Center Stage Theater is partnering with UCSB’s Initiative for New & Reimagined Work to bring Cyrus Robert’s new play “Seaward” to life, 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, March 17, 18, and 19; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 20 at Center Stage Theater in Paseo Nuevo.

Center Stage has always been committed to helping develop young artists and mentor emerging theater-makers.

“Performance is all about telling stories and sharing your vision with the community,” said Teri Ball, executive director. “We want to make sure that we bring as many diverse voices as possible to our stage.

“This means lifting playwrights, directors, actors, designers, technicians, and producers from all different backgrounds and allowing them to explore their artistic dreams. This production of ‘Seaward’ is part of that commitment.”

Under the guidance and encouragement of Vickie Scott, founding director of UCSB’s Initiative for New & Reimagined Work, “Seaward” is completely written, directed, acted and designed by students studying their craft in UCSB’s Theater/Dance Department.

Seaward is an absurdist, dark comedy, exploring the issue of identity within the setting of a 1930s asylum for the mentally ill. Long-time F-Ward residents Carrie and Arthur endure various therapies inflicted by their less-than-empathetic wardens, Cassandra and Adam.

When new patient Rick arrives, the strange mix of realities he faces rattle his confidence in his own. The play explores two questions. What is real and what makes it that way?

The production features Taylor Garcia, Matte Kranz, Gabriel O’Brien, Aivarey Sala, and Grace Wilken who is also the show’s costume designer. Also on the production team are Sophie Lynd and Alyssa Longwell, co-lighting designers; Maggie Welch, scenic designer; Cyrus Roberts designing sound; and Abby Stoiber, stage manager.

Playwright/director Roberts is a poet, writer and actor from Los Angeles, who is currently a senior BFA acting student at UCSB. As a former touring spoken-word poet, he has had work commissioned by Toms Shoes, Adidas, March For Our Lives, the Golden Globes, and the U.N. Peace Council.

His recent acting credits include Cyrus in the nationally distributed film “Summertime;” J in the film “The Siren,” which he co-wrote, co-directed and co-produced; Hookman/Sean/Adam in “Hookman;” Langston Hughes in “We Live On;” and Brutus in “Julius Caesar.”

Roberts is also the self-published author of his poetry books “carpe forma” (2018) and his upcoming book “& the Sun breathes & the Trees die.” “Seaward” is the second of his plays to be produced.

Center Stage Theater provides a professional, affordable, and accessible arts venue for the Santa Barbara community. It encourages work that celebrates new artists and the cultural diversity of our community.

Initiative for New and Reimagined Work, supported by UCSB, encourages and supports new and reimagined works while nurturing the next generation of choreographers, playwrights, directors, designers, administrators and performers.