“A Cat Named Mercy” A New World Premiere By Josefina Lopez

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Boyle Heights, CA – Josefina Lopez tackles the topic of health care for Americans in her new play A Cat Named Mercy, a hot topic issue on the minds of millions of Americans.  The world premiere of the production is on January 31 and the production will run thru February 23, 2014 at CASA 0101 Theater, 2102 East First Street (at St. Louis Street), Boyle Heights, CA  90033

Lopez an accomplished and award-winning playwright and screenwriter was commissioned to write A Cat Named Mercy through a 2013 grant from The California Endowment.  The dark comedy revolves around Catalina Rodriguez, a Latina licensed vocational nurse working at Elysian Estates Nursing Home who gets her hours cut, becomes uninsured and is in desperate need of an emergency operation.  With the help of a cat she names Mercy, she is divinely guided to do the unthinkable to save her life.

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Hector Rodriguez directs Alex Ximenez in the lead role of Catalina Rodriguez and a cast of 14 actors playing 32 roles.  The ensemble cast includes:  Blanca Araceli  as Mama Rodriguez/Spirit of Mama Rodriguez; Michael Cota as 911 Dispatcher/Cameraman; Rebecca Davis* as Doctor DuBois/Health Insurance Agent/Manager/Surgeon/Prison Inmate; Susan Davis* as Kitty Randolph/Spirit of Kitty Randolph; Alex Denney as Brad Randolph/Spirit of Mr. Randolph (Kitty’s Husband); Maricela Guardado as Spirit of Marga Rodriguez/Spirit of Mrs. Smith (Harold’s Wife)/TV Reporter; Henry Madrid as Harold Smith/Spirit of Harold Smith; Carmelita Maldonado as Belinda Ortiz (Social Worker)/Prison Guard; Maria G. Martinez as Martha Encarnación/Spirit of Martha Encarnación; Bill Reyes as Voice of Judge Marquel Skinner as Kate Scott/Angel/Prison Inmate/Surgeon Nurse; Beatriz Eugenia Vasquez as Mercy (Cat)/Pacifico (Cat) and Minerva Vier*  as Joy Acosta/Filipina Lady. *Members of Actors’ Equity Association, The Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

When asked about the process of writing the play, Josefina López said, “In addition to receiving a grant in 2013 from The California Endowment to write a new play addressing the topics of health care, the Affordable Care Act and the remaining uninsured, I was inspired to write A Cat Named Mercy after hearing a television news report about a cat who could predict impending deaths in a nursing home.  I also recently read a story published in the New York Post on the same subject matter.  In addition, I have read stories about certain hospitals and medical facilities honoring patient’s wishes not to be helped by African-American nurses.  I was so disgusted by what I read I wanted to write about it.

Director Hector Rodriguez added,  My goal is to use comedy to present such a serious and profound issue that will affect everyone in an entertaining way.”

This show is recommended for mature audiences.  Advance reservations are highly recommended.

Opening Night is Friday, January 31, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.  The play will be presented for a four-week run on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 5:00 p.m. fromJanuary 31 – February 23, 2014 at CASA 0101 Theater, 2012 East First Street (at St. Louis Street across the street from the Hollenbeck Police Station), Boyle Heights, CA  90033.  Question and Answer Sessions will be held with the playwright Josefina López following the performances on Sundays, January 26, February 2 and February 9, 2014.  Representatives from Covered California will be in attendance to answer questions at Saturday performances during the run of the show.

Tickets during the four-week run are $20 per person for General Admission; $17 per person for Seniors; and $15 per person for Students/Boyle Heights residents.  Discounts for Groups of 10 or more will be available at $15 per person.   Theatre patrons can get a $2 discount by presenting their Metro Bus Cards at the Box Office when buying tickets.  Metro bus stations are located on First Street in Boyle Heights at both Soto Street, and at Boyle Street (Mariachi Plaza), within a short walking distance to the theatre.

Free Parking is available on several streets surrounding the theatre.  Free Parking is also available on Fridays and Saturdays only at the Boyle Heights City Hall Parking Lot located at 2130 East First Street (at Chicago Street) by entering the lot from Chicago Street; the lot is closed on Sundays.  For tickets, please call the CASA 0101 Theater Box Office at 323-263-7684, E-mail tickets@casa0101.org, or buy online atwww.casa0101.org.  Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/casa0101theater.