International City Theatre on Long Beach, CA, has instituted several outreach programs for children and seniors in conjunction with its status as Resident Professional Company at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center.
This summer, in association with the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine, ICT will present free performances of Finding Home by Jerry Patch and Michael Bigelow Dixon in fifteen city parks, and will offer a low-cost six-week summer theatre conservatory for children ages six through 13. Already in place are programs to provide free and discounted tickets to elementary through college-age students; free tickets and transportation to seniors living in low-income senior residencies, and an internship program for advanced high school and college students.
"Even if a school is lucky enough to have a few art or music classes in these times of drastic funding reductions, there is very little, if any, exposure to professional theatre," said ITC's artistic director Shashin Desai. "It is our responsibility to change this. As for seniors, so many live on limited incomes or have no access to transportation. Ours is the only program in Long Beach that attempts to help seniors remain mentally active and to improve the quality of their lives by transporting them to professional theatre."
ICT's Summer Traveling Children's Theatre production of Finding Home offers a comic musical dealing with the immigrant experience. John-David Keller directs Christopher Halladay, Richard Soto, Hisa Takakuwa and Niambi Williams in fifteen free performances throughout Long Beach City parks. For more information and a schedule call (562) 570-3140.
ICT's Drama Conservancy for youth runs July 17-Aug. 26 at Recreation Park, 4900 E. 7th St. The cost is $150. For registration information call (562) 570-3111. For other ICT outreach information call (562) 495-4595. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent