ELAC Theatre Student Pushes to Dream

by Rogelio Alvarez

East Los Angeles College student Jasia Topete’s past involvements in theater have been a major contribution to her growth as a student and as a person.

Theater and Chicano Studies major Jasia Topete has been involved in ELAC Theatre Arts Productions and in Casa 0101 plays.

Last spring semester, Topete portrayed Sargent Verges in William Shakespeare’s play “Much Ado About Nothing” directed by theatre arts instructor Kelly Hogan.

Topete will compete on Feburary 2016 in The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival hosted by the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Chaminade University of Honolulu for their roles in “Much Ado About Nothing”.

“As an actor, every piece of work that you do, you take with you when you work on a new piece,” said Topete.

Outside of the campus theater productions, Topete was cast in “Un Acto con Impacto”, a sub production of “Chicanas, Cholas Y Chismes” presented by CASA 0101 and directed by Sylvia L. Chavez, Claudia Duran, Lindsey Haley, Maria G. Martinez, Elvia Rubalcava and Vilma Villela.

“When I did “Un Acto con Impacto” a lot of the actors had  much more experience. I was the baby there so I learned from people who had been acting for a lot of years and worked with different directors too.” Topete said.

Topete first took acting classes last semester and began to audition for roles immediately after.

Her roles in “Chicanas, Cholas y Chismes lead her to be casted in “Drunk Girl”, a series of plays directed by a series of directors that included ELAC alumni Maria G. Martinez.

Claudia Duran was one of the directors that worked with Jasia Topete on “Un Acto con Impacto” and is currently working with Topete on “Drunk Girl” as a producer and director.

“Having worked with her before and seeing her growth has been so awesome. She’s definitely much more confident and vulnerable in the different roles that she has.” said Duran.

She was raised by a single mother and her father was incarcerated while she was growing up. Although, he’s been released from prison, he remains absent in her life.

Throughout her journey as an actor, Topete received little support from her mom.

“ She thinks I’m over here playing games. She doesn’t understand how much discipline and work goes into it and how tiring it is. It motivates me to show them I can do it without their support,” said Topete.

Topete was casted as a Nanny in the upcoming contemporary play “A Doll’s House”.

Jasia Topete’s performances can be seen on Fridays and Saturdays from September 25-October 18 at the CASA 0101 production, “Drunk Girl.”



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