October 20, 2000

Mummified Deer World Premier at The Rep

San Diego Repertory Theatre (The Rep) is proud to showcase the world premiere of Mummified Deer—the first new play in 14 years by the most significant Latino playwright of the 20th century, Luis Valdez.

Alma Martinez stars as Mama Chu, while Lakin Valdez portrays the magical Deer Dancer.

Set in the Southwest, Mummified Deer is the moving tales of an 84-year-old woman, Mama Chu, whose story spans nearly a century of Mexican and Californian history. Written and directed by Valdez, the play makes its world premiere at The Rep on October 27 and runs through Nov. 19, 2000.

Inspired by a newspaper story detailing a mysterious discovery inside the womb of an 84-year-old woman, Valdez's Mummified Deer has been nurtured through three public workshops and two years of residency at The Rep. Deeply affected by the passing of his mother, the master playwright began pursuing the myths, mysteries and contradictions in his family history, which led him to a revelatory personal journey to the ancient Yaqui villages in the Sonoran desert in northern Mexico.

"I've done years of research," says Valdez, "traveling twice to Sonora to witness the Yaqui Easter ceremonies that are a unique mix of Catholic and Indian mythology. The result of this research is a humorous and surprising California story which coordinates 100 years of history and reveals the heroic, untold story of the Yaqui nation."

For this world premiere production, Valdez directs a company of distinguished California artists including original Zoot Suit cast member Alma Martinez as Mama Chu. Also included in the production are veteran actors Maria Candelaria (who plays Arminda, Mama Chu's Chicana feminist granddaughter), Lakin Valdez (Valdez's son who portrays the magical Deer Dancer), and Valdez's brother, Daniel, who is credited with composing the original musical score. Award-winning set designer Giulio Cesare Perrone creates a mystical Sonoran desert environment for The Rep's 270-seat Space Theatre.

Mummified Deer opens at San Diego Repertory Theatre on Friday, October 27 at 8 p.m. with low-price previews beginning Friday, October 20. The final performance is scheduled for Sunday, November 19.

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