Looking at theater group’s new show “Short Eyes”

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Pete Moye'

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Patrick Dolly and Patrick Dolly

Pete Moye’
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Along with the growing interest that Cerritos College students express in theatre comes the desire to grow beyond campus productions. The Urban Theatre Movement has once again been the company to fulfill those needs.

Co-founded by Paul Tully and Brenda Banda in 2009, Urban Theatre Movement was created to offer a place for local actors to go and apply their skills beyond the Cerritos College campus.

Urban Theatre Movement’s latest production, “Short Eyes,” was written by playwright Miguel Pinero and directed by Artistic Director Julian Acosta.

“Short Eyes”, which takes place in a New York City jail in the 1970s, is about a group of jail inmates, the politics of jail, as well as the crime of child molestation and the reaction by the inmates to another inmate who committed that crime.

Tully commented on the play saying, “Short Eyes’ is about humanity. These men are in prison, and they are in this hard, tough, animalistic environment.”

“They make decisions; they have rules, politics, and race wars. The white [inmates] can’t drink after the blacks; the black [inmates] can’t talk to the whites.”

Pinero wrote the play when he was in prison, using his adaptation of life inside of prison and the similarities outside of prison.

“Short Eyes” is performed by UTM members, two of which are current Cerritos College students.

Broadcast communications major Miguel Amenyinu plays the role of amateur boxer Omar Blinker.

Amenyinu previously appeared on the Cerritos College theatre stage in the summer 2010 one act play “Bad Idea,” as Dude, and in “Last Days of Judas Iscariot” as Simon the Zealot.

The role of Blinker is Amenyinu’s first production outside of Cerritos College, and his first with Urban Theatre Movement.

“This is probably the most complex role that I have ever done. You have to find answers for yourself; it really takes a lot out of you,” Amenyinu said.

Urban Theatre Movement Marketing Associate and theater arts major Shanelle Moore commented about her excitement about the production saying, ‘Short Eyes’ is the biggest production that we [had] have yet. We are really excited about it.”

Tickets are $30 at the door, but Tully is offering a student discount; tickets will be $10 for all current Cerritos College students with the current fall semester sticker. This discount is limited to Thursday and Sunday night performances.

UTM is also offering interim positions within the company which allows students unable to afford to pay to see the play the option of serving as an usher or other position in exchange for a free ticket to a show.

“Short Eyes” will run at the Los Angeles Theatre Center at 541 South Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles with an opening night of Nov. 17 and closing on Dec. 18.