Play proceeds go to search for Sierra

Sierra LaMar's father Steve lights his candle so he can pass his flame to friends a supporters of his daughter during a vigil for her Tuesday night at the Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church.

In a town the size of Morgan Hill, you’re bound to find someone directly connected to the search for Sierra LaMar.

So when some students dropped out of a summer theater troupe to focus on searching for the 15-year-old missing since mid-March, the folks behind the grassroots drama collective Alphabet Arts decided to turn one upcoming show into a fundraiser for those efforts.

Half of ticket sales for this Friday’s 8 p.m. showing of “Football in the Pony Palace,” a comedic play set to a pop music score where an all-girl cast depicts a high school football team, will go to Sierra’s family.

“When something like this happens in a community as small as Morgan Hill, you have to ask what you can do to participate,” said Amber West, 34, co-founder of Alphabet Arts. “We don’t necessarily make a lot of money putting on plays, so we thought we should have a performance where we can donate the funds to Sierra’s family.”

Alphabet Arts is a performance art collective based out of Brooklyn, New York. But Morgan Hill and other South Bay transplants make up about half the group, West said. This marks the second summer the troupe of actors, poets, puppeteers and other entertainers has struck up a summer theater program in Morgan Hill called the Young Adult Repertory.

“We all moved out to Brooklyn and found each other, one way or another,” West said. “So being from the South Bay, when we heard about Sierra, it hit close to home for a lot of us.”

Though West hails from San Luis Obispo, “Football in the Pony Palace” director Mark Sitko, 34, grew up in Morgan Hill. He graduated from Live Oak High School – the one Sierra attended and was talking toward the day she disappeared.

“Sierra is one of their peers, and they want to help her in any way that they can,” said Sitko, who lives in Brooklyn except for his summer leave back home. “Coming back to this community and working with these local students, I am constantly reminded of how much these passionate young people are capable of.  We build plays in collaboration, and these plays are a shining example of what can be accomplished when we come together for a common good.”

At a glance

WHAT: “Football in the Pony Palace,” a fundraiser for the search of Sierra LaMar

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday (Aug. 3)

WHERE: Morgan Hill Community Playhouse, 17000 Monterey Road

COST: $12 at the door, students/seniors $10

INFO: 212-200-4498 or

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