Donor Supporters

Jessie Ong

Alhambra Source provides objective and important news reporting for our community.

Efren Moreno, Former Alhambra Mayor

Thank you Alhambra Source for truly informing the residents of Alhambra.

Jeff Maloney, Alhambra City Council Member

The Source has become an important source for news, public interest, and serious journalism in our community. Keep it up!

Sara Harris

As a career journalist and EJ advocate, I see community-based media like the Alhambra Source as crucial to democracy and equality.

Chris Olson

I support Alhambra Source as often as I can because I believe a free and independent press is vital to the democratic process. No other news outlet with high journalistic standards consistently covers the stories and issues that matter to our community.

Adele Andrade Stadler, Alhambra City Council Member

The Source is a great independent newspaper that celebrates the communities and is not afraid to ask the tough questions!

Cliff Bender, Vice President, Alhambra Education Foundation

I want to know what's going on in my community- News, events, and human interest stories. The Alhambra Source gives me the information I need.

Joyce & Oscar Amaro, Alhambra Preservation Group

We support Alhambra Source because this online news source is vitally important in engaging, informing and educating the residents of Alhambra.

Laura Vasquez

Alhambrans need to know the truth about our area!

Michael Lawrence, Alhambra Arts Commissioner

Keep bringing on the stories. The Source has given us so much and I am happy to donate to such an important part of our community.

Karsen Luthi

Thank you for creating Alhambra Source and providing timely reporting of important local news. Fight on!

Mr. Konnyaku

I support news reporting that is unbiased and informative. Really enjoy the excellent coverage on local city council and planning commission meetings.

Guadulesa Rivera

Alhambra Source unifies the community and keeps us involved.

Erwin Lee

Such a valuable source of what’s happening in city where we live. Objective reporting that informs us and allows us to come to our own conclusions.

How Mark Keppel High School packs an emotional punch with its theater program

  • All photos courtesy of Mark Keppel High School.


Alhambra , CA United States

Along with Alhambra High School and its recent production of Kiss Me Kate, Mark Keppel High School has an excellent drama club, whose members work endlessly throughout the year: fundraising, rehearsing, training, building and doing everything else that it takes to put its productions together. Parents and patrons who understand the value of having a theater program also help raise awareness and money for these clubs that get no state or educational funding.

Page Phillips, the director of the Mark Keppel Theater company, works as a drama teacher during the day, but also devotes many unpaid hours to keeping the program up and running.

“We do an all school talent show every spring,” Phillips said, when it comes to fundraising. A haunted house in October and some clever supporting events, such as a red-carpet ceremony for the opening of a production, and live and silent auctions. “Everyone dressed up for the event and we had great appetizers and really cool auction items,” Phillips described.

This past March, the Mark Keppel High School Theater Company presented The Suitcase Dreams. Although there are no current performances of this play, the impact of this outstanding production warrants a mention as another example of the work that Alhambra’s teenagers and their mentors are contributing to the city’s arts and culture scene.

The Suitcase Dreams by Mike Lawler, Jessica Lanius, Tyler Marchant, Karen Olivo and Gwendolyn Rice, with additional scenes written by Keppel Students Tatiana Garnett, Abel Rock, and Evan Sakuma, is an experimental theater piece performed by an ensemble of actors.

With a crafty set designed by Keppel alum Jackie Gil, the play opens on a circular pedestal with stairs, ramps and wooden steps leading to a sea of suitcases of all different colors, sizes and era styles. A melodic and stirring score, composed and performed impeccably by Brendan Cheng, Mina Tran and Tommy Ho set the mood along with an elaborate lighting design by Tim Gillette. One by one the characters come on stage, each taking a suitcase, each verbalizing some sentence or simple phrase that fill our daily life. What happens next is 30 short moments, scenes, and monologues that share the common thread: We all have baggage.

The play moves quickly with moments of subtlety, drama and whimsy. Standing out with strong storytelling was the haunting tale entitled “The Devil Fish,” grippingly told by Dylan Djoenadi as well as the student written entries, including the heart tugging “Inseparable” by Abel Rock, and the clever story of two young people who find a way to accept who they are, without the interference of conformity, in Tatiana Garnett’s witty “Hands.” Lending moments of broad comedy performed with skilled timing were Terena Phan and Zen Tran as two clowns, one tragic, one joyful, making their voyage through life through steamer trunks and fumbled circus tricks.

Rounding out the ensemble were David Martinez and Cristina Porras, who gave solid performances as a young couple who agree to carry each other’s luggage, Evan Sakuma and Albert Aguilar in a tender piece about a couple who fear change, and Christopher Fu, Celeste Nguyen, Tiffany Lai, Daniel Vazquez and Emily Wu, easing their way through the many pieces so quickly and gracefully that the talented ensemble gave the illusion of a very large cast.

The high school theater clubs are supported through ticket sales, fundraisers and donations. The investment proves to be worthwhile as a fine arts gem in the city of Alhambra. For more information or to donate to the theater, please visit mkhs.myschoolcentral.com.

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

Leave a Reply