Skip to Content

A Benefit Concert Raises Funds for Slauson Rec, Shia LaBeouf’s ‘Experimental’ Theater School in Southeast L.A.

4:13 PM PDT on July 9, 2019

    [dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]n June 29, 2019, a large crowd gathered at 12th and Hope Street in support of keeping theater arts education alive in Southeast L.A. I’m on my way there. The urban institution is called Hudson Loft and a line of people have wrapped around the building to enter the benefit concert called Sacred Spectacle

    The concert was coordinated by longtime actors Shia LaBeouf and Bobby Soto to raise funds for their theater school named Slauson Rec, located at the corner of Compton Ave. and East 53rd St. near Southeast Los Angeles. The lineup consisted of artists ranging from various genres including Jaden Smith, Human Fountains, Vic Mensa, Kamaiyah, Daisy, and David Blaine. Regarding this starstudded lineup, LeBeouf disclosed that he is a “really huge fan” because they all “fuck with the same vision” of keeping the Arts in education alive.  

    “The only people writing plays are old white guys. This is our way of including people who don’t always get a chance to say something.”

    LaBeouf and Soto opened Slauson Rec in 2018 to introduce Devised Theater in the South Central Community as an outlet of expression. Cast and crew member Hannsel Vicuña comments outside before the show starts, “The only people writing plays are old white guys. This is our way of including people who don’t always get a chance to say something.”

    The school opened to the public for the first eight months. This was the period where local community members contributed ideas during a weekly workshop. “It was like a science experiment until we had a good idea of what we wanted to do,” Vicuña notes. “It works backward because we break down theater into individual aspects and treat them equally to produce powerful scenes without using a script.” 

    After about an hour of waiting and making new friends, the doors opened like the gates of theater heaven. Except there are metal detectors and people are segmented into general admission and VIP.

    LaBeouf stood by the entrance and warmly welcomed each guest in line with a handshake while also thanking them for attending. While I head towards the end of the line, he stops me and says, “I don’t think I’ve met you yet.” We shake hands and he humbly introduces himself. For all of his bold acts of performance art, he carries himself as a genuinely nice gentleman.  

    When the doors opened, a sea of supporters quickly made their way in. All shades of skin and backgrounds were in the building that night. “We are a wide variety of people but we’ve all come together for the same cause,” I overhear audience member Tony Bati say this as I get situated myself.

    I immediately spot two open bars on opposite ends of the room serving cheap wine and beer. I make sure to get a couple of drinks in to enjoy the show. As the sun sets in slumber, the room begins losing its natural lighting, and the fluorescent lights on the stage look bigger and brighter. Let the show begin.

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from L.A. TACO

    The 11 Best Backyard Restaurants in Los Angeles

    Despite many requests to publish this guide, L.A. TACO has been somewhat protective of these gems to not "burn out the spots." However, we wanted to share it with our small, loyal pool of paid members, as we appreciate your support (and know you to be okay, non-NARCs). Please enjoy responsibly and keep these 'hood secrets...secrets.

    April 18, 2024

    Here’s What an L.A. TACO Membership Gets You and Why You Should Support Local Journalism

    With more than 30 members-only perks at the best L.A. restaurants, breweries, and dispensaries waiting to be unlocked, the L.A. TACO membership pays for itself!

    April 17, 2024

    What To Eat This Weekend: Cannabis-Infused Boat Noodles, Thai Smashburgers, and “Grass & Ass”

    Plus, a pizza festival and a respected chef from Toluca, Mexico comes to Pasadena to consult for a restaurant menu, including enchiladas divorciadas, and more.

    April 12, 2024

    Facing ‘Immediate Layoffs,’ L.A. TACO Launches Membership Drive to Save Our Publication

    After Sunday, we do not have enough money to make another payroll. We need 5,000 members to become sustainable. Our deadline is April 26th to hit this goal.

    April 12, 2024
    See all posts