Celebration Theatre Recognizes Transgender Experiences

Q&A by TeenTix LA Intern Albert Tran

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Happy Pride Month, everyone! We are so excited to celebrate Celebration Theatre’s current production, TALES OF THE TRANSCESTORS. This important show acknowledges transgender individuals and their immense erasure and/or unrecorded moments from history. Based on personal and real-life experiences, TALES OF THE TRANCESTORS brings to you all an interpretative, first-time, live-telling of 6 transgender stories across history. Performed by 6 different artists, it’s a multi-genre experience infused with music, poetry, and one-acts that will bring about an authentic and unique perspective to the intersectional transgender experiences LIVE on stage. We asked Shaan Dasani, the play’s director, to further elaborate on this production.

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Why did your organization want to specifically showcase TALES OF THE TRANSCESTORS?

Celebration Theatre’s 40-year mission has been to entertain, inspire, and empower with innovative productions that celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. The stories of our trans* family within that community, however, have too often remained untold. Celebration’s Interim Artistic Director, Ann James [Hamilton, Lempicka] (she/they) says, “This is a show that everyone can learn from and enjoy. I hope that the Hollywood Fringe and PRIDE audiences come out to see these artists bring respect to our community ancestors.”

What message do you (or your team) want for teens to obtain from seeing this play?

We're at a time right now where the conversation around trans* identity in media has been both a powerful tool for visibility and community building and has also put trans people under a sometimes uncomfortable microscope, especially as related to teens. We want younger folks to know that there were people who came before, that this isn't new, and that they are a part of a resilient history, and that resilience is a part of them.

What is an emotion/feeling you and your team hopefully want audiences to feel and why?

Inspired. Here are 6 stories about people who lived in their identity when it might have been near impossible to access community, medical care, stable employment, or other resources we have access to today, but they did it on their terms. They found a way to live true to themselves, which is ultimately what I hope we all strive for.

What is the meaning behind this production and what does it mean to you?

Trans history isn't taught in schools. And the history that has been recorded was many times sensationalized by the media at the time. We wanted to give ourselves a chance to explore the history of trans identity through cultures and through time, and bring these stories forward with dignity and respect, through the interpreted lens of these people, by actors who would feel connected to them. In this rendition, we go as far back as the mid-1800s, focusing largely on people who lived in North America, so this is just a small window into our history.

How important is this production to you and is there anything within the show (that you can disclose) that leaves a lasting impression?

At the end of the day, TRANSCESTORS is not just a show about trans people, it's a show about people and how they lived... some were musicians, some fought in wars, some are more rooted in local community impact.... all of them just happened to be trans. That's important, because seeing our stories from this frame helps humanize our experience beyond just one identity. It helps us be seen as a part of the fabric of society in a more holistic sense.

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TeenTix LA would like to echo Shaan, the 6 artists, as well as the rest of the Celebration Theatre team that words have remained truly unspoken for many transgender folks throughout history. This uplifting production celebrates the transgender community and creates much-needed visibility for them. We are so thrilled this production exists -- not just for LGBTQ+ audiences, but for everyone who can gain inspiration from watching it. Just in time for Pride Month, this production is available with our TeenTix Pass for only $5. Fair warning – they only have TWO SHOWS LEFT (one on the 24th & other on the 25th) so once you are done reading this, click on our events calendar tab and make a plan to see this show!

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Celebrate KING OF THE YEES!

Q&A by TeenTix LA Intern Albert Tran

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In the spirit of celebrating last month’s AAPI month, we at TeenTix LA wanted to highlight Sierra Madre Playhouse’s current production of KING OF THE YEES. This spectacular production was directed by Tim Dang and written by Lauren Yee. The play tells the comical yet realistic story of growing up in Chinese American culture. For nearly twenty years, playwright Lauren Yee's father Larry has been a driving force in the Yee Family Association. Lauren has to race through history, space, and the fourth wall to find her father in this adventurous joyride through San Francisco’s disappearing past. KING OF THE YEES celebrates the emotional truths that everyone, including AAPI folks, can relate to. We asked the play’s director, Tim Dang, to further elaborate on this topic.

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Why did your organization want to specifically showcase KING OF THE YEES?

Because of the diverse communities in the San Gabriel Valley, Sierra Madre Playhouse's mission is to connect people of our diverse communities to each other through bold, resonant live theater in an intimate setting that inspires, entertains, and celebrates our shared humanity. And in honor of May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, this play, King of the Yees by Lauren Yee, is the perfect production at the right time with its Asian Pacific. Although the themes are specifically educating us about Chinese American culture, this story has universal truths for all of us.

What message do you (or your team) want for teens to obtain from seeing this play?

The message of the play is for everyone, especially teens and young adults to always be “curious" about life. In this specific production, the knowledge about what our parents' generation grew up with will have a significant impact on the current generation and their future. By being curious, we ask a lot of questions. How do we stay connected to our past while moving forward in a changing world? How do the different generations navigate cultural, national, and familial borders of appreciation and understanding of each other?

What are some of your favorite moments and/or obstacles your team has faced in bringing this production to the big stage?

As this is an intimate theater, our challenge is to bring the human story up close and personal to our audience members. Unlike a big blockbuster film where you will see big special effects and action sequences, live theater has a smaller budget which gives each audience member the opportunity to use their imagination of what they are seeing. The audience member sees their own unique special effects and action sequences in their mind. But our favorite moments are bringing the celebration of Chinese culture and sharing it with the entire community.

What is the underlying significance of this play and why should people see it?

People are starting to travel again now that we are post-pandemic. Adventure is back in style. All the news headlines are telling us that the world is constantly changing at lightning speed. What playwright Lauren Yee has created is a fantastical journey through San Francisco Chinatown right from your seat. It is a theatrical joyride that is part Alice in Wonderland, part Wizard of Oz, and part lesson of self discovery. Everyone should see this play because it is a hilarious adventure while being a heartbreakingly honest story about the relationship between a daughter and her father.

What does this production mean to you and your team?

This production is all about connections. How can we appreciate the life that our parents went through in order to make our lives so much better and to make a better future for us and for our children. We need to be curious about how our parents grew up so that we can learn from them and apply our own life skills to building a better future.

In addition, I do have one bonus question – with May serving as AAPI month, what type of impact do you want for AAPI individuals to take away from this experience?

One of the best things for AAPI individuals to take away from this experience is to have pride about the culture in which we grew up in. To celebrate the culture, to celebrate the language, and of course, to celebrate our food. In many ways Chinese food is one of the easiest ways to share our stories. Eating is such a big part of our culture, that the conversations we have over a meal can have life long lessons along our journey of life.

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Here at TeenTix LA, it’s so important to us that we take the time to acknowledge different cultures and to create a better understanding of the individuals around us. That is why it is significant to experience the stories of the people who have gone through different cultural shifts and experiences. KING OF THE YEES serves as a purposeful message to show how AAPI culture creates universal lessons amongst ourselves. This play is OUT NOW – available until June 12th, so make sure to head over to our events calendar and purchase your $5 tickets using our TeenTix Pass.

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Governor “ANN” Richards Is Ready To See Us

Q&A by TeenTix LA Intern Albert Tran

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Pasadena Playhouse sets the stage for audiences to check out ANN, their newest production. ANN is written and performed by none other than Emmy Award-winner Holland Taylor. Taylor performs a memorable tribute and shines a positive light on the late Texas Governor Ann Richards. Through Taylor’s performance as Ann Richards, she is able to exude confidence and accompany a fresh yet colorful side to the character. Taylor’s successful performances throughout Texas, Chicago, Washington, DC, and at Broadway’s Lincoln Center have made this a long-awaited event in LA To get you excited for this awesome show, we asked Nelly Mueller, Marketing Manager for Pasadena Playhouse, a few questions about this highly-anticipated play.

- Why did Pasadena Playhouse choose Ann?

Ann was originally part of our 2019 - 2020 Season, before the pandemic hit. We're thrilled to be bringing back this show for its West Coast premiere this season, particularly because this will be Holland Taylor's last time performing this role. Our Producing Artistic Director, Danny Feldman, put it this way: "Holland Taylor is a true legend - her conception, writing, and performance of this show are evidence that she is truly one of the best we've got. It is a privilege to have her here with us to tell her delightful version of the story of Texas Governor Ann Richards one last time."

- What are some highlights or challenges from this production?

As is the nature of live theater, it's important to be ready for anything, and we have a truly excellent team here at Pasadena Playhouse that is always ready to expect the unexpected! We've also been lucky enough to collaborate with some of the team members at ZACH Theatre in Austin, TX to ensure that this production is the best it can be.

- What do you hope for teens to take away from the experience of viewing this production?

We hope that beyond enjoying the return of live theatre after a two year long absence, teens feel encouraged to register to vote! Holland Taylor reminds us that Ann Richards always said to "quit whining, and start participating." For this show, we've even teamed up with When We All Vote to make it easier than ever to register and participate in local and national elections, just like Governor Richards said we should. Visit WhenWeAllVote.org/Ann to learn more.

- What your team is most proud of when doing this production?

This is our second in-person show that we've put up since COVID, and we're so thrilled by the amount of support we've received from our community. We're very proud of being a member supported theater, and it was the support for those members and the greater Southern California community that has allowed us to keep making bold and important theater. It really does take a village!

We are so happy and ecstatic that Pasadena Playhouse is back and better than ever. Their shows never fail to succeed and that is why so many community members around the Southern California area love them so much to keep their in-person shows running. We can’t wait for you all to go see ANN and hope y’all can be moved by Holland Taylor’s legendary portrayal of an iconic leader. Remember teens, you can head over to our events calendar and purchase your $5 tickets using our TeenTix Pass. Get your tickets as soon as you can before Governor Ann Richards retires for the VERY last time.

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The Skirball’s Newest Exhibition Explores Our Universe

Learn more about The Skirball Cultulral Center's awesome exhibition.

Q&A by TeenTix LA Intern Albert Tran.

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“To boldly go where no man has gone before…,” is a well-known and iconic quote that has been referenced throughout culture in shows and movies. A generational franchise like Star Trek broke boundaries, creating a cult following for all sorts of people, especially those interested in science fiction. At first, it started as a television show, but that later grew into several spin-off shows as well as film adaptations. It’s no wonder that our friends at The Skirball Cultural Center decided to highlight a phenomenal franchise like Star Trek. We went on the scene to ask members of their staff a series of questions of why they decided to focus their current exhibition on the world of Star Trek and more. Read below to see what they answered!***Q&A between Albert Tran (Marketing Intern, TeenTix LA), Meredith Lancaster (Administrative Assistant for Communications and Marketing, The Skirball Cultural Center), Jennifer Caballero (Marketing Director, The Skirball Cultural Center) and Laura Mart (Curator, The Skirball Cultural Center)

Why did your organization decide to choose to curate an exhibition about the history of Star Trek?

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Mark your calendars - week of December 6!

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Hey, TeenTix LA community! We're so excited to share that - OH SO SOON - teens in Los Angeles can start using their TeenTix Pass at our growing list of arts partners! How exciting!!

Starting the week of December 6, you can use your pass at: Pasadena Playhouse, A Noise Within, Sierra Madre Playhouse, Skirball Cultural Center, & Lineage Performing Arts Center... and that list will continue to grow over the coming weeks/months.

Make sure you are signed up for a PASS!

Keep an eye on our CALENDAR OF EVENTS!

Our arts partners can't wait to invite you into their spaces soon! Any questions? Reach out to info@la.teentix.org!

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Join the TeenTix LA Community!

Welcome to the brand new TeenTix LA website! We’re SO excited you’re here.

Introducing Teen Tix LA

As we gear up for the official launch of the program, we’d be thrilled for you to join the TeenTix LA community now -- at our very beginning.

Ways to get involved:

Are you a teen looking to get access to amazing arts tickets in LA? Click here!

Are you a parent/guardian looking to get your teen involved? Click here!

Do you work at an arts/cultural organization or youth-serving organization and want to become a TeenTix LA partner? Click here!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook and sign up for our weekly newsletter to be the first to know about our upcoming plans.

TeenTix LA exists to make the incredible arts and culture of LA accessible to teens. We can’t wait for you to see all of the awesome things we have in store!

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