by Lorie Lewis Ham
The play Electricidad opens this weekend at Fresno State. We chatted about the show recently with its director, Dr. Gina Sandi Diaz, Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Fresno State.
KRL: Why did you choose this particular play?
Gina: There are many things to love about this play, like the main characters being all women and the main theme, women’s rage. But most of all, I love that the play provides a refreshing representation of Cholo culture. Usually, cholos appear in popular culture in stereotypical ways, but in this play, cholos descend from Aztec gods. Their culture is millenary and robust.
KRL: Can you tell us what the play is about?
Gina: Set in contemporary East Los Angeles, Electricidad is a Chicano take on the Greek myth of Electra. Like her Greek counterpart, Electricidad is grieving the death of her father, murder by his wife, her mother. She wants revenge, no matter the cost.
KRL: Do you feel that this play has an important message?
Gina: Like any great Greek tragedy, this play centers on the pain and suffering of human existence. We follow a protagonist consumed by rage and witness the consequences of her actions. The Greeks understood the power of theatre to communicate and affect masses. At the core of tragedies are discussions of moral and civic values that resonate with any society. But tragedies are also spectacular, poetic, and beautiful. This play is all that.
KRL: What did you enjoy the most about directing this show?
Gina: Collaborating with actors and designers to make this world come alive was the most fun. Rehearsals were incredibly fun since we got to play with boxing and fight choreography. And working with designers was great too because they had some fun challenges to solve, like making fire happen on stage.
KRL: How big is the cast?
Gina: It has a cast of 9 and 4 understudies.
The cast is made of Jennifer Rodriguez, Ellie West, Cindy Sanchez, Dalicia Torrecillas, Carlos Sanchez, Agustin Chapa, Rachael Maciel, Isabella O’Keeffe and Samantha Ramos. Understudies: Kenya Cabrera, Marcus Valadez, Sabrina Sierra and Everardo Pedraza.
KRL: Will there be any Covid precautions in place?
Gina: All audience members attending University Theatre events will be required to show proof of full COVID vaccination or a negative result from a PCR COVID test performed within 72 hours of the performance day in order to be admitted. Masks are strongly encouraged, but not required.
KRL: When and where will the play be performed?
Gina: The Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre at Fresno State. The play runs from March 25 to April 2. All shows are at 7:30 p.m., except for the matinee on March 27, at 2 p.m. (no performance on Monday night).
KRL: How much are tickets and where can they be purchased?
Gina: Tickets are $17 for general admission; $15 for Fresno State Faculty and Staff and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketsource.us/fresno-state-university-theatre or at the theatre’s box office
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Gina: Thank you for covering our event. Come support Fresno State students.
You are very welcome!
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and also on podbean.
Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.