September 14, 2012
All of us here at Cornerstone Theater Company are deeply saddened by the passing of Rey Dominguez, who was a community participant in Touch the Water (2009). Our thoughts and love go out to his wife Ceci and all their family. You are in our hearts.
We are gathering remembrances of Rey from our community. We will continue to share more in the coming days:
“Rey was a dear friend, ardent supporter and valued colleague to us at Cornerstone Theater Company, ever since we met him and his wife Ceci in 2009 when we collaborated with the Elysian Valley community in creating a play about the LA River. Ceci and Rey were a huge part of the success of that project, and, quite frankly, the heart and soul of the production. I wish I could express in words what Rey and his family have meant to us. He will continue to make an impact on our lives and work through the memory of his words and spirit. He will be missed, but he will be with us. A great spirit and generous and kind man.” – Cornerstone Artistic Director Michael John Garcés
“The first time I met Rey and Ceci was for a story circle for the LA River Collaboration. Julie Hebert and I met them at Phillipe’s across from Olvera Street. I immediately got his warmth and generosity. Rey and Ceci were quite the couple—vivacious, committed, loving. I think they even held hands at one point. I was moved and inspired by their relationship.
Rey was a backbone of our production. It seemed he was always there, even when Ceci wasn’t called to rehearsal. He moved mountains for us, helping us paint the set, bringing in youth groups to glue mirror pieces to our river, advising us about the area. Ever so kind and respectful, he really understood what we were up to and believed in the heart of the project, which meant the world to me.
He was there for Ceci and for Cornerstone but most of all, for the River.
Thank you, Rey, for all you have done for your community. Your work will continue to resonate.
You will be missed.”
– Cornerstone Ensemble member Juliette Carrillo
Just a few words about my friend Rey. Reymundo Dominguez. Rey! A good name for him. A Ray of moonlight. Of sunlight. Of light. The kind that one seeks out in the darkness. The kind that warms ones bones at the first sight of it. At the first brush of it on ones skin. Hell he wasn’t just a ray he was the whole damn sun. In its entirety. A solar system with the gravitational pull of a hundred suns. I know Rey means King and Mundo means world and hence King of the World but to me Light of the World suited him more. And this light lived in his smile. A smile that felt like it was made specifically for you. And it crooned in his voice. A voice that sometimes struggled for a breath but was always so deeply authentic and soulful you could bathe in its mellifluousness. And it burst forth in his embrace. That bear-like hug that pulled you close in to his enormous heart. A hug that always led you deeper into his tribe. A tribe where you always knew that you belonged. A place where there was always a space for you.
Rey and Ceci had the kind of marriage to be envied. A marriage I would wish for any and all of you. He loved her with a kind of fierce passion rarely seen and they were truly joyful in each other’s company. Rare birds these two. It was like the light surrounding them was always a little brighter and you could see more clearly, hear a little more soundly, love a little more giddily and laugh a little more heartily in their presence. And when you spent time with them, marriage seemed a breezy and effortless blessing. They made it look so easy. Would that we could bottle this and all drink from it. Rey left us due to a disease that affected his very breath. This man who had so much breath and breadth for life and for all who were within his grand embrace. Such a sad and ironic way for him to leave us. This man who made everyone else around him breathe so much easier. I loved Reymndo Dominguez. He made me a better person. He has inspired me to aspire toward the kind of courageous life that is lived in love. And fearlessness, which is itself born of an abiding love of life. His life was not one of complaint.
Sometimes when Rey smiled you could catch a glimmer of sadness in those soulful and emotional eyes. To me that was the Sorcerer’s Melancholy. The Nagual. The Curandero’s understanding of the vagaries of both the sublime and the ridiculous, the profane and the sacred. Of Life and Death.
He understood deeply Walt Whitman’s phrase “It’s a sad and beautiful world.” He chose to live it beautifully, defiantly, adventurously and lovingly. And it is the world and all of us that are left the sadder and poorer for his absence. Goodbye dear sweet friend.
– Cornerstone Ensemble member Shishir Kurup
While in Touch the Water, I loved to watch Rey dote on Ceci and his grandson while they rehearsed. He was so much a part of our production. He was much like the LA River – the star in the background that was a part of us, ran through us, and supported us. His ardent support of his community and the arts stands on a pedestal. From that point on, Rey was an active member of the Cornerstone family. He was a man with a generous heart that was larger than life. To Ceci and his family, I wish I could wrap you up in arms the size of the world and hug you. Rey, the wonderful warm man whose laugh was contagious – you will be missed. As you dance with angels, I hope to hear your laugh every now and then in the wind.
– Cornerstone Board Member Neetu S. Badhan
You can read more about Rey’s life and his tremendous contributions to his community in the Echo Park-Silver Lake Patch here.