A stage adaptation of the 1993 groundbreaking memoir by Los Angeles former poet laureate Luis J. Rodríguez will have its world premiere this month at Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights.
“Always Running” will have a six-week run beginning Aug. 31. It was adapted for the stage by Luis J. Rodríguez and Héctor Rodríguez and directed by Héctor Rodríguez. It’s based on the award-winning “Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in LA,” which tells the story of how a young man escapes a life of gang violence, discrimination, depression and drug addiction and finds redemption through art, the Chicano Movement, poetry and service.
“It is my great pleasure to collaborate with Casa 0101 Theater and my co-writer Héctor Rodríguez in bringing the story of my troubled youth to the stage,” Luis J. Rodríguez said in a released statement. “My book was about the transformative power of the arts as well as how the Chicano Movement provided me meaning and knowledge to join with the social justice struggles of the day. It dramatizes how a caring, persistent, and guiding mentor eventually gave me the consciousness and tools to own my life instead of turning it over constantly to drugs, crime, and violence.”
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with Luis J. Rodríguez to tell his life story in a dramatic form,” said Héctor Rodríguez in the statement. “Nothing beats working with the actual person who lived the life you are bringing to the stage. Luis’ insight and guidance bring an inspiring truth, authenticity and honesty to the stage play that is beyond words.”
The production at Casa 0101 is being co-presented by Tía Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore, the nonprofit space created by Luis J. Rodríguez and his family. It stars Rufino Romero, who leads a cast of 11 actors playing 32 roles.
“Always Running” will be presented Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 5:00 p.m. at Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 East First Street, through October 20. Discounted previews will be presented Aug. 29 and 30 at 8:00 pm. Special Saturday matinees will be given on Sept. 7, 14 and 21 at 3:00 pm. There will be no performances September 27, 28 and 29.
General Admission tickets are $25 per person, Seniors and Students are $22 per person and Boyle Heights Residents are $20 per person. Group Rates are available for Groups of 10 or more. Advance Reservations are highly recommended. For tickets, call the box office at 323-263-7684, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or buy online atwww.casa0101.org.
Photo above: Writer/director Héctor Rodríguez (left), producer Josefina López, writer Luis J. Rodríguez and lead actor Rufino Romero. Photo by Claudia Duran.