The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Small actors, big talent

Flying Monkey Productions president and artistic director Ryan Warren, a City College student, teaches his students a dance routine to the song “Kids in America.”
Flying Monkey Productions president and artistic director Ryan Warren, a City College student, teaches his students a dance routine to the song “Kids in America.” Photo by ||Kimberly Nguyen||[email protected]

City College student heads theater production company

Brent Bourgeois | Guest Writer
[email protected]

The boyish face, with the flushed-looking cheeks of an English schoolboy, the constant presence of a brown wool cap, which perches atop tousled golden locks, and the enthusiasm of a boy at his own birthday party — all of these combine to create the impression of a boy much younger than his obviously tender years.

The theater veteran at the helm of Flying Monkey Productions is Ryan Warren. Warren has been producing musicals at FMP for more than seven years.

At a time when most boys his age are simply trying to polish their pick-up lines, Warren has been picking up endorsements from theater professionals around the region.

His latest production, Steven Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”, premiered at the Davis Veteran’s Memorial Theatre Friday, March 27.

The incredible thing about FMP is that it is completely staffed by kids. From the lights to the sound to publicity, and the board of directors, there isn’t a soul involved in FMP who would be allowed into a bar that serves liquor.

“The thing that amazes me is how many kids can step up and take leadership and handle responsibility,” says Warren. ‘Friends see what we are doing and say, “We want to do this, too!’”

Kellie Randle, a parent with three children involved in FMP, likes that angle too.

“I love that my kids are given responsibilities and experiences that they couldn’t get from other groups,” Randle says. “Because it’s student run, my 10-year-old was in charge of the programs — selling ads, word processing and producing the entire thing.”

Randle also likes the personal touch.
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“Ryan takes a special interest with each kid, helping them reach their personal best. His passion for theater is infectious and has spurred a love of the arts in my own three children.”

Another parent, Mary Ann Barber, was impressed with the way Warren interacts with children with disabilities.

“My daughter presents special challenges to any theater director, and Ryan not only treated her with respect, he empowered her to become his assistant,” Barber says.

Warren put on his first show, “Seussical, the Musical,” when he was just 12.

“Me and my good friend, Julie Soto, went to a Broadway Series show, and it was just like the old Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland scene: ‘Hey! Let’s put on a show ourselves!’

So we rented a theater downtown, and did ‘Seussical’,” he says.

Obviously, at the age of 12, Warren needed the help of his parents, whom he credits as the people he admires the most.

“My parents have always supported me 100 percent in everything I have done,” he says. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Warren, who is a communication major at City College, says he plans to get his master’s degree in theater directing, hopefully in New York City.

“I wish I was as motivated in school as I am putting on shows,” says Warren wistfully. “I also wish I was more organized.”

Things seemed extremely well organized on Friday evening as his ensemble staged the intricate and difficult “Into the Woods” without a hitch in front of an appreciative audience that numbered several hundred.

“I’m always fighting the skepticism of older adults who don’t believe we can do what we do,” Warren says. “Then they come to a production, and, well, seeing is believing.”

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