By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A theatrical production that originated before the pandemic is striking a chord even more now.

“I was one of the founding members of Sacramento Contemporary Dance theatre about seven years ago,” said Aly Homen.

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Homen takes to the stage to tell her story. Several years, ago she stepped away from dancing to work in restaurants.

“Which was amazing and grueling at the same time,” Homen said. “And I came back and I saw the first production of ‘Behind the Apron,’ and I kid you not, I was crying before the first song ended.”

She is now part of the production, which first opened in 2019 in Rancho Cordova. It was a collaboration between Bobbin Mulvaney, of Mulvaney’s restaurant, and Jacob Gutierrez-Montoya.

The idea was to raise awareness about mental health in the restaurant industry.

“So I sat in the corner bar at Mulvaney’s and just watched the whole restaurant move and I developed this really awesome fluidity of what I saw … the stream of consciousness of the restaurant,” Gutierrez-Montoya said.

What Gutierrez-Montoya created through music and dance shows the depths that depression can lead to – and it couldn’t come at a more critical time. The staff shortages of the pandemic and the ever-changing health regulations have played a role in the mental health crisis so many
are facing silently.

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“I think it’s important to recognize the mental strain this put on many people,” said Lyndsay Burch.

Burch’s company is the presenting partner for the production. She was hooked after seeing it the first time.

“It was such a beautiful moving experience,” she said.

Burch hopes the art of dance will draw audiences in and show from darkness there can be light.

“For us to not only serve the community but to serve ourselves, and to remember to leave something there for us,” said Gutierrez-Montoya.

And to support not only those doing the essential work, but those who support them.

“To have a community that supports you through all those ups and downs is really important,” said Homen.

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There will be two shows on Sunday, one at 2 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. at the B Street Theatre in Sacramento. All proceeds go to the non-profit “I Got Your Back.”