Theater Notebook: Second City troupe heading to San Diego Rep next month for all-female ‘She the People’

A scene from Second City's "She the People."
Katie Caussin, left, Sayjal Joshi, Kaye Winks, Mary Catherine Curran, Alex Bellisle and Carisa Barecca in a production of Second City’s “She the People.”
(Timothy Schmidt)

This week’s San Diego theater report includes news from San Diego Musical Theatre and New Village Arts


After San Diego Repertory Theatre wraps up its current production of “Mother Road” on Halloween, it will prepare to welcome Second City, the Chicago-born improv comedy troupe that has relaunched a pandemic-interrupted tour of its all-female comedy sketch show “She the People.”

The show, revised over the years with new topical humor, was created, designed and performed entirely by women in Second City, which was founded in 1959 and today has theaters and training companies in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles.

The show is a series of sketches that satirize the reality of being a woman in today’s America. The pandemic, anti-vaxxers and “Karen” incidents on social media may have inspired several new sketches, but past versions of “She the People” have featured humorous sketches about body image, feminism, the wage gap, parenting, dating, shapewear, “mansplaining,” evangelicals and sexuality.

San Diego Repertory Theatre artistic director Sam Woodhouse said he’s excited to see the new show the troupe has created.

“As soon as we heard that the acclaimed comics from The Second City have created an evening written and performed entirely by women, we signed up for the experience,” Woodhouse said in a statement. “We couldn’t wait to discover what this group of satirical comedy pros have to say about women in our world today.”

Because of its subject matter, the Rep is advising ticket-buyers that this show is “geared for women and people who love women,” so it may not be of appropriate interest to children, but teens are welcome.

The writers for the current production include Second City members Carisa Barreca, Katie Caussin, Carly Heffernan, Marla Caceres, Tien Tran and Lauren Walker. The cast for the touring show includes Caussin, Barreca (at some performances) and Lexi Alioto, Kennedy Baldwin, Kazi Jones, Yazmin Ramos and Laurel Zoff Pelton.

“Second City: She the People” will run Nov. 18 through Dec. 4, with performances at 7 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. There will be no performance on Thanksgiving. Tickets are $25 to $91. Proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of show time required. Masks are also required indoors. For tickets, call (619) 544-1000 or

Richard Dueñez Morrison is the new music director of San Diego Musical Theatre.

SDMT hires new music director

San Diego Musical Theatre has hired Richard Dueñez Morrison as its new resident music director.

The San Diego-based music director, voice teacher and theater teacher has a master’s degree in musical theater from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in stage management from Webster University. He has worked in the past at the Old Globe, San Diego Opera, Cygnet Theatre, Moonlight Stage Productions and Diversionary Theatre, as well as many theaters out of state.

Kimberly King, SDMT’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant and resident dramaturg, said she’s worked closely with Dueñez Morrison in the past and said his addition to the company will be a “fantastic enhancement.”

“Richard brings a wealth of knowledge and lifetime of musical theater experience to SDMT. He has the patience to seek excellence from actors and singers, but I don’t know how patient he has ever had to be considering what an inspiring and particularly skilled instructor I have learned he is,” King said.

Morrison will join the company on Jan. 1 at its new performance venue, SDMT Stage, in Kearny Mesa. The company has yet to announce its 2022 season.

“I’m thrilled to join the SDMT team and play a pivotal role for one of Southern California’s most respected names in musical theater,” Morrison said in a statement. “I look forward to contributing my skills as a professional, an educator, and a musical theater scholar to this wonderful group of artists.”

New Village adds ‘Into the Woods’

New Village Arts Theatre has announced the final show of its 2021-22 season: Stephen Sondheim’s fractured fairy tale musical “Into the Woods.”

Earlier this month, the Carlsbad-based theater company unveiled a four-show season that will begin and end at its home theater on State Street. The two productions in between will be presented at the Sunshine Brooks Theatre in Oceanside while the Carlsbad auditorium is undergoing renovation. At the time of the season announcement, the name of the spring show was not yet available.

“Into the Woods” was written in 1986 by Sondheim and James Lapine. It’s a bittersweet musical about family and parenting that looks at what happens to famous fairy tale characters after their “happily ever after.” It will play March 18 through May 1 at the Sunshine Brooks Theatre, and it will be a coproduction with Oceanside Theatre Company. New Village executive artistic director Kristianne Kurner will direct the production.

Making up the rest of the season are the world premiere of Dea Hurston’s world premiere holiday musical “1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas” Nov. 19 through Dec. 26 at the Carlsbad theater. “Desert Rock Garden, a world premiere play by Roy Sekigahama, will run Jan. 21 through Feb. 20 at the Oceanside theater. “Singin’ in the Rain,” directed by AJ Knox, will run May 20 through July 9 at the Carlsbad theater.

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Pam Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at