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9 Kids, 9 Adults Tell Some Old Wives’ Tales:

Leigh Curran, founder and artistic director of the Virginia Avenue Project, says, “The Project shows us what theatre can be… a celebration of life, community, and the human heart.”

The Project will present “Old Wives’ Tales,” the 2005 One-on-Ones production, on August 19 and 20 at UCLA, marking its thirteenth anniversary.

It employs one-on-one mentoring in theater arts to help underserved children in Santa Monica think creatively about their lives as a means of discovering their full potential.

All of the students involved in the Project graduate from high school. 90 percent go on to college, and 85 percent are the first in their families to do so.

The Project is based on a sequence of writing and performing programs. One of the programs is the One-on-Ones. In it, nine adult professional writers/performers are each paired with a child. Each adult interviews his or her young partner, then writes a one-act play that incorporates the child’s talents, capabilities, and interests.

This month, the nine adult/child teams have spent a week in a boarding school in Ojai, rehearsing their plays, eating, swimming and exploring the countryside. They will return to Los Angeles this week and perform the plays this weekend.

All nine plays will include one or more old wives’ tales, i.e. finger-crossing, wood knocking, rabbits’ feet, as well as “inspiring thoughts and outrageous humor.”“Old Wives’ Tales” will be performed on Friday, August 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 20 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Little Theater on the UCLA campus. Admission is pay-what-you-can. To make a reservation, call the Project at (310) 264-4224. Visit www.VirginiaAvenueProject.org for more information.

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