Valencia, November 6--The CalArts School of Theater will present blu, a new play by Virginia Grise, named runner up for the 2008 Latino/a Playwriting Award at the Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival. blu, directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, will perform in Ensemble Theater II (E407) at CalArts (24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia) on Wednesday, December 3 through Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 2:00 p.m., with a talkback session following the performance; and Monday, December 8 through Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.
Admission is free and by reservation only. For reservations, please visit the CalArts events site  and click on blu.
Through dance, ceremony and a live DJ blu tells the story of how our blood memory unites us to a mythic past. Two Chicana women lead their family to unearth sacred rituals and restore balance despite the barrio realities of gang and military violence.
Virginia Grise is a Chicana cultural worker-writer, performer and teacher from San Antonio, Texas. She has worked as a curator, artist and activist facilitating organizing efforts among women, immigrant, Chicano, working class and queer youth. Virginia has taught writing as a public school teacher, in community centers and in the juvenile correction system. She is currently teaching playwriting to high school students in East Los Angeles, through the CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP). As part of the Latino/a Playwriting Award Virginia was awarded a Kennedy Center summer fellow residency with Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center to further develop the script for this production of blu.
Jon Lawrence Rivera most recently directed The Joy Luck Club by Susan Kim, adapted from the novel by Amy Tan (East West Players), Sea Change by Nick Salamone (Davidson/ Valentini Theater) and The Third From The Left by Jean Colonomos (2008 NY Fringe Festival). He is the recipient of two Ovation Award nominations for directing the musical Songs For A New World by Jason Robert Brown at Ventura's Rubicon Theatre (Santa Barbara Independent Award, best director) and for directing the Los Angeles premiere of Dogeaters at SIPA (Maddy Award, best director). He is the founding artistic director of Playwrights' Arena and his productions have garnered over 80 local and international awards.
California Institute of the Arts is recognized internationally as a leading laboratory for the visual, performing, media and literary arts. Housing six school--Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theate--CalArts educates professional artists in an intensive learning environment founded on artmaking excellence, creative experimentation, cross-pollination among diverse artistic disciplines, and a broad context of social and cultural understanding. CalArts also operates the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles.