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Why our grandparents loved Rogers and Hammerstein


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Young Artists Ensemble will present The King and I Directed and Choreographed by Jeff Wallach with Musical Direction by Zachary Spencer.  Performances are November 2 – 18, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts, 403 West Hillcrest Drive.  The King and I is the fifth musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II and is based on the 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon.  

THE KING & I has a cast of 46 young performers ranging in age from 7 to 20 who come from as far away as Port Hueneme and Tarzana, but mostly from right here in the Conejo Valley.  Ryan Brodsky plays the King of Siam.  “The King is afraid of change, but hides it by acting more powerful,” says Brodsky. “He has come to the conclusion that his kingdom has to change, and adapt to the modern world, or his kingdom will no longer be powerful. So he lets Anna into his Kingdom to teach his kids, who are the future of his kingdom, even though it is very difficult for him to do that, because no one has ever come into his kingdom from the outside before.”

            “It's a big challenge!” adds Brodsky.  “The King is extremely layered, and complex and the reasons why he does what he does are so different than what modern people in the western world do. On top of that he's a real person. It's a lot of fun taking on the role of a real historical figure, because you get to explore why they did all the things they did throughout history.”

            Young Artists Ensemble has a reputation for staging classic musicals and this one is no different.  According to Brodsky, “There are good reasons why our grandparents love Rodgers and Hammerstein. My generation tends to just ignore great classic stories like this one, because they seem dated, old, and boring, like I did - until I was involved withOklahoma! last year.”

Director Jeff Wallach has choreographed for Young Artists Ensemble but this will be his first time directing.  Wallach is a local performer and often works with young people.  Veteran Musical Director Zachary Spencer has done countless shows with Young Artists Ensemble and this will be his second time as Musical Director of The King & I for YAE; having worked on an earlier production in 1999.

Season Subscriptions are still available for the Family Theatre Season which includes THE KING & I plus THE HOBBIT February 1 – 17, 2013 and LITTLE WOMEN, May 3 – 19, 2013.  THE HOBBIT is based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien and follows Bilbo Baggins’ heroic journey to save Middle Earth.   LITTLE WOMEN is Louisa May Alcott’s spirited and heartwarming story about 4 sisters in 1860’s New England.  In an age when the nation was engaged in Civil War, these siblings use ingenuity, hope, and a boundless spirit to keep their family together.  Season subscriptions are $35 for adults and $30 for children, students and seniors.  Single show tickets for THE KING & I are $17 for adults and $15 for children, students and seniors; and for THE HOBBIT and LITTLE WOMEN tickets are $15 for adults and $13.50 for children, students, and seniors.   Subscriptions and tickets can be purchased by calling 805-381-1246 or at  There is a 10% discount for groups of ten or more for a single performance.

Young Artists Ensemble has received many accolades in the past 32 years including the Encore Statue Award from the City of Thousand Oaks for Excellence in the Arts, and Best Innovative Program 2011, Large District from the California Association of Recreation and Park Districts.  Most recently, it received six top honors in the National Youth Arts Awards for the 2011 Teen Summer Musical CHICAGO, including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Ensemble, and Outstanding Direction





WHAT: THE KING AND I – The Rodgers & Hammerstein classic comes to life on the YAE stage. The story of the King of Siam and the English school teacher who inspired him to forge a free thinking nation is filled with such Broadway hits as "Shall We Dance" and "Getting To Know You". A family favorite.


WHEN: Performances: November 2 - 18, 2012:

Fridays, November 2, 9 & 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturdays, November 3, 10 & 17 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Sundays, November 4, 11 & 18 at 2:00 p.m.


Hillcrest Center for the Arts

403 W. Hillcrest Drive

Thousand Oaks, CA

HOW:  (805) 381-1246 or

TICKETS: Reserved: $17 adults, $15 children, students, and seniors.  Groups of ten or more receive a discount of 10% if purchased in a single transaction.

Season Tickets (The King & I, The Hobbit, and Little Women) are only $35 adults, $30 children, students, and seniors. 

OTHER:  Free parking is always available. Accessible seating available online and by calling (805) 381-1246.  Assisted Listening devices available in the Box Office. 



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