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Cornerstone Timeline

Page history last edited by info@... 7 years, 8 months ago

A Cornerstone Timeline



1980-1986 The Prehistory of Cornerstone


Alison Carey, Bill Rauch, Chris Moore, Peter Howard, Lynn Jeffries, David Reiffel, Douglas Petrie, Amy Brenneman, Benajah Cobb, Asbhy Semple, and others all attend college at Harvard. They work together on a number of productions (notably an early version of MEDEA/MACBETH/CINDERELLA).




Newport News, Virginia (population: 144,903) -- OUR TOWN : a racially integrated production of Thornton Wilder's classic American play, performed outdoors with cast and crew of 35.


Marmarth, North Dakota (population: 190) -- THE MARMARTH HAMLET: a Wild West adaptation of Shakespeare, performed in the oldest vaudeville theater in North Dakota.


Prince George County, Virginia (population: 25,733) -- THE SNOW QUEEN : students aged 7-17 in Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale.


Ensemble: I CAN'T PAY THE RENT (premiered 1986) -- an original all-ages school assembly in which a familiar nine-line melodrama is interpreted in over a dozen theatrical styles. Performances (1986-1992): Over 100 performances in schools and community centers in Virginia, Texas, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., New York, Kansas, Nevada, Oregon, Mississippi, West Virginia, Maine and California.






Ensemble: THE MASKE FAMILY MUSICAL (premiered 1987) -- Part 1: The Underpants; Part 2: The Businessman -- a musical adaptation of a German Expressionist play cycle by Carl Sternheim that traces three generations of an immigrant family. Performances (all 1987): Front Royal, VA; Dinwiddie, VA; Independence, VA; Winchester, VA; Marion, VA; Chincoteague, VA; Pennington Gap, VA; Wytheville, VA; Agassiz Theatre, Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA.


Marfa, Texas (population: 2,466) -- THAT MARFA FEVER : a Western version of Noel Coward's Hay Fever in a U.S.O. hall with Spanish ballads and a chorus of "Canasta Tea Gals."


Dinwiddie County, Virginia (population: 22,602) -- THE PRETTY MUCH TRUE STORY OF DINWIDDIE COUNTY: an original play by then company member Douglas Petrie based on 200 years of history in one Virginia county.


Miami Beach, Florida (population: 96,298) -- THE DOG BENEATH THE SKIN: AN EPIDEMIC EPIC : Auden and Isherwood's early 20th century journey play adapted to the AIDS crisis; performed by a cast and crew of 40.


Norcatur, Kansas (population: 215) -- TARTOOF (OR, AN IMPOSTOR IN NORCATUR -- AND AT CHRISTMAS!) : Moliere's Tartuffe adapted to examine a disintegrating farm family with a cast and crew of 55 Kansans.







Ensemble: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (premiered 1988) -- Shakespeare's comedy set in a contemporary parochial school with Javanese-style shadow puppets as the Fairies and a set of table lamps as the "Rude Mechanicals." Performances: 1988 -- Radford University, Radford, VA; Warsaw, VA; Washington, VA; Powhatan, VA; Norcatur, KS; New Perf. Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Agassiz Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Henry Street Settlement, New York, NY; Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.; The Flood Zone, Richmond, VA; Blue Mountain Community College, Pendleton, OR; Alcorn State University, Alcorn, MS. 1989 -- Alden Theatre, McLean, VA; Dinwiddie, VA; Theatre IV, Richmond, VA; West Virginia State College, Institute, WV. 1990 -- University of Maine, Machias, ME; College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME. 1992 -- Highways, Santa Monica, CA.



Schurz, Nevada (population: 325) -- THE HOUSE ON WALKER RIVER : Aeschylus' trilogy of revenge and redemption, The Oresteia, adapted with full score in a tribal welding shop on the Walker River Paiute Indian Reservation.


Long Creek, Oregon (population: 230) -- THE GOOD PERSON OF LONG CREEK: Brecht's Good Woman of Setzuan staged in a cattle sale barn.





Port Gibson, Mississippi (population: 2,371) -- ROMEO & JULIET : Shakespeare's tragedy of familial hatreds performed by a racially integrated cast of 40 in a movie theater.


Montgomery, West Virginia (population: 3,104) -- THREE SISTERS FROM WEST VIRGINIA : set in a contemporary Rust Belt city and performed in the basement of City Hall, this adaptation of Chekhov focused on Appalachian out-migration.




Eastport, Maine (population: 1,982) -- PIER GYNT : Ibsen's epic adapted with music for this easternmost U.S. town and unfolding between 1930 and 1990; performed in a Masonic lodge by a cast including residents of the local Passamaquoddy reservation.



Ensemble: THE VIDEO STORE OWNER'S SIGNIFICANT OTHER (premiered 1990) -- an adaptation of a Frederico Garcia Lorca farce set in a mall video store. Nominated for four 1990 Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, D.C.; recipient of Outstanding Direction for Bill Rauch. Performances (all 1990): American Playwright's Theatre, Washington, D.C.; Agassiz Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; St. Clement's Church, New York, NY.





BRIDGE SHOW: National Tour (13 states) -- THE WINTER'S TALE: AN INTERSTATE ADVENTURE: A musical adaptation of Shakespeare with a cast and crew of 50 from all 12 previous residency communities; toured 10,000 miles, culminating Cornerstone's national touring phase.


Shortly after the tour, Cornerstone decides to make Los Angeles its headquarters. A significant re-organization ensues.






By age: The Angelus Plaza, Los Angeles (residents: 1,200) -- THE TOY TRUCK: adapted from a Sanskrit epic and performed in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Korean with residents of the nation's largest low-income housing complex for seniors.






By geography: Pacoima, Los Angeles (population: 93,358) -- RUSHING WATERS: an original musical fantasy by Migdalia Cruz about racism, justice, and a search for spiritual healing; based on 400 years of history in this community in L.A.'s northeast San Fernando Valley.





By culture and language: Arab-Americans, Los Angeles (population: 250,000) -- GHURBA: a play by Shishir Kurup based on stories of the Arab experience in Los Angeles, told through interviews with local residents citywide; an event of the Los Angeles Festival.


Commissioned Collaboration: Anacostia, Washington, D.C. (population: 217,000) : A COMMUNITY CAROL : a modern musical adaptation of Dickens' classic created at Arena Stage with residents of D.C. communities East of the Anacostia River; a cast of 30 portraying 170 characters on Arena's main stage.





Ensemble: TWELFTH NIGHT, OR AS YOU WERE (premiered 1994) -- Shakespeare's comedy adapted by Alison Carey and set poolside on a contemporary Southern California naval base. Winner of 6 Drama-Logue Awards including Outstanding Production. Named Best of 1994 by the Los Angeles Reader & Village View. Performances :(1994) - Taper, Too, Los Angeles, CA; 1996 - World Shakespeare Congress, Los Angeles, CA; 1997 - Theatre As A Learning Tool Conference, Los Angeles, CA.


BRIDGE SHOW: Los Angeles Tour -- L.A. BUILDING: Cornerstone's first Los Angeles Community Bridge Show brought together participants of the previous three residencies. This adaptation of a 1937 Chinese play toured 5 sites citywide with a cast and crew of 45 and involved dialogue and song lyrics in English, Spanish and Arabic.


Ensemble: EVERYMAN IN THE MALL (premiered 1994) -- The medieval morality play performed as a roving after-hours journey through a shopping mall. Named Best of 1994 by the Los Angeles Times. Performances (1994): Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA; (1997-Southern California Tour): Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA., Montclair Plaza, Montclair, CA., Topanga Plaza, Topanga Canyon, CA.


BREAKING PLATES & THE LOVE OF THE NIGHTINGALE : a two-part event at the Watts Towers Arts Center that included a celebration of the Towers' creation and history and Timberlake Wertenbaker's version of the myth of Philomele.


LOS FAUSTINOS: A contemporary, bilingual version of the Faust legend by Bernardo Solano, performed at the San Miguel Parish Hall by an all-ages cast of 30.




CALIFORNIA SEAGULL (premiered April 1995) -- Alison Carey's adaptation of Chekhov set on a contemporary California vineyard. Critic's Choice Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Reader & Backstage West. Performances:


1995 - Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA; The Keck Theater, Occidental College, Eagle Rock, CA;


1996 - Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; Contemporary Carmel Theatre Festival, Carmel, CA; American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, MA.



SID ARTHUR : An adaptation by Shishir Kurup of Herman Hesse's Siddhartha -- with Watts residents of all ages -- at St. Johns United Methodist Church.


WATTS BRIDGE SHOW: [THE CENTRAL AVE. CHALK CIRCLE]: The culminating project of a 15 month long residency, bringing together participants from the previous 3 Watts productions and 2 workshops in Lynn Manning's adaptation of Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Watts Labor Community. Action Committee Center, winner of the 1996 Ovation Award for Best Production of the Year.





Los Angeles - THE BIRTHDAY OF THE CENTURY: In celebration of Cornerstone's 10th Birthday - June 30,1996 - a play created with Angelinos of all ages born on June 30th. Written by Shishir Kurup and performed outdoors in English, with five other languages, at California Plaza.



Ensemble: MALLIÈRE (premiered October 1996) - Three Molière farces adapted by Alison Carey and transported to a Southern California shopping mall. Performances (all 1996):Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA.


Ensemble: California Seagull-The Short Cut - a short film based on the play, premiered on KCET in November of 1996.




Commissioned Collaboration: Downtown Los Angeles - BUS PLAY : Part of the Museum of Contemporary Art exhibit Uncommon Sense, a collaboration with MTA bus operators, members of the Bus Riders Union and Cornerstone collaborators from throughout the city including a new play TOKEN, ALIEN by Christopher Liam Moore and an 8-play festival all taking place on a city bus inside the museum.


Commissioned Collaboration: Lower East Side, New York - TOO NOBLE BROTHERS : a contemporary musical adaptation of Shakespeare and Fletcher's Two Noble Kinsmen produced in association with the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater at Seward Park High School with the participation of two dozen students.



CANDUDE, OR THE OPTIMISTIC CIVIL SERVANT: The culmination of the company's WORK/PLACE project involving Los Angeles Police Department, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles Public Library and U.S. Postal Service employees in Tracy Young's new musical adaptation of Voltaire's Candide, performed as a roving, site-specific journey through L.A.'s Central Library.



THE BH CYCLE: Boyle Heights - LOS VECINOS: A PLAY FOR NEIGHBORS: Involving residents of the East Los Angeles community of Boyle Heights, this adaptation by Luis Alfaro and Diane Rodriguez of the Mexican shepherds play, La Pastorela, performed at the Community Service Organization. Boyle Heights –




THE BH CYCLE: Boyle Heights - LOS BIOMBOS or THE SCREENS: This second play in our Boyle Heights residency was an adaptation of Jean Genet's The Screens by Gloria Alvarez directed by Peter Sellars. Performed as a roving journey through the 2nd floor of the East Los Angeles Skills Center.



THE BH CYCLE: Broadway & Hill (Chinatown)- A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY: Written and directed by Chay Yew and produced in Chinatown's Castelar Elementary School, a multi-media theatrical performance with dance, drama and drag.



Ensemble: EVERYMAN IN THE MALL(premiered 1994) -- The medieval morality play performed as a roving after-hours journey through a shopping mall. (1997-1998 Southern California Tour): Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA., Montclair Plaza, Montclair, CA., Topanga Plaza, Topanga Canyon, CA.



THE BH CYCLE: Baldwin Hills - MAGIC TRICKS: Ensemble artist Armando Molina directed Rickerby Hinds' adaptation of a play by Nigerian author Femi Osofisan with residents from this largely African American community in south Los Angeles, produced in an empty store at the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Plaza.



MEDEA/MACBETH/CINDERELLA (premiered April 1998)- Euripides', Shakespeare's, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's classics of populist theater performed on one stage simultaneously, three-ring circus-style. Produced in collaboration with the Actors' Gang. Performances (all 1998): The Actors' Gang Theater, Hollywood, CA .




THE MALLPLAYS March 4-21, 1999


Presented in association with Montclair Plaza, One Colorado (Old Pasadena) and Santa Monica Place, the MallPlays were the final stage of a Mall Touring Initiative designed to bring theater to shopping malls. In true site-specific festival format, three original short plays were performed simultaneously in each mall, followed by Cornerstone's centerpiece production. Performances were free and allowed the shopper/audience members to see as many as four plays during one visit to the mall. The Festival featured a total of nine original plays created by Cornerstone-affiliated artists, plus Cornerstone's ensemble creation, FOOT/MOUTH.


FOOT/MOUTH (premiered March, 1999) - Directed by Christopher Liam Moore, this site-specific play combined Samuel Beckett's Footfalls and Alison Carey's adaptation of Luigi Pirandello's The Man with the Flower in his Mouth and used infrared headsets for the audience to eavesdrop on the private conversations of actors playing shoppers. Performances (all 1999): Montclair Plaza, Montclair, CA; One Colorado, Pasadena, CA; and Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA.


THE BH CYCLE: Beverly Hills - A.K.A.: A BEVERLY HILLS MUSICAL MORALITY TALE. Artistic Director Bill Rauch staged Shem Bitterman's adaptation of The Marquis of Keith by Frank Wedekind in Beverly Hills High School.



Commissioned Collaboration: Bethlehem, PA - STEELBOUND : The centerpiece event of Touchstone Theatre's Steel Festival, Alison Carey's adaptation of Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound with a cast of over 50 including former steel workers, produced in the iron foundry of the former Bethlehem Steel home plant. Read the Arts for all People story of the production.




THE BH CYCLE: B. H. Bridge Show: BROKEN HEARTS - This production written by Lisa Loomer and staged by Bill Rauch brought together artists and audiences from all four "B. H." neighborhoods and was performed at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.





AN ANTIGONE STORY (premiered March, 2000) - Shishir Kurup wrote and directed this version of the Greek classic set in 2015 Los Angeles. Featuring eight original songs, the production was commissioned by the Getty Center. Performances (all 2000): The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA; Subway Terminal Building, downtown Los Angeles.


Commissioned Collaboration: New Haven, CT - THE GOOD PERSON OF NEW HAVEN: The final production of Long Wharf Theatre's 1999-2000 mainstage season, Alison Carey's adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's modern fable was created over three years in workshops involving hundreds of local residents.



AN ANTIGONE STORY Remount in the Subway Terminal Building.



Los Angeles - FOR HERE OR TO GO? In celebration of Cornerstone's 15th Anniversary , we brought together representatives from every L.A. community with which we have collaborated (15 communities) in our City-Wide, Jumbo-Sized, Extra-Value Holiday Show performed on the Mark Taper Forum's mainstage. Written by Alison Carey , inspired by Francis Beaumont's The Knight of the Burning Pestle.





2001 Fresno, CA- GROWING HOME: As part of a four-week residency at Cal State University's Summer Arts Program, students from throughout California and residents of this historic farming community collaborated with playwright Bernardo Solano and director Mark Valdez to explore the complex negotiations between development and agriculture.


Commissioned Collaboration: Cleveland, OH - PETER PAN: A contemporized version adapted by Alison Carey and directed by Bill Rauch involved residents from northeast Ohio. Performed at Great Lakes Theater Festival.



October 18 - November 18, 2001

A 5-week, citywide festival, featuring 21 faith-based projects, involving first-time artists alongside our ensemble's professionals, presented at 5 diverse houses of worship.

Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple, Hacienda Heights; The Los Angeles Baha'i Center, Baldwin Hills; Faith United Methodist community Church, South Central Los Angeles; Temple Emanuel, Beverly Hills; New Horizon Islamic School, Pasadena.



October 5 - November 9, 2001

Written by Peter Howard. Directed by Bill Rauch.

A new theatrical construction, built at the intersection of performance and community dialogue. Zones is part play, part community conversation-a participatory theater experience that invites audiences to share their thoughts and experiences as the action unfolds around them.




2002 New Brunswick, NJ- PRIVATE GHOSTS–PUBLIC STORIES: Ain Gordon's play, directed by Michael Rohd and Eric Ruffin, was inspired by the stories of the areas many ethnic groups. Performed at George Street Playhouse.


CROSSINGS, journeys of Catholic immigrants

June 13 - July 7, 2002

Playwrights Alison Carey, Peter Howard, Shishir Kurup, Page Leong, Armando Molina, Evangeline Ordaz, Bernardo Solano, and Bernard White adapted Old and New Testament stories to explore the journeys of 5 diverse parishes throughout Los Angeles. Directed by Steve Kent. Performed at St. Vibiana's Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles


MARY SHELLEY'S SANTA CLAUS: PRESENCE IN BOXES (premiered December 2002) - Mark Valdez directed this holiday show with a witty twist written by guest artist Erik Ehn. The show was a unique theatrical and multi-media experience, using video and extensive puppetry. Performances (all 2002): The Furious Theatre at the Armory Northwest in Pasadena.






February 20- March 22, 2003

Written by Luis Alfaro. Directed by Christopher Liam Moore. This production focused on the Los AngelesGay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Community's complex and dynamic relationship between faith and identity. Co-presented by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and performed at their Renberg Theater in Hollywood.



Black AIDS/Black Faith Project

June 12 - July 6, 2003

Phill Wilson of the Black AIDS Institute inspired this project with his passion for finding creative ways to reach African American clergy, provoking reflection on the effects of HIV/AIDS on their communities. Written by Tracey Scott Wilson. Directed by Paris Barclay and Mark Valdez. At the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) in Watts.


YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU by Moss Hart & George S. Kaufman (Oct. 9–26, 2003)

American Muslim Remix adaptation by Peter Howard. Directed by Mark Valdez. For the first time in this classic American comedy’s 70-year history, the estate of Kaufman/Hart approved this contemporary adaptation that revolves around the lives of a high-spirited Muslim family in Los Angeles, exploring themes of faith, family, individualism, politics and love. At the Los Angeles Theatre Center.





Written by Yehuda Hyman. Directed by Tracy Young. A new drama, with music and dance, that celebrates and explores the lives of the Los Angeles Jewish community in their search for light. At Greenway Court Theatre


SHARIF DON'T LIKE IT (Principle Photography completed June 2004) Written and directed by Shishir Kurup. The first feature-length film project created by and for the Cornerstone Ensemble.


WAKING UP IN LOST HILLS, a Lost Hills Community Collaboration (August 2004) – Written by Jose Cruz Gonzalez. Directed by Bill Rauch. Residents of Lost Hills, California and Cornerstone Institute participants will collaborate to present an original play based on the stories and experiences of this rural Central Valley town. At Lost Hills School Auditorium.


AS VISHNU DREAMS: Hindu Community Collaboration (Nov/Dec 2004)

Written by Shishir Kurup. Directed by Juliette Carrillo. This project involves L.A. area Hindus in a modern exploration/adaptation of the central story of the epic poem, The Ramayana. Partners include East West Players and the Indo-American Cultural Council





Written by James Still. Directed by Bill Rauch. In the tradition of Cornerstone's five previous Bridge shows, this epic project will bring together representatives of each previously explored community of faith. As we weave together multiple stories into an original musical tapestry, we will explore the invisibility of faith and the assumptions, false and true, we sometimes make about each other and our belief systems.


BODA DE LUNA NUEVA: NEW MOON WEDDING  Peter Howard's bilingual adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca classic Spanish play, Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding), transplants the tragic love story from the vineyards and wheat fields of old Spain to California's rich apricot orchards and tomato fields. Directed by Mark Valdez at United Community Center and Park in Grayson, CA. Original musical by Quetzal Flores. (August 2005)




Founding Artistic Director Bill Rauch and Founding Ensemble Member Christopher Liam Moore announce plans to leave Cornerstone. A search for a new Artistic Director begins, resulting in the hiring of Michael John Garces




3 7 11: A LINCOLN HEIGHTS TALE was inspired by the ways in which young people listen to other young people. Cornerstone collaborated with a 3rd grade class at Loreto Elementary School, a 7th grade class at Nightingale Middle School and an 11th grade class at Lincoln High School to explore what it is like to be you, at this age, this time, in this place?


DEMETER IN THE CITY Cornerstone celebrated its 20th birthday by collaborating with local 20-year olds to create this timeless play, based on Greek myth but rooted firmly in modern-day tales of separation, abandonment, reunion, and emancipation. Written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Shishir Kurup. Performed in downtown Los Angeles at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theatre).



AS YOU LIKE IT: A CALIFORNIA CONCOCTION Adapted by Alison Carey and directed by Bill Rauch. Shakespeare's court and country are now Southern California city and desert, and Shakespeare's themes of love, liberation and gender confusion unfold hilariously in a modern America obsessed with red states, blue states, political power and cultural identity.The Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA.


LETHE was the 2006 production of the Cornerstone Institute. This world premiere play was written by Octavio Solis, directed by Juliette Carrillo, and created in collaboration with Bay Area seniors and their caregivers. LETHE (pronounced LEE-thee), featuring original music by Beth Custer, tells the story of caregivers and older adults as they struggle with new beginnings, recent loss and the mystery of memory. Presented at the Presentation Theatre on the University of San Francisco campus.


THE FALLS is an example of a Cornerstone Commissioned Colaboration. Cornerstone Artistic Director Michael John Garcés and Cornerstone Founding Artistic Director Bill Rauch co-directed this new community-based play, written by Jeffrey Hatcher and inspired by Thornton Wilder's The Long Christmas Dinner. Performed during the inaugural season of the new Dowling Studio at The Guthrie Theater.


FAREWELL TO MANZANAR was originally offered as part of Cornerstone's Educational institue in 2005, and revived in late 2006, including special performances at the Japanese National Museum. The play was presented in conjunction with the Japanese American National Museum installation of the exhibition Ansel Adams at Manzanar, organized by the Honolulu Academy of Arts.








365 DAYS-365 PLAYS










Environmental Justice Residency

Justice Cycle Bridge Show


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