Currently in previews, Center Theatre Group’s production of “Valley of the Heart” will open on November 7 at 8 p.m. at the Mark Taper Forum. Written and directed by Luis Valdez (“Zoot Suit”) and presented in association with El Teatro Campesino, the production will run through December 9, 2018.
The cast of “Valley of the Heart” includes, in alphabetical order, Mariela Arteaga, Moises Castro, Justin Chien, Melanie Arii Mah, Randall Nakano, Michael Naydoe Pinedo, Joy Osmanski, Rose Portillo, Christy Sandoval, Scott Keiji Takeda, Daniel Valdez and Lakin Valdez.
The creative team includes set design by John Iacovelli, costume design by Lupe Valdez, lighting design by Pablo Santiago, projection design by David Murakami and sound design by Philip G. Allen. The production stage manager is David S. Franklin.
The fight to maintain dignity, identity, family and faith are at the heart of this American story deeply rooted in the once-fertile farmland that is now known as the Silicon Valley. “Valley of the Heart” tells the story of the Yamaguchis and the Montaños, two immigrant families struggling to provide a future for their American-born children after the Great Depression on the farmland the two families share. The families’ oldest children secretly fall in love only to have the emotional stakes further heightened when the attack on Pearl Harbor throws these Mexican and Japanese American families into uncertainty.
When the Yamaguchis are interned along with thousands of other Japanese Americans, allegiances are tested, heroes are made, and the two young lovers must find a way to stay loyal both to their families, their country and each other.
Luis Valdez’s screen credits include “Zoot Suit” (featuring Edward James Olmos), “La Bamba” (starring Lou Diamond Phillips), “The Cisco Kid” (featuring Jimmy Smits and Cheech Marin) and “Corridos: Tales of Passion and Revolution” (with Linda Ronstadt). Awards include LA Drama Critic Circle Awards, Bay Area Critics Awards, the George Peabody Award for excellence in television, the Presidential Medal of the Arts, the Governor’s Award from the California Arts Council and Mexico’s prestigious Aguila Azteca Award given to individuals whose work promotes cultural excellence and exchange between the U.S. and Mexico. He was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In 2007, he was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship as one of the 50 U.S. artists so honored across the United States. Valdez was recently inducted into the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as a director.
Tickets are available online at CenterTheatreGroup.org, by calling Audience Services at (213) 628-2772 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles). Tickets range from $30 – $99 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.