OperaWorks’ Arts for Social Awareness Project (ASAP) was created to bring awareness to current social issues through live musical-dramatic productions in intimate theater spaces. Each new work is created from interviews and interactions with people affected by and/or working within each issue. Performances are fully staged and costumed with the musical score improvised each night. Talkback sessions are scheduled at the conclusion of each performance with leaders in the field of the social topic addressed. Selected performances will be preserved on film for future use by advocacy groups.

If you know someone experiencing homelessness during the current pandemic, MY MOVE is a valuable resource with information, links, and other assistance.


The Discord Altar

Arts for Social Awareness Project flagship production

April 10 – May 3, 2015 • Secret Rose Theatre • North Hollywood, CA

With a libretto by award-winning playwright Meghan Brown and music improvised nightly by the cast, The Discord Altar was an original opera/play/musical that delved into the epidemic of homelessness. It ran for four weekends in North Hollywood’s intimate Secret Rose Theatre. The cast included seven classically trained singing-actors, a pianist, and a fusion sound sculpture artist. All performances concluded with a talkback session with different homeless shelter representatives and advocates from around the Los Angeles area. 



Playwright: Meghan Brown
Director: Amanda McRaven    (NAACP nomination – Best Director)
Music Director & Pianist: Ann Baltz   (NAACP nomination – Best Music Director)
Fusion Sound Sculpture Artist: Ray Salas



Drew: Babatunde Akinboboye
Richie: Julia Aks
David: James Hayden
Vanelda: Anjelica McRae
Emily: Alina Roitstein
Lena: Annie Sherman/​Laura Parker

Talk Back Guests

Downtown Women’s Center
Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission
L.A. Family Housing
The Los Angeles Mission
Los Angeles Youth Network
The Midnight Mission
My Friend’s Place
The Rock Club “Rock for Vets”
The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission
Temple Isaiah
Ian Smith – Marine Corps, Iraq War veteran & Homeless advocate
Wendy Colman Levin – Home for Good Business Leaders Task Force

The cast and crew on the set of The Discord Altar

Watch mezzo Julia Aks improvise Richie's Aria during a performance.

With Ray Salas on percussion, and Ann Baltz on piano.

Closing Night Cast Picture_edited.jpg