnett, Sojourner Truth, President Barack Obama, and others

Go to or
call (619) 272-3209; e-mail

Common Ground Theatre presents: Nativity: A Soulful Celebration

Common Ground Theatre invites you, your family, friends, and colleagues to attend “Nativity: A Soulful Celebration,” beginning December 1, 2012, and running from Friday through Sundays from December 1-16. Online tickets may be purchased at or call (619) 272-3209 to purchase tickets.  Call Dorothy Smith directly to get group tickets for 10 or more at (619) 917-9734.  Tickets for students, seniors, and military are also $15, and tickets for children under 12 are $10.  We look forward to greeting you, your family, and friends at this glorious Christmas celebration. Sunday matinees at the Educational Cultural Complex, 4343 Oceanview Blvd. 92113.

“Nativity: A Soulful Celebration” is a soul-stirring musical celebration adapted and directed by Charles Patmon, Jr., that uses narration, dance, spirituals, and gospel music to re-tell the story of Christmas. Louise Pearson, renowned music professor and choir director, is the musical director of “Nativity  Originally written by Langston Hughes, “Black Nativity”  was first performed on Broadway on December 11, 1961. Under Hughes’ pen, the piece is part re-enactment of the birth of Jesus, part church service, and part Christmas concert, composed entirely of gospel versions of traditional carols mixed with a few original tunes as well. Patmon’s new conceptualized version is a testament to the power of gospel music and the story of the Nativity told through the combination of scripture, poetry, dance, and songs that connect today to the time of mangers and swaddling cloths. Each joyous performance  brings the real meaning of faith and love to life for the entire family.

“It is exciting to produce such an historical play,” Director Charles W. Patmon, Jr. said.  “Because Common Ground Theatre is the oldest African American Theatre Arts Company in San Diego, it is befitting that we honor the legacy of Langston Hughes and his work with this production.  We are excited to continue in the tradition of the late director Dr. Floyd Gaffney with such a spectacular piece.”

CGT’s mission is to produce classics and new works by and about people of African descent that entertain, educate, and connect with audiences of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds. Its purpose is to produce high quality theatrical productions that offer a “common ground” where people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds can interact, connect and share their love of theatre. CGT envisions a culturally diverse, socially relevant, and politically aware theatre organization that nurtures the expertise of amateur and professional artists alike and improves community relations among diverse cultures and underrepresented groups.  Common Ground Theatre is supported by the San Diego Continuing Education Division, the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. and generous donations from individuals and organizations.

A portion of the proceeds from the production of “Black Nativity” will provide scholarships for students to attend Common Ground Theatre’s San Diego Theatre Artist Repertory School (STARS) program.  The STARS program is a new initiative created by Common Ground Theatre to build community through the arts by providing students of all ages and abilities with professional, affordable instruction in the performing, fine, and visual arts.  The next session will begin in January 2013.  For a schedule of classes and fees, please contact CGT Administrative Office at (619) 272-3209 or write to Common Ground Theatre, P. O. Box 152443, San Diego, CA 92195.

“Nativity” will perform at the Educational Cultural Complex, 4343 Ocean View Blvd., San Diego, CA 92113, from December 1-16. A Preview will be held on Friday, November 30, (Free Admission with a toy donation)  and regular performances will be Fridays and Saturdays, December 1, 7-8, and 14-15 at 8:00 p.m., and  Sundays at 2:00 p.m  on  December 2, 9, and 16,.  Ticket prices are $20 for General Admission; $15 for Students/Military/Seniors, and $10 for children under age 12. General Admission discount tickets at $15 each are also available for groups of 10 or more. For more information and individual and group reservations, please contact Common Ground Theatre at (619) 272-2309.

Click here to purchase tickets:


This Weekend: Get your music on

In between the hustle and bustle of family gatherings, holiday parties, and gift giving, make some room if you can for a few of the great arts, culture, and community happenings taking place in and around southeastern San Diego this weekend. This week’s recommendations are for a musical produced by a local theater company and a youth concert.

And don’t forget — the farmers’ market just off of Euclid and Guymon takes place every Friday! More information can be found at the People’s Produce Project‘s website.

  • Friday afternoons
    606 Euclid Ave, San Diego, CA 92113 (G0ogle Maps)
    3 – 6pm; free parking

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Common Ground Theatre - Black Nativity 2010-12

Love music, dance, and uplifting stories of faith? Common Ground Theatre‘s got you covered in its production of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” Black Nativity: The Musical, which runs through December 19. It’s a retelling of the birth of Jesus that mixes dance and music styles, from ballet to krunk and spoken word to gospel. Each performance highlights guest ministers from area churches and includes a pre-show performance by local gospel artists.

Call the theater for ticket prices and more info at 619-263-7911, or send an email to

  • Friday, December 3 – Sunday, December 19
    Educational Cultural Complex
    4343 Ocean View Blvd, San Diego, CA 92113 (Google Maps)
    7:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays / Sundays at 3pm

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Gompers Glee Holiday Concert 2010-12If you aren’t a Gompers Gleek* already, you will be after Monday night. The Glee Class at Gompers Preparatory Academy will be belting out holiday cheer that evening at their concert, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Come out and support the talent of these awesome students and share a little musical joy with your neighbors and friends.

  • Monday, December 13
    The auditorium at Gompers Preparatory Academy
    1005 47th Street, San Diego, CA 92102 (Google Maps)
    Donations accepted

*gleek: glee + geek

This Weekend

We’ve got some arts, culture, and community activities to recommend for this last weekend of October. Read on to learn more about a theater production by Mo’olelo, Halloween fun with the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA, and a benefit for southeastern San Diego’s own Common Ground Theatre.

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Mo'olelo - Yellow Face 2010-10

It’s the closing weekend of Mo‘olelo Performing Arts Company‘s production of Yellow Face, written by Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang.

A Pulitzer-prize finalist, Yellow Face takes a comedic and contemplative look at race through three main characters: a renowned Asian American playwright, the white actor who is mistakenly cast to play the Asian lead in his play, and the playwright’s father. The title refers to the practice of casting of Caucasian actors as Asian characters, whose looks were often altered through makeup to appear more Asian.

Performances take place in downtown San Diego at the Tenth Avenue Theatre and tickets can be purchased online at Mo‘olelo’s website. Through the company’s greening initiative, if you bring proof of carpooling, driving a hybrid, bicycling, or taking public transit to the show, Mo‘olelo will email you a $5-off coupon for your next Mo‘olelo production. How cool is that?

For more information, visit Mo‘olelo online or call (619) 342-7395.

• Through Sunday, October 31
Tenth Avenue Theatre
930 10th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google
Friday 7:30pm (SOLD OUT) / Saturday 7:30pm / Sunday 2pm
Tickets: $27. Discounts available to students with valid ID, seniors 65+, and members of Equity or Actor’s Alliance with valid ID

JRF YMCA Halloween Event 2010-10-31 eng

The Jackie Robinson Family YMCA is hosting its 12th annual Halloween Carnival this Sunday. This free event offers kids a safe and fun place to trick or treat, play games, enter a costume contest, and enjoy the Y’s transformation into a haunted house.

Community booths are available in the Trick or Treat Arena for organizations interested in sharing information about their programs and passing out candy/treats for the kids. More info can be found on the registration form.

Call (619) 264-0144 for more information on this event. Event flyers (English/Spanish) can be downloaded here. You can also learn more about the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA on Facebook.

Sunday, October 31 from 5:00 – 8:00pm
Jackie Robinson Family YMCA
151 YMCA Way, San Diego, CA 92102 (Google Maps)
Free admission

Common Ground Theatre Benefit 2010-11-01

So, technically, this event takes place on a Monday night, but what better time to plan for it than now? Award-winning jazz guitarist, José Molina Serrano, will be accompanied by a group of talented friends at Humphrey’s Backstage Live to benefit Common Ground Theatre.

Originally established as the Southeastern Community Theatre, Common Ground has been producing both classics and new theater works by and about people of color for over four decades. This southeastern San Diego nonprofit also organizes a Youth Academy to provide mentoring and practical theater experience for youth from ages 7 – 17.

This is a 21+ show. Tickets are $50; not only are they tax-deductible, but you can bring a friend for free. These can be purchased online at Ticketmaster or at the Humphrey’s Backstage Live box office; call (619) 224-3577 for box office hours. For more information about the benefit, call Common Ground Theatre at (619) 263-7911.

• Monday, November 1 at 7pm
Humphrey’s Backstage Live
2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106 (Google Maps)

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Have a great weekend!