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With support from the California Arts Council, in April of 2023, EST/LA established a collaborative partnership with Sotomayor Arts and Sciences Magnet by providing a Standards-based theatre and writing program, along with an Arts Exposure program. This partnership will enhance students’ arts and academic learning

Program Administrator

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Susan “Susie” Franklin Tanner (Program Manager) is an innovator in the field of documentary theatre & arts education with over 30 years of experience as a producer, director, actor, teaching artist and professional development provider. Susie leads EST/LA's new Education & Outreach initiative. She is the Founder/Director of TheatreWorkers Project (TWP), the program director for TWP’s Arts in Corrections program at California State Prison-Lancaster,and leads multiple theatre reentry programs. Susie is a member of SAG-AFTRA, the SAG-AFTRA Radio Play Committee and AEA. Susie designed and taught Theatre for Social Change at Woodbury University and created/led a distance collaboration with La Colmenita, the Cuban National Children’s theatre company. Workshop presentations include: Connecting Art and Law for

 Liberation (CALL)/UCLA; Arts Schools Network, Lincoln Center, NYC; Co-presenter w/Kitty Felde: ALLIES AT THE TABLE: The Role of White Theatre Artists in Multi-Ethnic Conversations, NYU 2016 Forum on Educational Theatre, NYC. Susie has a B.A. in Theatre from the UC/Riverside, a Lifetime Community College Teaching Credential and a Career Tech Ed Credential in Arts, Media and Entertainment.  Member, EST/LA.

Artists in Schools Program
Spring 2024

EST/LA’s CAC-funded Artist in Schools collaboration with students at Sotomayor HS kicks off session #2 on October 26th. Led by program administrator Susie Tanner, teaching Artists Alex Alpharaoh and Sharon Freedman will design and implement a program similar to the one they created in the Spring of 2023, which taught students how to explore and examine the fundamental tools of performance art. That 10-session workshop series introduced students to the building blocks of what makes performance art a powerful tool for self expression and global processing, and culminated with students informally performing each other’s scenes and monologues that were written throughout the workshop series.  Click here to read a detailed description of the activities the students experienced. 

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Alex Alpharaoh (Collaborating Teaching Artist) supports the writing process for TWP’s in-prison and reentry programs. He is a nationally recognized, award-winning actor, writer, spoken word poet, solo performer, and teaching artist from Los Angeles, CA. Prior to Covid-19, He was on national tour with his autobiographical solo show titled WET: A DACAmented Journey, a story about what it means to be an American in every sense of the word except on paper. Alex is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle 2018 Solo Performance of the Year award for his work on WET. Alpharaoh teaches a FunDaMentals of Spoken Word and Performance Poetry class where he fuses writing technique with experiential acting, creating a powerful toolset for self expression and healing. Alpharaoh has been acting professionally for over 15 years and has been a lyricist for over 25 years. He is currently in the process of writing his first memoir about his experiences growing up in Los Angeles without a legal status.

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Sharon Freedman (Collaborating Teaching Artist) supports the theatere component of TWP’s in-prison program. She is an actor, producer, and International Arts Educator. She was a resident teaching artist with B.R.I.D.G.E. Theatre Project for 7 years and The Unusual Suspects for 2 years before that. She’s taught internationally in Rwanda with B.R.I.D.G.E. in collaboration with Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company and in the Democratic Republic of Congo with Heal Africa. She trained with and was a drama therapy facilitator’s assistant with C.A.N.Y. through Mount Sinai Hospital. Sharon is the Executive Producer of Tisch Represents, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for under-represented voices in the television industry. She was the Co-Creator and Company Manager of The 24Seven Lab in NYC where she developed work by writers including: Pulitzer winner Annie Baker, Tony nominee Lucas Hnath, and Macarthur genius grant winner Sam Hunter. Acting credits include Just Beyond (Disney+), Chicago Med (NBC), Henry Danger (Nickelodeon), and Legacies (The CW). She has performed at Ensemble Studio Theatre (NY & LA), The Kirk at Theater Row, The Shakespeare Theater of NJ, The Victory Theater, The Hangar Theatre, and Sacred Fools. She is a member of the Obie Award winning Partial Comfort Productions (NY), EST/LA and an Associate member of Sacred Fools.

Sharon is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. For more:

Arts Exposure Program
Fall 2023

EST/LA members and Teaching Artists Emily Kosloski & Angela Bullock, with support from Program Manager Susie Tanner, will design and implement our company's first CAC Artists in Schools Exposure grant program in collaboration with Sotomayor Arts & Science Magnet HS. This session will serve grade 9 Theatre students.

Using Makeda Declet’s LGBTQ themed short film Camp as the starting point, the focus of the two 90-minute, literacy-building arts program sessions will be community building, identity and self-acceptance. The culminating activity will be student written monologues in response to the theme of Identity. The program will be repeated in the spring and fall of 2024.

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Makeda M. Declet (Playwright/Director of CAMP) is a Guyanese-American writer, actor, and producer with a BFA in theater from NYU. Her passion lies in telling stories about family dynamics and addiction through the lens of Black, Queer protagonists. Currently attending Northwestern University’s MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage program, Makeda is a co-founder of Circle of Writers LA and the Ignite Project at EST/LA. Member, EST/LA

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Emily Kosloski (Teaching Artist) has a degree in Voice, Musical Theatre and Mathematics from Northwestern University, and has been seen on Broadway and in US regional theaters. She is a commercial and television actress, and a teaching artist for 17 years in the LA area, most recently at Elysian Heights Arts Magnet. Emily is the Director of Education at Sacred Fools Theater and a member of EST/LA.

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Angela Bullock (Teaching Artist/Actor in CAMP) is an award-winning Actor/Writer who has appeared on LA and regional stages such as EST/LA, The Guthrie and Yale Rep. Guest star/co-star appearances include Shameless and The Sopranos. MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University LA; member of SAG-AFTRA & AEA. Member, EST/LA

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Nicole Pacent (Actor in CAMP) is a graduate of NYU Tisch, best known as 'Aster' on the award-winning series, Anyone But Me (hulu). She has appeared onstage in LA and NYC and co-hosts the podcast Coming Out with Lauren and Nicole, found on all streaming platforms.

This program is generously funded by:

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