Green Room Theatre (a new division of Palm Desert Theatre Academy) is showing out in their inaugural season, with a heart-warming production of O’Henry’s classic holiday story, The Gift of the Magi. The all new Green Room Theatre seeks to bring more diversity to the Coachella Valley theatre arts scene, and Artistic Director, David Catanzarite, had the vision to lead his premiere production with an African American cast. Not only that, the new conservatory has partnered with local African American churches to bring the show live and direct to eager urban audiences. Producer Shauna Jones says, “Aside from one local black owned theatre company, it is rare for a theatre director in the Desert to not only highlight African American actors in a production, but to market to their community as well.” Performances will run for three weekends at various venues, including five African American churches, beginning December 6, 2013 at Indio Mt. Zion Church in Indio, and close out at Palm Desert Library, December 21, 2013.

In this warm-hearted romantic comedy, Della and Jim eagerly await their first Christmas together as a married couple. But times are hard, and both Della and Jim find themselves lacking the money to buy each other a proper Christmas gift. In a strange twist of fate, the two end up finding the perfect gifts for one another—but at an unexpected cost. Though they may not have the perfect Christmas, the couple learns about the importance of the gift of love. Featuring African American actors, Green Room Theatre’s production of, The Gift of the Magi, presents outstanding lead actors Key’toya Burrell as the play’s heroine, “Della” (Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues- College of the Desert Performing Arts), and Jeffery Strange as “Jim” (At Risk- College of the Desert).

Green Room Theatre is a non-profit theatre conservatory designed and led by theatre expert David Catanzarite. The conservatory is dedicated to diversity and allowing all people to have access to quality theatre training, no matter a person’s economic or cultural background. According to managing director, Karen T. Lin, “As a conservatory we are committed to fostering a new generation of talented actors.”

The Gift of the Magi, offers a unique experience for the cast as it takes center stage at five churches across the Desert. “Touring within African American churches is allowing us to come together in fellowship through theatre,” says cast member Emerald Williams. The public is encouraged to check out multiple performances on the tour, for each show is guaranteed to offer new energy and intriguing landscapes, as the actors and set adjust to the unique characteristics of each venue.

· Friday, December 6- 7PM
Indio Mt. Zion Church, 45130 Smurr St., Suite 1, Indio 92201

· Saturday, December 7- 7PM
Second Missionary Baptist Church, 43640 Burr St. Indio 92201

· Friday, December 13- 7PM
First AME Church, 43601 Saguaro St., Indio, 92201

· Saturday, December 14-7PM
Grace Apostolic Church, 61595 West Garnet Ave. Palm Springs, 92258

· Sunday, December 15- 6PM
Kyriakos Christian Center, 82230 John Nobles Ave., Indio, 92201

· Saturday, December 21- 2PM
Palm Desert Library-Community Room, 73300 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert, 92260

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for Seniors (55 and older), and $6 for children under the age of 12. Tickets are available online for advance purchase at For ticket and event information, please contact Shauna Jones, at 909-547-5572, or

Magi Flyer