• A Photo Essay on Carlsbad’s Weir by Janell Cannon

  • A weir /ˈwɪər/ is a barrier across a river designed to alter its flow characteristics. In most cases, weirs take the form of obstructions smaller than most conventional dams, pooling water behind them while also allowing it to flow steadily over their tops. Weirs are commonly used to alter the flow of rivers to prevent flooding, measure discharge, and help render rivers navigable. Weirs are also used in the study of returning salmonids.[1]
    Here is Carlsbad’s weir in calm times. The lagoon is separated from the sea by a sand berm.


    When the inland storms send rain down the mountains and valleys, the lagoon fills…
    …and then spills over the weir out to sea.
    It really gets roaring when sustained rains come.
    The lagoon waters become a river, cutting a wide deep gutter in the sand.
    Large freshwater fish (like this carp) are carried out to sea, perish in the brine and are washed ashore and are soon gobbled up by seagulls.


  • Thank you to our sponsor, Hennessey’s!

  • Eat at Hennessey’s in Carlsbad during the month of October and 20% of your check will be donated back to New Village Arts! Click the IMAGE TO PRINT! 

    CB New Village Arts#11FAAFD (1)

  • Welcome, Alex

  • KKAG PhotoThe Board of Directors of New Village Arts announces the appointment of Alex Goodman to the position of Managing Director. Goodman will share leadership of the company with Co-founder and Executive Artistic Director Kristianne Kurner.


    “We are thrilled to welcome Alex to the New Village Arts ensemble and know he will make a positive impact on the company for many years to come.  Alex’s experience working with companies of all sizes – from the La Jolla Playhouse to Chicago’s Strawdog – will help build continued stability and exciting growth at New Village Arts,” said Kurner.


    Goodman has spent the last three and a half years at La Jolla Playhouse, first as the Audience Development Manager and then Corporate Relations Manager.  In those roles, he worked extensively with UC San Diego, several of the top innovative companies in the high tech and bio tech sectors, and many military organizations throughout San Diego County. In Chicago, Goodman worked with several theatre companies including Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf, and the award-winning Strawdog Theatre where he served as Managing Director for two years.


    Goodman earned his BA in Theatre from Western Michigan University, and his MFA in Theatre Management from Wayne State University in his hometown of Detroit. Goodman currently serves on the steering committee of San Diego’s Rising Arts Leaders, The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture Cultural Tourism Committee, and is a graduate of the American Express Leadership Academy through the Center for Creative Leadership.


    “Since I began my career in the theatre, I have been waiting for an opportunity like this,” says Goodman. “I am thrilled to contribute to the continued success of New Village Arts and very excited to be working alongside the incomparable Kristianne Kurner, the talented staff and the board of directors to bring great, engaging theatre to Carlsbad. I look forward to digging deeper into the community I have called home for the past several years and connecting with the people who live, work and play in North County San Diego.”


    Welcome, Alex.

  • The Weir: Director Research

  • For every production at New Village Arts, our directors put together research of images, songs, books, stories, etc. that remind them of the piece. On our first read through of the production, the director presents this research to the cast and crew. Here’s what our director Kristianne Kurner put together for THE WEIR!



    Conor McPherson’s play The Weir (1997) achieved critical and popular success at three world-renowned theaters in the late 1990s: the Royal Court in London, the Gate in Dublin, and the Walter Kerr in New York. In London, it won the Lawrence Olivier BBC Award as the “Best New Play” of 1997–98, and McPherson received the Critics’ Circle Award as the most promising playwright. In New York, where The Weir ran for eight months on Broadway, the New YorkTimes described the play as “beautiful and devious” and hailed the playwright, only twenty-seven at the time, as “a first-rate story-teller.” The original production, directed by Ian Rickson, went on to further triumphs in Toronto and Belfast, and The Weir has been staged, almost always to fine reviews, by troupes in Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles. Of particular note were productions by the Steppenwolf Company in Chicago and the Round House Theatre in Washington.



    W. B. Yeats


    Where dips the rocky highland

    Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,

    There lies a leafy island

    Where flapping herons wake

    The drowsy water rats;

    There we’ve hid our faery vats,

    Full of berrys

    And of reddest stolen cherries.

    Come away, O human child!

    To the waters and the wild

    With a faery, hand in hand,

    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.


    Where the wave of moonlight glosses

    The dim gray sands with light,

    Far off by furthest Rosses

    We foot it all the night,

    Weaving olden dances

    Mingling hands and mingling glances

    Till the moon has taken flight;

    To and fro we leap

    And chase the frothy bubbles,

    While the world is full of troubles

    And anxious in its sleep.

    Come away, O human child!

    To the waters and the wild

    With a faery, hand in hand,

    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.


    Where the wandering water gushes

    From the hills above Glen-Car,

    In pools among the rushes

    That scarce could bathe a star,

    We seek for slumbering trout

    And whispering in their ears

    Give them unquiet dreams;

    Leaning softly out

    From ferns that drop their tears

    Over the young streams.

    Come away, O human child!

    To the waters and the wild

    With a faery, hand in hand,

    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.


    Away with us he’s going,

    The solemn-eyed:

    He’ll hear no more the lowing

    Of the calves on the warm hillside

    Or the kettle on the hob

    Sing peace into his breast,

    Or see the brown mice bob

    Round and round the oatmeal chest.

    For he comes, the human child,

    To the waters and the wild

    With a faery, hand in hand,

    For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.



    Mumford & Sons


    You saw my pain, washed out in the rain

    And broken glass, saw the blood run from my veins

    But you saw no fault, no cracks in my heart

    And you knelt beside, my hope torn apart

    But the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view

    And we’ll live a long life


    So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light

    Cause oh they gave me such a fright

    But I will hold as long as you like

    Just promise me we’ll be all right


    So lead me back

    Turn south from that place

    And close my eyes to my recent disgrace

    Cause you know my call

    And we’ll share my all

    And our children come and they will hear me roar


    So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light

    Cause oh they gave me such a fright

    But I will hold as long as you like

    Just promise me we’ll be all right


    But hold me still, bury my heart on the coals

    And hold me still, bury my heart next to yours


    So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light

    Cause oh they gave me such a fright

    But I will hold on with all of my might

    Just promise me we’ll be all right


    The ghosts that we knew made us black and all blue

    But we’ll live a long life

    And the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view

    And we’ll live a long life


    Niamh and Oisin – Irish Legend


    One morning the Fianna were deer hunting on the shores of Lough Lein in County Kerry. They saw a beautiful white horse coming towards them. Riding on the horse was the most beautiful woman they had ever seen. She wore a long dress as blue as the summer sky and studded with silver stars. Her long golden hair hung to her waist.

    “What’s your name and what land have you come from?” asked Fionn, leader of the Fianna. “I am Niamh of the Golden Hair. My father is king of Tir-Na-nOg,” she replied. “I have heard of a warrior named Oisin. I have heard of his courage and of his poetry. I have come to find him and take him back with me to Tir-Na-nOg.” “Tell me,” Oisin said, “what sort of land is Tir-Na-nOg?” “Tir-Na-nOg is the land of youth,” replied Niamh. “It is a happy place, with no pain or sorrow. Any wish you make comes true and no one grows old there. If you come with me you will find all this is true.”

    Oisin mounted the white horse and said goodbye to his father and friends. He promised he would return soon. The horse galloped off over the water, moving as swiftly as a shadow. The Fianna were sad to see their hero go, but Fionn reminded them of Oisin’s promise to return soon.

    The king and queen of Tir-Na-nOg welcomed Oisin and held a great feast in his honor. It was indeed a wonderful land, just as Niamh had said. He hunted and feasted and at night he told stories of Fionn and the Fianna and of their lives in Ireland. Oisin had never felt so happy as he did with Niamh and before long they were married.

    Time passed quickly and although he was very happy Oisin began to think of returning home for a visit. Niamh didn’t want him to go but at last she said, “Take my white horse. It will carry you safely to Ireland and back. Whatever happens you must not get off the horse and touch the soil of Ireland. If you do you will never return to me or to Tir-Na-nOg.” She did not tell him that although he thought he’d only been away a few years, he had really been there three hundred years.

    Ireland seemed a very strange place to Oisin when he arrived. There seemed to be no trace of his father or the rest of the Fianna. The people he saw seemed small and weak to him. As he passed through Gleann-na-Smol he saw some men trying to move a large stone. “I will help you,” said Oisin. The men were terrified of this giant on a white horse. Stooping from his saddle Oisin lifted the stone with one hand and hurled it. With that the saddle girth broke and Oisin was flung to the ground. Immediately the white horse disappeared and the men saw before them an old, old man. They took him to a holy man who lived nearby.

    “Where is my father and the Fianna?” Oisin asked. When he was told that they were long dead he was heartbroken. He spoke of the many deeds of Fionn and their adventures together. He spoke of his time in Tir-Na-nOg and his beautiful wife, Niamh, that he would not see again. Although he died soon after, the wonderful stories of Niamh and Oisin have lived on.

  • A note to our parents…

  • Hi, parents and other conscientious grown-ups!

    Before seeing New Village Arts’ production of The Nutcracker with young children, it’s a great idea to get a sense of content.

    Is it scary? Is it sad? How young is too young?

    Read on.

    As one of the playwrights of the show, I want everyone to see it and enjoy it. As a father and preschool teacher, I want you to do what’s right for your kids. And, of course, every child is different. While this is the West Coast Premiere of THE NUTCRACKER, it has been produced annually for the past seven years by the House Theatre in Chicago.

    With that production, we’ve had three and four year olds come with their families and have the time of their lives, laughing in delight at the silly toys and their shenanigans, shouting in defiance at the mean rats who are trying to ruin Christmas, and following right along with the deeper themes of the show without any trouble at all. Some of my four year old students who saw the show last Christmas played pretend as spooky rats well past Valentine’s Day. We’ve also had sensitive (and I don’t use that term disparagingly) six year olds who needed to leave the theater at the scarier moments. In many cases, they’ve still raved about the show and wanted to hug all of the actors at the end. Only a couple of parents have reported bad dreams and sleepless nights, but it has happened and it breaks my heart. And so I want to help you make the best choice for your family.

    Things to know:

    • The play begins with the implied (and offstage) death of Clara’s older brother, Fritz. He returns in the form of a magical nutcracker (a gift presented by Uncle Drosselmeyer) to help save Christmas from villainous, British-accented rats. The goofy adventure that unfolds is spurred by the grief of losing a loved one, and the rest of the family’s journey towards healing. Think about some of your favorite Disney films – Frozen, Bambi, Lion King – each has a similar loss at the beginning of the story that propels the characters to find hope and love.

    • Clara’s toys come to life and are hilarious and lovable – It is a holiday show, after all! They include a robot, a monkey, and a baby doll. The final scene before intermission takes the characters to the backyard where there is a ton of confetti snow.

    • The Rat King is the much alluded to scary villain of the play and is the “big bad” the heroes must defeat. He is portrayed by a giant puppet with red glowing eyes that surrounds the space, accompanied by dark lighting and a loud, scary voice-over (also British). He threatens and tries to eat our heroes. It is meant to be scary. We meet him once, near the end. It is the most intense sequence in the play, when all hope seems lost and our heroes are in the most danger. It is the climactic face-off the play’s action is building towards.

    • The heroes win!

    • The show is about two hours long with an intermission halfway through.

    Nothing I’ve mentioned so far is really much of a spoiler, and matter-of-factly taking the suspense out of the story is a good way to relieve some anticipatory anxiety. I don’t recommend laying it on too thick though, or giving multiple warnings with a concerned look on your face… you may end up causing more suspense than the play does. I suggest something along the lines of, “I heard that at the end there’s a really big scary puppet, and if you need me you can sit in my lap, but I don’t think we’ll be too scared.” The actors will also be in the lobby after the show to give high fives, sign the specially designed programs for kids (complete with coloring pages and a word search).

    Sitting a few rows back from the stage can also be a good emotional buffer for younger kids. In any case, don’t let your young kids sit by themselves. They may need to borrow your lap, and there’s enough grown up stuff going on that they may need to ask you a question or two. Last year in Chicago, I sat in the front row with a six year old family member, and when we finally met the Rat King, he held onto my arm as tightly as he could (which I loved) and asked in a rather loud and urgent whisper, “Why did you write this part?!” (which concerned me). In the end, the heroes won, the monsters were vanquished, the Nutcracker was laid to rest, and Clara was reunited with her parents. And my six year old relative said it was“awesome!” And even though he closed his eyes (mostly) during the Rat King sequence, when the play was over he declared, “That was so scary!” with the giddy pleasure and pride of someone who had just braved an excellent roller coaster. He also wanted to take a look at those puppets after the show, just to reassure himself that they weren’t real. This is welcome. Some informed families have asked to see them before the show starts, and any actor or crew member at The House will be happy to help you do just that. Letting them see that the Rat King is actually just paper maché and bicycle lights can go a long way to helping them remember that it’s all pretend.

    If your kids already enjoy a delightful fright, if they talk about ghosts and mummies at Halloween and like playing games with monsters and scary bad guys, if lying on the floor and pretending to be dead (for a minute) is occasionally an element of their pretend games, then I predict they’ll be just fine. Better than fine; I predict they’ll have a total blast! But if being chased by the tickle monster upsets them and the idea of death causes them significant concern and anxiety (a normal developmental stage that can come at a variety of ages), then now might not be the right time for this show. Based on our experience over the past couple of years, I would feel safe recommending this show for most kids five and up, and for some kids who are still three and four. But you know your kids, and if you have more specific questions, the staff at New Village Arts will be happy to answer them.

    One of the reasons for playing pretend, one of the reasons for going to the theater, is to practice the things we are afraid of. Casting our lots alongside imaginary heroes is a great way to practice our own heroism. Going along for the ride as a young girl faces monsters, and as her family faces grief, may cause moments of real fear in us. But the courage we gain by going on the journey is also real. And when we can’t quite muster it on our own, the courage lent to us by sitting on our parents’ laps and hiding our eyes behind their sleeves, or even by sharing a cookie in the lobby though the play is still happening… that’s real, too.

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