THEATER: Examining Juárez/El Paso @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]
A riveting work of theater explores the border community of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas — one a hot zone of the drug cartel wars, the other, directly across the border, the self-proclaimed “Safest Large City in America.” Led by Juárez-born and -raised founding artistic director Rubén Polendo, Theater Mitu’s company members condensed hundreds of hours of interviews and field recordings from both cities. Drawing on their research, JUÁREZ: A Documentary Mythology illuminates the region’s memories, hopes and fears, and takes the stage at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams at 8pm on Saturday (December 3).
Based on the disparate lifestyles of “murder capital of the world” Juárez, Mexico, and its neighboring town on the U.S. and Mexico border, El Paso, Texas, Theater Mitu has developed a piece that draws upon the communities’ “memories from the past, both recent and distant, and hopes for the future, near and far.” Incorporating real citizens’ interviews on audio and video, JUÁREZ creates a multimedia environment engrossed in the authentic issues and emotions of these border towns. As its story unfolds, JUÁREZ confronts hardship and struggle directly, ultimately turning the tides and leaving the viewer with cautious optimism.