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September 26
1876 - California oil industry born as CSO No. 4 in Pico Canyon becomes state's first commercially productive oil well [story]
Pico No. 4


José Rivera

Oscar-nominated screenwriter and playwright José Rivera.

College of the Canyons will welcome José Rivera, award-winning playwright and the first Puerto Rican screenwriter to be nominated for an Oscar, to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Monday, April 12.

Rivera will also provide a special master class for students in the Media Entertainment Arts and Theatre departments on Tuesday, April 13.

“I am thrilled to bring the incomparable José Rivera to speak with our college community,” said Jennifer Smolos, Dean of the School of Visual & Performing Arts. “Learning from an esteemed screenwriter and playwright is an extraordinary opportunity for our students and faculty. José’s unique voice, combined with a willingness to share stories about how he creates stories, allows our students to understand what it takes to bring an idea to life in Theatre, Film and TV. We are so fortunate to have two special events with José as part of this series in April.”

Rivera wrote the screenplay for the 2004 film, “The Motorcycle Diaries,” which earned him an Oscar nomination for “Best Adapted Screenplay” in 2005.

As a screenwriter, his work also includes “On the Road,” “Letters to Juliet” and “Eerie, Indiana.” On the stage, he is best known for his plays, “Marisol,” “Cloud Tectonics,” “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot,” and “Sonnets for an Old Century.”

Rivera was born in Puerto Rico and lived there for the first four years of his life until his family moved to New York City. Settling in Long Island, the small-town environment of the community would prove to be influential on his future work as a writer. Rivera was immersed in a religious family who loved to tell stories – often involving spirits and elements of magic.

“Seeing magic in the world just felt like how you perceive life,” Rivera said.

He began writing plays in high school, wrote one play per year in college and determined at age 22 that he would be a writer full-time.

As a young writer, Rivera asked himself, “What can I contribute that isn’t already being done by a hundred other writers? And I said, I’m going to see if I can translate the magical stories of my childhood and my culture into theater.”

For Rivera, “Magic is just another way to explore the metaphors for the psychological state of the characters. The magic of the play is only really valid if it’s connected to the psychology of the characters and the reality of the moment. You ask yourself, what is the theatrical metaphor that would make this come alive in a resonant and deep way that hits you as hard as possible? That’s where the magic flourish would happen.”

Rivera’s plays have been produced across the United States and several have been translated into multiple languages. He has been honored with two Obie Awards for playwrighting, a Fulbright Arts Fellowship in playwriting, a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Grant, a Whiting Award, a McKnight Fellowship, a Berilla Kerr Playwrighting Award, the 2005 Norman Lear Writing Award, and a 2005 Impact Award.

When asked how he balances writing for film, television and theatre, Rivera responds, “It’s a constant juggling act. I have no control over it. I’m often working on multiple projects, mostly because you never know when something’s going to come up, especially in TV and film. I love film and I love television, but I will write theatre for the pure love of it and I won’t write film and TV just for the love of it. And when I’m really moved to explore personal issues, I will write a play.”

Rivera will appear as part of the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Industry Insight Series for 2020-2021, on Monday, April 12, at 5:00 p.m., to share insight from his career as a playwright and screenwriter.

All students, faculty, staff, Patrons of the Arts members, and members of the Santa Clarita Valley community are invited, with an opportunity to ask questions during the event.

For more information, please contact Dean Jennifer Smolos, at jennifer.smolos@canyons.edu.

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HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Monday, Sep 26, 2022
College of the Canyons will host Manufacturing Day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.
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As California Institute of the Arts 2022-23 academic year kicked off on Sept. 12, 27 artists have joined CalArts as new regular faculty members.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
College of the Canyons will host Manufacturing Day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.
Oct. 6: COC Hosting Manufacturing Day
The 23rd season of KCET’s Fine Cut Festival of Films kicked off Wednesday, Sept. 21, with recent California Institute of the Arts graduate Adam Musa Othman (Film/Video BFA 2022) taking home Best Animation for his short “Horned Cook, Gola.”
CalArtian Wins Best Animation at KCET’s 2022 Fine Cut Festival
College of the Canyons will be recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the passage of Title IX in 1972 with a variety of ongoing campus events and special recognitions throughout the 2022-23 academic year.
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The regular meeting of the William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board will take place Wednesday, Sept. 28, beginning with closed session at 5:45 p.m., followed immediately by open session at 7 p.m.
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As California Institute of the Arts 2022-23 academic year kicked off on Sept. 12, 27 artists have joined CalArts as new regular faculty members.
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1876 - California oil industry born as CSO No. 4 in Pico Canyon becomes state's first commercially productive oil well [story]
Pico No. 4
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]
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The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 27, beginning with a special meeting/closed session at 5:30 p.m., followed immediately by open session at 6 p.m.
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California State University, Northridge head men's and women's track and field and cross country coach Justin Johnson has announced the addition of Devin Elizondo to the Matadors' coaching staff.
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Valencia-based Lief Labs, a premier formulation and product development innovator and manufacturer of dietary supplements, is pleased to announce that Lief’s CEO & Founder, Adel Villalobos, was honored by the College of the Canyons Business Alliance among specially selected local Hispanic business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs who have inspired others to pursue their dreams in the Santa Clarita Valley.
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Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley announces the 30-year celebration of the James T. Ventress Clubhouse in Newhall Park on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 8 a.m.
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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Friday no new deaths and 34 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, with a total of 13 deaths and 1,641 new cases countywide.
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1948 - Agua Dulce Women's Club organized [timeline]
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The Lady Mustangs jumped out to a fast start winning the first two sets before taking care of the Arizona Christian Firestorm 3-1 on the road in Glendale, Ariz., Saturday to get their first conference win of the season.
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