As a resident of the Bay Area for more than three decades, I thought I knew the various groups and productions where my culture is honored. But when I found out about Mount Madonna Center and School it was a surprise and wonderful treasure.

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One of the treasures at MMS is the annual production of the Ramayana. Every child in the school takes a role, and it is the longest and largest continuously running production of the Ramayana in the Western hemisphere! This version of Ramayana is a fusion where East meets West, offering traditional Indian dances; exquisite costumes; original, live music, and singing; and plenty of comedy, action, and drama. MMS students bring to life the beloved Lord Ram and Goddess Sita, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and of course Hanumanji. Their portrayal of the demons King Ravana and Surpanaka, as well as the virtuous Queen Mandodari and Prince Vibhishan, help to bring understanding of the value of leading an ethical life. The true essence of our wonderful scripture is brought to life for the audience.

This is a great chance to experience live the true joy and teaching of the Ramayana.  I am so excited to share this portrayal of my Indian heritage with my two children, who will be amazed and entertained by this incredible experience.

June 11-12, 7:30 p.m.; and June 13, 2 p.m. Mexican Heritage Theater, 1700 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose. All seats reserved. $35 general; $25 children (18 and under). (408) 847-2717. Tickets: www.MountMadonnaSchool.org.

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