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"Theatre for Young Audiences" Collaborative Play Presented at Pomona College

“Theatre for Young Audiences,” a collaborative project between Fremont Academy middle and high school students and Claremont Colleges theatre and dance undergraduates, will be performed on Thursday, March 22 at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Seaver Theatre (300 E. Bonita Ave., Claremont) at Pomona College. This event is free and open to the public.

Theatre for Young Audiences is a two-semester course at Pomona College in which students from the Claremont Colleges mentor students from Fremont Academy in the city of Pomona. Together they work on building theater and communication skills and present a short play in mid-spring.

This year’s performance is an original play based on the Aztec legend of Axolotl, the Mexican Water Monster. Having created the world four times, the gods decide to try one last time. This will require them all to make a sacrifice involving fire. One god, Xolotl, decides to hide in water, discovers he likes it and eventually becomes Axolotl, an aquatic salamander that has existed since Aztec times and is now facing extinction. The story is interwoven with students’ personal reflections and facts about water sustainability in the city of Pomona. The play will be directed by Pomona College lecturer Rose Portillo.

The performance is part of the Pomona College's Theatre and Dance Department activities in the Elemental Arts Initiative. Through music, dance, theatre, visual art and environmental analysis, the Elemental Arts Initiative explores the elements: water, earth, air and fire. In 2011-2012, the theme is water. The goals of the Elemental Arts Initiative are: to make it possible for more students to actively experience the arts; to involve students in the creation of a campus-based arts culture; to reinforce the centrality of the arts in academic and campus life at Pomona College; and to explore the arts as a medium for campus and community service.

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Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges, provides its students with a challenging curriculum in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and fine arts, and an unsurpassed environment for intellectual inquiry and growth. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.