Henry Reyna being the leader of an American-Mexicans group is sent to prison without any substantial evidence over the death of a man in Sleepy Lagoon, Jose Williams. Lawyer George Shearer and Editor Alice begin to fight for the release and the rights of the alleged murderers. Henry and his friends thereby receive an unjust and unfair treatment from the court system as they are sentenced to a period in prison, even though evidential statements indicate that William was killed by the Downey gang.
Zoot Suit is mainly based on factual events that surrounded the Hispanic gang members for the killings in Los Angeles in the year 1942 and the demonstrations that ensued right after their arrest. Henry Reyna and his friends, a 38th street gang member went to have fun, and in the process collided with its rival crew, the Downey. Rudy, Henry’s brother provoked a commotion and a fight commenced between the two groups. Henry, later on, his way home confused a commotion, caused by the Downey gang to a party at Williams the Ranch. After some few days, Henry and his friends are arrested and unfairly sentenced over the murder of William. Zoot Suit incorporates drama to emphasize on some specific themes that are currently relative. The drama does an exploration of family relationships and the burden of a child’s growth in racially discriminating environments. The social themes depicted in the play include tragic results from gang violence, injustices, racial discrimination and oppression.