SOLANA BEACH — Solana Beach’s new community theater just wrapped up its first show this weekend with a youth production of “Cinderella.”
Launched by longtime Solana Beach resident Jolene Dodson Bogard, the new theater venture aims to bring fun and affordable children’s theater to North County.
Dodson Bogard was born and raised in Solana Beach and is the daughter of Marion Dodson, former Solana Beach mayor and council member.
After graduating from USC film school, Dodson Bogard pursued film and television production in Hollywood, Malibu, and even traveled the world for over a decade before returning to Solana Beach there. a few years old. Over the years, Dodson Bogard has taught acting and improv classes at Fountain Valley’s ClubHouse Theater, Huntington Beach High School, and North Coast Repertory Theater.
Eventually, she recognized a desperate need for a local youth theater in North County. Dodon Bogard created his production company, Hi JoJo Productionswhich is supported by the new community theatre.
“There’s no community theater in North County, and what it’s going to do is support, not just Hey Jojo Productions, but other arts programs,” Dodson Bogard said.
The Solana Beach Community Theater also offers classes for children in subjects ranging from photography to painting to creative writing and more. It also offers scholarships to children who cannot afford to participate in the program.
“My thing is just to support the arts. It’s not enough that it’s me, and it’s all the arts programs in general because the kids are depressed right now and they’re going through a lot, but art actually heals,” Dodson Bogard said.
The theater’s first production of “Cinderella,” which they performed at the Ritz Theater in Escondido, wrapped up over the weekend and was a huge hit with audiences.
Dodson Bogard is now gearing up to produce a children’s production of the Broadway hit, “Annie.”
“I’m here to help the community, and I’ll tell you this, doing the show in Escondido, people were like buying dinner there and you see that as a revitalization going on, and I’m like, to Okay, I’m bringing people to Escondido, and they’re supporting the local economy,” Dodson Bogard said. “We even bought our dress for the production from the shop right next to the venue.”
Dodson Bogard said she hopes the community can see how valuable and necessary the arts are for young people around the world. She feels that she has found her calling and she hopes to help these children find theirs.
For tickets to upcoming shows and for more information, visit Heyjojoproductions.com.