Culver City Observer -

Four AVPA Students Win Award at DTASC Festival


November 5, 2009

A troop of young actors from Culver City High School's Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) attended the DTASC Fall Theatre Festival (Drama Teachers Association of Southern California) on Saturday, October 24 at Carson High School. Actors Jesse Pilchin, Conor Murphy and Kevin Mitchell, directed by Louie Chavez, won a first place trophy for their performance in a scene from The Lonesome West by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. All first place winners will perform at "Salute to the Winners" on Sunday, November 15 at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, 4800 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, starting at 6pm. The AVPA's winning scene will be performed at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased online at

"Awesome. Amazing. Inspiring," were the words used by thirty members of AVPA's Blurred Vision Theater Company when they joined in competition with 71 schools from all over Southern California, to act, dance, sing and design at the DTASC Fall Festival. The rules were simple – no costumes, no props, no makeup; just four chairs and acting ensembles from two to ten players.

AVPA students participated in seven separate events including: Monologue, Top 100 AFI film scenes, Scenes for Social Change, Musical, Scenes by Irish Playwrights, Large Cast Drama and Large Cast Comedy. Actors and ensembles competed in two compulsory rounds. Four of AVPA's seven scenes went on to the semi-finals and from there one scene made it to the finals. "Nothing gets closer to an athletic event for drama kids than this,” stated Pilchin after the final round was over. Pilchin, Murphy and Mitchell performed their scene from The Lonesome West five times before walking away with the first place trophy in the Scenes by Irish Playwrights category.

The AVPA students are looking forward to participating in the DTASC Shakespeare Festival next April. In the meantime, you can see the Blurred Vision Theatre Company's production of "Nicholas Nickleby" running November 12-22 at the SPoT. Ticket information available at

About the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts

The Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) at Culver City High School has been inspiring and empowering students to build a compassionate, creative community through innovative and challenging arts education since 1996. AVPA enjoys tremendous support from Sony Pictures Entertainment and other area businesses as well as from the Culver City community. For more information about the Academy, go to http://avpa.orgor contact Tony Spano at 310-842-4200 x6094 or Kristine Hatanaka at 310-842-4200 x6001.


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