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Theater Project for Latinos Gets $50,000 Grant

February 18, 1988|HERMAN WONG | Times Staff Writer

South Coast Repertory's Hispanic Playwright Project will have twice as much in its budget, and the project's annual workshop will last twice as long this summer, because of a $50,000 Ford Foundation grant announced Wednesday.

With a budget of $100,000, the 3-year-old play development program for emerging Latino writers will also offer a conference for directors, actors and dramaturges that will take place six weeks before the annual workshop. And money will be available for representatives of small Latino theaters to attend other conferences at SCR throughout the year.

"What this means in the long run is the operation of our project on a year-round basis," project director Jose Cruz Gonzalez said.

The grant is the first that the repertory company in Costa Mesa has received from the New York-based foundation.

Ruth Mayleas, a foundation program officer, called SCR's project "very valuable." She noted that the foundation has underwritten similar Latino programs, including those at the Los Angeles Theatre Center and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.

Of six plays developed during SCR's first Hispanic Playwright Project in 1986, four have been produced: Arthur Giron's "Charley Bacon and His Family" and Lisa Loomer's "Birds," both done at SCR; Eduardo Machado's "Once Removed," at the New Mexico Repertory Theatre, and Ruben Gonzalez's "The Boiler Room," at San Diego's Old Globe. Jose Rivera's "The Promise," which just opened at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, was one of six developed during last year's project.

Six playwrights for the 1988 workshop will be announced by May 20, director Gonzalez said. The workshop itself will last two weeks, Aug. 2-14, instead of one week, as in previous years.

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