ONE VALLEY, MANY STORIES

Unearthing Stanislaus County’s Diverse Narratives

Overview

Welcome to One Valley, Many Stories, a project brought to you by the Prospect Theater Project in collaboration with the Artist Lab. Funded by the Heartland Grant, we aim to uplift, empower, and unite the diverse communities of Stanislaus County through storytelling and performing arts. Our project is designed to foster social, civic, and cultural growth, focusing on marginalized populations in California’s Healthy Place Index’s bottom quartile.

Upcoming Events

Pick an Event to RSVP

Meet and Greet Mixer - Friday, March 1, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Event Details

Friday, March 1, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The Artist Lab – 1218 K St, Modesto, CA 95354

About

Prospect Theater Project wants to hire YOU to share your Central Valley experience and showcase your talents!

JOIN US for a meet and greet—with snacks!—to learn more about our One Valley, Many Stories project. Thanks to generous support from HeARTland Creative Corps, we have PAID positions for artists and storytellers. We need: 

  • Dancers
  • Singers
  • Storytellers
  • Puppeteers
  • Actors
  • Musicians
  • And more!

We need the stories that celebrate:

  • What brought you to the place you now call home
  • Expectations of what you imagined life here would be—and what it actually is
  • Creative expressions of your relationship to
    • Water
    • Power
    • Health

Once you’ve committed to join One Valley, Many Stories, we will set you up with a creative team to guide you toward the culminating performance in July—a celebration of the culture and experience that makes the Central Valley the unique and beautiful tapestry we call home.

RSVP HERE

Meet and Greet Mixer - Saturday, March 2, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Event Details

Saturday, March 2, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
The Artist Lab – 1218 K St, Modesto, CA 95354

About

Prospect Theater Project wants to hire YOU to share your Central Valley experience and showcase your talents!

JOIN US for a meet and greet—with snacks!—to learn more about our One Valley, Many Stories project. Thanks to generous support from HeARTland Creative Corps, we have PAID positions for artists and storytellers. We need: 

  • Dancers
  • Singers
  • Storytellers
  • Puppeteers
  • Actors
  • Musicians
  • And more!

We need the stories that celebrate:

  • What brought you to the place you now call home
  • Expectations of what you imagined life here would be—and what it actually is
  • Creative expressions of your relationship to
    • Water
    • Power
    • Health

Once you’ve committed to join One Valley, Many Stories, we will set you up with a creative team to guide you toward the culminating performance in July—a celebration of the culture and experience that makes the Central Valley the unique and beautiful tapestry we call home.

RSVP HERE

Prospect Theater Project Modesto Events

We Want to Hire You!

Getting Started is easy

Submit Your Story Free Public Performance Prospect Theater Project Modesto

1

 

Submit your authentic story to our team.

Project Development Free Public Performance Prospect Theater Project Modesto

2

 

If your story is selected, production begins.

3

 

Watch your story come to life.

Watch Now!

What is the Project About?

The project is a mix of interactive storytelling, interviews, and performances that represent the rich cultural, social, and community-driven narratives in Stanislaus County. Our intent is not just to entertain but to create a heightened sense of awareness about social justice, community engagement, public health, and climate mitigation.

Learn!

Area of Focus

We are committed to concentrating on four significant areas:

Public Health Awareness

Stories that shed light on the community’s efforts and struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Environmental Stewardship

Narratives that focus on water and energy conservation, climate mitigation, and emergency preparedness.

Civic Engagement

Stories that encapsulate the spirit of democracy, including election participation.

Social Justice and Community Engagement

Narratives that highlight the struggles and triumphs of marginalized communities in social justice quests.

Location

Why Stanislaus County?

Our primary focus is on Stanislaus County because it’s a diverse community with unique stories that often go unheard. We are particularly interested in working with populations living in ZIP codes 95351, 95354, 95358, 95319, 95307, and 95380.

Our Approach

Advisory Board

We’re bringing together a mix of civic leaders, community heads, and cultural icons to form an advisory group that will guide this initiative. The objective is to identify the most relevant and meaningful stories that represent the essence of Stanislaus.

Interviews and Story Gathering

Through interviews and story collection, we intend to delve deep into the shared experiences of community members. We will consider narratives related to the focus areas and ask questions like:

“How did your family come to Stanislaus County?”
“What are some of your family traditions?”
“What does social justice mean to you?”

Artistic Development and Performances

Stories collected will be molded into performances. We plan to employ up to 36 artists and identify 50 community storytellers for this endeavor. These stories will be presented through workshops and ultimately turned into full-scale productions, guided by experienced artists and directors.

Who We Are

Our Program Developer

Jack Souza

Artistic Director
Jack Souza has a BA in Drama from CSU Stanislaus. He has also studied acting at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California, at Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California, and at The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland. Souza earned his Master’s Degree in Modern Drama from the National University of Ireland, University College Dublin. Souza has been working steadily in theater for more than 40 years, principally as an actor, but also as a designer, technician, director, and producer. Memorable productions for Souza include the English language premiere of Karel Steigerwald’s Sorrow, Sorrow, Fear, the Rope, and the Pit in Seattle, Washington, Brian Friel’s Faith Healer for The Eugene O’Neill Foundation in Danville, California, Titus Andronicus at The Lighthouse Theater in New York, New York, and Six Characters in Search of an Author in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland. Souza’s extensive regional theater credits include Sierra Repertory Theater, Stage 3, Shakespeare on the Vine, Murphy’s Creek Theater, Modesto Performing Arts, Opera Modesto, and Phoenix Creative Collective. He is presently the founding Artistic Director at Prospect Theater Project.

Shannon Stevens

Artistic Coordinator

Shannon Stevens has been an active part of the Prospect Theater Project since 2022 when she was cast in a production of Top Girls and again appeared on stage in 2023’s production of Sight Unseen. She continues to co-host PTP’s “Page to Stage,” a community event that offers valued opportunities for audiences to engage more deeply with the texts of the plays at PTP. Outside of PTP, Dr. Stevens is an associate professor of journalism in the English department at CSU Stanislaus where she advises the student newspaper and serves as co-director of the Creative Media major. A writer and scholar with interests in media, film, and oral history, she was drawn to “One Valley, Many Stories” from the start and is thrilled to bring her varied experiences to the project as its artistic coordinator.

Our Advisory Board

Stephen Gerringer
Joseph Campbell Foundation

Linda Scheller
MoSt Poetry Center Vice President
KCBP Community Radio Programmer

Kirk Gonzales
Lightspeed Graphics CEO

Maribel Torres
Actor/Musician

Dr. Cueponcaxochitl D. Moreno Sandoval
Associate Professor, Native American and Mexican Indigenous Studies, Ethnic Studies Department at Stan State

Dr. S. Steve Arounsack
Professor of Anthropology; Director, Keck Visual Anthropology Lab (KVAL) at Stan State

Nicole Dunlap
Adjunct Instructor, Communications Studies

Khani Gustafson
CEO, CB Gustafson Consulting LLC and President, NAACP Modesto Chapter

Pierre Noghli
Domara Orchestra Producer and Director

Maria Gabriel
Indigenous Students in Activism representative, Stan State

Maria Gabriel
Indigenous Students in Activism representative, Stan State

Learn

TIMELINE

This timeline provides a chronological overview of our project’s key milestones, events, and achievements.

Pre-Production

In this phase, we’ll engage community leaders and form our advisory group. This phase will be carried out mostly at the Prospect Theater Project and the Artist Lab.

Production

We will develop stories and storytelling methods during this phase. A series of improvisational workshops will be conducted.

FREE Public Event

This is when we showcase the polished stories in a series of performances at the Prospect Theater Project, the Artist Lab, and the Modesto Silos.

Post-Production

Post performances, we’ll assess the impact of our program objectives.

Learn

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I submit my story for consideration?

You can submit your story through our website by contacting us directly by email where you’ll provide a brief overview of your narrative, the impact it had on civic engagement, and any cultural or community significance it holds. Please include your contact information so we can reach out to you for further discussion.

Are there any age restrictions for participants?

We’re aiming for a multigenerational audience ranging from 16 to 80+

How do I attend a workshop?

Keep an eye on our ‘Upcoming Events’ section or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.

What kind of stories are you looking for?

We’re looking for authentic, compelling stories that highlight civic engagement within our community. This can range from personal acts of advocacy and volunteerism to broader community-driven initiatives. Stories that demonstrate a positive impact, showcase cultural richness, or illuminate the challenges and triumphs of civic participation are especially welcome.

Will I be compensated for my story or participation?

Yes, individuals whose stories are selected for the performance will receive compensation for sharing their narratives. Additionally, if you choose to take part in the actual performance, either behind the scenes or on stage, there will be compensation for your time and involvement.

Can I remain anonymous if my story is selected?

Absolutely. We understand the importance of privacy and the personal nature of some stories. If you prefer to remain anonymous, we will honor your request while ensuring your story is told with the respect and sensitivity it deserves.

How are selected stories adapted into a performance?

Selected stories undergo a creative adaptation process where they are transformed into scripts suitable for the stage. This process involves collaboration with writers, directors, and, most importantly, the storytellers themselves, to ensure the essence and authenticity of the narrative are preserved. We aim to capture the heart of each story, bringing it to life through a blend of dialogue, music, and performance.

Partners

Thanks to Our Sponsors!

We extend our deepest gratitude to the Heartland Creative Corps mission. This journey, filled with stories, performances, and shared dreams, would not have been possible without the generous grant and support we received.

Tickets

Want To Get Involved?

We invite you to be a part of this exciting initiative. Whether you're an artist, a storyteller, or someone who wants to support this project, there are multiple ways to get involved.

Blog

Follow Along

Focus Area: Public Health Stories from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Focus Area: Public Health Stories from the COVID-19 Pandemic

We delve into the heart of Stanislaus County’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the deserted streets at the onset to the heroic efforts of frontline workers, and the community’s unyielding spirit of togetherness, each story is a testament to our resilience. We explore how these personal and collective experiences have transformed us, shaping a new normal.

read more