Monday, September 14, 2015

More Real Women

Josefina Lopez is usually thought of as a playwright. Truth is she is that and, being a renaissance woman, she is so much more.  She also paints, writes poetry, performs, designs, and is a mother of two boys.  Oh, and she is the founder and artistic director of Casa 0101.  The theater is space in Boyle Heights where new products are presented and it's also place where screenwriting and playwriting skills are shared with those who are new to the field.

It must be exciting for her to see the new production of Real Women Have Curves at the Pasadena Playhouse.  The play is 25 years old.  I suspect like most of the rest of us, who she was when she wrote and what her vision may have a common base but may be very different.  Life has a way of modifying our perspectives.

I'll be seeing the play three times this week.  Each time the audience will transported to a garment shop in East LA.  Each audience will get to know the characters and their stories.  Each audience will be the last character to be a part of the performance.

Josefina Lopez, Artist and Activist, Founder and Director of Casa 0101
I also mentioned Seema Sueko last week.  Seema is new to the Playhouse, but definitely not new to theater.  To quote her bio, and why not, it's really concise -  She "...was born in Karachi, Pakistan, raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is a half-Japanes, half-Paskistani, Muslim-American".  She has lived in "...Honolulu, Tacoma, Chicago, Spokane, Seattle, New York...She co-founded Mo'olelo Performing arts Company, a community focused, socially conscious, equity theater company...and served as its Executive Artistic Director.

Given her background and experience it wasn't surprising that what began as informative sessions about the play quickly became meetings.  Groups began to rally around the idea of building up the audience for RWHC by reaching out and encouraging local groups to have their constituents come to the theater.  
Seema Sueko, Associate Artistic Director, Pasadena Playhouse

Last Thursday night Adelante Youth Alliance benefitted from discounted tickets and an opportunity to meet Josefina Lopez.  Friday night Vecinos Unidos, of South Pasadena, had a chance to raise funds for their scholarships.  This coming weekend September 19 and 20th, Community Organized for Progress and Advancement in education will be raising funds for the scholarships they give to young Latinas who are graduating and going to college.

On Thursday, September 17th, Latino Heritage will be having our own fundraiser.  Every year we help to coordinate the "Sí, Se Puede" art and essay contest for PUSD students.  Winners have come from every background and many schools throughout the district.  

This year we are planning to raise funds for monetary awards.  Tickets for our event will be $50.  Not only will you get to see the play, you'll get to go home with your very own "Hecho en Pasadena" tee shirt.  The shirts are perfect sleep shirts or pool cover-ups.
Laura Vega, actress and PUSD parent
If you purchase a ticket, you'll be helping Latino Heritage raise money to award to young artists and writers.  You can contact us at 

If you can't make on the 17th; go see the play when you can.
It speaks to the universal and specific issues I wrote about last week.
It is about authenticity, about familial relationships, about women and body image, and being comfortable with who you are - outside and in.

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