Willie Agee Playhouse to Present Josefina Lopez's REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES

Real Women Have Curves will begin performances on Friday, September 15, 2023.

By: Sep. 10, 2023

Willie Agee Playhouse to Present Josefina Lopez's REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES

The Willie Agee Playhouse in Inglewood presents their fall production of Real Women Have Curves, the outrageously funny stageplay written by Josefina López, directed by Virginia Novello, produced by Shelli Boone for the City of Inglewood. The story is set in a tiny sewing factory in East L.A., where five Latina women are racing to meet nearly impossible production deadlines in order to keep their small factory from going under. The women must rely on each other to solve their problems, serving as an example of what can happen when women uplift and depend on each other.

López's play communicates the message of female empowerment, addressing women's independence and self-validation, and humorously driving home the central theme that young women are under assault to conform to stereotypical female body images. Although written over 30 years ago, this issue is even more prevalent today with social media creating a constant pressure for women and men alike to conform to a certain aesthetic.

Josefina López is best known for authoring this play and co-authoring the 2002 Sundance Award winning film of the same name. Josefina was undocumented for thirteen years before she received Amnesty in 1987 and eventually became a U.S. Citizen in 1995. Drawing from her personal experience, Real Women Have Curves also deals with immigration laws and deportation, which remain very real threats to Hispanics in America in today's political climate. Josefina is presently developing the musical version of Real Women Have Curves for Broadway.

"I thought things would have been better for communities of color and women, but it seems it has gotten worse," says López on her website. "Or perhaps the topics I wrote about 30 years ago now have a name like 'Intersectional Feminism', and racism in this country is no longer something that can be denied. It's terrible to see children in cages, but perhaps that's what it took for people to be outraged the way I have always been since I found out I was undocumented and that a piece of paper determined whether I could be respected as a human being. You see I was a 'Dreamer' before it was cool to be a 'Dreamer'".

The cast of this production of Real Women Have Curves features Keyla Monterroso as Ana. The play is narrated through Ana's eyes, with funny monologues that she writes from the bathroom in the factory. Monterroso is known for her breakout role as Sofia Estrada on Curb Your Enthusiasm's eleventh season. She also cracked up audiences as a teacher's assistant on Abbott Elementary and stars in the Netflix teen comedy Freeridge. Graciela Patino plays Carmen, Ana's mother, in this production. A seasoned stage veteran and community activist, Patino is known for the award winning film Wolves as well as the streaming dramas Angel and Legacy. Magaly Castellanos, also an award winning writer and producer, plays Pancha. Her play El Bulto won in the Short and Sweet Hollywood Latino Festival in 2018, and she won best actress, best writer and best production in the same festival in 2022 with Hija De Mi Madre. Rounding out the cast is improver Jasmine Adriana (Upright Citizens Brigade) as Estela and Colombian actress Carla Molina as Rosali.

The creative team is headed by director Virginia Novello, who directed the short soccer documentary Sueños Rotos which aired during The World Cup. She most recently produced and appeared in Sisters a feature film to be released this fall. "My mission is to give voice and exposure to the stories of Latina women", says Novello. Shelli Boone has served as the Artistic Director of The Willie Agee Playhouse for the past five years and most recently produced and directed the World Premiere of Umoja by LaDarrion Williams at the venue. Kenneth Cosby is heading Sound and Lighting Design, with Production Design by Toi Whitaker and Herb Newsome.

The Willie Agee Playhouse is proud to have such an eclectic cast of actresses gracing their stage for Hispanic and Latino/x Heritage Month which actually begins on September 15th, opening night of the production. National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and honors the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans from or with ancestors across the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, and Spain. This time for formal, national commemoration originally began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week, but was expanded in 1988 to cover a 30-day period, from September 15th to October 15th. The celebration begins in the middle of September to coincide with the national independence days of several Latin American countries.

Real Women Have Curves will begin performances on Friday, September 15, 2023 (with a reception with the playwright to follow on opening night) and runs for two weekends through Sunday, September 24.

Performances will be 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays; 7pm on Sundays. Tickets are $30 General Admission and can be purchased at the link below.

The Willie Agee Playhouse is located in the center of the Edward Vincent Jr. Park, 714 Warren Lane, Inglewood, CA 90302. Parking is free.

The Willie Agee Playhouse produces concerts and various full-length productions, play festivals, showcases, staged readings of new works by emerging playwrights, acting workshops, panel discussions with industry professionals and movie nights where we present classic films and documentaries to honor the excellence of writers, actors and directors of yesterday and today. Each program and service we make available and accessible to Inglewood and the surrounding Los Angeles neighborhoods serve to uplift, inspire and empower those who have been made to feel that their voices, their stories, their struggles and their challenges don't matter in the mainstream. The Willie Agee Playhouse is on a mission to change that sentiment.


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