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Center Theatre Group Hosts Chisme y Queso Events in Boyle Heights


Event Series is Part of a Two-Year Community Initiative Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Center Theatre Group will host the second season of Chisme y Queso with six community events at Eastside Luv Wine Bar in Boyle Heights, located at 1835 E. First St, Los Angeles, CA 90033. Patrons and artists alike are invited to gather and anonymously share their chisme (“gossip” in Spanish) and have it performed onstage by local actors. Alongside the improvisation based on audience chisme, the actors will also perform in short sketches written by up-and-coming Angeleno playwrights. At the end of the night, the best chisme is awarded a block of queso fresco and tickets to a Center Theatre Group show.

The events are free and will be held on September 10 and 24, October 8 and 22, and November 5 and 12. Each event will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with doors at 5 p.m. Patrons must be 21 and older to attend.

The sketches are written by Anthony Aguilar, Diana Burbano, Juan E. Carrillo, Manuel Marron, Marisol Torres and Vilma Villela in writers’ room sessions led by Center Theatre Group resident artist Naomi Iizuka and Center Theatre Group Literary Manager Joy Meads. The Chisme y Queso actors are Melinna Bobadilla and Eddie Vona, who are directed by Alejandra Cisneros. Community Liaison Alexis de la Rocha serves as MC and DJ JessFunk provides the music each evening.

Chisme y Queso is part of a two-year community initiative funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Building Demand for the Arts grant, which was awarded to Center Theatre Group in 2016 to help build on the community programs started by the organization in 2013. The goal of the grant is to drive public demand for jazz, theatre and/or contemporary dance by supporting partnerships that are focused on using the performing arts in unique ways to develop meaningful connections with audiences.

Through Chisme y Queso, Center Theatre Group hopes to tap into the existing arts-inclined Boyle Heights population as well as foster new playwriting voices within the L.A. community. It will serve as an outlet for those in the Boyle Heights and beyond to converse, create and collaborate in a familiar place.

“Even in the midst of our protesting and voicing our ongoing frustrations, Chisme y Queso allows us to come together as a community to share stories and laughter, to respond to our current climate with political sketches, satirical anecdotes and full force comedy, and to recharge our spirit so we can continue standing up for our rights,” said Center Theatre Group Community Partnerships Director Jesus A. Reyes.

Center Theatre Group, a non-profit organization, is one of the largest and most active theatre companies in the nation, programming subscription seasons year-round at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and the 1,600 to 2,000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center of Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to providing theatre of the highest caliber to the diverse communities of Southern California and beyond, Center Theatre Group supports a significant number of play development and arts education initiatives.

The first season of Chisme y Queso was held in the spring of 2017. More information about the upcoming events can be found at

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September 7, 2017