Phantom Projects Theatre Group Presents Its Benefit Gala For Arts Education, 'The Phantom Cabaret'
Each year, Phantom Projects Theatre Group provides donates $20,000 in theatre tickets and performances to non-profits, schools, and youth groups. In addition nearly $60,000 in tickets are underwritten allowing groups to be bussed in to field trip performances at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. The ability to do this every year, is due to the annual event: The Phantom Cabaret: A Benefit Gala for Arts Education, taking place on May 4 at the La Mirada Country Club. Through an evening of entertainment, dinner, silent auction and more, the event pays tribute to the non-profit organization's work with at-risk youth through the performing arts.
Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased by Phantom Projects at 714.690.2900 or online at www.PhantomProjects.com/gala
The event will feature performances and presentations from alumni and community members, including Kathleen Burgoon, Victoria Rice, La Mirada's Mayor Steve DeRuse, Rachel Shanblatt, Fernando Perez, Maddy Nickless, Steve Cisneros, and more to be announced.
The event will also feature a presentation of the 2nd Annual Alumni Award, presented to Paul Cabrera. Cabrera joined the troupe in 2004 at the age of 15 after seeing a show with his school on a class field trip. He went on to perform for the troupe for the next 12 years performing for nearly 200,000 students at schools in Southern California and the La Mirada Theatre.
Phantom Projects is in the middle of a large expansion. Their new show Jargie the Science Girl! recently transitioned from school tour to national tour, most notably recently completing 4 performances in Washington DC, at the Smithsonian Institute's Discovery Theatre. The troupe is also taking their Teens on Tour program which brings real teens to venues to talk to their peers about bullying, violence and racism on a national level with 2019-2020 dates to be announced.
Phantom Projects Theatre Group started in 1997 when a then 17-year old Steve Cisneros approached his high school Language Arts teacher, Bruce Gevirtzman, with the idea of taking plays Gevirtzman had written to local schools. Immediately the idea grew from 1 touring show, rehearsed out of Cisneros' parents' 2-car garage, to a full 6-show season at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. The touring program has expanded to three touring shows, an education department, a costume rental dept and much, much more. The troupe's home is now a 5,000 sqft facility.
The non-profit theatre troupe which aims to build theatre audiences of tomorrow through inspirational theatrical pieces, has performed for over 700,000 teens through its combination of shows.
Over the course of 22 years, Phantom Projects Theatre Group has enjoyed a host of major accomplishments, including setting a major milestone in 2001 when the company became the only theatre troupe to present an entire season of theatre, aimed specifically at teen audiences, at a professional performing arts venue. Following a vote by the La Mirada City Council, funding was provided to Phantom Projects to present at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. In addition to touring shows, the troupe began producing fully staged productions including historical & literary-based works and message-based shows for teens on field trips as well as for the general public during evening performances.
The company experienced a significant expansion in 2006 when The City of La Mirada voted to increase funding for Phantom Projects yet again which allowed for growth from a three to a four show season and move into a 5,000 square foot rehearsal hall. The expansion of the season and performance space led to the genesis of The Young Artist Project, a program aimed at developing young talent.
The donation of $500,000 worth of costumes in 2010 allowed the company the opportunity to expand not only its revenue streams, but also help provide a tool for schools and arts organizations all across the Southland with affordable costume rental options.
Phantom Projects' continued success led to another milestone in 2011 when Cisneros and team presented the Southern California premiere of The Giver, based on the popular Newbery Award-winning book. The engagement, originally scheduled for just 2 performances, extended to 6 performances by popular demand and subsequently sold over 7,000 tickets.
In 2012, Phantom Projects' received two nominations from the NAACP Theatre Awards for their production of THE BLUEST EYE which ran for 4 weeks at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. The show was honored with nominations for Best Lead Actress (Sola Bamis) and Best Featured Actress (Danika Butler).
In 2016, the troupe was awarded the first ever Scholarship Award from The Young Entertainer Awards. The event, held at Universal Studios, Hollywood, and the award was presented by Fox LA 11 News Anchor Christine Divine.
The educational impact of the performing arts continues to be a driving force behind the company's mission statement. In 2017, the World Premiere of #TheWall was presented by the troupe, in an effort to combat cyberbullying, and to bring awareness to teens and parents, about the potential dangers of social media.
In 2019 the troupe launched National Tours of their brand new show, Jargie the Science Girl! and their TEENS ON TOUR program.