August 5, 2005

3rd Summer Institute Features Musical Drama Mariachi Quixote

Broadway and film star Daniel Valdez is among the featured performers who will be working with students of all ages during the Sweetwater Union High School District’s 3rd annual Summer Institute beginning Aug. 18.

The institute teams the district’s Visual and Performing Arts Department and Regional Occupational Program to give students real-life “know how” in a variety of arts occupations. This year’s production is an American Musical called Mariachi Quixote, by José Cruz González.

“This is a truly wonderful program now in its third year,” said William Virchis, VAPA director. “We are working to make this a tradition in our district and a staple in our students’ education. Working with experienced teachers and professional actors is an immeasurable benefit for all the participants.”

Performances are scheduled at Eastlake High School’s Chapman Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. from August 18-20 and at 2 p.m. on August 21. The Chapman Center is located at 1120 EastLake Parkway in eastern Chula Vista.

Mariachi Quixote is a music-filled journey through a young girl’s dreams, discoveries, and challenges in becoming the first female mariachi. The story takes place in East Los Angeles where the girl, Sanchi, and her mentor, Don Quezada, bring the play alive with an evening of great mariachi music and dancing.

Valdez is a veteran actor and co-founder of El Teatro Campesino. Valdez has appeared in numerous performances, including the original Broadway run of Zoot Suit and the national tour of Selena Forever. His film credits include And The Earth Did Not Part a film adaptation of the novel by Tomas Rivera, The China Syndrome, Born in East L.A. with Cheech Marin, and Which Way is Up with Richard Pryor.

The production staff includes Director Virchis; Co- Director Susan Stratton; Choreographers Kristin Greenway and Yolanda Beniquez; and Musical Directors Robert Ojeda and Guadalupe González.

The Summer Institute is a community cross-generational program involving small children as well as adults. Through this collaboration, students are offered the opportunity to work with professional actors and enhance their talents. For information regarding the program, please contact the Sweetwater District’s VAPA Department at (619) 691-5848).

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