Cornerstone Theater Company


Looking back at the California Bridge Tour

Cornerstone had the opportunity to have its year-long touring production of California: The Tempest featured in an exclusive HowlRound blog series. California: The Tempest celebrates and unites several diverse communities onstage, in the audiences, and in the content and themes of the play’s script and design. This series uses the communities as jumping off points to share thinking and experiences specific to the project, as well as Cornerstone’s longtime practice of creating community-based theater.

Interview With Michael GarcésBOARD_MichaelJohnGarces_SM
By Polly Carl
September 3, 2014
“Polly Carl recently talked with Michael Garcés, artistic director of Cornerstone Theater, about their touring production ‘California: The Tempest’, which revisits ten California communities that were part of ten years of Institute Summer Residencies.” Click here to read more.



B_P Donnelly_Picture 3Cornerstone Theater Company’s California Bridge Tour: Weedpatch, CA
By Paula Donnelly
October 10, 2014
“One of my all-time-favorite Cornerstone Theater experiences was in the summer of 2005. We were working in Grayson, CA (pop. 1000). It was opening night of Boda de Luna Nueva. I saw so many residents walking down the streets in the spectacular twilight to our outdoor theater—usually their basketball court. The audience is here! “Come in, come in!” we exclaimed. The audience is our guest of honor.” Click here to read more.


Lost Hills: Ten Years, a Spotlight, and Sleeping in a Copy RoomLost Hills
By Ashley Sparks
November 12, 2014
“Where were you, ten years ago in the summer of 2004? Cornerstone Theater Company (CTC) was birthing a grand idea. The Cornerstone Summer Residency Institute was an experiment in teaching, art making, and strangers living together in a middle school. Cornerstone recognized that there were limited experiential opportunities for students to study community-based theater-making. The company was receiving inquiries from people around the country looking for opportunities to shadow, intern, and learn about CTC’s methodology.” Click here to read more.


B_N_Andonyadis_Picture 3Westley and Grayson: Reflections From A Reluctant Californian
By Nephelie Andonyadis
January 16, 2015
“I was born and raised in Washington, DC, where I spent much of fifth grade on my state project: a mixed media scrapbook illustrating the economic, industrial, agricultural, cultural, and geographical aspects of a mythical state on the Pacific coast with crazy tall trees, mountains, deserts, navel oranges, and oil derricks. In 1973, my California was a cardboard and tempera painted bas-relief map pasted next to an autographed photo of Governor Ronald Reagan.” Click here to read more.


Finding Minerva: The Latest From Cornerstone’s Bridge Tour
B_J_Carrillo_Photo 2By Juliette Carillo
April 18, 2015
“Four years ago, members of Cornerstone Theater Company were in the underserved community of Pacoima auditioning for the role of Taco Man for Sigrid Gilmer’s brilliant farce, ‘It’s All Bueno’. Someone sent Karen over to audition. She had just done her first play, loved it, and was eager to do another one. A girl in her early twenties, she wasn’t exactly what Sigrid had written, but you have to be flexible when casting for Cornerstone! Karen was fearless and terrified at the same time, which pretty much describes her attitude towards everything. She got the role.” Click here to read more.


B_I_Gonzalez_photo 1-1My Time-Traveling Mosaic Journey on California: The Tempest
By Iris Gonzalez
October 25, 2015
“I’m sitting in the Buddhist Church activity room in Fowler, CA. It’s a Saturday afternoon and the sun’s rays are pouring into a room that Cornerstone Theater Company has appropriated to be an office/cafeteria/rehearsal space. I am one of about twenty people sitting in the weathered metal folding chairs. At this community conversation we, Cornerstone, invite the wonderful people of the Fowler community to speak about their experience working on this iteration of California: The Tempest.” Click here to read more.


Off the Road: California: The TempestB_A_Nichols_Photo 2
By Ash Nichols
November 24, 2015
I was wrestling the last of my suitcases out my front door. It had taken two trips to get them all down the stairs, and I was boldly hoping to take them all at once now that I was on level ground. “Oh, excuse me!” I said, pulling my luggage out of someone’s path as they tried to come in the door. It was my new neighbor with a friend. “Where are you headed?” they asked me, taking in my baggage situation. I reviewed the options in my head. I had been answering this question a lot lately, and I knew there was no answer I could give that was simple. Click here to read more.


B_N_Hyde_photo 4The Best Seat in the House: Stage Managing from Scaffolds
by Nikki Hyde
December 11, 2015
This past March, I found myself sitting on audience risers in Panzak Park in Fowler, California, a town near Fresno known for raisins and tree fruit. Everything about it was familiar: I could quote the play I was watching verbatim, most of the faces onstage I knew well from years before, and the tall scaffold behind me felt like home. I was a stage manager before I even knew what a stage manager did. Click here to read more.


B_D_Penilla_Photo 3Shakespeare in 3 Weeks: Working with Local Casts and Advancing Cornerstone’s California: The Tempest Tour
by Daniel Penilla
January 21, 2016
With nine months on the road, 218 cast members, and 26 performances in eight California towns behind us, Cornerstone is back home in Los Angeles for our final performances. Grand Park is the perfect place to end our tour. LA’s iconic City Hall seems part of our design as the sun colorfully sets. 
Click here to read more. 


B_P_Leong_Photo 2Cornerstone: Theatre in 4D (No glasses required)
by Page Leong
February 24, 2016
“I sit Californians down in rooms and ask them ‘Do you feel like Californians?’” Sebastia says pointedly, stranded by Prosper’s tempest on a mountain island with handpicked residents from the golden state. “Most of them? Most of them say ‘No’…” As a Cornerstone artist, I am often not of the community we are working with—an outsider, if you will. So the work calls for a balance between entering the community as a guest while hosting a co-creative process. In the case of California: The Tempest, it’s a bit more complicated. Click here to read more.