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Pomona College Presents the Play "Stand and Deliver" This Weekend

Stand and Deliver promotional poster

The Pomona College Department of Theatre is proud to present the theatrical adaptation of Stand and Deliver with performances March 7-9 at 8 p.m. and March 9-10 at 2 p.m. Performances will be held at the Pomona College Seaver Theatre (300 East Bonita Ave., Claremont). This stage version is adapted by Robert Bella from the screenplay by Ramon Menendez and Tom Musca, and the production is directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Alma Martinez.

It’s 1982, and Garfield High School in East L.A. is plagued by gang violence, funding cuts and a 60% dropout rate. Bucking the system, teacher Jaime Escalante puts his faith in his students and teaches Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus. The students rise to the challenge and pass the AP exam, a test that 2% of seniors nationally even attempt. When the Educational Testing Service accuses them of cheating, teacher and students are tested beyond what they could ever have imagined. 

“This play is about math—but not just in subject, in theme as well,” writes Katherine Nigh, an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow assisting the production, in her rehearsal blog. “Of course, more obviously the play is about math because it is about Jaime Escalante teaching his students Advanced Calculus.  But it is also about the math and numbers of the students’ lives in the play.  It is about the number of years of hard work and hard labor their parents did so that their kids could have opportunities that they themselves did not have.  It is about the number of students who will never graduate from a school like Garfield High School.  It is about the number of hours the students will have to work in order to succeed in their challenging math class - on top of the hours that they devote to activities like working in their parents’ restaurant.” 

In December 2011, the United States Library of Congress considered the film version of Stand and Deliver to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Librarian of Congress James Billington selected the film to be preserved in The National Film Registry; the Registry said the film is “one of the most popular of a new wave of narrative feature films produced in the 1980s by Latino filmmakers” and that it “celebrates in a direct, approachable, and impactful way, values of self-betterment through hard work and power through knowledge.” 

Tickets are $10 general admission, and $5 for students, staff, faculty and seniors. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one hour prior to curtain time. You can reach the box office at (909) 607-4375.