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Feb. 18, 2005
Contact: Pamela Hammond
(310) 243-2001


Cal State Dominguez Hills and East LA Classic Theatre
Using the Performing Arts To Inspire Minority Students

Carson, CA - Teatro Dominguez, a theatre company at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), is collaborating with the East L.A. Classic Theatre (ELACT) and Southern California Edison (SCE) to create opportunities for at-risk, marginalized high school and elementary school students and already college-bound or potentially college-bound students. The vehicle is a unique “Literacy through Performing Arts” program.

The first event of the project is a Mariachi musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” to be held at the University Theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m. ELACT, via its project called “Beyond Borders: Literacy Through Performing Arts,” provides literacy residencies, arts exposure, and academic intervention to schools and colleges across the Southland.

Some 450 students from three unified school districts, Centinela, Los Angeles and Verbum Dei, will be brought to campus to view the performance and join in post-show discussion with ELACT’s director, actor Tony Plana and Bill DeLuca, CSUDH professor, Theatre Arts and director, Teatro Dominguez.

Five South Bay area high schools have accepted CSUDH’s invitation to participate, including Carson High, Hawthorne High, Lawndale High, Leuzinger High, and Verbum Dei High. Additionally, 80 fifth graders from Ambler Elementary School will also participate. The students will also be given a tour of campus and the world-class sports venue, the Home Depot Center, located on CSUDH’s campus.

“This collaboration is a true example of our community-based programming at Theatre Arts,” says DeLuca, “It helps our local students feel that they matter and that they can learn a lot from the arts.”

ELACT visits schools on the days before and after the show to work with students and teachers on understanding the social and cultural contents of the performance, which is held on the second day. The third day requires students to write about the issues presented, and is integrated into the teacher's reading and writing curriculum to engage students in a more aggressive pursuit of education and learning.

“Our two companies are dedicated to the goals of theatre in education,” DeLuca says. “A major goal is to provide all students with communication skills, social values, and a commitment to literacy.”

For more information, please contact Raquel Beltran, University Advancement (310) 243-3787; Bill DeLuca, Teatro Dominguez (310) 243-2400, or visit


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Last updated Friday, February 18, 1:56 p.m.,
by Joanie Harmon