Drama prepares for upcoming shows

It’s a new semester at Los Medanos College and the drama department has already began working on special projects and events in addition to preparing for its usual two productions including bringing the hip-hop musical “My Block,” written by LMC student Federico Bartolo, to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Denver, CO.

“‘My Block’ is being performed and that is winning a national award,” said drama department chair Nick Garcia. “It was only one of four shows that was selected.”

“My Block” focuses on the struggle between two best friends and what happens when one falls for the other’s sister. It will be shown at the Pittsburg California Theater Tuesday, Feb. 9 and will run through Feb. 11 with 7 p.m. showings. Tickets for the show are $15 general admission, $12 with student or military ID and $10 with high school or middle school ID.

After the success of “Ruined” last semester, the all African-American play “Radio Golf” written by August Wilson will be directed by Tyrone Davis and performed at the Little Theater. The production will be opening in mid-March.

The choices for the second show of the semester, which will be a student-run play, will be chosen out of the following three plays: “Boeing Boeing,” “Reasons to be Pretty” and “Wonder of the World.” Final decisions will be made according to casting and decisions made by the crew. Performances will be held at the Little Theater in May.

“We wanted to give everybody an equal opportunity to be able to be in a show if they really wanted to be,” said drama student Du’Praiseja Smith.

Along with the two shows, the Drama Department has other projects in store as well. The seventh annual New Play Festival will be held in the Little Theater and directed by Garcia. This show includes a series of 10 to 15 minute short plays written by students and an improv show.

“Because it’s student-written work, it would be great if those students were supported by our fellow students around campus,” said drama student Elysse Green.

In addition to student work being performed at the New Play Festival, the LMC’s directing class will be be putting on it’s own production.

“Every two years I have a class where we write a full two hour play, we go from nothing to the full show in one semester,” said Garcia.

The drama department is currently accepting donations in order to help the around 30 students attend Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, a national program, where they will be able to develop their skills along with 18,000 other students from around the country in February.

“Come support your local theater because we’re doing amazing things,” said Smith.