Local Premiere of award winning short film "Kesi" Courtesy Photos of HHT

On Saturday November 13th at 7pm, the Historic Hemet Theatre will host a screening of the film “Remembering When: The Story of Mr. Whittier’s Hemet,” followed by a Q&A by Director Daniel Maggio and members of the cast and crew.

The film chronicles the early years of Hemet when William Franklin Whittier headed a project to construct a dam in the mountains east of the San Jacinto Valley. The Lake Hemet Dam provided a reliable, year-round water supply, creating an agricultural and population boon here at the end of the 19th century.

Courtesy Photos of HHT

The film is based on a play by Michael Tennant, originally written to celebrate the centennial of Hemet in 2010. Audiences will learn about the construction of the Lake Hemet Dam, early Hemet Culture, and the aspirations of the town’s “first citizen” William Franklin Whittier (played by Tennant).

The film was directed by Daniel Maggio with a supporting cast that includes a wide range of Hemet talent. Bret Cherland (Theatre Director at Hemet High School) plays Whittier’s lovable assistant Pendelton. Jared Moore plays Edward Mayberry, designer of the Hemet Dam and Whittier’s closest friend. Paola Cifuentes reprises her role from the stage as Mattie, Whittier’s daughter. Debrawdawn Shockey and Laura Cherland portray Agnes and Myrtle, socialites who love the DANGER of Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel Ramona. Gabriel Diaz plays the “scourge of the valley” Sam Temple, who inspired the character Jim Farrar in Jackon’s novel. John Guminiak plays Mayor T.S Brown, the very first Mayor of Hemet. Locations used to film the project include the Estudillo Mansion, Victory Ranch, Calico Ghost Town, as well as custom sets built inside the theaters of Hemet High and Ramona Hillside Players. The film also features an original score from local musician and composer Sean Longstreet.

Office Scene: Bret Cherland & Michael Tennant in Mr Whittier’s Hemet Courtesy Photos of HHT

As part of the event, the theatre will also screen another project directed by Daniel Maggio. “Kesi” is an award-winning short film that tells the story of twenty-year-old Kesi (Avalon Penrose), who is traveling back home for the funeral of her alcoholic Mother. Kesi uses her collection of stuffed animals to expresses herself, each with a different voice and personality. The character of Kesi’s mother is based on the director’s actual mother, who passed away from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.

Information on all theatre events is available at www.HistoricHemetTheatre.com or by calling the ticket office, (951) 658-5950. You can subscribe to the HHT email blast by enrolling on the website.

Susan Carrier | Historic Hemet Theatre

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