Well-known musical Zoot Suit to play at Selma Arts Center

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Monday, November 8, 2021
Well-known musical Zoot Suit to play at Selma Arts Center
The historical musical Zoot Suit by legendary play writer Luis Valdez is being directed by Selma native Juan Luis Guzmán.

SELMA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A historical musical by legendary play writer Luis Valdez is being performed this month in the Central Valley.

This November at the Selma Arts Center, the well-known musical play Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez will be performed.

It's directed by Selma Native Juan Luis Guzmán, who says the play is a front-row seat to Latino history in America.

"Being able to accurately show what was happening to Mexican Americans in the 1940s... if people know about the Zoot Suit riots, they know about the racial discrimination and the way the press sensationalized that and parallels we are seeing today," he says.

For Guzman, directing this play in his hometown is a dream come true. He not only connects with the storyline but appreciates Valdez for paving the way for Latino playwriters.

"As a young Chicano who wanted to be a writer, when I discovered Luis Valdez, it was like someone was holding the door open for me."

The long days of hard work came to life on the stage Friday with a sold-out audience.

Cast member Everardo Pedraza says they've poured their hearts into this play and hope the audience enjoys the real-life experience.

"The opportunity the play provides is for them to let down their guard and experience those tensions play out," Pedraza says.

A significant takeaway for both Guzman and Pedraza is the overall representation.

"To see your own culture or your neighbors on stage...it's a rare thing. Chicano theatre is rare and beautiful," says Pedraza.

You can buy tickets here.