University Players of Cal State Long Beach Presents Sonia Flew, a Family Drama for the 21st Century

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University Players of Cal State Long Beach presents Sonia Flew by Melinda Lopez, March 2nd through March 17th. Directed by Luke Yankee, Sonia Flew explores betrayal and forgiveness across two generations and two countries’ political upheavals.

Responding to the patriotism of post-9/11 America that inspired many young men and women to join the Armed Forces, Lopez connects the story of young Sonia’s flight from revolutionary Cuba through Operation Pedro Pan to her son’s decision to enlist in the military decades later. Confronted by her past while faced with her future, Sonia must decide what is more important – pride or unconditional love.

Comparing it to a Greek tragedy, director Luke Yankee explains, “It’s an incredibly powerful play, having a lot to do with the breakdown of the family system and the family as a unit. All of these characters have tremendous pride and tremendous egos, in a sense, that end up being their downfall. The Greeks talk about hubris, that sense of overweening pride, and I think that’s definitely true for these characters.”

Luke Yankee is a director, producer, writer, actor and teacher.  He is the former Producing Artistic Director of the Long Beach Civic Light Opera and Struthers Library Theatre. As a Broadway assistant director he worked on The Circle with Rex Harrison, Light Up the Sky with Peter Falk and Grind (directed by Harold Prince).  Directing highlights include The Cherry Orchard with Cynthia Nixon, Night Club Confidential with Barbara Eden, High Infidelity with John Davidson, Private Lives with David Canary, Driving Miss Daisy with Eileen Heckart. He is a teacher and guest director at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, AMDA, Northwestern, Columbia College, Ohio State and the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany. As a published playwright & author, he wrote Just Outside the Spotlight, A Place at Forest Lawn and The Jesus Hickey. Mr. Yankee studied at Juilliard, NYU, Circle in the Square and Northwestern.

Sonia Flew opens Friday, March 2nd, and runs for 15 performances, closing on Saturday, March 17th.  Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 pm with Saturday matinees at 2 pm. This production is in the Players’ Theatre on the CSULB South Campus, accessible via West Campus Drive. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors and students (with valid ID). For tickets and information, please call (562) 985-5526 or visit

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