The Santa Monica Playhouse treated 27 Santa Monica Shelter residents and staff to a two-hour matinee performance Sunday, July 30th, of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Terrence McNally’s Broadway play about the relationship between a waitress and a short-order cook in a hamburger joint.

The free presentation was part of play producer-actress Nancy Hill’s collaboration with several local grassroots homeless organizations to train homeless men and women in theatrical and business skills for employment in the entertainment industry.

“Our taking part in community events like this allows the public to see a different side of homelessness,” said Theodore Henderson, the shelter’s resident council president. “We have the same interests as everyone else.”

The shelter provides emergency and transitional housing, on-site case management, counseling, 12-step meetings, housing referrals, and employment assistance for 110 homeless men and women on an ongoing basis.

“This is the first of many cultural activities we plan to attend,” said John Penna, the shelter’s resident council activities director.

Ken McCrae, a former shelter graduate who now works at the Playhouse, gave the visitors a short talk on the way the theatrical internship has motivated him to get off the streets and back into society.

“I so appreciate the Santa Monica Playhouse for extending this invitation and greeting us in such a warm way,” said Patricia Bauman, the shelter’s project director.

The 88-seat theater on Fourth Street in Santa Monica has been providing theatrical services for more than 45 years.

Santa Monica Shelter is the newest of OPCC’s (formerly Ocean Park Community Center’s) ten programs on eight sites.

OPCC provides emergency services, transitional and permanent housing, mental and medical health programs, battered women and children services, and preparation for independent living for more than 10,000 homeless and low-income men, women, at-risk teens, and children each year.

Information, (310) 264-6646 or www.opcc.net

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