Center Theatre Group invites current high school students to attend Celebrating Our Stories, a teen youth summit inspired by Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s one-man show “Lackawanna Blues.” The free youth summit will take place on Thursday, April 11, 2019, from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. (includes performance time for “Lackawanna Blues”) at The Music Center Annex (601 West Temple St) and the Mark Taper Forum (135 N Grand Ave) in Downtown L.A.
The teen youth summit will feature three interactive pre-show workshops that explore the theme of the play. Workshops include Cultural Mapping, Storytelling Through Movement and Poetry Writing: Telling Your Story. Students who attend the summit will also receive a ticket to the 8 p.m. performance of “Lackawanna Blues” at the Mark Taper Forum that evening. However, students must attend the entire event to receive their complimentary ticket. Dinner will be served at the youth summit.
The teen youth summit is planned by Center Theatre Group’s Student Ambassadors, a group of high school students participating in a yearlong leadership program.
A magical, musical and deeply personal work by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Lackawanna Blues” is a reminiscence of his 1950s childhood in a small town on the banks of Lake Erie. Santiago-Hudson takes on more than 20 colorful characters—from would-be philosophers and petty hustlers to lost souls and abandoned lovers—in a brilliant celebration of the eccentric boardinghouse he grew up in. Santiago-Hudson returns to his roots in this tour de force performance accompanied throughout by live blues music.
In his Los Angeles Times review, Charles McNulty wrote that “[Ruben] Santiago-Hudson, a Tony-winning actor and talented stage director who’s one of the foremost interpreters of August Wilson’s plays, beautifully merges his autobiographical narrative with music.” The New York Times’ Bruce Weber said, “Mr. Santiago-Hudson does a virtuoso turn as a performer. Delivering anecdotes and testimonials from Miss Rachel’s boarders and friends, the population of a child’s world, he passes from one identity to the next so fluidly that you barely notice the flip of the switch.”
Tony and Obie Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson recently directed the Broadway debut of August Wilson’s “Jitney” (2017 Tony Award for Best Revival, Tony nomination for Best Direction of a Play) as well as the world premieres of Dominique Morriseau’s “Skeleton Crew” at the Atlantic Theater and “Paradise Blue” at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Santiago-Hudson won a Tony for his performance in August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars” on Broadway and later went on to direct the play.
Other directing credits include “The Piano Lesson,” “The First Breeze of Summer,” “Cabin in the Sky” and many more. The multi-award-winning director and actor wrote, executive produced and starred in the HBO film of “Lackawanna Blues.” It received several honors, including Emmy, Golden Globe, Humanitas, National Board of Review and Christopher Awards. Ruben recently starred alongside Anika Noni Rose in BET’s drama “The Quad.” Santiago-Hudson also recurs on Showtime’s “Billions” and starred in TNT’s “Public Morals.” He will also recur on OWN’s new “David Makes Man” alongside Phylicia Rashad later this year. The Lackawanna, New York native opened the Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center in 2014 in his hometown.
Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600- to 2100-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.
In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions, and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics, and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.
To RSVP to Celebrating Our Stories youth summit, students can visit CTGLA.org/YouthSummit. RSVPs are available through Tuesday, April 9 by 5 p.m. or until the event is filled (whichever comes first).
Tickets for “Lackawanna Blues” are available online at CenterTheatreGroup.org, by calling Audience Services at (213) 628-2772 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles). Tickets range from $30 – $105 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.