‘Extreme Home Makeover’ takes us back to TV in 2007
By Ashley Shah
The Vegas, a Latino family struggling to keep their mobile home from crumbling, take the audience through a week in their life in the form of a video submission to “Extreme Home Makeover,” a popular television show at the time. This is the simple plot of the upcoming production of “Extreme Home Makeover,” the new play that will be running in November at Scripps Ranch Theatre.
The play is written by playwright Makasha Copeland and directed by Olivia Espinosa.
“Reading this play, my initial connection was through the Latino family. I am a first generation Mexican-
American,” director Espinosa said.
This production has four main characters: the four family members of the Vega family.
Valentina, played by Tamarin Ythier, is the mother of the Vega family.
“She is an extremely hard worker. She would do anything for her family,” Espinosa said.
Ramon Villa portrays Marco, Valentina’s 16 year-old son.
“Marco is just a kid who’s bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. I can’t say why, but he has to bear a lot while going to school,” Espinosa said.
Lupe, played by Dani Diaz, is Valentina’s 10 year-old daughter.
“She is everything you expect from a 10 year-old in the sense that she is hilarious. However, she also sees the struggles her family is going through,” Espinosa said.
Lastly, Guadalupe, played by Leticia Bombardier, is Valentina’s mother.
“She has strength and is grounded. She tries her best to keep the family grounded. She tries to let the kids be kids, and let the mom take care of herself,” Espinosa said.
This production is set in 2007, in Texas.
“This play really takes you back to that time. There’s VHS, and they record everything on a camcorder. It is a period-piece. It is interesting to have the perspective of 2022 looking back on 2007,” Espinosa said.
Rehearsals started earlier this month.
“On the first day of rehearsals, we all read through the script, so we can hear each other’s voices together. We are hoping to have the playwright join us through Zoom as she is on the East Coast,” Espinosa said.
This production has been performed only once before.
“We really want the playwright to be able to see and hear the actors together,” Espinosa said.
She described challenges of performing this show.
“We essentially just get to see their VHS tape, which is just one cut after another. As a director, I love seamless transitions, and I want to make sure we do the cuts in the most seamless way,” Espinosa said.
Opening night of this play is Nov. 12, and the show runs for four weekends. Closing night is Dec. 4.
As Espinosa has a personal connection to this production, she shared her hopes for the audience.
“I hope that whatever background you come from, you see yourself on stage, whether that’s with the Vegas or the ABC producers. This play has comedy, but it also has drama and grief. I hope people will find something in themselves with that,” Espinosa said.
To purchase tickets, visit scrippsranchtheatre.org/showtickets.