YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Community News

HOLLYWOOD : Drama Looks at Violence, Guns, Youths

November 10, 1994|YVETTE CABRERA

Al Garrett's mother told him she would shoot him if he ever joined a gang.

That threat--and his mother's support--has kept the 19-year-old out of the swirl of violence that has claimed some friends in his Inglewood neighborhood.

"I saw the same kids who were approaching me to join the gangs dying. Even those who tried to leave the gangs would get shot a couple of months later by a rival gang who didn't care whether they were in or out of the gang," Garrett said.

Garrett, now a professional actor, plays the lead character in "POW!!" (Power Over Weapons), a two-act drama performed by the Theatre Rascals in Hollywood.

The play, with a cast of 28 performers ages 12 to 21, is a hard-impact drama about guns, violence and youngsters, based on the experiences of youths like Garrett.

"POW!!" centers on the Chamberlins, a family of three teen-agers and their mother, who raises them after their father's death. The teen-agers struggle with the pressures of growing up in the city.

"When the father dies, the family is disintegrated because they no longer have a father figure, so they fall victim to the outside vices. But in the end the family comes together. So the solution is that we all have to come together to conquer this problem over weapons," said producer Felecia Scott.

The pow of gunshots on high school campuses has become all too familiar. Playwright Deirdre Weston included a key scene about one of the Chamberlin boys who totes a gun to school to boost his low self-esteem. His gun accidentally goes off and kills a student.

"POW!!" will be performed at the Richard Pryor Theatre, 1445 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood, through Nov. 20; at 8 p.m. Fridays; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and at 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7.50 for 12 and younger. Information: (213) 466-1767.

Los Angeles Times Articles