Theatre students find outside stage

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT—Second year theatre majors Naoly Rojas, left, and Johnny Rodriguez passionately rehearse a five-minute scene outside the P2 building. CN/ Frank Vazquez

By Ariana Renteria

Echoes of voices can be heard walking down the ramp toward the P2 theatre building. Gradually the echoes begin to make sense. The voices are not random. They are poetry leaving the mouths of East Los Angeles College students.

The students are speaking words from the likes of “Hamlet,” “Rhinoceros in Love” and “Personal Messages.”

Not only are these words flowing from students mouths, they are passionately acted  out in plain sight as well. Although indoor practice areas are somewhat available to theater students, most of the time they will choose to practice outside.

Steven Lesedma, a first year theatre major said, the space is “nice, open, among nature and surrounded by other people who are also weird.”

Unlike other hang out spots at ELAC, this particular one is usually surrounded by students who are focusing on the arts. Students here can be seen playing guitar, practicing violin, among other instruments and dancers are also seen walking among the eclectic bunch that chose to make this spot their own.

For a person who does not frequent this somewhat hidden spot, it is a sight to see if only for the many impromptu performances going on outside. Passersby, who choose to stop and watch, might learn a new thing or two.

Armando Flores, a theater major, said “If you see someone rehearsing, stay and watch, it could be entertaining.”

Being a theater major or a student taking theater classes takes a bit of courage, due to occasional practices that take place out in the open.

Jules Dominguez said that although you don’t have a to be a professional acting student, what is required is that “students should have an open mind and be willing.”

“If you see someone rehearsing, stay and watch. It might be entertaining.”

Armando Flores


Unlike the less artsy majors, being involved in the theater world allows for many close-knit relationships.

Many long nights are spent practicing, building sets, making props and making friendly jokes.

Shawn Aguirre, a third year theater major said,“Theater is like a family.  They are the people you can’t stand and don’t want to see. But, ultimately they are family and we love each other.”

Aside from student actors, this area is also populated by student directors, who at the end of every fall semester direct their own scenes. It is filled with student stage managers who are learning the ways of managing in preparation of managing professionally one day.

This spot is taken up by student writers, lighting technicians and sound technicians; all the positions that are needed to create a production.

Watching these students in their elements, executing their crafts and taking on positions of authority adds a sense of connectivity and a sense of assurance that college is there to prepare students who are willing to take part in the learning process.

Among the outside jobs, family problems and financial problems there is one place where these students can come together.  There is one place among all the hustle and bustle of everyday life where students can find a place, among other individuals who understand them and feel like a family.

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