Cornerstone Theater Company

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Talk It Out: A Community Conversation to Fix School Discipline

This week we’re headed to Sacramento to launch Talk It Out: A Community Conversation to Fix School Discipline. Talk It Out strives to raise awareness about the use of harsh school discipline on a local and statewide scale, to personalize the discussion for people on all sides of the issues and to communicate in a…

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Café Vida: The Healing and Transformative Power of the Arts

“The biggest change that I see is them owning their voice and they are speaking from a place with more confidence…Their vision of their life has expanded by being part of a community outside of Homeboy [Industries] and becoming part of another family [Cornerstone Theater Company] with a direct mission has really helped them become…

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Living in Color

There’s something that Natalie Venegas sees that has always been present, but was once obscured by the insularity of gang life. Natalie sees beauty. The scenery viewed from the New York–Syracuse train running along the Hudson can bring her to tears; she has a deep understanding of the theater’s power of catharsis; she revels in…

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Jesse Gamboa: Aspiring Actor, Dedicated Father

Whenever I visit Homeboy Industries or Homegirl Cafe, employees ask me about Jesse Gamboa’s progress in Cornerstone’s production of Café Vida. I can tell that he’s a well-respected member of the Homeboy community and his co-workers are stoked about his involvement in the play. He has a radiant personality and it’s no surprise that he…

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Being Present

When we at Cornerstone engage members of a community, we typically ask folks to join us in a Story Circle. The Story Circle is a place where community members share their experiences. They answer a series of questions that begins with their names, where they live, and maybe even includes what they had for breakfast….

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Café Vida Behind-the-Scenes

Video: Father Greg Boyle talks about Café Vida, our collaboration with Homeboy Industries & Homegirl Café! April 26 – May 20, 2012 @ Los Angeles Theatre Center. Buy tickets here.  BUY TICKETS to Café Vida.

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Sue vs. Luz

“Sometimes I catch myself feeling emotions I would never feel back in my neighborhood. Stuff where you realize you are in the real world.” Sue Montoya plays Luz in Café Vida, a character whose shyness belies her strength. But unlike the character she plays, Sue thinks of herself as someone whose self-assurance is unmitigated. She…

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Meet Lynette aka Chabela in Café Vida

I recently had the opportunity to interview Café Vida cast member Lynette Alfaro about Homeboy Industries and her involvement in the upcoming production. Lynette’s humble personality and gratefulness stood out as she told me about her long-time aspiration to be an artist and the path that eventually led her to the stage. She is clearly…

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Café Vida Kicks Off!

Café Vida is a wonderful play and important cultural project for Los Angeles. I am very excited to be a small part of this project since it truly is an example of “socially-engaged art” that links to the community—specifically the men and women who work at Homeboy Industries. Evidence of this is the fact that…

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