The school of Che Guevera

Christina Moran

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Ernesto “Che” Guevara is an easily recognized figure of revolution. Almost 50 years after his leftist campaigns in Latin America and his untimely death in Bolivia, he is still being honored in many ways. On March 6 through 15, Mesa College Theatre Company will be presenting Jose Rivera’s “School of the Americas,” a play loosely based on the last days of his life.

Director Kris Clark found the play by accident. “It just fell into my lap,” she said. “I love the writing. It’s poetic and beautiful. I read this play knowing next to nothing about Che and what he did.”

David Macdonald is portraying Che onstage. “It’s very nerve-wracking, because I’m worried about nailing the flavor of Che and what he was all about, what he did for so many people, and why we still bother with him today.”

One of the most difficult parts of the piece is getting every character right, as everyone in the play existed in real life.

“School of the Americas” is based on conversations he had with Julia Cortez during the time he was prisoner of the Bolivian government in the tiny village of La Higuera. She was the last civilian to see him alive before his execution on Oct. 9, 1967. Rivera came up with the idea for “School of the Americas” while researching his Che biopic “The Motorcycle Diaries.”

MCTC’s interpretation of this work promises to be an interesting theatric experience. The three settings of the scenes are drastically different, prompting set designers to be inventive and build the set on a revolving turntable.

” School of the Americas” has six showings, with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. and Sunday performances at 7 p.m. The March 13 showing has the separate option of “Dinner and Drama.” Dinner will be presented by M-Fusion Café. Tickets for “Dinner and Drama” will be $25. Tickets for SDCCD students and staff, and Mesa neighbors (in the 92111 ZIP code) are $5, student, military, and seniors pay $8. General admission is $10. Tickets are available at the box office of the Apolliad Theater on campus.

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