Tenth Avenue Arts Center will host “No Distractions,” the first full-length play from a theater company run by a local college student who wants to get more youth involved in the medium, from Aug. 29-31.
“We really want to just keep doing theater that’s different from the mainstream and looks to engage younger audiences,” said Phillip Magin, 20, artistic director of Mainstage Mavericks, a graduate of Canyon Crest Academy and theater student at San Diego State University.
“No Distractions” takes place in summer 1984. The main character, Jeremiah Dodson (Magin), works at a movie theater in Encino “with an overbearing manager and an obnoxious security guard, while taking care of his younger sister,” according to the official show synopsis. A new coworker, Emma, changes the dynamic. The story was inspired by Magin’s one-and-a-half year experience working at a movie theater.
Magin’s resume includes presenter for TEDx Youth San Diego, Leadership Council Member for Teen Volunteers in Action, performing in an Old Globe Theatre production of “The Tempest,” and award-winning performances in the Student Shakespeare Festival in Balboa Park. His play “Lady Windermere'$ FAM” was included in the 2016 San Diego International Fringe Festival, and a second one, “Fulcrum,” was featured in the 2017 festival. “No Distractions” is his first independent effort.
“It’s definitely harder doing it completely by myself, without the support of something like the Fringe Festival,” he said.
The play has been in the making since 2018, when Magin held the first read through with an earlier version of the script. A read through with a revised version of the story took place earlier this year, and the six-member cast, ranging in age from 16-21, has been rehearsing in preparation for next week’s opening date.
Other local venues have chipped in for set design. North Coast Repertory Theatre, where Magin used to participate in youth theater, provided a bar stool on wheels.
“Slowly and surely we have pretty much secured all of our set pieces and costumes,” Magin said.
As far as Mainstage Mavericks’ long-term goals, Magin said he wants “to continue creating works with a low budget and a lot of heart” and get a younger crowd more involved in theater. He mentioned eventually buying the rights to perform copyrighted works, but also supporting original productions.
“It is possible for young people to create new works,” he said. “It’s really important for keeping the culture alive in San Diego.”
Tenth Avenue Theatre, located in downtown San Diego at Broadway and 10th Avenue, has been supporting local artists since it opened in 2007. For more information about “No Distractions,” visit eventbrite.com/e/no-distractions-tickets-68702381673. Also, visit www.tenthavenuearts.com.