Theatrical bonanza at El Portal with the staging of ‘Zoot Suit’

Dear Editor,
Recently, Gilroy’s charter school, El Portal Leadership Academy,
experienced a historic night when the curtains opened for their
first play, ZOOT SUIT by Luis Valdez. The students, teachers and
volunteers were rewarded for their hours of dedicated work by an
outstanding performance of this famous theatrical piece.
Dear Editor,

Recently, Gilroy’s charter school, El Portal Leadership Academy, experienced a historic night when the curtains opened for their first play, ZOOT SUIT by Luis Valdez. The students, teachers and volunteers were rewarded for their hours of dedicated work by an outstanding performance of this famous theatrical piece. El Portal drama literature class came forth with an evening of lively theater, unafraid to portray the political struggle of Los Angeles during WWII. The production was a brilliant blend of vibrant music, passion, myth and reality.

Heather Marshall, El Portal drama literature instructor, is a very talented teacher as well as actress/director. She is quick to point out all the things that were learned in the process which led to opening night. The students learned how to bring a playwright’s words alive through facial expression, body language and vocal reflection. They learned how to memorize lines, how to follow stage directions, how to listen and react to the other actors on the stage. Through the arts, they learned about the values and struggles of a bygone time while thinking about set design, prop design and stage timing, lighting and costumes. They learned how important it is that every part of the team has to work together to be successful.

Congratulations to El Portal drama literature department. Special appreciation to Luis Valdez, Heather Marshall, Dan Ames and Olivia Mendiola (MACSA). We hope that this is the start of a long standing El Portal drama tradition. Job well done!

Arline Silva, Gilroy

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