CASA 0101 Theater will present the World Premiere of FAVORITE COUSINS, written by Lindsey Haley, and directed by Vilma Villela, a modern-day drama set in Santa Monica, CA, for a four-week run, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. The performance will run through May 21, 2023. The show is being presented in the newly dedicated Gloria Molina Auditorium at CASA 0101 Theater, 2102 East First Street (at St. Louis Street), Boyle Heights, CA 90033. Special Guest Speakers will appear after each Sunday Matinee performance. To view a Rehearsal Preview of the show, please visit: https://youtu.be/VV7_f_NqSqg For updates, learn more at www.casas0101.org
Lindsey Haley, the Playwright and Creator of FAVORITE COUSINS said: “I wanted to explore the effect of gang violence from the perspective of two mothers struggling through the loss of their sons, one who has died and another serving a life sentence. Exposed is the cottage industry that relies on the incarceration of brown and black people.”
FAVORITE COUSINS is the story of two estranged cousins, upwardly mobile Frances, and Gloria, a Chicana activist, who are forced to come together after their grandmother’s death. With one of their sons dead and the other serving a life sentence in prison, these middle-aged women must sort through a lifetime of memories in order to repair a relationship torn by gang violence. Set in Santa Monica, CA, the play also explores the undergoing gentrification that threatens to uproot Chicano families from a place they called home for generations.
Vilma Villela, Director of the production explains why this play is important to her. “Tell me what Chicana doesn’t struggle with having a double consciousness, especially one growing up in the barrio streets of Santa Monica, where, if you’re Brown, then your population is cruelly culled at the hands of other Latinos or police, ushering you into the Prison Factory. FAVORITE COUSINS gives us a snapshot of what it’s like for Chicanas to wrestle and/or embrace both Mexican and American identities. Gloria, the antagonist, after being faced with the loss of her son, finds solace in her Santa Monica community which has been a part of her family for generations. Frances, the protagonist, is unable to find solace for the loss of her son, she is too lulled by the American dream, making her look down on her Mexican culture.
“I instantly connected with these cousins because I grew up in a similar L.A. barrio. With the help of my own immigrant family, I dodged teen pregnancy, drugs, and the Chola life. I found my axis of opportunities ‘that were afforded to me on the backs of so many Chicano and Chicana activists,’ as Gloria reminds Frances, and found a pathway towards higher education. Similar to this story, I witnessed how gentrification priced out my family and changed the landscape of the neighborhood I grew up in, making me a stranger to my own land.”
Under the direction of Vilma Villela (of Panorama City), the new play stars Vanessa Arias-Herrera (of Los Angeles) as Frances, Raquel Salinas (of Boyle Heights) as Gloria, Tina D’Marco (of Alhambra) as Comadre Josephine, Johnny Ortiz (of Highland Park) as Junior, Scott Golden (of Koreatown) as Developer and Daniel Ruiz (Highland Park) as Understudy for Junior.
The production team for the World Premiere production of FAVORITE COUSINS includes: Josefina López (of Silver Lake), Founding Artistic Director, CASA 0101 Theater; Emmanuel Deleage (of Silver Lake), Executive Director, CASA 0101 Theater, Show Producer; Edward Padilla (of Boyle Heights) Casting Director; Lindsey Haley (of Santa Monica) Playwright and Creator; Vilma Villela (of Panorama City) Director; Marco DeLeon (of Los Angeles) Set Designer; Kevin Eduardo Vasquez (of Van Nuys) Lighting Designer; Doreen Sanchez (of Highland Park) Props Master; Daniel Ortega Corona (of Huntington Park) Stage Manager; Lindsey Haley and Vilma Villella, Costume Coordination;Max Brother (of MacArthur Park) CASA 0101 Theater Technical Director and Sound Designer; Mark Kraus (of Los Angeles), CASA 0101 Theater Development Director and Webmaster; Itzel Ocampo (of Alhambra) CASA 0101 Theater Office Administrator and Graphic Designer; Rosa Navarrete (of El Sereno) Social Media; LeeAnna “Sparky” Bowman-Carpio (of Los Angeles)Production Photographer and Steve Moyer Public Relations (of Los Angeles), Press Representative.
This production is also made possible, in part, through The California Endowment. CASA 0101 Theater sponsors: Los Angeles County Arts & Culture; Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; Eastside Arts Initiative, Perenchino Foundation, and The Herb Albert Foundation.
Tickets are $25 per person for General Admission; $22 per person for Students and Seniors 60+; $20 per person for residents of Boyle Heights and $20 per person for Groups of 20+. This show is recommended for all audiences. Advance reservations are highly recommended.
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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.
Concurrently with the run of the show, there will be an Art Exhibit in the Jean Deleage Art Gallery, located in the lobby of CASA 0101 Theater of PAINT by Suzanne Linares. This series of paintings are spontaneous, energetic strokes and drips and splashes. They lay upon the viewer’s mystery with no answers. Admission is FREE. Exhibit Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and prior to performances of FAVORITE COUSINS.