ZOOT SUIT Opens at San Diego REP Tonight, 7/14


San Diego REPertory Theatre (San Diego REP) has finalized the scheduled for an ambitious 37th season that opens with the most significant work of Latino drama in American theatre history continues with six more provocative and eye-opening new American productions.

“Our curiosity about the changing world we live in provokes us to look hard and deep for those plays that take us to places we have never been and look at the world through eyes that are not are own,” says Sam Woodhouse, co-founder and artistic director, San Diego REP.

The search for the productions to be presented during the ambitious 2012-2013 season resulted in a collection of seven theatrical events that are about the quest of Americans to become their best selves, individually and together. It is a season full of music, dance, storytelling, spectacle, politics, history and unforgettable characters who dream big.

“Zoot Suit”
By Luis Valdez
Directed by Kirsten Brandt
Choreography by Javier Velasco
Musical Direction by Bill Doyle

July 14 – Aug. 12, 2012
Opening Night: Fri., July 20
The Lyceum Stage

San Diego REP opens the 37th season with a brand new production of the most significant work of Latino drama in American theatre. “Zoot Suit” will be produced through the same partnership between San Diego REP and San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts that made “Hairspray” (2010) and “The Who’s TOMMY” (2011) mega-hits on the Lyceum Stage.

It’s Los Angeles, Calif., the years 1942 to 1943. The war in the Pacific is in full gear, American big band music has young people at home dancing up a storm and the Zoot Suit is the uniform of choice for Chicano gangs on the streets of Los Angeles. One August morning a young Chicano boy is found bloody and beaten by the side of a road near a county reservoir. His death leads to the indictment of a local Chicano gang and the infamous Sleepy Lagoon Murder Trial, a kangaroo court fanned by media hysteria. When the verdict is announced the Zoot Suit riots begin, and the mythical mystical figure of El Pachuco is born.

Playwright Luis Valdez is America’s greatest Latino playwright. “Zoot Suit” is his masterpiece – a muscular mix of historical fact and agitprop fiction. Featuring a cast of 33 actors/singer/dancers and a live orchestra playing hot Latin Jazz form the 1940’s, “Zoot Suit” is a not-to-be-missed classic filled with swagger and swing.

The REP’s new Artist-in-Residence, Herbert Siguenza, has been cast in the roles of “The Press” and “Prosecutor.”

NEW -- “Exit Interview”
By William Missouri Downs
Directed by Sam Woodhouse

Sept. 29 - Oct. 21
Opening Night: Friday, Oct. 5
The Lyceum Space

Religion, sex and politics are the big targets of hilarity in the smart contemporary comedies, “Exit Interview.” Politically-radicalized cheerleaders, random commercial interruptions, a showdown between the “poobahs” of religion and science, and a masked gunman all play a role in Down’s satirical examination of facts, faith, and fate in the 21st century.

San Diego REP’s production of “Exit Interview” is one of five national New Play Network Rolling World Premieres. Siguenza, of the group Culture Clash and “A Weekend with Pablo Picasso,” will star as Dick Fig, a professor with a Ph.D. in the works of Bertolt Brecht, who has just gotten the axe at a nameless university and is attempting to answer some loaded questions from Eunice, the university’s unctuous human resources pawn. in an exit interview like no other.

Siguenza and San Diego REP are recipients of a coveted New Generations Future Leaders grant from Theatre Communications Group. Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the New Generations program places potential new artistic leaders with institutions where the mentee is mentored by a seasoned professional artist. San Diego REP Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse will mentor Siguenza towards his goal of learning the details of being an artistic director for an American theatre.

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