Press Release: ​American Mariachi

American Mariachi—A Heartfelt Family Story With Live Music—Opens South Coast Repertory’s 56th Season

COSTA MESA, Calif. (​​Aug. 1​​6, 201​9)— Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei have welcomed the cast and creative team for South Coast Repertory’s 2019-20 season opener, American Mariachi by José Cruz González. The show is helmed by Christopher Acebo, who makes his directorial debut at SCR, with Cynthia Reifler Flores, music director. American Mariachi runs on the Segerstrom Stage, Sept. 7-Oct. 5. Tickets are available now at

“American Mariachi is very relevant to the climate across this country,” said González. “We’re telling a story about these young women who aspire to something better than the world that they’re from—to think bigger and deeper. It’s not just about one person getting ahead, but about them going together. Their unity is their strength.”

The story follows Lucha, who cares for her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother and fantasizes about forming a mariachi band. But it’s the 1970s and women can’t be mariachis—or can they? Since mariachi music seems to be the only thing that her mother responds to, Lucha defies tradition and form an all-woman mariachi band.

It marks a homecoming, of sorts, for González. In the 1980s, on staff at SCR, where he created and directed the Hispanic Playwrights Project (HPP), championed Latinx works and directed plays. His works have been produced at numerous theatres around the country, including Dallas Theater Center, Goodman Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, Geva Theatre and Childsplay. His play The Astronaut Farmworker was a finalist for the 2016 PEN Center/USA Literary Award. He has been a writer for “Paz,” the Learning Channel’s Discovery Kids television series (Emmy Award-nominated). He is a professor emeritus of theatre from California State University, Los Angeles.

Acebo is well-known to SCR audiences for set-designing nearly a dozen productions at the Southern California theatre—including La Posada Mágica, Cloudlands and Culture Clash (Still) in America. He previously helmed Mariachi at Arizona Theatre Company.

The cast features some familiar faces: Diana Burbano, Sol Castillo, Mauricio Mendoza and Luzma Ortiz. Burbano is an acting instructor in SCR’s Theatre Conservatory and also an actor and playwright. Castillo was involved in HPP, young audiences shows and is currently seen as Fred in A Christmas Carol. Mendoza was last seen at SCR in Destiny of Desire, and Ortiz was last seen in in the young audiences show, Nate the Great.

The cast also includes Gabriela Carrillo, Satya Jnani Chavez, Alicia Coca, Esteban Montoya Dagnino, Sayra Michelle Haro, Marlena Montes, Andrew Joseph Perez, Ali Pizarro, Antonio A. Pró and Adam Ramirez in their SCR debuts.

The design and creative team includes Efren Delgadillo Jr., set design; Kish Finnegan, costume design; Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz, lighting design; Rebecca Kessin, sound design; Cynthia Reifler Flores, music director; and Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting. Moira Gleason is the production stage manager and Kathryn Davies is stage manager.

American Mariachi has generous support from Honorary Producers Yvonne & Damien Jordan, and Ernesto & Socorro Vasquez. The Corporate Honorary Producer is U.S. Bank. The media sponsors are Univision Los Ángeles and K-Love 107.5.

Tickets start at $24. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, fulltime educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more. For complete information, visit:

Related Information for American Mariachi

Tickets: May be purchased online at, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the Box Office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances run Sept. 7-Oct. 5; low-priced previews run Sept. 7-12. Ticket prices start at $24. SCR’s performances run Tuesdays-Sundays; there are no performances on Mondays.

Performance Dates, Times

Some performance times are different this season. Please see below.

  • Previews run Sept. 7-12
    • Saturday, at 8 p.m., Sept. 7
    • Sunday, at 2 p.m., Sept. 8
    • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 10-12
  • Regular performances run Sept. 14-Oct. 5
    Note: Note: Friday, Sept. 13, is an invitation-only performance.
    • Evening Performances:
      • Sundays at 7 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, at 7:30 p.m.: Sept. 8; Sept. 10-12; Sept. 15; Sept. 17-19; Sept. 22; Sept. 24-26; Sept. 29; Oct. 1-3.
      • Fridays, Saturdays, at 8 p.m.: Sept. 7; Sept. 14; Sept. 20-21; Sept. 27-28; and Oct. 4-5.
    • Matinees:
      • Saturdays at 2:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.: Sept. 14-15; Sept. 21-22; Sept. 28-29; and Oct. 5.
      • ASL-interpreted: Saturday, Sept. 28, at 2:30 p.m.

Special Events

  • Post-Show Discussions: Wednesday, Sept. 18, and Tuesday, Sept. 24. Discuss the play with cast members of American Mariachi during free post-show discussions led by South Coast Repertory’s literary team. Segerstrom Stage.
  • Inside the Season: Saturday, Sept. 21, from, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Led by members of SCR’s literary staff, this lively two-hour session includes in-depth interviews with cast members and artists from the production staff, revealing secrets and offering insights into SCR’s production of American Mariachi. Segerstrom Stage. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance or at the door.
  • American Sign Language-Interpreted: Saturday, Sept. 28, at 2:30 p.m.

Location: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Boulevard.

2019-20 Productions: American Mariachi, Sept. 7-Oct. 5; The Canadians, Sept. 29-Oct. 20; Aubergine, Oct. 19-Nov. 16; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Nov. 8-24 (Theatre for Young Audiences); A Christmas Carol, Nov. 30-Dec. 24; Fireflies, Jan. 5-26; She Loves Me, Jan. 25-Feb. 22; Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Feb. 7-23 (Theatre for Young Audiences); Outside Mullingar, March 8-29; The Scarlett Letter, March 28-April 25; I Get Restless, April 12-May 3; Arcadia, May 9-June 6; and Dory Fantasmagory, May 22-June 7 (Theatre for Young Audiences). The annual showcase of new works, the Pacific Playwrights Festival, runs April 24-26, 2020.

Complete information is available at

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson and led by Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. Of SCR’s more than 52​8 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.