Mi Jardín (In My Garden) will run from April 19 – May 12, 2024.

By: Apr. 11, 2024
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CASA 0101 Theater will present the Inaugural Production of En Mi Jardín (In My Garden) Healing With Our Stories, A 10-Minute New Works Play Festival, directed by Emmanuel Deleage and Lorena M. Ortega, written by 13 playwrights and starring 14 actors. The show has strong language; PG 13 is suggested.

Imagine having the ability to bring someone back from the past to have one final conversation, would you use that opportunity to heal old wounds, create a new conversation you weren't able to have, or would you choose to relive the most joyful moments?  En Mi Jardín (In My Garden) will feature 10 plays presented in English and three additional plays presented in Spanish with English subtitles.

Emmanuel Deleage, Executive Director of CASA 0101 Theater and a Director of En Mi Jardín (In My Garden) (of Silver Lake, CA) said:  “En Mi Jardín is a foray into using the power of theatre to reflect about one's ancestral past and resolve – if only for a few moments – old wounds by bringing someone back to life for one final conversation.  Only in theater, is such a journey of community and healing possible.”

Lorena M. Ortega, Programming Director for CASA 0101 Theater and a Director of En Mi Jardín (In My Garden) (of Huntington Beach, CA) said:  “In 2022 I was facilitating an online Parents and Caretakers Writing Class for children who were taking acting classes at CASA 0101 Theater with their teacher, Edward Padilla. At that time Emmanuel Deleage, the theater's Executive Director and Edward Padilla, gave the writers the green light to present a two-day production of 10-minute plays on a weekend in 2023 that were birthed in the weekly writing workshops.  The production, which was called, Previously Unsaid, sold out for both nights and helped me to see how effective writing could be as a healing agent.”

En Mi Jardín (In My Garden) will feature 10-minute plays written by Martin Barrera (of Pasadena, CA), Bernadette Bolaños (of Los Angeles, CA), Christian Gama (of Hollywood, CA), Michelle Lopez (of Boyle Heights, CA), Itzel Ocampo (of Alhambra, CA), Martin Olvera (Deceased), Lorena Ramirez (of Inglewood, CA), Kerri K. Ramos (Monrovia, CA), Doreen Sanchez (of Hollywood, CA), Arturo Urista (of Monterey Park, CA), Connie Valencia, PhD (of Boyle Heights, CA), Yvonne Garcia Zaher (of Fontana, CA) and Juanita Zavalita (of Highland Park, CA).

Fourteen actors will star in the in the 13 short plays; they are:  Vanessa Arias-Herrera (of Los Angeles, CA), Martin Barrera (of Pasadena, CA), Michael Berckart (of Monrovia, CA), Bernadette Bolaños (of Los Angeles, CA), Chrissi Erickson (of Highland Park, CA), Christian Gama (of Hollywood, CA), Michelle Lopez (of Boyle Heights, CA), Steve Loya Hernandez (of Commerce, CA), Martin Morales (of Silver Lake, CA), Itzel Ocampo (of Alhambra, CA), Karla Ojeda (East Los Angeles, CA), Lorena Ramirez (of Inglewood, CA), Raquel Salinas (of {Pico Rivera, CA) and Juanita Zavaleta (of Highland Park, CA).

The Inaugural Production of En Mi Jardín (In My Garden) will include the following 10-minute plays:


Keeping Up with the Maid, written by Lorena Ramirez, directed by Lorena M. Ortega.  The story is based on a real life experience Lorena Ramirez had as a Housekeeper/Nanny with one of her clients in which she was under constant attack of very pejorative words towards minorities.  The cast includes:  Lorena Ramirez as Maid, Vanessa Arias-Herrera as Mrs. Henderson and Steve Loya Hernandez as The Husband.

Seasick, Yet Still Docked, written by Kerri K. Ramos, directed by Lorena M. Ortega.  Kerri is at a crossroads.  Her estranged dad is dying.  Should she tell him all the things she wants to say to make peace with the past, or should she just let it go.  The story is inspired by Kerri K. Ramos' real life relationship with her dad.  The cast includes:  Michelle Lopez as Kerri, Chrissi Erickson as Bridget and Michael Berckart as Red.

Se Queman Los Sopes (The Patties Are Burning) written by Christian Gama, directed by Emmanuel Deleage.  In this story Christian is visited by the ghost of his grandmother as she wants to know how his life if going.  Over their love of making sopes (Mexican dish), he decides to be open and honest with her.  Gama was inspired to write the piece because he was missing his grandmother and wondering is she would approve of his life now.  The cast includes:  Christian Gama as Christian and Raquel Salinas as Abuelita.

When Love Isn't Enough, written by Bernadette Bolaños, directed by Emmanuel Deleage.  What happens when love isn't enough?  For Bernadette that means deciding on how to heal their deepest traumas – with or without their family by their side.  The play is inspired by Bernadette Bolaños' experiences as a survivor of sexual and domestic violence.  This play exists to confront and heal the ancestral and parental trauma that Bernadette, along with other many queer people of color, have faced in their families.  The cast includes:  Bernadette Bolaños as Bernadette, Lorena Ramirez as Bernadette's Mami, Steve Loya Hernandez as Bernadette's Dad, Karla Ojeda as Woman with Baby, Michelle Lopez as Lucy and Juanita Zavaleta as Kat.

El Secreto de la Abuela, (Grandmother's Secret) written by Itzel Ocampo, directed by Lorena M. Ortega.  The short play celebrates the timeless connection between generations and the invaluable treasures passed down through family recipes.  Ocampo wrote the play to help her cope with her grief of losing her grandmother, while at the same time honoring and celebrating the moments they spent together in the kitchen during her childhood, and how she wished she had asked her grandmother for her Chile Verde recipe.  The cast includes:  Itzel Ocampo as Isel and Raquel Salinas as Abuelita.

She Believed She Could, written by Connie Valencia, PhD, directed by Lorena M. Ortega.  The story is about when Connie entered UCLA with the hopes of becoming a medical doctor.  Valencia wrote the play to underscore the importance of representation.  Slowly she realized that her success was due to access to mentors that cared about her and identified with her.  The cast includes:  Chrissi Erickson as Connie, Bernadette Bolaños as Pilar and Vanessa Arias-Herrera as Counselor.


Charity and Penance, written by Arturo Urista, directed by Emmanuel Deleage. The story begins on the first day of Arturo Urista's retirement, when he visits the building that was once the home of Self Help Graphics & Art, 40 years ago, only to find Sister Karen Boccalero, a Franciscan nun, waiting for a visit and answering his question:  “What if I never left?”  Besides being a writer, Arturo Urista is an artist who used to volunteer at Self Help Graphics & Art; his play is about his 11-year friendship with Sr. Karen Boccalero.  The cast includes:  Martin Morales as Arturo and Vanessa Arias-Herrera as Sister Karen Boccalero.

Chillona or Chingona (Screeching or Bad Ass Woman), written by Yvonne Garcia Zaher, directed by Emmanuel Deleage.  The story is about chronic pain.  It centers around protagonist Bianca, who needs to make a decision on whether to accept the recommendation of the doctors and go on morphine for some relief of her debilitating pain, or not.  In the midst of a severe pain episode Frida Kahlo comes to help her make her decision.  The cast includes:  Itzel Ocampo as Young Blanca, Vanessa Arias-Herrera as Older Blanca, Karla Ojeda as Frida Kahlo and Christian Gama as Doctor.

My Brothers' Dad, written by Martin Barrera, directed by Emmanuel Deleage.  The story is based on a real therapy exercise Martin Barrera did to address trauma he experienced as a young boy. Barrera says he wrote the play to directly address the toxicity of men, especially of our fathers, and how exposure to violence, whether directly or indirectly, leaves us with pain that can metastasize within our families and greater communities.  Barrera continues that he doesn't offer answers to this issue but rather that he hopes to inspire other men to dig deep into their bodies and release the pain they've held on to. before it infects the next generation. The cast includes:  Martin Berrera as Martin, Juanita Zavaleta as Therapist and Martin Morales as Dad.

The One Where Chula Grows Up, written by Juanita Zavaleta, directed by Lorena M. Ortega.  Sometimes it takes an all too familiar voice from the past to remind one of just how far one has come in life. Zavaleta was inspired to write this play as a love letter to the teenaged version of herself.  The cast includes:  Juanita Zavaleta as Chula, Itzel Ocampo as Chulita and Karla Ojeda as Chulita's Mom.

Two Sisters on the Red Road, written by Doreen Sanchez, directed by Lorena M. Ortega.  In this play Doreen Sanchez has a conversation with her dearly departed friend who she misses very much, Elena Dominguez Chavez, whom she followed in the Native ways (Red Road) and participated in ceremonies for many years with, before writing together in CASA 0101 Theater's Chicanas, Cholas y Chisme Short Plays Festival for Women.  Sanchez says writer Josefina López attributes Elena Dominguez Chavez for starting Chicanas, Cholas y Chisme.  The cast includes:  Bernadette Bolaños as Elena Dominguez Chavez, Raquel Salinas as Sister and Martin Barrera as An Interpersonal Assistant.

Shattered Bonds, written by Michelle Lopez, directed by Emmanuel Deleage.  The narrative stems from Michelle Lopez's own childhood experiences with her emotionally abusive father and the fact that they never really shared a father-daughter relationship.  The cast includes:  Michelle Lopez as Michi and Chrissi Erickson as Little Michi.

Black Sheep, Rainbow Sheep, written by Martín Olvera, directed by Emmanuel Deleage.  The story is about ghosts, family secrets and the people we choose to share them with, with a splash of Magic-Mexican realism.  This short play originally premiered as part of CASA 0101 Theater's Brown & Out V Play Festival, presented in June 2019. Earlier this year on February 14, 2024, Martin Olvera, who was also once a CASA 0101 Theater Board Member, passed away.  This performance of his play is to honor his memory.  The cast includes:  Michael Berckart as Martin, Karla Ojeda as Leonor, Chrissi Erickson as Sylvia and Martin Morales as Arturo.

The production team for En Mi Jardín (In My Garden) includes:  Josefina López (of Boyle Heights, CA), Founding Artistic Director, CASA 0101 Theater; Emmanuel Deleage (of Silver Lake, CA), Director and Executive Director, CASA 0101 Theater; Lorena M. Ortega (of Huntington Beach, CA) Director and Co-Creator of En Mi Jardín; Connie Valencia, PhD (of Boyle Heights, CA) Co-Creator of En Mi Jardín; Kerri K. Ramos (of Monrovia, CA) Co-Creator of En Mi Jardín; Lorena Ramirez (of Inglewood, CA) Co-Creator of En Mi Jardín; Itzel Ocampo (of Alhambra, CA) Show Producer, Show Key Artwork Design, Projection Designer, CASA 0101 Theater Office Administrator and Social Media; Edward Padilla (of Boyle Heights, CA) Casting Director; César Retana-Holguín (of Northridge, CA) Set Designer; Mari Mercado (of East Los Angeles, CA) Costume Designer and Prop Master; Alejandro Parra (of Los Angeles, CA) Lighting Designer; Matthew Sanchez (of East Los Angeles, CA) Sound Designer and Qlab Programmer; Angelica Ornelas (of North Hollywood, CA) Stage Manager; Doreen Sanchez (of Hollywood, CA) Assistant Stage Manager and Wardrobe Assistant; Miguel Delgado (of Huntington Park, CA) CASA 0101 Theater Technical Director; Gabriela López de Dennis, Soap Studio Inc. (of Los Angeles, CA) Playbill; Jorge Villanueva (of Boyle Heights, CA) Maintenance; Mark Kraus (of Los Angeles, CA), CASA 0101 Theater Development Director and Webmaster; Oscar Basulto (of Boyle Heights, CA) Box Office Manager; Al Aguilar (of Los Angeles, CA) Production Assistant; Rudy Torres (of Los Angeles, CA) Production Photographer andSteve Moyer Public Relations (of Los Angeles, CA), Press Representative. 


Tickets for the Four-Week Run En Mi Jardín (In My Garden), from April 19 – May 12, 2024 are $25.00 per person for General Admission; $22.00 per person for Students and Seniors 60+ and $20.00 per person for Boyle Heights residents and Groups of 20 or more.  The show is presented in two acts with a total running time of 140 minutes, not including intermission.
Advance reservations are highly recommended.  For tickets, please call the CASA 0101 Theater Box Office at 323-263-7684, E-mail, or buy online at

Free Parking is available on several streets surrounding the theatre.  Limited Free Parking is also available at the Boyle Heights City Hall Parking Lot located at 2130 East First Street (at Chicago Street) by entering the lot from Chicago Street.


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