Voice & Viewpoint News Wire

Common Ground Theatre (CGT), will celebrate “A 50-Year Production and Anniversary Gala” on Saturday, May 3, 2014, at the Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Avenue, San Diego, CA 92114, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Over the past 50 years, CGT, founded as Southeast Community Theatre in 1964, has become San Diego’s premiere destination for enjoying classics and new works by and about people of African descent. Its youth theatre program, STARS is sought after for education in all aspects of theatre performance, and creates a pool of talent for Common Ground Theatre and the San Diego theatrical community at large.

Dr. Dorothy L. W. Smith, secretary of the board of directors is excited about this 50th Celebration. “I pay homage to our founders Rufus DeWitt and Robert Matthews, to the charter members, to Dr. Floyd Gaffney and the other artistic directors, and to all of the dedicated board members through the years. I am so grateful to everyone who has performed or donated, volunteered or participated in any way for 50 years. One of the most important things we can do is preserve the arts and cultural institutions that uplift our youth and community. I am honored to be among those who have helped Common Ground Theatre to survive as one of the three oldest African American theatre companies in the United States.”

Common Ground Theatre has produced over 100 plays, including classics, premieres of new works, and works authored by protégés of its late artistic director Dr. Floyd Gaffney. Under Dr. Gaffney, a number of now nationally recognized performers emerged, including the late actor James Avery, Cleavon Little, Roland McFarland, and director John Houston and several well-known backstage and front stage artists creating high quality work with CGT and other theatre companies in San Diego.

Guests at the black tie optional event can expect an evening of festivities led by Roland McFarland, Master of Ceremonies, a retired Fox Studio executive and CGT alumnus, and Dea Hurston, Mistress of Ceremonies, a San Diego arts advocate and patron and long-time supporter of Common Ground Theatre.

Featured at the Gala event will be a VIP reception and silent auction followed by delicious food, an opportunity drawing; a tribute to our past, present and future; and a 50-Year Production Showcase directed by Artistic Director Charles W. Patmon, Jr. starring CGT alumni, other celebrity performers and STARS students. Thanks to our sponsors, a silent auction and door prizes will include unique and vintage items, travel getaways, and theatre opportunities that cannot be purchased elsewhere.

To enable as many people to attend as possible, the ticket price is only $50.00. Sponsorship, advertisement and donation opportunities are also available. Make checks payable to Common Ground Theatre and mail to Common Ground Theatre, PO Box 152443, San Diego, CA 92195. Online purchase information and event updates are available at www.commongroundtheatre50th.info/attend.