"It deals with a very American story, and a very Mexican-American story: How do we deal with our cultural heritage and with personal past tragedy?" muses Kent Thompson, new artistic director of the Denver Center Theatre Company. "How do we face the past, acknowledge who we are and where we come from? Without that, we will never fully realize our future."
September Shoes was partly inspired by Gonzalez's childhood experiences with family on both sides of the border -- a point of view that the playwright has worked hard to bring to light. In the mid-'80s, he sought out new Latino voices as the director of the Hispanic Playwrights Project for the South Coast Repertory in Orange County. By the late '90s, it was Gonz´lez's voice that was being heard, with a string of celebrated plays for both adults and children; September Shoes premiered in New York in 2003. For its Denver run, the play underwent a creative reshaping at the hands of Gonz´lez, director Amy Gonzalez (no relation) and Thompson, who says September Shoes reflects his plan to bring more culturally inclusive new works to the center's stages.
"It's a remarkable play by a leading Mexican-American playwright, directed by a gifted Latina director," Thompson says. "You're seeing the new DCTC: a Latino play directed by a woman."