Theatre for Human Rights: Panamerican Routes/Rutas Panamericanas May 15-27 in Toronto

From a media release:

An International Festival of Theatre for Human Rights
May 15 - 27, 2012
in association with THEATRE PASSE MURAILLE

Multi-Arts, Multi-Talented

Toronto -
Aluna Theatre proudly presents an international festival of theatre for Human Rights -  Panamerican Routes / Rutas Panamericanas: a new festival featuring a new generation of innovative Canadian and Latin American voices that will converge on Toronto from across the continent from May 15-27 for two busy weeks of powerful mainstage performances, special presentations, professional development workshops and a conference exploring Theatre and Human Rights as well as a photography exhibit. All events take place at Theatre Passe Muraille. Visit for more information, detailed schedules and/or to purchase tickets.

Joyful, thoughtful, angry and passionate: these are the new voices of the Panamerican reality. For this groundbreaking festival, Aluna hosts six of the most exciting national and International, intercultural and interdisciplinary theatre companies from the Latin American diaspora in a Mainstage Series with their outstanding work.

The Panamerican Routes / Rutas Panamericanas Mainstage Series: Six national and International companies present their outstanding, original work - five full productions and one reading:

Week One (May 15 to May 20) features international artists. Loco7 (from Bogotá via New York) brings stunning dance-theatre and larger-than-life puppetry to the stage with Urban Odyssey while Violeta Luna (Mexico City via San Francisco) offers a more intimate border-crossing experience with Parting Memory.

Week Two (May 22 to May 27) features Canadian artists. Aluna Theatre (Medellin via Toronto) reprises its award-winning Nohayquiensepa (No one knows) and Carmen Aguirre (Santiago via Vancouver) victoriously returns to Theatre Passe Muraille with Carmen Aguirre's Blue Box (produced by nightswimming), a lively glimpse into a revolutionary's life from the writer of Refugee Hotel. IXOK', a solo theatre/dance piece performed by Mayahuel Tecozautla, created by Carmen Samayoa and Edgar Flores of Guatemala, depicts the story of an indigenous woman who flees to the jungle seeking safety for herself and her child. And Toronto's Rosa Laborde stages a reading of her Marine Life, a tragic comedy about complicated intimacies exploring themes of environmentalism, creativity, love and the end of everything.

The festival conference runs May 24, 25, 26 - three days of conversations exploring Theatre and Human Rights with some of the most highly regarded personalities in theatre, academia, community leadership, NGOs, and diverse communities participating on issues of Migration, Displacement, Theatre and the Law and Cross-cultural Creation. The University of Toronto's Graduate Centre for Study of Drama is the 2012 Academic Affiliate.

The conference concludes with La Pasarela (The Catwalk), directed by Patricia Ariza (of Colombia) directed with the participation of 35 women - from performers to members of underprivileged communities. This fashion show is a collective creation anchored by the theme of 'No Violence Against Women.'

Professional development workshops will be conducted by international masters in the areas of Dance/Theatre, Collective Creation, Playwriting and Performance Art. In addition, a number of mentorship and internship opportunities are available as part of an ongoing commitment to nurture a community of artists and build on the new generation of emerging artists from the Latin American Diaspora in all areas of theatre-making.

Across the Americas: a photography exhibit. With a contrasting set of curated works, Panamerican Routes / Rutas Panamericanas is a part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. The exhibit features photos by a group of former child soldiers and youth at risk who documented their lives in the Barrio Honda outside of Medellin, Colombia (as part of an international workshop held by Aluna in 2009), as well as the arresting work of Canadian travel photographer Lola Reid Allin.

Founded by actor, director and playwright Beatriz Pizano and scenographer Trevor Schwellnus, Aluna Theatre is a multiple Dora Award-winning Latin-Canadian company. It creates original works that showcase cultural diversity, with a focus on Latin American and women artists. Aluna brings Human Rights to the forefront, distinguishing its risk-taking work both at home and internationally.
For schedule, ticket information, and other announcements, visit

Aluna Theatre presents a new Festival of Theatre for Human Rights
in association with Theatre Passe Muraille
May 15-27, 2012

Performances Tuesday to Saturday - various start times from 7pm; Sunday matinees
Theatre Passe Muraille MainSpace, 16 Ryerson Ave.

Urban Odyssey by Loco7 - May15 @ 8pm, May 16-19 @ 7pm, May 20 @ 2pm
Parting Memories by Violeta Luna - May 17-19 @ 9pm, May 20 @ 4pm
IXOK' by Carmen Samayoa and Edgar Flores - May 18, 19 @ 10:30pm, May 20 @ 6pm
Nohayquiensepa (No one knows) by Aluna Theatre - May 22-26 @ 7pm, May 27 @ 2pm 
Carmen Aguirre's Blue Box by Carmen Aguirre - May 22-26 @ 8:30pm, May 27 @ 4pm
Marine Life (Reading) by Rosa Laborde - May 27 @ 6pm

Tickets range from $15 to $30, Festival Pass is $100 (plus HST)
Box office:  416-504-7529 or
Schedule additions and information updates at

Detailed descriptions of Mainstage Series productions:

Nohayquiensepa (No one knows)
- A Requiem for the Forcibly Displaced -
By the ensemble (Aluna Theatre - Colombia via Toronto)
May 22-26 @ 7pm, May 27 @ 2pm 

Nominated for five 2011 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Aluna's award-winning multimedia crie de coeur for victims of violence in Colombia returns to the stage. In asking how we deal with the death of strangers, Nohayquiensepa opens a passage through the subconscious final moments of a hunted man to the people who react to his death days or years after.  Based on stories from the Magdalena River in Colombia.
2011 Dora Winner for Outstanding Lighting Design

Carmen Aguirre's Blue Box
By Carmen Aguirre - winner of CBC Radio's 2012 Canada Reads
(Santiago via Vancouver)
May 22-26 @ 8:30pm, May 27 @ 4pm

"If not for love, then why?"
Based on the award-winning memoir Something Fierce, Blue Box investigates Carmen's remarkable life as an underground revolutionary in Chile. It's a story of terror, romance and abandon that takes us from the dangerous mountain passes of Chile to the perilous roller coasters of Hollywood; from an ardent love affair with a TV star, to a passionate love for a revolution that strove to change an entire nation. Blue Box is performed by the fierce and funny Carmen Aguirre.
"Aguirre is a hot tamale: passionate, at times very poetic, blunt and outspoken." - Mondo Magazine

Urban Odyssey
By Loco7
(Bogotá via New York)
May 15 @ 8pm,
May 16-19 @ 7pm,
May 20 @ 2pm

Urban Odyssey depicts the experience of immigration to America through movement and visual theatre: exploring the joy, fear, alienation and struggle that reveals the allure, disillusionments and rites of passage to achieve the American Dream. The inevitability of a new American culture opens up in this voyage from leaving ones homeland, to finding a new country, to making a new home and setting down roots.
" elegant multimedia showŠconsistently touching and evocative" - The New York Times
"Šin a nation of immigrants that is still struggling to find its identity, and dealing with issues of racism as much as ever, this production is a powerful reminder of the empathy and respect we owe each other's unique struggles and diverse identities.--

Parting Memories
By Violeta Luna
(from Mexico City via San Francisco)
May 17-19 @ 9pm, May 20 @ 4pm

A collage of actions by Violeta Luna based on the Border TRIP(tych) collaboration with the San Francisco-based collective Secos & Mojados*.
Parting Memories engages us with an immigrant's moment of parting. As she readies herself for the crossing, she begins to take inventory of what she will take with her, and what she will forever leave behind.
Forever condemned, or freed, by the space in-between the land she parts from, and the land awaiting on the other side, in the cracks and fractures of the borderland, she has to rebuild a new identity and sense of self. Parting transforms shards of memory into "dreams" of possibilities in a new landscape.
This multi-layered narrative offers redemption and a retrieved sense of identity through remembrance and the re-enactment and integration of the migrant's physical and psychic journey. - Karina Hodoyan University of San Francisco

Performed by Mayahuel Tecozautla, created by Carmen Samayoa and Edgar Flores (Guatemala)
May 18, 19 @ 10:30pm, May 20 @ 6pm

IXOK' means WOMAN in Maya-Quiché.  IXOK' takes place during the military conflict in Guatemala which led to the Mayan genocide of the 1980s. There were more than 250,000 victims - of whom over 45,000 are still missing today. In this solo theatre/dance piece, Mayahuel Tecozautla depicts the story of an indigenous woman who flees to the jungle seeking safety for herself and her child.

Marine Life (Reading) By Rosa Laborde (Toronto)
May 27 @ 6pm

In the midst of ecological disaster, new lovers Sylvia and Rupert explore their budding relationship while Sylvia's co-dependent musician brother John spirals into chaotic self-destruction and does everything he can to push them apart. A tragic comedy, Marine Life is a delicate piece about complicated intimacies set against a backdrop of apocalyptic proportions. It incorporates magic realism, humour and live music while exploring themes of environmentalism, creativity and the end of everything.
" Rosa Laborde deserves both attention and respect"--Toronto Star