The freshman year at CAST Schools is a year of self-discovery. For three years, we have partnered with Geekdom chairman, Lorenzo Gomez III, to perform an adaptation of his book for all entering ninth graders. Tafolla Toro: Three Years of Fear, is targeted to young people grappling with issues of fear, anxiety, community violence, and more. The book – set at Tafolla Middle School on San Antonio’s Westside – features a series of stories, with letters to the author’s younger self. These letters offer new perspectives and ideas based on the wisdom of hindsight.

Students from CAST schools address mental health in stage performance of Lorenzo Gomez III's book Tafolla Toro-Three Years of Fear

Over the summer, Lorenzo Gomez III collaborated with CAST students and theater teachers to transform the book into a play.

I’m proud to partner with CAST Schools on this inspiring project,” Gomez said. “We are on a mission to take away the stigma around mental health and to inspire this next generation to start these conversations sooner.

The ongoing pandemic has brought to light new challenges, including the need for safe spaces that focus on mental health and the importance of acknowledging it in a healthy way at an early age. The freshman year at CAST Schools is a year of self-discovery where students are encouraged to discover their confidence, find their space, and engage in teams through project-based learning. 

The long-term goal is to take the completed play to a larger community stage, to perform to a broad San Antonio audience, and to make it available to audiences across Texas and the country. CAST is seeking donations to help complete and co-publish the play and obtain a designation for it to be performed in Texas UIL one-act theater competitions.

The Cast and Crew

The Book

The Book - Cover

The Author

Lorenzo Gomez III

The Curriculum

W. Hermosa Dr.

The Premiere

Hays Bridge

Here’s where we need your help:

We believe this play offers a relatable story to our young people in San Antonio. Our long-term goal is to take the completed play to a larger community stage, to perform to a broad San Antonio audience, and to make it available to audiences across Texas and the country. We plan to co-publish the play and seek a designation for it to be performed in Texas UIL one-act theater competitions. Please consider making a donation to support the further development and completion of the play. 

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Special Thanks To:

  • Superintendent Roland Toscano, East Central ISD
  • Superintendent Brian Woods, Northside ISD
  • Superintendent Pedro Martinez, San Antonio ISD
  • Superintendent Lloyd Verstuyft, Southwest ISD
  • Martha Martinez-Flores, Artist and Designer
  • Mark Menjivar, CAST Schools Artist-in-Residence
  • RockEm Productions Filming
  • Diego Villegas, Historian, ALA Graduate 2021
  • Laura Sisson, Advanced Learning Academy & CAST Tech Librarian
  • Laura Richards, Costume Coordination
  • Technical Theatre and Design  II, III, IV Advanced Learning Academy and. CAST Tech Classes
  • Art I, II CAST STEM Classes
  • Kimberly Garza, CAST Med Art Teacher 
  • Jorge Piña, The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
  • Kathy Bieser, Principal Advanced Learning Academy
  • Wendy Fuller, Principal CAST Lead
  • Eddie Muzquiz Rodriguez, Principal CAST Med
  • Ravae Schaefer, Principal CAST STEM
  • Ericka Olivarez, Principal CAST Teach
  • Melissa Alcala, Principal CAST Tech
  • CAST Network 9th Grade Teaching Teams
  • Advanced Learning Academy, CAST STEM, and CAST Tech Parent Community
  • Cameo Theatre Staff and Interns
  • Zero Views Band
  • Lisa Murphy, Advanced Learning Academy Teacher
  • Yvette and Andy Benavides S.M.A.R.T. SA

Scenes from the Performance