Gloria Calderón Kellett’s Play Makes History at Pasadena Playhouse

Sofia Jones
 | March 19, 2024

All eyes are on Gloria Calderón Kellett. The co-creator and showrunner of the Netflix’s series “One Day at a Time” has done it again. The writer, producer, and director’s new play, “One of the Good Ones,” debuted as the first Latino play commissioned by the Pasadena Playhouse last week. And, just like that, one of Hollywood’s trailblazing Latinas makes theater history.

“… the world-premiere comedy, running through April 7, is the first Latine commission in the 100-year history of the Tony-winning Pasadena Playhouse — a landmark worth celebrating, though sorely overdue for a Los Angeles theater company,” The Los Angeles Times explains.

It’s quite a milestone for a playhouse situated in the heart of one of the nation’s most diverse cities.

“In a city that’s 49 percent Latino, it is so meaningful that we finally have a play where it’s an all Latino cast,” Calderón Kellett tells KTLA.

The cast is just one of the many reasons to love this groundbreaking production.

Exploring Identity in America

In her new play, Calderón Kellett brings up the age-old question for many Latinos living in the United States: What does it truly mean to be an American?

“I wanted to write something about the complexities of identity,” Calderón Kellett tells the LA Times. “ … when I did One Day at a Time, all people were interested in talking about was my Latinidad. I’m happy to talk about it, because I love who I am and I’m proud of my parents and where they came from, but it’s all people wanted to talk about. And I would get it from both sides, from the white perspective and from the Latino perspective — this sort of zoo animal fascination with what it’s like to be a non-white man telling stories.”

The production’s all-star Latino cast, tackles the tough questions while making audiences laugh. 

Unraveling Family Dynamics on Stage

In this world premiere comedy, tensions rise when the “perfect” Latina daughter introduces her boyfriend to her family. As biases and preconceptions come to light, everyone grapples with family dynamics and the boundaries of acceptance.

The cast is made up of notable Latinx actors including Lana Parrilla, Carlos Carrasco, and Isabella Gomez, who played Elena Alvarez in Calderón Kellett’s “One Day at a Time.”

When asked about “the hardest part about writing this play,” Calderón Kellett answers, “The biggest challenge for me is the fact that there’s so much I want to say. I feel like it could be four hours long! I’m telling myself, ‘You don’t have to get all of it in this one play. You don’t have to fix all of it. Just tell this one story.’”

Performance Details

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, experience this groundbreaking play. And be part of theater history.

Dates: March 13 to April 7
Venue: Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, California

  • Wednesday-Friday evenings at 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

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