The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Sonoma State Theatre Arts and Music Departments presents ‘In the Heights’

Students and community members from all over Sonoma County are taking part in bringing the musical to life
Actors+rehearsing+a+musical+number+from+In+the+Heights+in+Person+Theater
Bella Gorton
Actors rehearsing a musical number from “In the Heights” in Person Theater

Sonoma State students will showcase their talent at Evert B Person Theatre in their production of “In The Heights” premiering Friday, Feb. 9. and tickets are free for all SSU students. The show will play for the next two weekends until Sunday, Feb. 18.

The play is a celebration of diversity and the different nationalities that make up Washington Heights, New York City. Despite the challenges that the characters face, they remain proud to represent their culture and continue to value their friendships and relationships with one another.  

“This show is about community and being together through hardships, and we show that through music, dancing, and our acting.” said Iyanna Lowry a third-year Criminal Justice major who plays the character Daniela, “We as a cast are also very close, which the audience will be able to tell when we are all on stage together.”   

The play sticks to the script, utilizing a diverse cast. Fourth-year history major Kathryn Rodriguez is playing the part of Nina, “At least from the perspective of In The Heights, the story doesn’t really make sense if for lack of better words, the cast isn’t POC.” she said, “If the cast is all American or white students then you won’t really understand the nuances that are being showcased.” 

“Cultural diversity is something that used to be very rare and in this generation, we have been very successful in creating things that are very diverse and include multiple types of people no matter the audience we may have,” said Arjan Sidhu, a second-year theater arts major who is a member of the tech crew. “These productions that we put on need to happen because diversity is important. If we don’t have it people are going to feel left out and discriminated against.” 

Actors rehearsed 6 hours per week from August to December. Coming back from winter break, actors spent up to 22 hours a week in tech rehearsal, a rigorous process that focused on technical elements such as light, sound, and costumes. “The greatest challenge I faced when working with tech was remembering and learning my cues because I sometimes wouldn’t be sure of when I had to do a certain thing and I would have to rely on the assistant stage manager often, but I’ve recently overcome that struggle,” Sidhu said. 

When searching for actors, directors Lynne Morrow, Marie Ramirez Downing, and Anakarina Swanson opened the process to include community members from Windsor, Santa Rosa, and even three ten-year-olds from Cali Calmécac Language Academy. “We wanted the ability to access all those different populations in order to tell our story in the most accurate way possible,” said Marie Ramirez Downing, who has been Stage Director of SSU’s Acting program since fall 2020.

For those interested in attending the show, tickets can be found at Tickets.sonoma.edu.  

 

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About the Contributor
Bella Gorton, Staff Writer
Bella Gorton is a fourth year communication major at Sonoma State.
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