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Teens Bring the Statues of East LA’s Iconic Lincoln Park to Life in the Premiere Production 'Lola in Lincolnlandia'

Rehearsal for Lola in Lincolnlandia at Plaza de la Raza.  Photo: Glenna Avila

Middle and high school students in CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP)/Plaza de la Raza’s Theater Program create a musical dreamscape to explore issues of teenage identity and cultural heritage.

CAP provides instruction in all areas of the arts, free of charge, to youth in public schools and community organizations at 52 sites throughout Los Angeles County.

For its 22nd annual production, the acclaimed CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP)/Plaza de la Raza Theater program brings the statues of East LA’s Lincoln Park to life in a phantasmagoric exploration of teenage identity. For the premiere production, Lola in Lincolnlandia, CAP/Plaza theater students worked with guest playwright Laurie Woolery to originate the story of Lola—a teenager on a time-traveling odyssey of discovery among talking statues and animals in the historic park surrounding Plaza de la Raza.

Performances: May 11 and 12 at the Margo Albert Theater at Plaza de la Raza, May 25 and 26 at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater) in downtown Los Angeles. (See the complete schedule at the end of this release.)

To create Lola in Lincolnlandia, playwright Laurie Woolery worked with Plaza students to research the rich history of East Los Angeles’ Lincoln Park—including such vanished attractions as the Aztec Playground and ostrich and alligator farms. Singing ostriches, talking alligators and the Aztec Emperor Cuauhtémoc are just a few of the apparitions in Lola’s time-traveling trip through the park. Lincoln Park’s famous statues—including Abraham Lincoln, musician Agustin Lara and the vandalized figure of Florence Nightingale—come to life, and guide Lola towards discovering her heritage and family.

“A human being’s identity is such a personal journey that takes many twists and turns,” comments Woolery. “Family lines, environment, friends and teachers all play an enormous role in the shaping of that story. Hopefully, this play is a hearty stew of history, family, and the surreal with just the right amount of humor to flavor it.”

As Lola says in the play, “I guess I should have suspected that it wasn’t an ordinary day since the sun was a burning orange and the sky was swirls of purples and blues but in the city of angels, anything is possible. And I mean ANYTHING.”

Los Angeles-based actor, director and playwright Laurie Woolery is Associate Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater Company.

CAP is a project of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), an acclaimed Los Angeles-area arts institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in the visual, media, literary and performing arts. As one of the two original CAP partners, Plaza de la Raza is a vital example of the effectiveness of public/private educational partnerships. The CAP/Plaza de la Raza Theater Program provides high school and middle school students with instruction in all areas of theater arts—and every year, for the last 22 years, a guest playwright has worked with the students to create an original work of theater. Students work with CalArts’ theater students, director B.J. Dodge, and choreographer and CalArts School of Theater faculty member Marvin Tunney to realize an original production.

Calendar Editors Please Note:

  • What: Lola in Lincolnlandia, CAP/Plaza de la Raza Theater Program Spring Performance; Playwright: Laurie Woolery, Choreographer: Marvin Tunney, Director: B.J. Dodge.
  • When: Plaza de la Raza’s Margo Albert Theater on May 11-12 at 7:30 pm; on May 25 and 26 at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) at 7:30 pm.
  • Where: Plaza de la Raza, 3540 N. Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90031; REDCAT Theater, 631 West 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA, 90012
  • Cost: Free. Reservations are advised. Call Plaza de la Raza at 323.223.2475. Call REDCAT's box office at 213.237.2800.

CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) The CAP program involves youth between the ages of 10 and 18 at 52 sites throughout LA county—employing some 60 CalArts faculty members, and nearly 300 student instructors to deliver free instruction in fine art, photography, printmaking, graphic design, digital media, animation, video, jazz, world music, chamber music, theater, puppetry, dance, and creative writing. Educating more than 7,500 youths each year, the CAP program has received numerous accolades—including the John Anson Ford Human Relations Award from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations in 2008, the Ovation Award for Community Outreach from the Los Angeles Stage Alliance in 2006, and in 2004, the Coming Up Taller Award—a national recognition of outstanding community arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people, providing the youth learning opportunities and chances to contribute to their communities.

Last edited by dthatt on May 08, 2012
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