BY DEVINA MUNI
From Nixon’s speech to the firing of shots to honor those who served, Cerritos High School’s production of A Piece of my Heart will leave you speechless. With two female dominated casts (Black and Gold), the play highlighted the gender inequality that persisted in some fifty years ago. This difficult journey of six nurses during the Vietnam War will educate you on what actually happened during the war, despite the misinformation given in America.
Although entertaining, the play tackled real world issues such as rape and discrimination. This production not only left tears in the eyes of the audience members but also instilled a sense of feminism. It gave a different perspective on the war than one most people are accustomed to by showing the hardships that women faced through their perspective. Steele, played by Kennedi Blackburn, exemplifies the struggles of being an African American woman trying to gain the same deserved respect that men recieve. Mary Jo, played by Jaznelle Garcia, manifests what many women face today in being helpless toward rape. The members of the audience felt every word that came out of her mouth and sympathized with the agony she conveyed every time she screamed in pain.
Every female character had strong dramatic monologues that shattered the audience’s hearts, leaving them frozen to their seats while yearning for more. All eyes were on Leeann, played by Rachel Dang, who entertained everyone with her Vietnamese accent and made light of a heartbreaking situation when a soldier died. The three male actors performed to their heart’s content in the small supportive roles that they had. Effortlessly, every character was able to shift in and out of roles without confusing the audience.
While this was one of Cerritos High School’s more serious productions, it was also one of the most influential productions. With an almost all female cast and a heartbreaking yet informative story, you’ll leave wanting to give a piece of your heart to every woman who has ever served.