Don't look to Manuel Montez for tame theater.
The artistic director of Chicano Theatreworks is wading into dangerous waters with the new production of his own play "The Hedonists," which addresses themes of brother/sister incest.Good for him.
"The Hedonists" is a contemporary drama taking place over the course of three days set in an unnamed "coastal mid-sized California city" (hmmm ...). It is the story of Nico, a musician struggling to emerge from a crippling depression, who happens to be in sexual relationships with two women -- his exotic-dancer girlfriend Vivis and his sister Mara.
"This piece has been germinating for years," said Montez about "The Hedonists." "It has to do with a part of my life in which I was dealing with depression, coupled with the factor that my oldest sister was stillborn and she is someone who has been absent in my life. And I have always thought about what her absence has meant in my life."This isn't the first time I've heard of someone exploring this subject, citing an older siblings who did not survive.
Despite the theater company's name, Montez said that Chicano Theatreworks is not primarily concerned with theater about Chicano/Latino culture or heritage, like the artistic mission of San Juan Bautista's El Teatro Campesino.
"It's not that I don't honor that kind of work -- I do -- but my interest in Chicano Theatreworks has always been to promote and produce original material on identity-driven issues that are universal to the human experience. We are interested in the human soul, and no matter what ethnic or cultural background we come from, we all feel loss and abandonment. We all feel love, no matter what."
Great! The play will have a matinee on November 25 and runs Friday & Saturdays through December 1 with a Thursday performance on November 29. $15 general/$13 students & seniors. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go, please report back on your experience.