Juárez: A Documentary Mythology

A production of Theater Mitu, JUÁREZ: A DOCUMENTARY MYTHOLOGY is directed by Rubén Polendo and associate directed by Scott Spahr. The performance was devised by the ensemble from interviews and research they conducted: Ryan Conarro, Denis Butkus, Aysan Celik, Adam Cochran, Michael Littig, & Justin Nestor.

Ciudad Juárez emerged in 2008 as the “Murder Capital of the World,” a victim of the consequences of globalization, international border politics, and the drug trade. Directly across the Mexican-American border, El Paso, TX has branded itself the “Safest Large City in America.” Led by Juárez-born and -raised Artistic Director Rubén Polendo, and drawn by the vortex of questions within and around Juárez, Theater Mitu company members traveled to the region five times in 2012 and 2013, conducting research and interviewing citizens on both sides of the border. Based on their archive of hundreds of hours of interviews, JUÁREZ: A DOCUMENTARY MYTHOLOGY is a performative exploration of this border community’s memories from the past, both recent and distant, and its hopes for the future, near and far.

Ryan Conarro led design and implementation of Mitu’s audience engagement initiative for the piece, facilitating a team of post-show interviewers to gather audience accounts of border crossings.

The Mitu ensemble also created an interdisciplinary installation for the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts based on its JUÁREZ research and interview archive.

“JUÁREZ” premiered at El Paso del Norte Performing Arts Center, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. 2013 | Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, New York City. January & September 2014 | NACL Deep Space Residency, Highland Lake, New York. 2013 | NYU Abu Dhabi, UAE. 2014 | Mansion Space, Beirut, Lebanon. 2014 | Encuentro Festival at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, California. 2014 | Z Space, San Francisco, California. 2015