South Coast Repertory to Host Series of Free Theatre-Making Workshops
Ten theatre-making workshops that start this month will bring together South Coast Repertory (SCR) teaching artists with Santa Ana residents to continue crafting a community-inspired play, whose development started earlier this year with storytelling events, as part of the ongoing Dialogue/Diálogos project.
SCR, in partnership with Latino Health Access (LHA), will host Community & Theatre: Bringing It Together, which launches the free Dialogue/Diálogos Theatre-Making Workshops, at LHA on Friday, Sept. 27. The workshop series will continue Oct. 1-22 at LHA, KidWorks, El Salvador Center and Delhi Center.
Participants may attend one or more workshops-which take place at various locations in Santa Ana- to learn about what goes into creating a stage play and basic performance disciplines, such as backstage crafts, dance, singing, acting and more. The schedule and descriptions of the 10 workshops are listed below.
"After listening to the many stories and experiences shared by the many Santa Ana residents, it feels incredibly exciting to share back with the community what we know best, theatre," explained Dialogue/Diálogos Engagement Director Sara Guerrero. "Through these 10 workshops that introduce participants to theatre-making, we hope Santa Ana residents will have time to play and explore theatre, potentially see themselves in the new play we're crafting, and learn from us as much as we have learned from them."
"South Coast Repertory's educators are respected working artists with an extensive range of both professional performance and teaching experience, and have played a major role in the success of our outreach programs," said Hisa Takakuwa, SCR conservatory and educational programs director. "Their work in our Neighborhood Conservatory program helped form the model for the Dialogue/Diálogos workshops that they'll be teaching."
SCR's Neighborhood Conservatory already offers free after-school acting classes accessible to underserved children. Classes are dedicated to promoting self-confidence, self-expression and creativity while developing basic theatre skills.
Dialogue/Diálogos is a two-year bilingual community-based theatre initiative with Santa Ana's Latino community, as part of SCR's 50th Season programs. Diálogoshas three phases: story-gathering days, play-making workshops and play development.
The initiative's story-gathering first phase was facilitated by playwright-in-residence José Cruz González in early 2013. More than 400 Santa Ana residents at 12 locations throughout the city shared their stories, memories of and hopes for their community.
"As a local archivist with the Santa Ana History Room, Días de Diálogos was a wonderful experience that gave me the chance to share my love of Santa Ana's history with other community members," explained Dialogue Day participant, Manuel Escamilla. "I'm excited to have some of the Santa Ana Public Library's youth participate in the theatre workshops. For many of them, this will be the first time that they express themselves through a theatrical production."
In the new phase, González and SCR educators will teach participants how to work with stories, stage format, design and basic theatrical skills through workshops that will be open to the community.
Finally, González will turn the collected stories into a play, and Santa Ana residents who have participated in the workshops will be part of the full theatrical production, to be presented in 2014.
"During storytelling events, the people of Santa Ana trusted us with their stories and revealed their hearts to their neighbors," said González. "I'm excited to see how the pride and love that they expressed in their community will translate through these workshops, and later, in their participation in the play!"
Sign-up for Dialogue/Diálogos Theatre-Making Workshops:
No theatre experience is necessary and space is limited, so registration is encouraged by calling (714) 708-5843 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Childcare may not be available at all workshop sites, so call in advance to inquire.
South Coast Repertory educators, including playwright González, will facilitate the theatre-making workshops, in both English and Spanish. Please wear clothes that you can comfortably move in and tennis shoes.