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June 12, 2018 > Benefit show for Castro Valley youth theater

Benefit show for Castro Valley youth theater

Submitted By Tina Newman

What do a baton twirler, a snake handler, and a young woman talking about her mother?s death all have in common? They?re all characters in Jane Martin?s play ?Talking With,? which will be performed on June 22nd and 23rd at the Douglas Morrison Theatre in Hayward. At this benefit for the Castro Valley Dramatic Arts Academy (CVDAA), a youth theater program, monologues of strong and intriguing female characters provide a showcase for the acting talent of eight young women from Castro Valley. All the performers have received their training through CVDAA, with some having taken CVDAA classes during several of their formative years.

Founded 15 years ago by Michael Lushington, the CVDAA program offers drama classes after school at all levels?elementary, middle and high school?as well as summer classes for middle school and high school students. The CVDAA philosophy is that no student, or audience member, is turned away for lack of funds. Class sizes are small enough to allow individual attention to students. However, this vision cannot be realized, and classes cannot continue, without community support.

This benefit performance for CVDAA is directed by Michael Lushington, who originally saw a production of ?Talking With? in the late 1980?s and was struck by the unique voices of each of the women in the play. He and Assistant Director Johnna Joy Ashton (once a CVDAA student herself and now program administrator) wanted to share these conversations on faith and career with the community. They also saw the opportunity to honor some of the incredibly strong acting talent exhibited by these young actresses: Liva Langer, Sarah Dove, Molly Brennan, Bella Stuewe, Emily O?Dwyer, Izabella Baker, Izzy Neves, and Isabella Ruiz.

Playwright Jane Martin, who wrote ?Talking With,? is the Banksy of the theater world; although her true identity is unknown, her body of work is well-known, especially ?Keely and Du,? which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and received the American Theater Critics Association New Play Award in 1994.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for students. Purchase in advance on the website, or at the door.

CVDAA production of ?Talking With?
Friday, Jun 22 and Saturday, Jun 23
7 p.m.
Douglas Morrisson Theatre
22311 N 3rd St, Hayward
(510) 881-6777
$30 adults; $25 students

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