February 10, 2006

Spirits revive the ancient border legends: Restless Spirits opens in the San Diego Repertory Theatre.

By Luis Alonso Pérez

There are places in this city that hold the secrets of our past. Places that hide the legends of ghosts and spirits doomed to wander the world of the living until they fulfill an uncompleted task.

The spirits of the men and women who lived here before us are the perpetual guardians of extraordinary stories never before told, until they come in contact with a paranormal phenomenon student called Jessie Gordon in the new play by Sam Woodhouse “Restless Spirits” now playing in the San Diego Repertory Theatre.

The play premiered on Friday February 3.

The story turns around Jessie Gordon, played by Karole Foreman, who is working on her doctoral thesis on the ghosts of immigrant communities in San Diego. As she deepens in her investigation and begins to come in contact with the spirits, who reveal stories about her past and this place she calls home.

This play has an extraordinary supporting cast, including the renowned actor and writer Kinan Valdez, playing the roles of Felix O’ Conner and Diego. Raul Cardona –a big favorite of the San Diego Repertory Theatre– plays Benny Sweetwater and Rubio.

With diversity as the key element, this play portrays the unearthly legends of this region’s popular culture. The characters and sceneries in the story will show us the stories that shape our unique border identity.

The play was written by Allan Havis, based on more than 200 interviews with local residents who shared the many versions of well-known and not so famous legends of this region.

One of the main objectives in this play is to look at this regions history from a different perspective, as a part of the San Diego Repertory theatre’s Calafia Iniciative and was produced in part with the support of the California Stories Initiative.

The result is a play that mixes music, dance and multimedia, as well as characters from different age, ethnic groups and who speak different languages. The actors dance and sing along music from all over the world, choreographed by renowned choreographer Jean Isaacs.

Restless Spirits opened at the Lyceum Space Theatre in Horton Plaza Friday February 3 and will finish February 19.

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