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News Release| “Hollywood Comes to East L.A.”; Cal State L.A.

December 5, 2011

Note to editors and news directors: To arrange interviews in advance or request for media passes, contact the CSULA Public Affairs office at (323) 343-3050.


            ‘Hollywood Comes to East L.A.’

An evening of 5 original TV sitcom pilots
at Cal State L.A. Thursday, Dec. 8

WHAT:          “Hollywood Comes to East L.A.,”

                       featuring sitcom presentations by CSULA students.

WHEN:          Thursday, Dec. 8, 7:30-10 p.m.

WHERE:         Music Hall, on the Cal State L.A. campus.

TICKETS:       Free to the public. For more information, call (323) 343-5425.

Los Angeles, CA  -- Roll ‘em! “Hollywood Comes to East L.A.” to introduce five original TV sitcom pilot presentations by emerging new artists in Cal State L.A.’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Program in Television, Film and Theatre.  

The comedy sitcoms—to debut Thursday, Dec. 8, 7:30 to 10 p.m., in the Music Hall of the CSULA campus—are written and directed by MFA writers and producer-directors and starring MFA actors.

According to CSULA faculty adviser Stephen Rothman, “The University’s MFA Program is unique in the Los Angeles area and the entire United States. The talents who graduate come out with training and background in the three mediums of television, film and theatre with a concentration in acting, writing, or producing/directing. This third-year cohort [of writers and producer-directors] is the second class to be graduating since the MFA began four years ago, and the first class of actors to be graduating.”

Primed for professional careers in the entertainment industry, the group of diverse and creative CSULA students include producer-directors Elias Feghali, Garen Mirzaian and Phil Snyder; writers Monica Dunlap, John Guevara, Shane Pourhassan, Josh Truett, and Jennafer Worland; and actors Shirin Behrouzfard, Debra Faulk, Rahmon Ford, Nicole Gerth, Vince Major, Behre Ozgalp, Ricky Pak, and Sarah Vannest. 


Spotlights on five 20-minute live sitcom pilot presentations:

“Coming to L.A.”

Story by Shane Pourhassan

Written by Shane Pourhassan, Ricky Pak and Debra Faulk

Directed by Ricky Pak

“Dante’s Pastaleria”

Written by Monica Dunlap

Directed by Phil Snyder

“Drama Queens”

Written by John Guevara

Directed by Shirin Behrouzfard

“High Desert”

Written by Jennafer Worland

Directed by Elias Feghali

“Team Work”

Written by Josh Truett

Directed by Garen Mirzaian

A professor of theatre arts at CSULA, Rothman has been a professional stage director for 30 years and has also directed television sitcoms. He was the founder and artistic leader of the revitalized Pasadena Playhouse and served as the artistic director of the Sacramento Theatre Company. His honors include the 2000 Carbonell Award for Best Director for his work on “God's Man in Texas” at Florida Stage in West Palm Beach, and the Hollywood’s Dramalogue Award for Best Director of the play, “Orphans,” done in American Sign Language at Deaf/West Theatre in Los Angeles.

Free to the public. For campus maps and directions: /univ/maps/. Seating is limited. For reservations, email

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 220,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.