By Jasmine Turner |Staff Writer|
The story takes you on a journey into the teenage mind filled with anger, humor, adolescent angst, American slang, and Spanglish.
These young girls are at a weird stage in their lives, where they are not children, not teenagers, but not quite women
The play’s timeline is set in their middle school through high school years, which shows their journey to womanhood.
I attended a dress rehearsal on Nov. 20 at the Theatre Arts building, where actors successfully re-enacted the lives of young Latin ladies growing up in East Los Angeles.
Each character interpreted their life stories through a series of monologues, music, poems, and dramatic scenes.
While waiting for the dress rehearsal to start, I got to sit down and interview Johanna Smith, the director of the project, to get some insight on what the play is about and see why she chose this particular play.
“There are a lot of young women from super diverse cultures but it’s hard to find plays with characters of young women of different ethnicities, especially Hispanic,” said Smith. “We like doing shows that are diverse and we’re moving forward with doing shows that reflect our students.”
When the rehearsal began, lights became dim and then entered Raquel, played by Patrice Horton, a young girl who expresses her dreams to be a writer but ponders whether if her ordinary life is an appropriate subject.
Inspired by a close person in her life, she then makes the decision to use her memories as inspiration for her writing, which is the vocal point for the entire play.
“I write how I walk, one step at a time…” said Raquel.
Raquel isn’t the only one telling stories but five other characters chime in and interpret diverse attitudes of young Latina adolescents.
Each character was dressed to their individual character’s personality and their acting was relatable.
The atmosphere of the play was fun with funky and Latin music between transitions of scenes. The actors were energetic, portraying their characters well.
When I interviewed the actors, I asked them if they learned anything from their characters.
Ofelia Fuentes, who played Sylvia, a character who struggles with self image issues, shared that “In the last scene, the girls come to self realization that they are beautiful inside, not magazine outside.” This is a message every girl needs to hear.
In my interview, I asked Smith what message she wanted the audience to get from the play.
“I want everyone to know that you have a story to tell and it’s worth telling,” said Smith.
At the end of my interview, I asked Smith what she would say to someone who wants to join theatre.
“I encourage everyone to come get involved. There’s plenty of things you can do in theatre besides acting.
We have something for everyone, not just for theatre majors,” said Smith.
She also encourages everyone to come out to see the upcoming shows “Family of Mann” and the musical “Once On This Island.”