South Coast Repertory Announces New Bilingual Play Based on Santa Ana Resident Stories: The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy
- Free Performances in September in Santa Ana Civic Center Plaza
- Cast and Crew composed of nearly 100 Santa Ana residents
SANTA ANA, Calif. (Sept. 3, 2014)— Two years ago, with funding from The James Irvine Foundation and in partnership with Latino Health Access, South Coast Repertory launched a play-development project in Santa Ana called Dialogue/Diálogos. The project captured the stories and memories of nearly 1,000 of the city’s Latino residents, which created the core of a new bilingual play, The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy, written by José Cruz González.
World premiere performances are scheduled over two weekends in September (Sept. 19-21 and Sept. 26-28) at the City of Santa Ana Civic Center Plaza. The performances are free, with reservations requested at (714) 708-5555.
“This amazing play would not have happened without so many people working tirelessly together for the past two years,” said SCR Artistic Director Marc Masterson. “South Coast Repertory is grateful to the residents of Santa Ana who have shared their stories and talent, nurtured the script during its revision, learned stagecraft and helped out in so many ways.”
The play begins with a little boy in Santa Ana and his red ball. With no park in his neighborhood, young Andrés plays in the street. One day, he chases after a stray ball—running into tragedy—and two families and a community work to confront the aftermath and take action.
“Our journey has been one of discovery: we’ve heard hundreds of stories and have been profoundly moved,” said González, SCR playwright-in-residence. “We are excited to share this new work and hope that audiences will enjoy it because this is like nothing they have seen before.”
Audience members will experience The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy through a distinctive sequence of scenes at Santa Ana’s Civic Center Plaza, which is transformed into four stages. Playgoers walk to four separate locations within the Civic Center Plaza to experience the play's story in different sections. After viewing all four pieces of the story, audience groups come together for the epilogue.
“We’re grateful to have worked closely with our great Diálogos partner, Latino Health Access, which believes—as we do—that the arts are part of what makes us whole,” said Masterson. “Come out to support your neighbors and friends whose work has made this beautiful production a reality—we hope you’ll enjoy the story that’s told.”
“We also thank the City of Santa Ana for its support of this project, indeed for making it possible to perform at the beautiful Santa Ana Civic Center Plaza, and to The James Irvine Foundation for providing the funding to make this a reality,” said SCR Managing Director Paula Tomei. “We are so proud of the community-building that has happened over time and of this production we’ve created together.”
“This has been an incredible opportunity for our community to be part of collective creation,” said America Bracho, executive director of Latino Health Access. “It has allowed us to reflect on the strengths and opportunities in our Santa Ana communities.”
Musical director and composer Moisés Vázquez noted the special nature of the play.
“When everyone first came together around this project, the dream was big,” he said. “We all thought the same thing: Professional actors and community members coming together to create theatre in such a large scale? Outdoors and accessible to everyone? In Santa Ana? It’s unlike anything we’ve experienced or imagined!”
The two-year play development project began with a series of free storytelling events in Santa Ana facilitated by playwright-in-residence González, Diálogos Engagement Director Sara Guerrero and a team of teaching artists from SCR. Then, González and the SCR educators taught theatre-making workshops for the community. Finally, González turned the collected stories into a play, with nearly 100 community members taking part in the full theatrical production.
“No one could foresee that tremendous excitement and buzz would come from the Santa Ana community expressing their own deep and meaningful stories,” said González.
“I witnessed a staged reading of the beautiful play about Santa Ana, where the central story shows pain and healing families go through,” said Santa Ana resident Melody González. “It helped me embrace the pain, the longing, the memories, the love, the healing journey and all the lessons that tragedy has taught me.”
Armando Molino is the director. The design and creative team includes Sara Ryung Clement, scenic design; Gina Davidson, costume design; Lonnie Alcaraz, lighting design; Corinne Carrillo, sound design; Moisés Vázquez, music/composer; Tom Ontiveros, projections design; and Sean Cawelti, puppet design. Kerry Farmer is production manager; Bobby DeLuca is stage manager; Sylvia Blush and Mercy Vasquez are assistant directors and choreographers; and Kimberly Colburn is dramaturg.
The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy will be performed in a two-weekend run at Santa Ana’s Civic Center Plaza (at W. Santa Ana Blvd & N.W. Parton St.), on Sept. 19-21 and 26-28. Free tickets may be reserved through South Coast Repertory at SCR.org/dialogos or (714) 708-5555.
Dialogue/Diálogos is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, as part of its Exploring Engagement Fund for Large Organizations and in partnership with Latino Health Access.
Related Information for The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy
- Reservations are encouraged by visiting SCR.org/dialogos, by calling (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the SCR Box Office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa.
Performance Dates, Times:
- Fridays-Sundays, Sept. 19-21 and Sept. 26-28, 8 p.m.
- ASL-interpreted: Saturday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m.
Location: 20 Civic Center Plaza (at W. Santa Ana Blvd. & N. Parton St.), Santa Ana. For directions and information about parking and accessibility, visit SCR.org/dialogos
The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy
Members of Actors Equity Association: Diana Burbano (Dolores); Daniel Chacón (La Muerte); Cynthia DeCure (Comadre #1); Estela Garcia (Rosalba); Gabriel González (Mundo); Richard Soto (Vecino #2).
Cast includes: Evangelina Aguas (Comadre #2); Adriana Alexander (puppeteer); Crescencio Angel (El Gallo); Angela Apodaca (El Diablito); Amanda Arbues (Aspen); Amanda Baker (puppeteer); Clau Breña (puppeteer); Dayspring Cabaniss (La Luna); Alondra Campos (Jackie); Apolonio Cortes (Elderly Homero); Adriana Cuin (Haydee); Ian Daelucian (Muerto #4); Aaron Drake (puppeteer); Jorge Flores (El Valiente); Victoria Flores (Comadre #3); Jeannette Franco (La Dama); Analy Garcia (Young Socorro); Ron Grigsby (Muerto #5); Alen Hansen (guitarist and drummer); Dalia Hernandez (puppeteer); Hugo Hernandez (puppeteer);Chilo Isidro Perez (puppeteer); Andy Lam (Muerto #2); Abraham Guillermo Leal (Andrés); Arlette Linares (Vecino #3);Linda Luna (Estrella Video); Sam Matthews (Andrés); Deloise Moore (Muerto #1); Jennifer Moraca (Leticia); Hugo Muñoz (Pastor Sal); Bryan Alejandro Perez (Young Salvador); Selene Perez (Luz); Luzy Piña (Sol); Jesse Pudles (puppeteer); Kalim Quevedo (Muerto #3); Hector Luis Rivera (percussionist); Araceli Robles (Maribel); Ulises Rodriguez (accordion player); Jazmin Saavedra (Estrella); Moises Salazar (musician); Maria Elena Serratos (Socorro); Ryan Smolar (Josh); Elizabeth Szekeresh (puppeteer); Diego Andrés Terán (Andrés); Emiliano Torres (Young Homero); Caroline Torrez (Vecino #1); Gerardo Villa-Lobos (Homero); and Roland Acosta, Vivian Acosta, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Madeleine Lindbeck, Dario Montalvo, Paula Orozco, Anna Paz, Miriam Quintanilla and Sara Quintanilla (The Wooden Floor dancers).
Production staff: Julianna Stephanie Ojeda and Amanda Novoa are assistant stage managers; Jessica Morataya, Jennifer Castillo, Wendy Arteaga and Michael Garcia are production associates; Laura Bustamante is marketing coordinator; Gallo Studio Productions is video services; and Zuleica Zepeda is contributing artist.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is led by Artistic Director Marc Masterson and Managing Director Paula Tomei. It is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. SCR is committed to theatre that illuminates the compelling personal and social issues of our time, not only on its stages but through its wide array of education and outreach programs. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers and composers. Each year, it showcases some of the country’s best new plays in the Pacific Playwrights Festival, which attracts theatre professionals from across the country. Of SCR’s more than 480 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres, whose subsequent stagings achieved enormous success throughout America and around the world. Two SCR-developed works have won Pulitzer Prizes, and another eight were named Pulitzer finalists. In addition, SCR works have won several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, California, SCR’s David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. Today, SCR produces 13 shows and eight public readings each season. More information is available at www.scr.org.
ABOUT LATINO HEALTH ACCESS: Latino Health Access was founded to assist in improving the quality of life and health of uninsured, under-served people through quality preventive services and educational programs emphasizing responsibility and full participation in decisions affecting health. LHA engages and empowers the community, forges partnerships and advocates health equity for all. Health care is a human right. More information is available at www.latinohealthaccess.net.
ABOUT THE JAMES IRVINE FOUNDATION: The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The Foundation’s grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1.3 billion in grants to more than 3,500 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $1.6 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $65 million in 2011 for the people of California.