Contemporary gentrification debates unlock the early history, stories and memories of the Eastside in “Remembering Boyle Heights,” a collaborative theater piece by playwright Josefina López, director Corky Domínguez and the play’s ensemble cast that recently had its world premiere at Casa 0101 Theater.
The audience participatory, immersive theatrical celebration opened Nov. 9 and runs through December 16 at the Boyle Heights stage.
“The show is a theatrical celebration inspired by the diverse stories, memories and experiences of Boyle Heights, the Ellis Island of the West, from the beginning of the century to right after World War II,” playwright López said in a press release. “We explore this time period during which Mexican, Jewish, Japanese, Armenian, Italian, Russian and African-American communities co-existed in Boyle Heights.”
“Audiences coming to see this show will be taken on a unique theatrical journey, unlike anything they may have experienced before in the theatre,” said Domínguez, who is directing the production. “They will be lead by a Tour Guide, and in the process everyone will learn more about the evolution and history of Boyle Heights, from its rich cultural diversity and ethnicities of the past, coming full circle to the current gentrification of the community today.”
The Ensemble Cast includes Michael Berckart, Joe Luis Cedillo, José Alejandro Hernandez Jr., Yvette Karla Herrera, Ángel Michel Juárez, Megumi Kabe, Marcel Licera, Jackie Marriott, Roberta H. Martínez, Allyson Taylor and Raymond Watanga.
Concurrently with the run of the play, the Boyle Heights Museum will display an exhibit titled ROYBAL: A Multi-Racial Catalyst for Democracy (on view in the theater lobby through February 3). The exhibit is curated by Dr. George Sanchez, a USC Professor of History and American Studies, and co-curated by Jimmy Centeno. It is made possible through a grant from California Humanities.
All performances are at the main stage at Casa 0101, 2102 East 1st Street.
Performances will be given Fridays and Saturdays with pre-shows starting at 7:45 p.m., and Sundays with pre-shows starting at 4:45 p.m. There will be no performance on Friday, November 23, 2018 in observance of Thanksgiving. Panel Discussions to be announced will be held after select performances of the show as well.
Tickets are $20 per person for General Admission; $17 per person for Students and Seniors; and $15 per person for Boyle Heights residents. Discounts for Groups of 10 or more will be available at $15 per person. This show is recommended for all audiences. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Free Parking is available on several streets surrounding the theatre. Free Parking is also available on Fridays and Saturdays only at the Boyle Heights City Hall Parking Lot located at 2130 East First Street (at Chicago Street) by entering the lot from Chicago Street; the lot is closed on Sundays.
Photo above: José Luis Cedillo and Yvette Karla Herrera in a scene from “Remembering Boyle Heights” at Casa 0101. Photo by Ed Krieger