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Casagran recognized by LA Drama Critics Circle

Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle recently announced this year’s theatrical excellence awards, and Upland’s Ophelia’s Jump Productions artistic director Beatrice Casagran was among the winners of its Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community.

“I am honored to be recognized as part of a hardworking grass roots coalition that worked really hard to get SB1116 passed,” Casagran wrote in a statement. “I am also very thankful for the many folks who worked on this who weren’t named in this award, but who deserve recognition for their huge contributions. I especially want to acknowledge the work of Elina de Santos, Marc Antonio Pritchett, Rosa Navarrete, Elvia Rubalcava, Christopher Maikish, California Senator Susan Rubio and her staff, and, of course, Senator Anthony Portantino and his incredible staff members who worked tirelessly to get this legislation passed.  There were also many other artists and small producers across the state who lent their time and talent to spreading the word about the plight of small non-profit performing arts organizations.  I am privileged to work with such outstanding colleagues.

“This is just the beginning. We are now fighting to get funding for the program that was approved last year. Though the work never ends, we will not give up and will continue to seek ways to improve funding for the nonprofit performing arts companies in California that employ thousands of artists and arts workers throughout the state in service of their communities.”

Beatrice Casagran, Ophelia’s Jump Productions producing artistic director, pictured last August at the entrance to the company’s 50-seat theater and music lounge. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

The group of 17 critics gave the award to the Senate Bill 1116 California Coalition, which includes Casagran, Martha Demson from Open Fist Theatre Company, writer, producer, and actor Vanessa Stewart, Emmanuel Deleage of Casa 0101, Teri Ball with Center Stage Theater, and actor and activist Leo Marks.

“Their efforts resulted in the 2022 passage and signing of the California law (authored and carried by Senator Anthony Portantino) which establishes the Equitable Payroll Fund, a grant program that supports small nonprofit performing arts organizations by providing substantial reimbursements of payroll expenses,” read a LADCC news release.

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