Watts Village Theater Company Opens SIMPLY MARIA Tonight, 5/25

SIMPLY-MARIA-20010101

Tonight, May 25, Watts Village Theater Company will open its first mainstage production since Ochre & Onyx in 2009, "Simply Maria, Or The American Dream" by Josefina Lopez. The production involves collaboration between WVTC and Green Dot Public Schools, in which WVTC is professionally directing, designing and managing the production and 30 Ánimo Watts Charter High School students are participating as cast and crew. This is the first theatre production for Ánimo Watts students, who have seen their arts programs cut during these difficult economic times and have persevered through this unique partnership.

"Simply Maria, Or The American Dream" by Josefina Lopez is a wildly funny play that tells the story of Maria, a young Latina aspiring to be an actress, and her ultimate realization that she has to go to college to be economically independent and have the life that she wants. The playwright, Josefina Lopez, will be in attendance during the Opening performance tonight, May 25 and will participate in a talk-back with the audience afterwards.

This production is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois, and the initiative that this project is based on is made possible through the support of the California Community Foundation's (CCF's) Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow (PAT) initiative. PAT is a five-year, $12 million initiative of the CCF to improve academic achievement, decision-making skills and self-esteem of youth in South Los Angeles through sports, music and
recreation. PAT provides grants to nonprofits for direct services for young people and helps strengthen the ability of nonprofits to deliver services over the long-term. PAT was made possible by a generous legacy gift from an anonymous donor whose life was devoted to helping
others as a volunteer to nonprofits in Southern California.

Watts Village Theater Company (WVTC) is a multicultural urban company that seeks to inspire its community with an appreciation of all cultures through new works about contemporary social issues. Actor and Watts community activist Quentin Drew and actor/playwright Lynn Manning founded WVTC in 1996 as an outgrowth of Cornerstone Theater Company's residency in Watts. In 2011, WVTC received the American Theatre Wing's National Theatre Company Award as one of the top 10 most promising small theatre companies on the country. WVTC recently completed its participation in the Annenberg Foundation's Alchemy+ Leadership Training Program. http://wattsvillagetheatercompany.org

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