East West Players presents a free performance of Theatre for Youth: ASIAN PACIFIC TALES on March 6

East West Players, the nation's premier Asian Pacific American theatre, will present a free performance of its Theater for Youth program ASIAN PACIFIC TALES at the East West Players David Henry Hwang Theater on Saturday, March 6, 2004 at 2 pm thanks to support from Mervyn&Mac226;s/Target Stores and the Friends of East West Players.

ASIAN PACIFIC TALES blends Eastern and Western theatrical techniques with folk tales designed to encourage children to discover other people and understand the diversity of Asian Pacific Islander cultures. Dramatized folk tales are interspersed with song, dance, rhythm and percussion from various regions of the Pacific Rim. ASIAN PACIFIC TALES reaches about 20,000 children and families each year via in-school arts education, school performances and local festivals.

"The dramatic 94 percent decrease in the state's funding for the arts will no doubt have a detrimental impact on the quality and availability of arts education to California youths. For more than 30 years East West Players&Mac226; Theatre for Youth programs have taken a proactive role in exposing children to the rich Asian Pacific Islander culture. In these financially challenging times it is now even more important that we make every effort possible to keep arts accessible and continue helping audiences understand the diverse communities around them," said Marilyn Tokuda, EWP's Arts Education Director.

"At Target Corporation we feel it is not only our responsibility to give back to the community, we feel it is our privilege," said Laysha Ward, Vice President of Community Relations. "East West Players is doing incredible things to help strengthen our communities." Target Corporation has a strong tradition of giving back to the communities where they do business and this year that giving will amount to $2 million a week. That commitment is reflected in Mervyn&Mac226;s and Target Stores&Mac226; grant-making program, which supports projects that promote the arts, education and family violence prevention.

This year's 45-minute show is directed by Robert Shinso (director of Lodestone Theatre Ensemble's WHEN TIGERS SMOKED LONG PIPES) and includes the Japanese Kyogen folk tale Cinch Bugs, an adaptation of the Chinese legend of The Monkey King, and The Rich Man and the Poor Man based on a Pilipino folk tale.

The public performance is one of more than 30 shows being presented in venues throughout Los Angeles County including schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Alhambra School District and Torrance Unified School District.

The East West Players David Henry Hwang Theater is located at 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. To make a reservation for the free performance call the Box Office at (213) 625-7000 x20.

For more information on East West Players Theatre for Youth: ASIAN PACIFIC TALES contact Marilyn Tokuda at mtokuda@eastwestplayers.org or (213) 625-7000 x15-30-

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Copyright 2004, Roger W. Tang

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