Cornerstone Theater Company

The Hunger Cycle Plays


Experience the second play in Cornerstone Theater Company’s Hunger Cycle, SEED: A Weird Act of Faith, a fantastical tale that travels between an urban farm, a rural haven, and the contested space of agribusiness. Inspired by the community of South Los Angeles and those fighting for sustainable and healthful food choices, SEED follows a neighborhood struggling to grow greens amid concrete. The only hitch? The gods have deemed humanity bound for destruction, and our survival depends on the success of one urban farm. SEED takes you on a journey where you’ll dig deep into the dirt and ask, “What are we putting in, and what are we getting out?”


Join us throughout the SEED run for Creative Seeds events. You’ll have the chance to meet the artists, learn more about issues of hunger, justice, and food equity, and get a taste of more art being made in the community.

Visual Art & Social Action
Sunday, October 28, 4:30 p.m.
How do the visual arts provoke us to think about and take action on social issues, such as hunger in our communities?  Join us for a conversation featuring renowned muralist Noni Olabisi (who created the SEED image), Yreina Crevantez, and Alma Lopez. Moderated by Raquel Gutiérrez, Cornerstone Manager of Community Partnerships.

Yreina Crevantez
Yreina D. Cervantes is a second generation Chicana born in Kansas and raised in Southern California. She received her degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and earned a Masters of Fine arts degree from the University of California in Los Angeles. A versatile artist, she works in several media. Her artistic sensibility is drawn heavily from her cultural heritage.She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has received numerous awards for her achievements. She is a veteran artist who has worked at Self Help Graphics and Art, Inc. and is currently a professor at CSUN.

Alma Lopez
Born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa and raised in East Los Angeles, Alma López got her MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 1995. She has taught as a Visiting Artist in departments of Chicana/o Studies and LGBTQ Studies at UC Riverside, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, and Loyola Marymount University. Her work has been exhibited in museums and community organizations all over California and the Southwest and nationwide, as well as internationally in Mexico City, Ciudad Juárez, Naples, Italy and Cork County, Ireland. Through her work, her activism, and her popular website, López upholds her position as one of the most visible and cutting-edge Chicana feminist activist artists in the country.

Noni Olabisi
Olabisi is known for her bold and representational mural work, including the seminal and controversial piece “To Protect and To Serve,” an homage to the Black Panther movement. Fueled by community voices, concerns, and spirituality, Olabisi’s work has traditionally examined the conditions and experience of African American people, the effects of slavery and the power of transformation. She has been commissioned by the Office of Cultural Affairs of the City of Los Angeles and has worked with the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), among others. The image for SEED:  A Weird Act of Faith was created by Olabisi and exists also as a mural at Cornerstone’s office in the Arts District in downtown LA.

Social Enterprise in South LA – A Community Conversation
Thursday, November 1, 7:00 p.m.
How does private and philanthropic investment in social enterprise benefit the community? Do social enterprises like the urban farm we see in SEED inspire creative place-making? We’ll explore these questions with social enterprises working in and for South LA communities.

Post-show Conversation with Cast
Thursday, November 8, 10:30 p.m.
Join members of the cast from SEED in a post-show dialogue moderated by Raquel Gutiérrez, Cornerstone Manager of Community Partnerships.


Healthy Expedition of South LA
Friday, November 9, 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.  
We take you on a tour of our favorite Inglewood eateries, including Mr. Wisdom LA Organic Health Foods & Hare Krishna Restaurant and Stuff I Eat.  This culinary adventure will serve as a launch pad for conversation about the area’s historical and cultural geography.
*Note: The Healthy Expedition has been postponed to a future date. Also, there is no performance of SEED on this date.

Performance by Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras (Day Labor Theater Without Borders)

Sunday, November 11, 1:00 p.m.
Experience a performance by Teatro Jornaleros Sin Fronteras (TJFS), a Los Angeles-based ensemble theater group of day laborers, before going to see SEED: A Weird Act of Faith.
*Note: This event has been cancelled.

Theater in the Streets: A Community Conversation
Sunday, November 11, 1:30 p.m.
Before the show, join Teatro Jornaleros Sin Fronteras (TJFS) and other community-engaged artists and activists (to be announced) as they discuss street art.
*Note: This event has been cancelled.


The Garden Gateway Project: Film Screening & Panel
Tuesday, November 13, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Get to know our SEED community partner, Community Services Unlimited (CSU), at this screening of the 50-minute documentary, “THE GARDEN GATEWAY PROJECT,” about CSU’s Mini Urban Farm and its inspirational neighbors and tillers (watch a preview). We’ll follow with a panel featuring CSU members, community farmers and scholars discussing the role of community-run and community-based farm programs.
*Note: This event will be held at Mercado La Paloma.

Post-show Conversation with Cast
Thursday, November 15, 10:30 p.m.
Join members of the cast from SEED in a post-show dialogue



International Food Festival hosted by No More Pain

Friday, November 16, 6:00-9:00 p.m.               No More P.A.I.N. will be hosting an event that introduces high-risk/displaced youth to the diversities of cultures in our own city of Los Angeles and surrounding areas through food and the history of the food’s origins. Cornerstone will be contributing diverse dishes – we hope to see you there!

Youth Justice: A Community Conversation
Friday, November 16, 7:00 p.m.
SEED explores the notion of “the ‘hood” and the various stereotypes associated with urban areas such as South LA.  We’ll be talking with youth and with program representatives who are invested in fighting these stereotypes and reframing how their communities are depicted and regarded, particularly in relation to punitive/justice systems.
*Note: This event has been cancelled.

Check out the community partners for SEED:

South Central Farmers
Community Market Conversion (CMC) Program
Root Down
Community Services Unlimited

Sigrid Gilmer

Sigrid’s full-length plays include The Great White Way, Ball Game, Slavey and Axiom. The Great White Way began at the Flea Theatre’s Pataphysics Workshop led by Paula Vogel, in March of 2006. Sigrid has worked with Cornerstone Theater (The Brothers, 2009; A Space Between, 2008; Phantoms at my Table, 2008; Head Trip, 2008; The Sweep, 2007), Watts Village Theatre Company (Axiom, 2008). Clubbed Thumb Theatre Company (Slavey, 2008) and Playwriting Center of Theatre Emory (Brave New Works, 2009). Gilmer has a BA in theatre from Cal State LA (1997), where she studied with Jose Cruz-Gonzalez, and a MFA in playwriting from Cal Arts (2005), where Suzan-Lori Parks and Erik Ehn mentored her. Sigrid has been a Jerome, PONY Fellowship, New Victory Garden’s IGNITION, and Kesselring finalist (2006, 2007 & 2008). She has studied theatre in Japan, Rwanda and the University of Iowa. Current obsessions include: American history, Reality TV, whiteness, the mind and the Misfits. Sigrid lives in Los Angeles.

Shishir Kurup

Over the past few years Shishir directed Michael Garces' first play for Cornerstone, Los Illegals, wrote and directed On Caring for the Beast, was the lyricist for Cornerstone's Making Paradise: The West Hollywood Musical and in Spring '11 directed Lynn Manning's The Unrequited in the community of Watts. He will be writing the Hunger of Addiction play which goes up in '14. Shishir has acted in numerous Cornerstone shows, currently in Lisa Loomer's "Cafe Vida and has written over a 150 songs for various Cornerstone productions. The songs he wrote for the Medea portion of MedeaMacbethCinderella (MMC), a production originally created as a collaboration between Cornerstone Theater and The Actor's Gang in 1998, will be part of the 2012 Oregon Shakespeare Festival's season running from late April to late November 2012. He is also a solo performer and a founding faculty member of the new Applied Theatre Arts MA program in the School of Theatre at USC. Shishir’s play Merchant on Venice premiered in Chicago and appears in the anthology Beyond Bollywood and Broadway. He recieved the TIME (Time for Inspiration, Motivation and Exploration) Grant from the Audrey Skirball Foundation for his body of work. He's a Princess Grace Fellow, TCG/Alan Schneider directing finalist, two-time Herb Alpert nominee and MAP grantee. His feature film Sharif Don’t Like It (writer/director) is about the loss of Habeas Corpus and most recently the short documentary Amu's Kitchen about his mother which was created for Cornerstone's "Creative Seeds," both of which will soon be seen on Vimeo. Shishir's TV and film credits include: Bones, Lost, Sleeper Cell, Alias, Monk, Surface, Heroes, various pilots and most recently the Disney Channel movie musical, Lemonade Mouth. His most profound, instructive and daily inspiration, however, is his daughter Tala Claye Ananya Perl Kurup.

Healthy Expedition of South LA Friday, November 9th 6-10 PM Join us for this exciting adventure through South LA where we will uncover three culinary gems in what is often considered a food desert. Inspired by our current production of SEED: A Weird Act of Faith, this tour will provide samplings of some of the famous fare and transportation from Chuco’s to each location. Come learn more with Cornerstone as we explore South LA and their relationship to food! For more information and to buy tickets click here! Check out the community partners for SEED: South Central Farmers The South Central Farmers have been fighting for 8 years to preserve 14 acres of what used to be open green space in the middle of South Central Los Angeles. The South Central Farm, located at 41st and Alameda Streets in South Los Angeles, was thought to be the largest community farm in the United States. The documentary film “The Garden” tells the remarkable story of the South Central Farmers fight to save their 14-acre community garden. Community Market Conversion (CMC) Program The CMC Program is an initiative of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA) to expand access to nutritious food and revitalize the food retail environment in underserved neighborhoods by converting convenience stores into healthy food markets. A pilot in South Los Angeles is focusing on the transformation of 4 corner stores through a community-guided process. Root Down Root Down confronts obesity and related health issues in South Los Angeles by first convincing high school youth to eat their veggies, then engaging them in the educational experiences and skills training necessary to help build healthier food communities. They build demand for healthy food in urban areas so that those farmers and food producers who can supply it will have new and stronger markets. Community Services Unlimited CSU’s mission is to foster the creation of communities actively working to address the inequalities and systemic barriers that make sustainable communities and self-reliant life-styles unattainable. They support and creating justice-driven community-based programs and educational initiatives, which seek to foster dialogue, and create awareness and critical consciousness. Check out the documentary on the work of Community Services Unlimited in South Central Los Angeles.