Victoria Franco

Since last year Cesar Chavez High School’s Drama department has been working on a powerful drama. On September 11,2014 the drama class performed the first play called, “Piece of my Heart.” The play portrays six women who serve in the Vietnam War. “Piece of my Heart” depicts every aspect of the six women before, during, and after the war. Throughout the play the audience could feel the different emotions in every scene.


The six lead roles, of the six women, were played by; Valeria Reyes, Jennie Garcia, Angelina Sam, Lauren Alcazar, Vy Nguyen, and Aaliyah Binder.


Valeria Reyes played an army brat who was only enlisted in the army to fulfill the legacy of her parents. Mr. Castanon’s, the drama instructor, grandfather served in the Vietnam War. Valeria wore the actual uniform of Mr. Castanon’s grandfather.


Reyes stated, “At first I was nervous at first to know whose uniform I was wearing, but I was scared to see actual blood on the sleeves.”


Valeria’s goal throughout the play was to play her part as real as possible.


Jennie Garcia played Maryjo, an entertainer who sang to the troops. She explained that they play was difficult to perform, because of how emotional it was.


She stated, “It was hard to get everything down knowing someone actually went through it.”


Jennie’s favorite part of the play was a counseling section, because all of the girl’s stories from the war came together.


Sissy, a nurse in the war, was played by Angelina Sam. Throughout rehearsals Angelina felt emotionally drained, because of all the emotion’s within the play.


She said, “We would switch from emotion to emotion, and it was tough knowing the play was a true story.”


During her interview Angelina shared that she had a strategy to make herself cry during emotional scenes.


She stated, “I thought about a traumatizing time in my life that will always emotionally hurt me; It hurts every time I speak or think about it.”


Lauren Alcazar played Whittney, a red cross head nurse. She explained that she connected with her character because they shared similar qualities.


Vy Nguyen played the role of Leeann, a nurse for the wounded soldiers. One of Nguyen’s most memorable scenes was when she had to throw away her medals just to get on a plane back home. During this intense scene she thought back to a time when something really hurt her .

Vy stated, “I will always remember the play because of the bond that the other girl’s and I shared.”


Aaliyah Binder’s character was Stelle, an officer in the Vietnam.

She felt that she had a connection with her character, because they share a “take charge” attitude.

Binder stated, “This was my first play, and it was a great experience.”