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Angelita Moraga 562-293-7619 or 626-396-0920

The 1970 Chicano Moratorium in East Los Angeles Comes Alive For Teens Through Firsthand Interviews With Original Protesters

LOS ANGELES, CA, January 19, 2012- Students from Monterey Continuation High School in East Los Angeles have written plays based on their interviews with four former participants of the 1970 Chicano Moratorium. They include organizer Rosalio Muñoz, visual artist Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin, film/tv director Jesus Treviño, and AFTRA director Consuelo Flores as part of About...Productions’ Young Theaterworks program, THROUGH THE AGES.

A staged reading of the students’ work, “2012 Meets 1970”, will be performed by professional actors Jan. 25 and Jan. 26, 2012 at the Margo Albert Theater at Plaza de la Raza, 3540 N. Mission Rd. in Los Angeles.

In 1970, Chicano activists in East Los Angeles exercised their freedoms of speech, assembly and dissent to protest the Vietnam War and staged a peaceful demonstration. As with earlier Civil Rights Movement protests, the Chicano Moratorium met with societal and governmental violence, culminating in the killing of Los Angeles Times journalist Ruben Salazar. Much of the general public is unaware of this chapter of American history.

“I’m thrilled that About…Productions has presented our students with a program where they are obligated to think, speak, explore, ponder and create,” said Doug Franklin, Monterey High School principal. “I think we’ve ignited some real passion.”

THROUGH THE AGES is a cross-generational program that builds literacy as it helps students and elders transcend generational divides. In this project, students recreate an historical moment of national significance that took place in their neighborhood. Many of the individuals who participated in the Chicano Moratorium, including the subjects of the student interviews, went on to successful careers in politics, the arts and academia.

WHAT: Staged Readings of “2012 Meets 1970” written by participants in About...Productions’ Young Theaterworks program, THROUGH THE AGES.
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m., and Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m., 2012
WHERE: Margo Albert Theater at Plaza de la Raza, 3540 N. Mission Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90031
COST: FREE Public Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        PRESS CONTACT:         Angelita Moraga
November 21, 2005                                                                         562-293-7619                             
CHICAGO: Big H…. Lil’ H…. Trudy… Jorge… Larry-all cast members in a teen play that takes Hamlet to the “Hood” where he must struggle to choose the right path despite the murder of his father, trouble with his girlfriend and the prospect of living with a stepfather whom he resents.
“Hamlet in the Hood” will be performed as a dinner theater on Thursday, December 8, 2005, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Alternatives, Inc. Youth Center, 4730 N. Sheridan Road. The menu includes Soul Food and Mexican entrees. Admission is free, but reservations are required by e-mail to, or by phone to 773-506-7474, ext 220, by December 1, 2005.
        “Hamlet in the Hood” is the creation of Senn High School students who participate in Alternatives, Inc.’s programs for youth. The teens wrote a successful grant proposal to the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority and received a $5,000 grant to produce the project. The Authority awards money yearly to creative youth-driven projects that promote non-violence in their community.
        “A lot of kids are going through the same things Hamlet went through,” says Alan McDuffy, 18, student director and co-writer. “Not getting along with their girlfriend, not having their fathers, death in the family, someone not liking you. The message we are intending to deliver is that dealing with these things through violence doesn’t solve the problem. It actually makes it worse.”
          “Hamlet in the Hood” is an urban rendition of Shakespeare, which sprinkles drama with hip comedy, break dancing and Hip-hop. Hamlet raps his soliloquies and asks the audience for their take on his plight. This version has two endings. The first conforms to Shakespeare’s original plot; the second is a “rewind” or “what if” take.
            “If we’re going to show non-violence we have to do it in a way the audience can relate to,” McDuffy says. “If you show it in the old form, they won’t pay attention.”
            “Hamlet in the Hood” is cast with students from area high schools, including Senn High School, Uplift Community School and Amundsen High School, as well as youth participating in Alternatives’ Juvenile Justice Diversion Program for first-time offenders.  
            Although the play is the first for the student scriptwriters, they have big plans for the production: They hope to take their “Hamlet” on the road to other high schools in Chicago and the Midwest and possibly make a movie version. Already, they have received positive feedback from community directors who have read the play and have years of experience directing Shakespeare.
          “It’s a brilliant concept and well-written play,” says Michael O’Rourke, artistic director of Scrap Mettle Soul, a community performance group in Uptown, Edgewater and Ravenswood. “I’m very impressed. This has a lot of potential.”

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