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High School Seniors Griffin Saxon, Zoe Serbin Stage ‘Shadows’ Musical

Center Stage Theater to host evening performances Aug. 17 and 18

Saxon-Serbin Productions presents Shadows: An Original Musical to debut at Center Stage Theater at 7 p.m. Aug. 17 and 18.

Co-written, co-directed and co-produced by local students Griffin Saxon and Zoe Serbin, Shadows is a musical based on Nintendo video game characters, and follows Luigi, Link, Daisy and Wario on their journey from Hoboken, N.J., to the Mushroom Kingdom. Along the way, they meet a cast of quirky characters who help them further advance in their quest and discover their true potential as heroes. The show includes a three-piece band, choreography by Santa Barbara High School sophomore Malcolm McCarthy, and a set completely designed and created by the cast.

This is Saxon and Serbin’s second show together. Their first production debuted in 2010 with the original production Star Wars: The Musical, a parody of the beloved film series. The Saxon-Serbin Productions duo has also been recognized for their work, having been featured at TEDx American Riviera, in the late Mike Degruy’s film The Spark Within, and they have been widely supported by the local community.

Founded with the goals of providing a free theater experience for their cast while supporting local nonprofit organizations, Saxon-Serbin Productions has formed a cast and crew of 22 devoted students, ranging from 10th-graders to college sophomores. The cast has joined together to support Transition House by donating all proceeds from their show, as well as private contributions through their own fundraising, to the organization.

An accomplished writer and artist, Serbin is a senior at Laguna Blanca School, where she has honed her artistic skills and continued her passion for acting in the school’s theater program and writing for the award-winning student newspaper, The Fourth Estate.

Serbin has always had a passion for serving the homeless, and has been involved with Congregation B’nai B’rith’s monthly service dinners, as well as Christmas meals with Transition House, since 2004. She also went to Washington, D.C., to attend Panim el Panim, a conference where she met and talked to the formerly and currently homeless about what it’s like first-hand. After returning to Santa Barbara, she wrote an article for The Fourth Estate about how society views and reacts to the homeless in the local community. The article, “Homelessness: A National Issue and a National Solution,” won a 2011 Gold Circle Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

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While at Laguna, Serbin has earned top honors in arts and literature, and was recognized last year with the Elena D’Agostina Art Award as well as the David Elkins Award for Outstanding Character. With Shadows, she is expanding upon her artistic and writing experiences to tackle her new role of theater direction and production.

Saxon, a senior at Santa Barbara High, has been raised in a household in which community service is an important part of life. Recently his entire family was awarded “Family of The Year” by the Family Service Agency for their work within the community. In 2009, he was featured in the local book Hometown Santa Barbara for his work with the homeless population at Project Healthy Neighbors. He has taken service trips to Bolivia to help with water sanitation, to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina work, and to Arizona to build houses on a Native American reservation. Saxon and Serbin’s first production, Star Wars: The Musical, raised $1,400 to support the New Orleans service trip.

Saxon and Serbin have been good friends since kindergarten. In fifth grade, they acted together in The Adderley School’s production of The Music Man, and have been inseparable ever since. The best friends have taken on multiple creative efforts together, from making short films to writing songs. During their off time, you’ll mostly see them by a TV playing video games, or running down State Street belting out ABBA songs.

Performances of Shadows: An Original Musical are at 7 p.m. Aug. 17 and 18 at Center Stage Theater at Paseo Nuevo in downtown Santa Barbara. The musical is recommended for ages 13 and up because of language and content. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. Click here to purchase tickets online, or call 805.963.0408.

Click here for more information about Shadows: An Original Musical.

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