La Jolla's Site-Specific Production El Henry, Based on Shakespeare's Henry IV, Begins June 14

By Carey Purcell
14 Jun 2014

Lakin Valdez
Lakin Valdez

La Jolla Playhouse presents El Henry, a site-specific production held at SILO in San Diego's new East Village neighborhood of Makers Quarter, beginning June 14.

Presented as part of the Without Walls Festival, the production will officially open June 20. It continues through June 29. 

Written by and starring Culture Clash's Herbert Siguenza, the reimagined version of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One is directed by San Diego Repertory Theatre artistic director Sam Woodhouse.

The cast includes Kinan Valdez as El Bravo, Lakin Valdez as El Henry, Herbert Siguenza as Fausto, Parnia Ayari as Mayan/Smokie, Leandro Cano as Sir Blunt, Roxanne Carrasco as Chiqui/Mayor Villa Allegre, Victor Contreras as Thomas/Police Chief, William Thomas Hodgson as Johnny, Jyl Haruye Kaneshiro as Lil Gus/Reporter, Salomon Maya as Navarro/El Mago, Robert Milz as Tixoc/Locos R Us/City Suit/Mexiclop, John Padilla as El Hank, Dave Rivas as Duke of Earl/Ojo, Jorge Rodgriguez as Soto Boy/Mexiclop/Mr. V/Wizard and Bianca Sanchez as Preciosa/La Gata.



"It's the year 2045 in a huge, run-down metropolis called Aztlan City (formerly San Diego), where political apathy and corruption run the city while violent barrio families run the streets," press notes state. "It's a harsh new world where Hispanics, Mexicans and Chicanos rule as the majority in this new society abandoned by Anglo America. When El Hank, the ambitious leader of all the barrios, finds his street kingdom threatened by El Tomas and his hot-headed son El Bravo, he seeks the help of his brave and charismatic son El Henry. But El Hank finds his son wrapped up with a bunch of low-life thieves and drunkards headed by the lazy Fausto. Written in a unique poetic cadence called Calo, which mixes urban Spanish and English slang, this world-premiere adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One explores the universal themes of this classic through the lens of Mexican-American machismo."

"While the central idea of Without Walls is about exploring new theatrical forms by moving beyond the traditional four walls of a theatre, we've found over the past several years that WoW is just as much about collaboration," Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley said in a previous statement. "Partnering with new theatres, artists and communities has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the program, and we're eager to join with San Diego REP and Makers Quarter to mount Herbert's visceral new site-based piece."

The creative team includes scenic/projection designer Ian Wallace, costume designer Jennifer Brawn Gittings, lighting designer Jennifer Setlow, sound designer Bruno Louchouarn, choreographer Javier Velasco, fight director Edgar Landa, dramaturg Gabriel Greene and stage manager Laura Zingle.

Call (858) 550-1010 or visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org for more information.