Campus News

Open Audition Dates Set for 2014 Fall Shows

LAPC Theatre has announced audition dates for our two fall productions: Marcia Kash's FOR THIS MOMENT ALONE, a post WWII drama, which centers around a Jewish family coping with the aftermath of the horrors of the holocaust, and CABARET, the Tony Award-winning musical by Kander & Ebb. While both shows will hold auditions in the Temporary Performing Arts tent (PAC 4400), both will be performed in the the Dow Arena Theatre in the newly-renovated Performing Arts Building on the hill.

FOR THIS MOMENT ALONE, directed by Valorie Grear
Wed & Thurs - August 20 & 21 6:30 – 9:00 PM Fri - August 22 1-4 PM
Open Auditions in temporary theater tent PAC 4000 at the corner of Mason Ave & Olympic Dr. PERFORMANCES: October 24-Nov 2

Character Breakdown:
JOE AARON (early 50’s) - The patriarch of a Jewish family in Toronto, Canada, 1948. He is widowed, with two sons; one is a talented musician and the other a freedom fighter in Palestine. He feels guilty about the death of his wife, Hannah, and is passionate about relieving suffering of others. He is a kind, generous man of great principle and conviction.
BERTHA AARON (mid 50’s) - Joe’s unmarried sister. She came to live with his family after Joe’s wife died. Very motherly. One can determine her mood by the assortment of baked goods she prepares. She is faced with a difficult decision when a love from her past reappears.
NORMAN AARON (age 19) - He’s a brilliant young violinist with a temperament to match - “a genius.” He has an upcoming audition within a week at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York.
RUTH GOLDFARB (age 24) - Joe’s niece by marriage. - “a slip of a thing, quietly pretty.” Tortured by the loss of her family during the war, Ruth at last finds hope in the anticipation of being reunited with her brother.
YOUNG MAN/FREDDIE (age 25) - He has survived Auschwitz and appears at the train station in Toronto, to be united with the Goldfarb family. Tortured by nightmares, he remains emotionally secluded, and is haunted by the atrocities he experienced during the war.
SOL (50’s) - Joe’s neighbor and longtime friend, “a stocky, salt of the earth type.” He and his wife Ada provide many moments of humor in the play.
ADA (50’s) - Joe’s wife. Very close to Bertha. She and her husband Sol sometimes help out in the store, as well as, offer advice and support.

Copy of the script is available online at:

CABARET, directed by Gene Putnam, choreographed by Denise Gibson with Bonnie Lavin Hughes and Anthony Anthony Powell, Musical Direction by James Domine

Open auditions will be held in PAC 4400 (Tent structure located on lower campus) on
Sept. 2, and 3., from 6:30-9:30 pm.
Performances: December 5-14

NOTE: The leads will only be cast at these auditions.

KIT KAT GIRLS and other Cabaret dancers will audition on Saturday Sept. 13 in the Dance Studio located on Pierce Campus in the North Gym, from 12:30-3:30pm.

It is very important that you are well prepared for the audition process. You should also acquire a copy of the most recent CD of the Show (1998 version) and /or listen to excerpts from that version or the present version on U-tube. The staff would prefer that you sing a selection from the Show, but you may also select a song from another show that shows your vocal potential. In either case select a song written in your key. There will be no transposing. An accompanist will be provided. Also you will be interviewed about your schedule, possible conflicts and degree of commitment to the Show.
In addition, you will be asked to do a dance combination to see how well you can move. Please wear clothes that you can move in. Women in tights and short skirts and rehearsal shoes, men need to be in dress shirts, long pants, and rehearsal or dress shoes. No shorts, tee shirts, or tennis shoes.

Character Breakdown: Emcee - Dynamic, singer, dancer, female impersonator, leering,
ghoulish, flamboyant figure. The all-seeing, all- knowing one.
Sally Bowles - Pretentious, not-going-anywhere 19 year old cabaret singer, 
headlining British singer at the KKK.
Cliff Bradshaw - American, erudite and sincere writer, traveling thru Berlin. bisexual
Fraulein Schneider A very proper landlady who runs a boarding house Sally and Cliff live in. 
Herr Schultz - A Jewish fruit selling suitor of Fraulein Schneider (NOTE: Open to casting younger actors mid thirties to fifties for the above two roles)
Fraulein Kost - An enterprising prostitute tenant in Frau Schneider's Rooming House
Ernst Ludwig - A covert operator with charm 
Max - Owner of the Kit Kat Klub
Kit Kat Klub Cabaret Girls: (NOTE: All are dancers)Rosie, Lulu, Frenchie, Texas, Fritzie, Helga, Greta, Maria

Cabaret Boys: (NOTE: All are dancers) Bobby, Victor, Hans, Herman, Felix, Sailor #1
(Fraulein Kost’s Sailors) Sailor #2, Maitre D’, Bartender
2 - Ernst’s Nazi Body Guards at Kit Kat Klub


President Obama Visits LACCD College, Stresses Job Training

Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Los Angeles Trade Tech College Thursday, July 24, 2014, speaking about the importance of job training in front of a crowd of approximately 2,000.

“This is a school that does good work helping the unemployed retrain for new careers,” President Obama said. “Today, I’m here to focus on the one thing we should be doing which is training more Americans to fill the jobs we are creating. Right now, there are more job openings in America than at any time since 2007.”

A strong advocate for community colleges since entering the White House, Obama pointed out that Jill Biden, wife of the vice president, teaches at a community college. Obama also told the story of a woman working as a waitress who enrolled in a community college and, today, is an accountant.

“I’m always impressed by people who have the courage to go back to school, especially later in life,” Obama said.

Three days ago, he signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. “It can help,” he said, “communities update and invest in job training programs like these (at Trade Tech).”

 “Our strength in the Los Angeles Community College District,” said LACCD Board of Trustees president Scott Svonkin, “is our ability to connect business and industry, no matter the sector. Both can bring employers to the table to help develop course curriculum, tell us the skills that are needed in the future, and support internships and work-based learning. All these elements are in alignment with President Obama’s opportunity agenda.”

Late last year, Trade Tech was the recipient of a $19.2 million grant from the Dept. of Labor that focuses on healthcare and involves all nine LACCD colleges in collaboration with major hospitals and other healthcare providers.

“The president’s appearance is a testament to community colleges as places where jobs can happen,” said Svonkin. “His appearance is also a tribute to our faculty and staff who work so hard to turn people lives around and make dreams come true.

“I am living proof that you can do anything you want with hard work and determination.  You can go from being a high school dropout to being president of the board of the largest community college system in the nation.”


About the Los Angeles Community College District
The Los Angeles Community College District, the nation's largest community college district, serves one-quarter million students a year in more than 36 cities in Los Angeles County at its nine colleges.  The District covers nearly 900 square miles and has educated and trained the region's diverse workforce since 1969.


LAPC Theatre Announces New Season for 2014-2015

Los Angeles Pierce College Theatre today announced its upcoming 2014-2015 Season, which is highlighted by the long-anticipated move back to the newly renovated Performing Arts Center (located on top of the hill on the Pierce College campus). The season will open in October, 2014 and conclude in May, 2015. Exact performance dates are still being determined. Subscriptions are now on sale.


FOR THIS MOMENT ALONE by Marcia Kash, directed by Valorie Grear
Set in Toronto in 1948, a Jewish family, struggling to recover from the horrors of the war in Europe, finally has cause to rejoice. Ruth is about to be reunited with the only surviving member of her immediate family—her brother Freddie. But when she goes to Union Station to meet him she is faced with the most devastating shock of her young life—the brother she was expecting turns out to be a stranger, an imposter holding her brother's papers. Suddenly she and the family with whom she lives are forced into a situation that is almost impossible to resolve. If they abandon this displaced person they condemn him to more pain, more suffering and risk the possibility of his being deported. This engaging drama about life, love, guilt and redemption follows the paths of Ruth and the rest of the family as they come to terms with what it means to accept, to forgive and to survive.


CABARET book by Joe Masteroff, based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, directed by Gene Putnam, choreographed by Denise Gibson| 

Willkommen to the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd—and to leave their troubles outside. But as life in pre-WWII Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to get them through their dangerous times? Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including "Cabaret," "Willkommen" and "Maybe This Time." Right this way, your table's waiting at CABARET, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff's Tony-winning musical that the New York Post calls "one for the ages.


CHEESE written and directed by Laurel Ollstein

Pierce College Theatre faculty member and award-winning playwright Laurel Ollstein brings her hilariously twisted comedy to the LAPC stage. Welcome to Tillamook, Oregon, “the land of cheese, trees and ocean breezes.” Griffin, a cheese sculptor, struggles in his marriage to Cindy, who lives in denial over the loss of their young son. Enter Billie, Cindy’s best friend, a knocked-up, wannabe Hollywood actress, running from her failures. The secrets they keep and lies they tell fester and spoil like the rotting cheese that surrounds them, in this twisted, modern day Kaufman and Hart-esque laugher. When the truth is revealed, the comedy is as sharp as the cheddar.


TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD adapted by Christopher Sergel from the novel by Harper Lee, directed by RoZsa Horvath
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, beautifully adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, centers on racial injustice that envelops a small, southern community. Told through the eyes of six-year-old Scout Finch the story takes place in depression-era Alabama. Attorney Atticus Finch, her widowed father, is called upon to defend an African American field worker, Tom Robinson, falsely accused of rape. He is determined to demonstrate Robinson’s innocence even in the face of an armed and angry lynch mob. Peopled with mysterious characters like Boo Radley and fueled by the imaginations of Scout, her brother Jim and friend Dill this is a classic tale full of humor as well as pathos. 


Visit the LAPC Theatre facebook page at or contact Theatre Manager Michael Sande at; phone 818-719-6488.


Keep Up Your Momentum by Registering for Fall 2014 at Pierce College


Keep up your momentum to get through school and reach your goals. Register Now for Fall Semester at Pierce College. Classes are already more than half full (as of early June,) so it’s time to prioritize getting your schedule in order and signing up. Classes start Sept. 2, 2014.


For schedule, click  To Register for classes, log in to the Student Information System (using your ID88 and 4-digit pin).


Our new LACCD Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez encourages students to consider taking more units to get through school faster and have a better chance for success. “Almost two-thirds of our students are part time. Instead of taking six units, how about nine? Instead of taking nine, how about going full time? Did you know that if you went full time, you would have more opportunities for financial aid, scholarships, work study, EOPS, etc.?


“When a student is nibbling at the edges, taking six units, it’s going to take them ten semesters to get their degree. That’s five years. If they first need to take developmental and basic skills courses, that’s another one or two years. Then, it’s going to take them seven years for a two-year degree. That’s simply too long. The students lose interest and get off the track. They stop or drop out. And the longer you are away from education, the less your opportunity for success.”



New Chancellor Rises from “Homeboy” to Head of LACCD


Q & A Interview by Steve Springer

Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, the new chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, comes to LACCD from the MiraCosta Community College District in Oceanside where he has served as superintendent/president for the past five years. Overall, Dr. Rodriguez has worked in public higher education in California for nearly 30 years. He began his career at the University of California, Davis and went on to Woodland Community College in the Yuba Community College District and Cosumnes River College in Sacramento’s Los Rios Community College District. The 51-year-old Rodriguez has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UC Davis and a Ph.D. in education from Oregon State University.


Q: In introducing yourself to our district, can you tell us about your roots and your family?

A: I’m the son of parents who emigrated to the United States in the 1950s from Jalisco, Mexico. They came from a rural village where my grandparents and great-grandparents had a small plot of land on which they grew corn and beans. My father got as far as the fifth grade, my mother, the third grade. They did not have the benefit of a formal education in Mexico, so they came here knowing America would provide a different kind of reality and experience. They settled in San Francisco and, eventually, our family grew to include five kids, I being the only son. My father spent 35 years working in a San Francisco factory making food and beverage containers on an assembly line, and my mother worked in an industrial laundromat for over 30 years. Today, my folks, now both in their 80s, still live in the house they purchased in the Mission District in 1965. To this day, my siblings and I only speak Spanish to our parents. I keep a picture of my grandmother Teodora, who I called Mama Lola, on my desk as a visual reminder to stay humble and to stay connected to my roots. My wife, Irma, is a faculty coordinator at Sacramento City College for EOPS (Extended Opportunity Program Services), community college programs for the education of the underserved. She is a mental health professional, a licensed clinical social worker, specializing in immigrant families. My son, Andres, just finished his master’s degree in ethnic studies at San Francisco St., and is now teaching at three different institutions. My daughter, Angelica, is a junior at UCLA studying communication and Chicano studies with a pre-law emphasis.


Q: How do you envision your new role?

A: I never imagined myself being in this role, a homeboy from the Mission District. Yet here I am. In coming to Los Angeles, I feel like I’m coming back home. The noise, the smells, the sounds, the whole urban vibe, it speaks to me. I’m very comfortable in it. I know and possess urban sensibilities and they have served me well. My principal goal as I assume my new role is to raise the educational attainment of the students while ensuring that our colleges, spread out throughout this large District, represent the communities they serve. Some would look at this position in this city and this district and think, “Too large, too urban, too diverse, too poor, too many low scores on the student scorecard, too this, too that. I’ll take a pass on the job.” For me, those are all the reasons I said, yes. I’m drawn to working in a large, urban district that desires to raise its educational profile and desires to use its size to influence legislation that will help the working class and poor students get the support they need to be successful. I’m excited about partnering with various agencies in the city and county on workforce development, putting people to work. Many are running out of the urban centers like Detroit and Houston. I’m running in with eyes open and hands extended, saying to everyone I meet, “You have a new partner here.” To me, it’s a privilege to have this job. I am beyond excited. What an opportunity to make a monumental difference. But it’s going to take some time. I’m in no rush here. I want to do it well with and through others. Leadership is a team sport. I’m not going to be able to do this alone. I’m certainly not coming in with all the answers, a know-it-all guy with all this experience. Not at all. I won’t just sit on the ninth floor and wait for things to happen, but I understand the role of the chancellor is not to get into the details of what’s going on at the colleges. That’s the role of the college presidents. I get that. I hope to be a friendly contributor to the conversation. I’ve been around this business for some time and I would hope that my views would be welcomed, and I think they will.  I’m going to be working with the Board to get a clear set of goals, to get a clear sense of the vision of the District. What I don’t know, and what I’m going to need the help of everyone who is reading this in order to learn, is an understanding of the relationship between the centralized District educational services office and the respective colleges. How do we find a way to maximize both? How do we avoid having unnecessary duplication in some areas and gaps in service in other areas?


Q: Do you feel your own background will help you relate to the struggles of so many students in the District?

A: Absolutely. I was the first one in my family to go to a university and obtain a degree. When I see the students in our District, I see myself. They’re more handsome, healthier, in some cases younger, but I am them. The fact that I grew up in a working-class family, that I learned English as a second language, that I’m a first-generation college student, all those things that people might consider deficits, to me, they are assets in my role as chancellor of LACCD. I understand the importance of financial aid. I understand the importance of a schedule that accommodates working people. I got my masters and my Ph.D. while working full time and raising a family. I understand the importance of mentorship and guidance. I understand the importance of hiring good people who can give our students support.


Q: The completion rate for District students – whether their goal is a certificate, a degree or a transfer – is disappointingly low. What suggestions will you bring to the table for driving those rates up?

A: I have several ideas:

1. Have better understanding of our students and their educational pathway through the monitoring of data rather than making assumptions that are not necessarily true. Do we know what the pattern is in terms of taking courses? Do we offer enough courses in the right sequence? I love data. It’s not the only piece of the puzzle, but there is too much anecdote driving our policies in general in education.

2. Support the systems that are in place to assist students, things like EOPS, financial aid, job opportunities.

3. Provide more assistance to faculty and students in the classroom, particularly in the basic skills and developmental classes. That’s where the faculty conversation comes in. Are we using models like accelerated math and English programs? Are there different pedagogical styles and approaches that work better with certain populations? A large part of the solution is to examine deeply what is going on in the classroom.

4. Use focus groups. Talk to students, hear their voices. How has your experience been? What could we have done better? What worked? What didn’t work? Was the website clear? Was the automated registration system fluid? What got in the way? Also, do a survey of those who dropped out or, as I like to say, stopped out. Ask what happened. Was it work? Was it family? Was it unresponsive curriculum? Was it the fact that you couldn’t get the classes you wanted? Finally, we should talk to the students who have graduated, who have completed their studies, the shining stars. There are thousands of wonderful examples. What made the difference? Was it a matter of being intrinsically motivated to complete your courses? Was it external support? A combination of both? Was it a belief in self? The completion agenda is here to stay.


Q: Now that the economy is turning around, both here in California and on a national level, more money will be flowing back into the community college system. What would be the best use for this additional revenue?

A: If people think we should go back to the way it was in 2008, when we had all this money, and do those things we were doing back then, that’s the wrong way to think. The budget crisis over the last four to five years has positioned us to think differently, more creatively about not just who we are, but about who we aspire to be and how we are going to serve folks. I hope we take an opportunity to derive meaning from that crisis. Ultimately, a budget should be a reflection of your priorities. People talk about recruiting in high schools and community service agencies. Yes, we need to do that, be vigilant about that. But why not also invest in the people who have already enrolled at LACCD and keep them enrolled and make them successful. Almost two-thirds of our students are part time. Instead of taking six units, how about nine? Instead of taking nine, how about going full time? Did you know, we should tell them, that, if you went full time, you would have more opportunities for financial aid, scholarships, work study, EOPS, etc.? When a student is nibbling at the edges, taking six units, it’s going to take them ten semesters to get their degree. That’s five years. If they first need to take developmental and basic skills courses, that’s another one or two years. Then, it’s going to take them seven years for a two-year degree. That’s simply too long. The students lose interest and get off the track. They stop or drop out. And the longer you are away from education, the less your opportunity for success.


Q: What are your first impressions of the District?

A: One young man I talked to at Southwest College said it was a nurturing place for him. “I felt at home here,” he said. “It was different than the gang life that I grew up in. I was safe here.”

What a powerful statement: “I was safe here.” Those are things that we take for granted, those notions of safety, nurturing, support. But we must never forget that our students entrust not only their educational lives to us, but, in some cases, life itself. The community college system is the most egalitarian system of higher education in the world. We accept the top 100% of every high school graduating class, all of them without exception and without apology. We are beacons of hope and opportunity. For some, the first chance to go to college, for some, the last chance.



Pierce Farm Center Donates Fresh Produce, Food to Needy Families

Pierce Farm Center Director Robert McBroom gives a tour of the farm to Councilman Bob Blumenfield July 18, 2014 in Woodland Hills, CA (left). Pierce Farm Center Director Robert McBroom loads a box of tomatoes to be donated to MEND (right). The Pierce Farm Center and MEND have partnered together to provide residents in need with much needed produce and farm grown products through the "Pound for Pound" program. The farm will donate a pound of produce for every pound sold through January 1, 2015. (Photos by Andy Holzman/Los Angeles Daily News)


POSTED: 07/18/14, 5:29 PM By L.A. Daily News Reporter Olga Grigoryants

More than 30 volunteers loaded a truck full of fresh tomatoes, squash and carrots at the Pierce Farm Center on Friday to distribute organic produce to families in need across the San Fernando Valley. Councilman Bob Blumenfield introduced the Pound for Pound program, which is designed to feed thousands of people at more than 35 food shelters and pantries with fresh vegetables and fruit grown produced locally at the Pierce College Farm and distributed through MEND, a community food pantry organization. 


“Anyone would be thrilled to have this food on their table,” Blumenfield said while standing in the middle of boxes full of strawberries and corn.  

Richard Weinroth, food director for MEND — Meet Each Need with Dignity, said the Pierce Farm Center donated more than two tons of organic vegetables and fruit. 

 “So many families are struggling and are in need, and it’s great when the community can come together to help each other,” Weinroth said.

Each family in need will receive….. more at



Pierce Students Ready for Commencement 2014 on June 10

Celebrate the hard work and educational achievements of Pierce College’s Class of 2014 at our Commencement Ceremony, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 6 pm. under the shade of the trees in Rocky Young Park. The festivities will begin at 5:15 p.m. as graduating students assemble at the Center for Sciences Courtyard to fill out name cards and line up in preparation for the procession.

Tavis Smiley, well-known American broadcaster, author, publisher, entrepreneur, advocate and philanthropist will be Pierce College’s keynote speaker for the event.

Pierce College’s Student Speaker will be Krishna Lou Ayungao, an international student from the Philippines. Ayungao is a California Ed Walsh Service Awardee, one of the 2013 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise, and the first student from Pierce chosen for the inaugural All-California Academic Team in 2014 and nominated to the All-USA Academic Team. She was selected as a speaker for the International Youth for Human Rights Summit in Belgium. Krishna has organized large events at Pierce College as the Associated Students Club Council President. She is a human trafficking abolitionist and an advocate for girls’ education in developing countries. She hopes be an anthropology professor at the University of the Philippines someday.


“It is a joyous and memorable time for our students and their families,” said President Kathleen Burke. “We know that those of you who have participated in past years agree that it is a wonderful experience for everyone. We encourage all of you to take part in this occasion.”


Caps and gowns will be available in the bookstore from May 1st through the day of graduation while supplies last. Students will be wearing the traditional black cap and gown, except for nursing students, who will wear white caps and gowns. Caps and gowns are mandatory for participants in the ceremony.


Families and friends will join the graduates in a crowd of about 3,000. After the graduation, cake and refreshments will be served in front of the Library Learning Crossroads building across from Rocky Young Park.  Free parking for Pierce College’s Commencement ceremony is available in Lot 7 on Victory Boulevard. Everyone is invited to celebrate this special time when we recognize the achievements of Pierce College students. For more information visit

NOTICE: Sheriff's Department to Conduct Training Wed., July 2, 2014 on Pierce Campus


ANNOUNCEMENT:  Please be aware that the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department will conduct a DEPUTY TRAINING EXERCISE for an active shooter on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 from 4 pm to 12 midnight. All training will be inside the old library building 1800 near the center of the Mall, and on the back road leading to the building.  This is a “movement training” for about 20 security officers and deputies.


Please do not be alarmed if you see officers training in the late afternoon and evening on campus Wednesday. This is only an exercise.   


Last Chance to Register for Summer with Session B starting July 21, 2014

It’s your last chance to register for Summer classes, as there is still some space available in Pierce College’s Summer Session B, the final five-week session that begins July 21 and ends August 23, 2014.


First, check the schedule for Summer B at To register for classes, log into the Student Information System (SIS) at You can also reach the SIS from the home page by clicking on Admissions and Records, then Add/Drop Classes.


Summer Hours are now in effect for Pierce offices, which means Admissions & Records is open Monday-Thursday, closed Friday, now through the end of August. Visit



Register Now for Largest Summer Ever—with 400 Classes in 3 Sessions

Pierce is having the largest summer ever in 2014 with 400 classes offered in three sessions—the variety of classes goes far beyond just core class offerings. Lots of class openings are available; check out the schedules at  Registration is now ongoing.


Summer Hours, Application Update from Admissions & Records:  As we are two weeks before classes begin, online applications for Summer 2014 have now closed. Students will need to apply in person for admissions. Beginning June 16, we will accept applications accompanied with an Add Permit only. Students will not need to stand in line twice; we will process both on the spot. Summer Hours are now in effect, which means Admissions & Records is not open on Fridays now through the end of August.


To register for classes, log into the Student Information System (SIS) at You can also reach the SIS from the home page by clicking on Admissions and Records, then Add/Drop Classes.


Summer Session 2014 dates are:

Session A:  June 16 - July 19 (5 weeks)

Session B:  July 21 - Aug. 23 (5 weeks)

8 week Session: June 16 - Aug 9


REGISTER NOW for Summer 2014 now because this is a big opportunity for students who want to get some units under their belt before Fall comes. You can do it--do it at Pierce College this summer.