the stars who make it happen
Founder and artistic director
Dolores is responsible for the day-to-day operations of our organization. She facilitates all workshops and summer camps, and is the producer/director of each production. Dolores began teaching acting for children and teens over 20 years ago at the Lee Strasberg Theater in New York. She has worked in the nonprofit arena for over six years teaching a life skills program through creative writing and improvisation in high schools and middle schools throughout LA County, as well as in LA Probation Camps. Dolores has been directing musical theater productions with the Culver City Department of Parks and Recreation since September, 1999. It is her passion to help youth discover their innate creativity and provide such a joyous opportunity for their self-expression. It has been her dream to establish this organization to ensure the continuation of her work, keeping tuition at a reasonable cost and to be able to provide scholarships for kids in need. Dolores has just completed her Ph.D. in Mythological Studies & Psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara.
associate director & CHOREOGRAPHER
Allegra Williams-Stirrat is a graduate of CSU, Chico with a BA in Musical Theatre. As Dolores Aguanno’s daughter, Allegra has had the privilege of participating in countless productions since the birth of dee-Lightful in 1999. Beginning as a camper at age 9, it was during this time that Allegra realized her true passion for the art of performing, and has grown to contribute as Assistant Director, Director, Choreographer, and Producer. She has loved every minute of it. Over the last few years Allegra has also grown to be Dolores' right hand in co-facilitating the operations of the organization. Outside of dee-Lightful, Allegra works in the school system as a substitute teacher and teaching artist. She also continues to take classes and perform, feeding her artistic expression in addition to teaching because she holds a true passion for the arts and passing on what she learns to the youth. She believes that especially through the art of theatre, children gain a true understanding of what it means to be accepted in a family-like community where they can express themselves in a safe and supportive atmosphere. This gives them the confidence to carry with them in the world, whatever they choose to pursue, as well as experiencing different perspectives through the art of living in someone else's shoes. Allegra is grateful to have such a safe place to spread her knowledge and create with these young artists, and she feels fortunate to learn so much from them in return!
summer camp apprentices
Apprentices, aka our "Camp Counselors," are an integral part of our organization. They are accomplished in their own right as performing artists and have an extensive background working with children. They serve as role models for our young artists and support them in the day-to-day camp and workshop activities. Many of our multi-talented apprentices come from the Culver City High School Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA), an accredited afterschool intensive arts program.
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