PCPA Theaterfest at 7 p.m. Saturday will present the world premiere production of The Heart’s Desire by José Cruz González in the Marian Theatre in Santa Maria.

PCPA first contacted González in 2006 in hope of developing his play. Through a series of workshops and readings, collaborations with the director, composer, designers, actors and production teams, the play has continued to grow into this premiere production.

“I wrote The Heart’s Desire because I wanted to tell an untold story about returning World War II Mexican-American veterans and the struggles they faced arriving home in the United States. For many of them, the war changed how they would see themselves and how others would perceive them, too,” González said. “Many of our future leaders came from this group of unsung heroes, and for some, they had to face another war back home of racism and injustice.”

In The Heart’s Desire, John Guerrero returns to California from the war with a new bride and dreams of a new life. He finds himself struggling to reconnect with family and to reidentify himself in a world in which so much and so little has changed. This powerful and magical work investigates the mythology of the American Dream, those who have it and those who don’t. It also explores the cost of the war on those who have survived it and must now learn to find peace in their newly adopted country.

John is played by guest artist Juan Monsalvez. He’s joined by PCPA resident artists Vanessa Ballam, Leo Cortez and Richard Gallegos. Also cast are guests Leticia Vélez and Catalina Maynard.

Click here for more information, or call the PCPA box office at 805.922.8313.

The summer 2008 season also includes Godspell, Ragtime, The Imaginary Invalid, Hot Mikado and The Weir.

Craig Shafer represents PCPA.