The California Arts Council has announced two grant awards of $39,900 and $26,600 to Ensemble Studio Theatre – The LA Project as part of its new EST/LA Arts Education program in its second round of funding for 2022.
With support from the California Arts Council, EST/LA will establish a collaborative partnership with Sotomayor Arts and Sciences Magnet by providing a Standards-based theatre and writing program. This partnership will enhance tenth grade students’ arts and academic learning.
Additionally, EST/LA Arts Education will present “CAMP,” a short play about gender and identity. After viewing the production, students will reflect on the play through the lens of their lives and the lives of others during critical response discussions, improvisation, and playwriting.
Arts Education Artists
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
Alex Alpharaoh (Teaching Artist) is a Guatemalan born, nationally recognized, award winning actor, dramatic writer, spoken word poet, and teaching artist. Alex received the LADCC 2018 Solo Performance of the Year award for his autobiographical play WET: A DACAmented Journey. As a formerly undocumented citizen, Alpharaoh believes in the transformative power of sharing one’s truth and vulnerability, especially in the face of danger. 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. He is the founder of SP!T: Spoken Word Theatre, that focuses on telling stories about Los Angeles by fusing street culture with acting as the basis of his storytelling. Member, EST/LA
Sharon Freedman (Teaching Artist) is an actor, producer, and Arts Educator who has worked with the B.R.I.D.G.E. Theatre Project and The Unusual Suspects. She’s taught 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 is the Executive Producer of Tisch Represents, creating opportunities for underrepresented voices in the television industry. She was the Co-Creator/Company Manager of the new play development organization The 24Seven Lab in NYC and a member of Obie Award-winning Partial Comfort Productions (NY). Member, EST/LA
Arts Exposure Program (CAMP)
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
Anna Fox (Teaching Artist) is a playwright and astrologer. Her work’s been seen at Sam French OOB Short Play Festival, EST/LA, and Theater Masters. Publications: Samuel French, The Dionysian, Bare Fiction Literary Magazine. Residencies: MacDowell, Monson Arts, Djerassi, The Cabins. MFA: UCLA, where she’s taught playwriting. EST/LA New West Playwrights alum.
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.
Angela Bullock (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
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.