“8 Ways To Say I Love My Life” Cathartic Monologues Bring on Tears, Laughter, and Cheers!

Elia Esparza

No surprise that Saturday’s Casa 0101 premiere opening of the Imagen Award winning 8 Ways to Say I Love My Life received a standing ovation from an audience of men and women of all ages.  For me personally, it was a cathartic two hours. I cried, laughed and cheered, and woke up the next morning with an extra kick in my stride.

8 Ways To Say I Love My Life stars seasoned actors: Kikey Castillo (HOLA! LA), Ivonne Coll (Switched At Birth), Yvonne De La Rosa (Los Americans), and Karina Noelle (Decisions). The monologues were directed by writer/director Nancy de Los Santos Reza (The Jewelry Box, Love, Loss, and What I Wore) who did a exceptional job of weaving each story seamlessly. The writers include: Josefina Lopez, Susan Orosco, Nancy de Los Santos Reza, Bel Hernandez Castillo, Laura De Anda, Margo DeLeon, Rita Mosqueda Marmolejo, and Joanna Illizaliturri Diaz who each authored their life chapters in the 8 Ways’ book.


Based on the book by the same name, 8 Ways To Say I Love My Life, was an idea conceived by writer Susan Orosco a few years ago. Later, it was playwright/author Josefina Lopez who suggested the book be turned into a theatrical production. The end result is a series of eight monologues interpreting each woman’s life as they share the wisdom of their mistakes and highlighted how they overcame obstacles to achieve self-acceptance, success, and happiness. There wasn’t a woman or man in the audience who didn’t relate to some of the scenarios presented.

Four outstanding actresses (Coll, Noelle, Castillo, and De La Rosa) took on the challenge to morph into their characters as each presented their own one-woman shows. Monologues are difficult at best and when an actor is successful at it, it is a huge accomplishment.

These actresses became Josefina Lopez, Susan Orosco, Nancy de Los Santos Reza, Bel Hernandez Castillo, Laura De Anda, Margo DeLeon, Rita Mosqueda Marmolejo, and Joanna Illizaliturri Diaz. And what tales they told. Our 8 Ways’ Latinas delved into identity crisis, domestic violence, self-sabotage, mother issues, addiction, child abuse, and being serial bum magnets… all issues that erode self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-acceptance. Mind you, each character represented a smart woman sharing her story about how she overcame life obstacles to achieve success and a fulfilled life.

Ivonne Coll
Yvonne De La Rosa

“Nothing is more amazing than seeing highly talented powerful Latinas who, as writers and performers, produce stage and perform one of the best pieces of live theater that I’ve ever seen,” said James E. Blancarte, a business and

entertainment attorney and a partner of the law firm of Alvarado Smith. “8 Ways to say I Love My Life is not only entertaining, it is a powerful combination of writing talent and acting that the audience can connect with and relate to regardless of age or personal experience.”

Kikey Castillo
Karnia Noelle

Re-examining familiar scenarios and classic mindsets that keep women from living satisfied lives, 8 Ways’ is provocative, hilarious, and, above all, intoxicatingly liberating. When I left the theater, I walked away thinking of what a beautiful, smart, funny woman I am… and one who deserves better.

Congratulations to Josefina Lopez, Founder and Artistic Director of Casa 0101, a theater and organization dedicated to nurturing future storytellers of Los Angeles. 8 Ways’ is the first production staged at Casa 0101’s new home. The theater is a cultural delight, bright with life’s colors, walls filled with the best of local Chicano art, and one of the most beautiful Dia De Los Muertos shrines I have ever seen. The spirits are happy with their new home. And, my favorite part: Clean and roomy bathrooms!

8 Ways To Say I Love My Life runs through November 18, 2012 at Casa 0101, 2102 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. For tickets call: 323- 263-7684 or go to http://www.Casa0101.0rg.

Friday and Saturday at 8PM; Sunday 2PM and 7PM. $20 General, $17 Seniors and Groups, $15 Students, Boyle Heights Residents and Groups 10+. Note: Casa 010 new theater is across the street from the Hollenbeck Police Department building on the corner of St. Louis and 1st Street.

RUN don’t walk to see this theatrical production! You’ll unleash your uniqueness! We all have a book within us and something that makes us want to say, “I love my life.”

©2012 by 8 Ways Life Group; Arte Publico Press; ISBN 978-1-55885-754-4

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Elia Esparza is a leading expert in communications and journalism targeting the burgeoning Hispanic market and has produced and written dozens of articles. President and CEO of Always Evolving PR and a Communications Specialist, Elia, incorporates her 18 years experience in the areas of entertainment and education public relations, and marketing. promotions, market research and translations (Eng/Span).