FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE &
BROADCAST Publicity Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE & BROADCAST
Salinas, CA — January 18, 2007
One of the important missions of The Western Stage (TWS), in residence at Hartnell College, is to provide and promote educational and cultural projects that link the community to the academic and artistic resources available. TWS received an NEA grant to create a program called Salinas Stories, which seeks to document and present to the general public significant historical episodes and experiences of the people of the greater Salinas Valley.
The Japanese Internment experience of Salinas and Pajaro Valley residents is the focus of a project entitled Gaman - the Japanese word for “endurance with grace and dignity in the face of what seems unbearable”. The project integrates several performance modes: music, movement, poetry, video, audio and reading materials gathered from first-person accounts, journal entries, letters, government documents, news articles or newsreel footage, or archival photos.
The creative committee is comprised of a small, diverse group of TWS actors, directors, and staff members who came together with a like-minded interest in this often ignored episode of local and national history. With each new generation, few Salinas residents know that our Rodeo Grounds once served as the “Salinas Assembly Center” – an intermediary stop in the evacuation of 1500 residents. The passion for this portion of the Salinas Stories program began as an informal discussion amongst these individuals and progressed to weekly meetings in the home of committee member and longtime TWS company member Ron Cacas. Other committee members include longtime TWS company members and resident artists - Melissa Chin Parker, Dawn Flood, Philip Pearce, William J. Wolak, who have been recently joined by community volunteer Ron Perez.
This Open Studio Project will be performed in the Studio Theater at Hartnell College as part of SpringFest 2007 on February 16, 17, and 18, and will mark the 65th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which called for the incarceration of Japanese residents. Please call 755-6987 for more information.