Photo by Sam Hernandez

Tu Ciudad magazine just named CASA 0101 “Best Performing Arts Venue” in their June/July Best of Latino L.A. edition. In my opinion CASA 0101 is one of the most prolific and soulful theaters in town. With “Chicano Rehab y Mas” and “El Verde,” two comedies on the bill this month, I talked to CASA 0101’s Artistic Director, Eddie Padilla, about their new season, giving a voice to Boyle Heights youth and… potato tacos!LA Taco: Did you grow up in Boyle Heights?

Eddie Padilla: I grew up in San Diego in a neighborhood called “Shell Town” and I don’t mean shells as ocean shells but bullet shells you find all over the place or the shells from the naval station. I moved to Boyle Heights in 2005. Boyle Heights instantly reminded me of Shell Town in terms of demographics, crime rate, police presence, and how gang activity was embedded in the community. Brothers, cousins, parents, close friends, and lovers are all related to gangs.

A friend from USC where I studied theater was doing set building and directing plays at CASA 0101. I got involved when they were producing Josefina Lopez’ Real Women Have Curves.” I expressed interest in directing a play and a few months later became Artistic Director.

Click here for full interview on www.lataco.com.