The Festival of New American Musicals and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation announced today an EAST SIDE INITIATIVE aimed at bringing young people and their families from the East Side to musical theater throughout the Southland; bringing outstanding musical theater events to the schools and parks of the East Side; and developing a training program through the Festival's Academy for Young Professional Training to teach East Side youth the basics of musical theater performance.
"More and more of the youth who participate in our CAPERS performance program want to connect with the wider world of musical theater," said Department of Parks and Recreation Executive, Albert Gomez. "Our association with the Festival will begin to open those doors."
Among the theaters approached to host groups at performances of new musicals are: The Skylight Theatre in Hollywood ("LEMONADE"); the Pasadena Playhouse ("TWIST"); Pasadena Musical Theater Program at the Pasadena H.S. Auditorium ("JASPER IN DEADLAND"); Theatre West ("Sherwood Forrest"); Norris Center for the Performing Arts ("Alice and Wonderland"); College of the Canyons ("The Giver") and the Festival's own FUTUREFEST marathon of original musical performances by high schools all over the Southland at the John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills.
In addition, the Festival will coordinate visits to East Side theatrical venues by new musical events including "WE TELL THEIR STORY" from Musical Theatre West, which deals with real historical events that have been made into musicals such as "1776", "TITANIC", "EVITA" and "LES MISERABLES".
"We also want to begin the process of providing professional training for the talented children who live in East Side communities through the Festivals ACADEMY FOR PROFESSIONAL TRAINING," says Festival Co-Executive Producer and program coordinator, Linda Shusett.
The Nueva Maravilla Recreation Center (4909 E Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90022) will be the primary location for the EAST SIDE INITIATIVE and will host many of the activities.
The FESTIVAL OF NEW AMERICAN MUSICALS is now in its 4th season of presenting new musicals in theaters, large and small, colleges, high schools, middle schools, elementary schools and community centers all across the Southland, including more than 30 new musicals in the 2011 festival which runs until August ( www.lafestival.org).