Ashti’s Journey to Jazz

Children’s Performing Arts (CPA) is excited to present the world premiere of “Ashti’s Journey to Jazz,” written by Carmen Rubin with music by Thomasina Petrus in July of 2024! 

CPA is eager to pull out all the stops for this unique musical and it will be a part of CPA’s newest endeavor of bridging communities. “Ashti’s” will be the first in what we hope to be a long list of Bridging Communities Productions.

Bridging Communities Productions has been intentionally designed to support CPA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies and goals emphasizing the organizational value that CPA honors the uniqueness of each individual and embraces diverse backgrounds, values, and viewpoints to build a strong, and inclusive community that prepares all in our community for to thrive – in a multicultural and inclusive society – on life’s stage.

“Ashti’s Journey to Jazz” is a children’s play adapted from the acclaimed and beloved author Carmen Rubin’s debut book, Ashti Meets Birdman Al, and is about a little girl and her mother who meet an old jazz musician who has the blues because a school’s music program is in jeopardy. He shares his love of jazz music with them. Ashti is inspired to help Birdman Al keep the music alive, so she creates a fundraising event to earn money for the school’s music program. The event is a memorable evening filled with jazz. Children learn the names of jazz greats, learn about the instruments, and hopefully feel connected to the jazz genre. CPA sees this production as an excellent opportunity to ensure every student in their community has the chance to see themselves and their stories told on their stage.  

“Ashti’s Journey to Jazz” will be a fantastical musical production with the score prepared by local jazz musician and actor Thomasina Petrus and her musicians. The cast will be a host of local children and adult actors from White Bear Lakes and the broader community.

In the spirit of bridging neighboring Twin Cities communities, CPA plans to invite local organizations such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs of America to come to a student matinee. These tickets will be sold at a reduced rate to ensure that all students have access to see “Ashti’s Journey to Jazz”. 

Will you consider partnering with us on the Bridging Communities production? You can donate by clicking the Givebutter link below. If you prefer to donate by check, please make checks payable to Children’s Performing Arts and send to the address below. Please write Ashti in the memo line of your check.

VIP Experience

Friday, July 19th 7:00pm performance.
VIP experience includes:

  • VIP ticket to the show 
  • Access to the pre-show VIP lounge Enjoy complimentary wine, beer, pop and snacks in a quiet VIP area – open one hour before showtime.
  • Entrance to the VIP Reception following the show.

VIP Reception includes:

  • VIP Lounge
  • Live music by composer & actor of Ashti’s Journey to Jazz and Twin Cities’ own  – Thomasina Petrus,
  • Meet & Greet – book/script signing with Carmen Reuben, Ashti’s Journey to Jazz‘s script and renowned children’s book author
  • Mingling with the cast and crew
  • Champagne toast

If you have any questions about “Ashti’s Journey to Jazz”, please don’t hesitate to contact CPA by emailing or by calling 651-336-8613.

We are incredibly grateful for all support and thank you in advance.

Mail checks, payable to Children’s Performing Arts, to the following:

Children’s Performing Arts

4941 Long Avenue, Suite 111

White Bear Lake, Minnesota 55110

Meet the author 

Carmen Rubin is an acclaimed and beloved author of children’s books, interactive ebooks, apps, and animated children’s programming. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Rutgers University. After a short stint of teaching school-age children, the San Francisco native began writing full time. 

Meet the Composer

Thomasina is so fortunate to portray lead characters on Penumbra, Park Square, Mixed Blood, Illusion, Guthrie, Capri and Old Arizona Theatre stages. A true “hometown girl”, she has cultivated her talents as an actor and jazz vocalist through mentorships and friendships with some of the Twin Cities’ most beloved artists.