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The Piven Theatre Workshop presents a staged reading of SANTUARIO | SANCTUARY today through Sunday.

SANTUARIO | SANCTUARY is a bilingual documentary theater piece exploring the migrations of monarch butterflies and youth crossing the USA-Mexico border.

Based on 30+ interviews with (im)migrants, nuns, volunteers, conservationists, and law enforcement in the USA and Mexico, SANTUARIO | SANCTUARY highlights the multifaceted complexity of the border.

The project began in 2015, when creators Teresa Veramendi and Victoria Gonzalez were in their MFA program at Naropa University and were given the prompt "migration" by visiting guest artist, Leigh Fondakowski.

In 2014, the year after DACA was passed, the border saw 30,000 more unaccompanied minors cross than the previous year.

There was also a large plummet in monarch butterfly migration numbers. Monarch butterflies are a common symbol of immigrant rights activists as they freely migrate between three countries every year, and their winter homes are protected by international law.

For over a year, the team has conducted interviews in Texas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Mexico City and Michoacán to learn more about how the border affects humans and nature. SANTUARIO | SANCTUARY is the culmination of that work.

The project was awarded the Boedecker Path to Excellence Grant in 2017, which supported a full production in Boulder, Colorado in September 2018. Its development is sponsored by Naropa University. Given the increasing news coverage of the treatment of children at the USA-Mexico border, the project seems more timely than the creators could have imagined at its inception. The world premiere in Colorado played to mostly sold out audiences.

"We are proud to weave together the narratives of immigrants with Customs and Border Patrol agents, U.S. citizens with DACA recipients, Mexican citizens with deportees, and humans with nature, to get a clearer picture of what the border really is, and what it really does to humanity and nature," says Veramendi.

One audience member responded to the Colorado production, "This show is a vessel for compassion and healing. It acts like a wellspring that softens and opens your heart to those you may not understand, to things you may not wish to hear. The integrity and respect with which [the actors, directors and producers] portray the words and stories of these people is astounding . . . Don't miss out on this heart-expanding sacred show."

Tickets range from $10-15, including discounted tickets for students, seniors, military, and undocumented attendees and DACA recipients - no questions asked.

Co-created by Amy Buckler Rusterholz, Victoria Pilar-Gonzalez, Stephanie San German, and Teresa Veramendi. Written by Teresa Veramendi. Co-directed by Jasmin Cardenas & Teresa Veramendi. Featuring a cast of primarily latinx performers. The production is bilingual with supertitles in both Spanish and English.



Comments welcome.


Posted on November 16, 2018

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