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October 3, 2005
DH 05 RH16
Contact: Russ Hudson,
Media Relations Coordinator
(310) 243-2455/2001


"Prelude to a Kiss" at CSUDH Includes a Sort of Odd Couple in Cast

In the cast of the Nov. 11 through 20 performances of “Prelude to a Kiss” in the CSU Dominguez Hills University Theatre are two unlikely cast members: Leon Cohen, an emeritus professor and director of Community Service Learning, and Javen Branch, senior, Theatre Arts. Both love the theater and acting.

Cohen has come back again and again to audition for parts at Dominguez Hills since he retired, and he has had parts in a number of community-theater productions in the area. He queued up to audition for the part of “the old man” in “Prelude to a Kiss” and got it. He was given the acting bug by Sydell Weiner,professor, Theatre Arts, director of “Prelude,” 11 years ago when she asked him to try for a part, Weiner said.

Resilient Hurricane Katrina victim Javen Branch, senior, Theatre Arts, managed to make it to California after Katrina washed out his classes at Xavier University in New Orleans. Soon after he arrived, he called Weiner and asked about Dominguez Hills’ Theatre Arts Department. He liked what he heard so much he applied for admission at CSUDH, enrolled for a number of classes, and got multiple parts in the play. He was not only washed out of his classes, Weiner said, but out of a part as an extra in a movie starring Matthew McConaughey that was being filmed in New Orleans when Katrina came.

Craig Lucas’ award-winning play was made into a major motion picture starring Alec Baldwin and Meg Ryan. “Prelude to a Kiss” is about a whirlwind courtship, a storybook wedding, a kiss for the bride and suddenly everything changes in this fantasy comedy about love. It was originally produced by South Coast Repertory, at Circle Rep in New York, and then on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The Dominguez Hills production features veteran theater students Christen Jackson and John Waite in the leading roles,

Performances are at 8 p.m. Nov. 11, 12, 18 and 19, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 20. Ticket prices are $10, $8 for students and senior citizens. Group rates are available for 10 or more. To reserve tickets, call the Box Office at (310) 243-3589. The campus is at 1000 E. Victoria St. in Carson—between the 405 and 91 freeways, just east of Avalon Boulevard—and free parking is available for all performances

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University Communications & Public Affairs
Welch Hall, B-363
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson, CA 90747

Dominguez Hills Dateline is produced by University Advancement/ University Communications
& Public Affairs

Media Contact:

Pamela Hammond
University Communications
& Public Affairs
(310) 243-2001


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California State University, Dominguez Hills • 1000 E. Victoria Street • Carson, California 90747 • (310) 243-3696
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Last updated Thursday, August 25, 1:49 p.m.,
by Joanie Harmon