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2277 Napa Vallejo Highway
We mobilize resources, inspire giving, build knowledge and provide leadership on vital community issues to improve the quality of life for all in Napa County. We are a public charity; a grantmaking foundation; a philanthropic advisor; and a staging ground for ... more.
The Harbor Arts Center at the Harbor Theatre is celebrating its new space for live theatre, stand up comedy, live music, events and classes, said Tia Madison, vice president of the Board of Directors for the Creative Arts Collective.
The Creative Arts Collective signed a five-year lease with Suisun City in September to open the center inside the Harbor Theatre, and renovations began at the 720 Main St. location. There have already been shows at the theatre since then, but this weekend, the Creative Arts Collective is showcasing performers of many talents. Were at that spot in our progression where we can open it up, Madison said. David Rogers, president of the Creative Arts Collective board, has a deep connection with the Harbor Theatre, as he was part of the Solano Community College actor training program there, Madison said. Rogers, Madison and their fellow board members are interested in developing a community theatre in Suisun City. They all have a passion for the arts, Madison said. For her own part, Madisons background is in theatre, film and television performance, as a performer and a director. She also is a professor at Napa Valley College. Singer Barbara McFadden, Vivian McLaughlin of Out of the Box fame, and local youth interested in the arts will perform as well, Madison said. Its just going to be a fun event, Madison said.
"A lot of the pieces are heavy, but it's not a dark piece," said Tia Madison, who is directing the show at Harbor Arts Center.
Ultimately, the women learn they can forgive themselves and find the light at the end of the tunnel, she said. That light surfaced Tuesday as cast members gathered for rehearsal. The women chuckled together before Madison called them to the stage. Ortiz's first show, "Cinderella," was directed by Madison, working with Solano Youth Theatre. She'll close out with Madison at the helm. Bringing the play to the stage during African-American History Month is a bonus, Madison said. The show is really about the human condition and can apply to all women, she said. "Even though life presents us with challenges, there are opportunities to move beyond it," Madison said. "Sometimes people get stuck and don't see the way out." Madison, a professor of speech communication at Napa Valley College, shared how a student told her earlier this week she was considering dropping out of school because of the many challenges she was facing. "Her life is the play," Madison said she thought to herself. Being able to express her feelings was a good start for the student, Madison said. Not releasing "the air" only adds to the grief, she said.
"We have built a whole program; classes, community outreach and a full seasons of shows," said Tia Madison, collective member and professor at Napa Valley College.
The collective is still working out the specific details of what will be offered when. Madison said that more information of the Harbor Arts Center at Harbor Theatre's schedule will be released soon. The Suisun City Council approved a five-year lease agreement with the collective last week, giving the group of more than 200 professional artists and educators a home. They have previously presented performances, classes and events at venues all over the county that have ranged from libraries and community centers to dance studios and theaters. "This is huge," Madison said of what the theater means for the collective. "Come to the theater," Madison said. "We will have the (cleaning) supplies." There are also plans to host a community day with events, acting workshops and fundraising to formally introduce the organization to the town and reach out to other performing arts groups that might want to use the theater. Madison said the collective already has gotten inquiries from other groups. "This is a community venue," Madison said of the theater.
Tia Madison, a playwright, actress, director and instructor at Napa Valley College, portrays prominent 20th-century educator Mary McLeod Bethune, just one of several historical black women depicted in her one-woman show, "Brand New Shoes."
Madison will reprise her tour de force at 2 p.m. Friday in the John F. Kennedy Library, 505 Santa Clara St., Vallejo.
History meets contemporary culture when Sonoma Community Center hosts the production of Brand New Shoes, an original, one-woman show by playwright and actress Tia Madison, October 5 - 14.
In her search for identity as an African American woman and performance artist, Madison immerses herself in poetry, song, dance and history of several famous African American women, tries on "their shoes," and ultimately realizes she can only wear her own. Madison is a professor of speech communications at Napa Valley College and has a background in theater, film and television.