Welcome to CyberStock — Summer Stock Austin’s New Digital Artform for 2020

You may have noticed that Summer Stock Austin looks a little different this year… the student-led musical theatre program you know and love is jumping off the stage and on to your screens for 2020!

Welcome to CyberStock: A Teenager’s Guide to Surviving the World — the entirely new digital artfrom from the SSA team that combines student storytelling, short films, and song & dance, with a little help from industry professionals (and a couple Hamilton stars!).

Watch the premiere of this all-new experience August 16th at 7:30pm on SSA’s YouTube (find the direct link on their website). And don’t forget to subscribe!

The SSA team knows this isn’t the usual Summer Stock experience Austin is used to. After all, they’ve been producing professional-caliber musical theatre productions with high school and college students for 15 years! But the need for Austin’s young artists to find connection and belonging is even stronger than usual this year, and SSA is answering that with their continued commitment to education, community, and ART. What else?

What’s different this year? Aside from the obvious.

CyberStock: A Teenagers Guide to Surviving the World, began with a series of masterclasses taught by industry professionals in songwriting, screenwriting, film direction, and choreography, all answering the question, How do we express our shared humanity through art?

The next step was several student-led short films (with some professional guidance) taken from pitch to completion. Add a few musical numbers, and you’ve got not just Sunday night’s CyberStock live stream event, but also a cutting-edge transformation of art where the next generation finds their voice and impacts the world.

So what’s CyberStock about?

Welcome to CyberStock… an alternate reality… perhaps? A reflection of our society… possibly?

Moving the story along and framing the short films are original songs written by Vincent Jamal Hooper and J. Quinton Johnson — straight from the Hamilton stage — who also served as mentors and directors during the process.

The opening number titled “When Despair Comes” sets the tone for a dystopian society of teenagers who have lost their passion, creativity, drive, and connection. (Sound familiar?) They are provided a series of digital content starring young people that look just like them, each short film inspiring the teenagers to choose joy, happiness, and hope as they imagine a better world.

How can I watch it?

Tune in to Summer Stock Austin’s YouTube channel Sunday evening, August 16th at 7:30pm, where the full storytelling experience will be streamed live. Or, check the SSA website for the direct link on the night-of.

Make sure to peruse their additional digital content on Instagram and get the full scope of this year’s company, student stories, and cyber extras while you wait. Oh, and you can get a special edition CyberStock 2020 t-shirt, too.

Though the Long Center is incredibly bummed that Summer Stock can’t take place in our Rollins Studio Theatre like usual, we are stoked to see a digital iteration of the beloved program take shape. Ginger Morris and the Summer Stock Austin creative team are producing the 2020 program independently this year, and we hope you’ll tune in and support this transformative endeavor! Because at the core, Austin’s young artists are the key to our survival.

Since 2005, college and high school students form across Texas meet to mount several productions with professionals from Austin and around the country in a one-of-a-kind experience. Working as a traditional “stock” company, SSA creates an environment of shared learning by incorporating high school students, college students, and professionals in a fast-paced production series where everyone involved shares in the responsibility of creating high-quality theatre.

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