World premiere of ‘The Mother of Henry’ by Evelina Fernández set in 1960s working class melting pot of Boyle Heights
The times they are a changin’. and well worth a drive from the San Fernando Valley to downtown Los Angeles. It’s a story that expresses the challenges and life experience that many families can relate to. Travel back to the working class melting pot of Boyle Heights of the 1960s with the Latino Theater Company’s upcoming production, written by LTC resident playwright Evelina Fernández and helmed by artistic director José Luis Valenzuela. The world premiere of, “The Mother of Henry” runs March 23 through April 14 at The Los Angeles Theatre Center.
Five diverse employees in the return department at Sears form a tight bond as they cope with upheaval in their personal lives, their community and the rapidly changing world around them during the course of one tumultuous and historic year – 1968. Connie, a Latinx single working class mother, realizes her agency and discovers her true identity when the anxieties of war, civil unrest and political assassinations plaguing the country tragically affect her own life. Infused with period music and Fernández’s trademark magical realism, “The Mother of Henry” features the acting talents of Esperanza America, Mary-Beth Manning, Xavi Moreno, Ella Saldana North, Gary Patent, Robert Revell and Cheryl Umaña.
“The characters are loosely based on my mom and her friends, who worked together at Sears,” Fernández explains. “In the ‘60s, Boyle Heights was still very diverse, and she worked with all kinds of people: Jewish, Italian, Canadian, German, Japanese. So many of the women in the community were patriotic — until their kids died in the war. Then the anti-war movement came to Boyle Heights.”