HONORING THE LIFE OF ZINA BETHUNE
WHEN: Thursday, March 8, 2012
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: EL PORTAL THEATRE MAINSTAGE
5269 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Services open to the public - please RSVP to email@example.com
For Parking at THE EL PORTAL THEATRE click on www.elportaltheatre.com
February 14, 2012, (Los Angeles, CA) - Founder and artistic director of Theatre Bethune, Zina Bethune passed away in tragic car accident at the age of 66 on February 12, 2012 at 12:05 a.m. Ms. Bethune stopped to assist an injured animal on the road and was struck by oncoming traffic. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Zina Bethune had an extensive and inspirational career beginning at the age of 6. She had a lifelong passion for theatre, film, and television, and is recognized as a pioneer in the cyber arts. She starred in Martin Scorsese's first motion picture "Who's Knocking At My Door" and the television series, "The Nurses" and was also a regular guest star on the "Judy Garland Show." On Broadway, she played the starring role in "Grand Hotel." Zina danced with the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and various international dance companies.
In 1980, Zina founded Bethune Theatredanse (now Theatre Bethune), the first professional dance program in America to create a participatory dance program for disabled youth, called Infinite Dreams. Zina often said: "Infinite Dreams is for all people and is about the spirit and joy of dance –your spirit is not disabled, why should what you do be disabled?"
Zina led her multi-media company on international tours and even received a special invitation to perform at the White House. Zina achieved all of this while being "differently – abled" with Dysplastic hips, Scoliosis and Lymphedema. "Differently-abled" was Zina's way to explain "how it feels to be disabled yet live with the fire of an artistic spirit that is in us all."
Zina was a pioneering force for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Arts and Disability Movement inclusion guidelines for the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Zina's work with arts and disability is now a worldwide movement and has received commendations from three U.S. Presidents, four Los Angeles Mayors, Senators, Governors, LAUSD, Actors Equity and The United Nations.
"She's brought light and joy to thousands of people with her choreography and dance. In addition to her groundbreaking multi-media dance performances, Zina has worked for over 25 years to provide dance and drama to children with disabilities," says Paula Woodley, longtime friend, producer and member of the Theatre Bethune Board of Directors.
Zina is survived by her husband, Sean Feeley, her mother, stage, TV and film actor, Ivy Bethune, countless loving friends, and over 8,000 graduates of the Infinite Dreams program.
The family kindly requests, in lieu of flowers, please send donations to Bethune Theatredanse.
Press Inquiries: Monica M. Jaramillo/ NMA Group PR/ 818.432.1286
Theatre Bethune Contacts: Tommy Monje, Assoc. Director of Development/Marketing
Theatre Bethune - 3342 Barham Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90068 – 323.874-0481