Queer and Here in LA's Eastside

Eastside Queer Stories Festival premieres at Little Casa in Boyle Heights, June 17 - 26, 2016

By Maia Villa
Published on LatinoLA: May 19, 2016

Queer and Here in LA's Eastside

Q Youth Foundation and CASA 0101 Theater present Eastside Queer Stories Festival, a premiere production featuring new works by emerging and experienced playwrights from the LGBTQIA + / SOGIE / QTPOC community. The show opens at Little Casa in Boyle Heights on Friday, June 17th and runs until Sunday, June 26th.

Eastside Queer Stories Festival brings audiences laughs and tears through a series of 5-minute short plays exploring love, relationships, friendship, family, empowerment, and owning one's identity.

This premiere production grew out of Q Youth Foundation's Eastside Queer Storytelling events throughout the East Los Angeles area, and CASA 0101 Theater's Brown & Out Festival theatre ensemble. The creators of these two projects joined forces to develop a brave, inclusive space where LGBTQIA + / SOGIE / QTPOC artists workshopped their ideas and stories for the stage.

Playwright Jaime Mayorquin, who has written for Brown & Out in the past, stated about the workshop, "I really wanted to be part of a group like this. I wanted the camaraderie, the bonding...This production has given me a good opportunity to experience different levels of coming out stories, has helped me accept my own story, and has given a humanity to the identity of what gay is. I love that."

Many of the playwrights involved have come from other arts, such as visual art, music performance, long-form storytelling, and more.

Visual artist Andrew Cervantes talked about the process of shifting to a theatrical lens: "...When I wrote my first play, I was painting pictures with my words. Through the workshop, I learned that it's okay to let other people...the directors, the characters...build that picture on their own. It's not so reliant on me painting it, as much as it is about giving them the paint."

The Eastside Queer Stories Festival team hopes that audiences from all angles of the LGBTQIA + / SOGIE / QTPOC spectrum will leave the theater inspired to join the production team next year and many years to come.

The cast of Eastside Queer Stories Festival includes Lauren Ballesteros, Miss Barbie Q, Alana Duvernay, Sujey Gonzales, Karlo Ishibashi, Rosa Navarette, Matthew Ramos, and David Reza.

Eastside Queer Stories Festival is produced by Ana Bernal, Claudia Duran, and Miguel Garcia. Additional Associate Producers, Writers, and Directors include Abel Alvarado, Andrew Cervantes, Karina Contreras, Antonio X. Garcia, Henry Alexander Kelly, Jaime Mayorquin, Semantha Phillips, C.M. Price, Cinnamon Rivera, Maia Villa, and Patricia Zamorano.

Performances are held on: Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m.
at Little Casa Theater, located at 2009 East 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 students/seniors, $10 Boyle Heights residents/Groups of 10+. For tickets, please call the box office at (323) 263 - 7684 or visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2549826.

Free parking is available on Fridays and Saturdays at the Boyle Heights City Hall Parking Lot located at 2130 East 1st Street, entrance on Chicago. Otherwise, there is available street parking on Cummings Street.

More about Q Youth Foundation:
Q Youth Foundation is an organization that promotes positive culture for the LGBTQIA+ / SOGIE community by creating safe/brave spaces for community members and youth. We provide resources, education, and outreach for the under-served LGBTQIA+ / SOGIE community in Los Angeles.

More about CASA 0101 Theater:
Founded by Josefina Lopez in 2000, Casa 0101 is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to providing vital arts, cultural and educational programs – in theater, digital filmmaking, art and dance – to Boyle Heights and its surrounding communities. For more information about Casa 0101 and its classes, visit www.casa0101.org.

About Maia Villa:
Maia Villa is the Media and Marketing Coordinator for Q Youth Foundation. She is an actress, director, playwright, comic, and rising spoken word artist. Follow her work at www.maiavilla.com.
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