Date: May 19, 2003 

Contact: Alice Ensor, Coordination Mgr.

PRESS RELEASE

THE THEATRE DISTRICTONE NIGHT BENEFIT SHOW RAISES $4,500

HOLLYWOOD, CA - The Theatre District at The Cast raised $4,500 on Saturday night via a one-man benefit performance by Artistic Director, Mario Lescot. "An Evening with Mario" featured Lescot performing original works of poetry. Similar in format to Def Poetry, this one-man show makes strong use of lighting, sound and theatrical elements, and is based in Latino exploration. Mario Lescot's given name is Marcario Gaxiola and his writing is indicative of his Latino history.

The funds raised by the benefit performance are slated for promotion of the theater’s upcoming Summer programs; including the development of new writer Max Riley’s play 39*21*50 into a full length play, and also “Not So Tall Tales”, the theater’s Children's Fairy Tale Theatre program. The benefit was sold out at $25 per ticket, and incorporated silent auctions and raffles into the evening of appetizers, drinks, and the performance, which was followed by coffee and dessert.

Lescot’s exploration of his Latino heritage through poetry is another goal for a future outreach program at The Theatre District at The Cast. Religion, family violence, abuse and breaking the cycles were some of the many topics explored in Lescot’s works. The Latino community has not traditionally had a voice to explore many of these “taboo” topics, and a poetry jam providing access for Latino teens and adults to explore alternate forms of expression is a program the Theatre hopes to have up and running by fall. The program would not be limited to Latino involvement, but would focus on making alternate forms of expression more available within any community where they may not have normally been accessible. 

The Theatre District at The Cast is located at 804 N. El Centro, just two blocks North of Melrose and one block East of Vine in Hollywood. 

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