This Theater Group Delivers Miracles Every Week
By Brad Kava
Every week a group of Santa Cruz performers meets to practice for a yearly show called “Miracles in Santa Cruz,” and if you’ve seen it or been a part of it, you know it truly is a miracle.
The performers have an array of so-called disabilities, but when they take the stage, they light it up as bright as any Hollywood star. A blind woman sings several songs and you wonder, how did she memorize all the words, while everyone else reads them off a karaoke screen? A guy does spot on impersonations of Batman and characters from Doctor Who that would make Jim Carey proud.
Founder Lizz Hodgin was inspired by her own son, Daniel, 24, who is shy, reserved and stutters off stage, but when he starts singing, he shocks everyone. “He’s loud and dynamic and there’s no stuttering or whispering. He’s a completely different person.”
Hodgin, 55, who also runs the local branch of the nationwide Musical Me music teaching program, used to drive Daniel to the Angels on Stage group in San Jose, but in 2013, decided that Santa Cruz needs a similar positive performing group. The response has been tremendous for the free program that meets weekly at Hope Services in Downtown Santa Cruz. Performers are mostly between 20-40, but anyone over 8 is invited.
One of the most beautiful things about it is the support the performers have for each other. They congratulate each other for taking the bold step onto the stage and every minute in their rehearsal is pure joy.
The company is looking for more participants and volunteers as it gears up for a show in May or June.
“A fantastic volunteer would be a local high school student who needs community service hours,” says Hodgin. Rehearsals are 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays.
“This is sharing what we love with a community we love,” says Hodgin. “It brings me a lot of joy.”