Adam Torres and The Cast in a scene from 'Remembering Boyle Heights: Part 2." Photo by Alan Arvizu.

As time goes by, memories of specific moments in time tend to fade, as generations come and go. That reality is different in Boyle Heights though, where robust, shared histories intertwine down every road, street and alley. 

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Though impossible to capture in any one work of art, a new theatrical production at Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights hopes to embody the essence of many of those moments.   A collaborative piece written by playwright Josefina López, director Corky Domínguez and the play’s ensemble cast, “Remembering Boyle Heights: Part 2”, opened Saturday and continues at the local venue through next month. 

As you enter Casa 0101, the hallway leading to the theater becomes an altar lined with paper marigolds and cultural ofrendas dedicated to every chapter in history that has helped shape  Boyle Heights. Colorful paintings illustrating  those stories are strung above the stage, where the show’s narrative comes to life.

Marcel Licera and The Cast in the Welcome scene rom “Remembering Boyle Heights: Part 2.” Photo by Alan Arvizu.

Set outdoors at the base of “El Pino”, the large pine tree between Boyle Heights and East LA, the play opens with an ELAC professor listening to students researching local history. Those students then lead the 14 scenes of the play, sharing monumental events and movements that have given the community its signature charms.

There’s the music of el barrio from the rancheras made famous by  Lucha Reyes, whose statue stands proudly at Mariachi Plaza, to the underground punk rock scene of the 70s and 80s. There are the voices from the chants of Roosevelt students during the East LA Walkouts to those heard in a homage to “Always Running”, a memoir on gang life written by Luis J. Rodríguez (who attended  Saturday’s premiere, incidentally.)

Also at the  premiere and featured in the show was muralist Sand One, whose signature big-eyed doll paintings cover many Eastside walls. Her story embodies another key component of the show: feminismo. This essence is captured through the story of how Josefina Lopez, Casa 0101’s founder, found her way in life.

Forced Sterilizations scene. Photo by Alan Arvizu.

One scene that brought tears to my eyes was the show’s documentation of forced sterilizations throughout the 60s and early 70s at the County Hospital in Boyle Heights. The play did justice to  the women victimized  by using their voices to shine  light on the malpractice and ensure it would never happen again. 

Boyle Heights is a special place, and people care so much about the stories that made the community what it is, because they are their stories too. There truly is something for everyone in this play, so go watch it before the run comes to an end.

“Remembering Boyle Heights: Part 2” will be presented Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 3pm  at Casa 0101 Theater, 2101 East First Street, through December 18. Tickets are $30 for General Admission, $25 for students and seniors 60+, and $20  for residents of Boyle Heights or groups of 20+. For tickets, patrons can call the CASA 0101 Theater Box Office at (323) 263-7684, email, or buy online.
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Alex Medina

Alex Medina is a graduate of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School and 2018 alumnus of the Boyle Heights Beat. He is a recent graduate of Hamilton College in Central New York where he majored in Hispanic...

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