Staged Readings of New Santa Ana Play THE LONG ROAD TODAY Set for SCR's Dialogue/Dialogos Project, 4/2-30
Members of the Santa Ana community-and others-are invited to attend one or more staged readings of a new community-inspired play by José Cruz González. The play-in-development is part of Dialogue/Diálogos, a creative partnership between South Coast Repertory (SCR) and Latino Health Access (LHA).
The readings for the play, titled The Long Road Today, take place at Santa Ana College on April 2, Bowers Museum on April 18, Orange County School of the Arts on April 23 and KidWorks on April 30. All four events begin at 6:30 p.m., are free and open to the public.
The Long Road Today is based on the richness of more than 500 stories shared by community members. The play is a story about the transformation of self, of spaces in Santa Ana and of its residents' perceptions about their city and among their neighborhoods. The Long Road Today is bilingual, with original music by LHA Promotor Moisés Vázquez.
The cast of readers will consist of both new program participants and individuals who have participated in Diálogos workshops as part of the project, which is aimed at creating a community-inspired play. These readings will offer the community opportunities to provide feedback to the playwright José Cruz González and help shape the final script.
"It's important for me that Santa Ana community members hear the first draft of the play, which they inspired through their generous contribution of stories," said González. "I can't wait to hear thoughts, questions and impressions from the residents of Santa Ana. It will help me tremendously to continue developing the piece with the community's feedback."
Dialogue/Diálogos is a two-year bilingual community-based theatre initiative with Santa Ana's Latino community. The project has three phases: story-gathering days, play-making workshops and play development. The resulting play is based on the stories of Santa Ana residents.
González facilitated the story-gathering first phase in early 2013 with the help of a team of teaching artists. Next, he and the team taught workshops where participants learned how to work with stories, design and basic theatrical skills. Finally, the collected stories have culminated in a first draft of the play. Santa Ana residents who participated in the workshops will take part in the full theatrical production-to be presented in fall 2014.
"I had the opportunity to be present at all the storytelling events in 2013," said Vázquez. "It wasn't planned that I would write original music for the play, but as a musician and longtime resident of Santa Ana, the story-sharing sessions stirred in me a desire to write music about my community. I'm happy that my music is included in the play."
"I felt very fortunate to be invited into the lives of the folks we met at each workshop, knowing that they will contribute to telling the larger story of their community," said Armando Molina, a Diálogos teaching artist and the director of the play. Molina currently is the artistic director of Company of Angels theatre and his history with SCR dates back to his work in the 80s and 90s as an actor in numerous Hispanic Playwrights Project plays.
González has a long connection to SCR, dating back to 1986 with the launch of the theatre company's Hispanic Playwrights Project to create new work by Latino playwrights. He is the recipient of many honors, including a residency for the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights. He has written for "PAZ," the Emmy Award-nominated television series produced by Discovery Kids for The Learning Channel. González teaches theatre at California State University, Los Angeles.
Wednesday, April 2, at 6:30 p.m.
Santa Ana College in Phillips Hall Theatre
1530 W. 17th St.
Santa Ana, Calif.
Friday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m.
Bowers Museum in the Fluor Family Gallery
2002 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, Calif.
Wednesday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m.
Orange County School of the Arts in the Symphony Hall
1010 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, Calif.
Wednesday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m.
1902 W. Chestnut Ave.
Santa Ana, Calif.
Open to all ages and no theatre experience is necessary. RSVP is encouraged by calling (714) 708-5843 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Light refreshments-snacks and beverages-will be provided.
Event updates will be announced online, including the readers cast lists.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson is celebrating its 50th Season. SCR, now under the leadership of Artistic Director Marc Masterson and Managing Director Paula Tomei, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. SCR is committed to theatre that illuminates the compelling personal and social issues of our time, not only on its stages but through its wide array of education and outreach programs. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation's largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers and composers. Each year, it showcases some of the country's best new plays in the Pacific Playwrights Festival, which attracts theatre professionals from across the country. Of SCR's more than 475 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres, whose subsequent stagings achieved enormous success throughout America and around the world. Two SCR-developed works have won Pulitzer Prizes, and another eight were named Pulitzer finalists. In addition, SCR works have won several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, California, SCR's David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. SCR produces 13 shows and eight public readings each season. More information is available at www.scr.org.
ABOUT LATINO HEALTH ACCESS: Latino Health Access was founded to assist in improving the quality of life and health of uninsured, under-served people through quality preventive services and educational programs emphasizing responsibility and full participation in decisions affecting health. LHA engages and empowers the community, forges partnerships and advocates health equity for all. Health care is a human right. More information is available at www.latinohealthaccess.net.
ABOUT THE JAMES IRVINE FOUNDATION: The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The Foundation's grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1.3 billion in grants to more than 3,500 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $1.6 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $65 million in 2011 for the people of California.