Affinity Series Explores Racial Stereotypes in Hollywood

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Affinity Series - Racial Stereotypes

CSULB’s Affinity Series presents its second panel — Progress? Racial Stereotypes in Hollywood.

As part of its new Affinity Series initiative, the CSULB Theatre Arts Department is proud to announce a panel presentation titled Progress? Racial Stereotypes in Hollywood on November 4, 2013 by MFA Performance student Roma Maffia and other veteran industry professionals.

In addition to Maffia, the panel will include Robert Beltran, Jeremiah Birkett, L. Scott Caldwell, Marcus Choi, Erica Gimpel, Bryan Holdman, Michelle Hurd, Jason Olazabal, Juan Pope, Teri Schaffer, Raynelle Swilling, and Lisa Vidal. This event will focus on the experience of artists of racially diverse backgrounds in the business of Hollywood. The panelists will discuss the stereotypes they still encounter, what progress has been made over the years, and how much further there is to go. 

Roma Maffia is perhaps best known as Dr. Liz Cruz on the hit TV show Nip/Tuck, and has been featured recently on Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, and Pretty Little Liars. Most recently seen on Big Love, Robert Beltran is best known for portraying Commander Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager. Jeremiah Birkett has played roles in The Tenth Kingdom, Evan Almighty, Bones, and Homeland, and Person of Interest. L. Scott Caldwell, recently seen as Margaret in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, is also known for playing Rose on the popular TV show Lost. Marcus Choi performed in Don’t Trust the B- in Apartment 23, and was also in the feature films Enchanted and Sharknado. Erica Gimpel has been seen on Veronica Mars, ER, and The Young and the Restless, but is perhaps best known as Coco Hernandez in the TV series adaptation of Fame. Bryan Holdman is a screenwriter who has written for Kyle XY and The Vampire Diaries, and currently writes for Pretty Little Liars. Michelle Hurd, known as Colleen Manus on The Glades, has also had roles on Gossip Girl, ER, and Law and Order: SVU. Jason Olazabal recently portrayed Alex Cruz on the hit TV show Make It or Break It, and was also seen on Dexter. Juan Pope has been on Raising Hope and played Jasper on My Name is Earl. Teri Schaffer is a writer and producer who has worked on television shows including Reed Between the Lines, The Soul Man, The Cleveland Show, and The Bernie Mac Show. Raynelle Swilling was an associate producer for the motion picture You Got Served, and has also written and produced television shows including The Soul Man, Let’s Stay Together, and The Cleveland Show. Lisa Vidal is known for playing Magdalena Ramirez on The Division, and has also been seen in Star Trek, Without a Trace, ER, and The Event. All panelists are subject to change.

The panelists involved in the discussion are an exciting and diverse group of consummate professionals that will discuss thought-provoking insights about social representation issues as presented through television and film. In addition to the prepared panel questions, there will be an opportunity for audience members to engage with members of the panel and ask their own questions. It promises to be an eye-opening event that affords audience members the opportunity to think critically about the Hollywood industry and the community it serves. The panel will be filmed for inclusion in a documentary produced by New Wave Entertainment, to be aired on Showtime.

With the Affinity Series, CSULB has committed to presenting a series of performances, presentations and panel events celebrating engagement on diverse, timely and important social issues with our local and global communities. Future events will include the “LGBT Rainbow Cabaret” in early spring, conceived by Theatre Arts Faculty member Alexandra Billings and student Richard Rodriguez. This project will be in partnership with local LGBT organizations. To finish the season, on May 11th in collaboration with the Carpenter Center’s Arts for Life, students and community members will present a special Mother’s Day devised performance of Questions for My Mother and faculty member Andrea Caban will perform her one-woman show, Questions My Mother Can’t Answer.

All events in the Affinity Series are free of charge, although seating is limited and seats should be reserved prior to each event. The event begins at 7pm and is located in the Players Theatre on the CSULB South Campus, accessible via West Campus Drive. Convenient paid parking is located outside the building. For information regarding reserving seats, please contact the box office at (562) 985-5526. For all other information, please call (562) 985-4500.

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