Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-06-26
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

La Ruta
by Catey Sullivan
2019-01-01

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


By: Isaac Gomez

At: Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. Tickets: Steppenwolf.org .; $20-$89, limited $15 student tickets online. Runs through: Jan. 27

For more than 20 years, women have been vanishing along the border of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexicso. The number is reportedly at least 1,500, although there is no official count. Sometimes the victims are found buried. Many times, they simply vanish, often on the unlit roads between their homes and the factories where they work.

The lack of a thorough investigation points to police and politicians who either don't care or don't have anything to gain by looking into the crimes. When the survivors of the missing women demand justice, they are deemed crazy, hysterical women. They march nevertheless, in the names of the "desapercidas," often around a sea of pink crosses memorializing the missing women.

With La Ruta, playwright ( and El Paso native ) Isaac Gomez gives voice to both the missing women and those who survive them. We see them at their 10-hour-day, assembly-line factory jobs. We see them on the bus—dark, deserted roads to the horizon—as they ride to and from work. We see them as human beings with distinct hopes, dreams and personalities. Their tragedy —and all that it says about area politics, misogyny and corruption—becomes impossible to reduce to a statistic from another place.

Gomez's drama is far more documentary than traditional drama. He culled the dialogue from interviews he did with the women whose loved ones vanished. He interviewed bus drivers who described seeing women being abducted as they ran for the bus. He interviewed a man convicted of murdering eight area women. The names have been changed. The veracity is chilling.

Directed by Sandra Marquez, La Ruta is two things: It is a geographically specific story about a demographically specific ( middle, lower-class ) group of women. It is also an irrefutable commentary on the way the world sees women—and has always seen women. The women of Juarez are part of a line of women deemed disposable, a line that reaches back eons. When the macro starts steaming through the micro, La Ruta's impact becomes a gut punch.

The plot follows Ivonne ( Karen Rodriguez ), a veteran factory worker who starts a friendship with Brenda ( Cher Alvarez ), a teenager who has dropped out of school to help support her family. We learn early that Brenda disappears, leaving her mother Yolanda ( Sandra Delgado ) nearly crippled by grief and anger.

By flipping back and forth in time, Gomez makes the scenes before Brenda's disappearance more wrenching since you know what's going to happen to her. Alvarez's portrayal does the same. Her Brenda is eminently recognizable: She's the bubbly teenager who loves and is exasperated by her mother, the girl who blushes when she sees the boy she likes and giggles remembering her quinceanera.

Ivonne's confidence and glamour leave Brenda a bit awestruck. But as Rodriguez makes clear in an eviscerating monologue late in the play, Ivonne has secrets. She's seen evil all but impossible to survive intact. The emotion in Ivonne's recollection of a crime is intense. Rodriguez makes it real.

There is similar intensity to the plight of Delgado's Yolanda and Charin Alvarez' Marisela. Initially, Marisela's default-emotion is optimism, insisting that Brenda will be on the next bus even when there is no next bus. Alvarez makes Marisela's activism the natural evolution of an insistent, determined outlook.

Music plays a large part in La Ruta, much of it gorgeously sung by the Laura Crotte, who plays guitar throughout the piece. Backed by the haunted, hunted women of Juarez ( Mari Marroquin, Alice da Cunha and Isabella Gerasole ), the sound of La Ruta is sonorous and deep.

There's no ending to this story. What Gomez offers instead is a portrait of undaunted resolve: las muertas de Juarez refuse to stand down. Gomez makes that resolve immovable: They are women with nothing left to lose. And with nothing on the line, they will stop at nothing to make themselves heard. La Ruta amplifies their calls.

Related: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/With-La-Ruta-Isaac-Gomez-gives-voice-to-Juarezs-murdered-women-/65017.html .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Something Clean 2019-06-26 - Playwright: Selina Fillinger At: Sideshow Theatre and Rivendell Ensemble at Victory Gardens Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: 773-871-3000; VictoryGardens.org; $20-$30. Runs through: ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The River 2019-06-26 - Playwright: Jez Butterworth At: Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: Bohotheatre.org Runs through: July 28 It's both simple and impossible ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-06-26 - La Havana Madrid, Teatro Vista @ The Den, extended through 30 June—Last two weeks to see this thrice-remounted musical about Chicago's Latinx history, ...


Gay News

The Second City salutes Pride 2019-06-22 - The Second City's Salute to Pride is waving a welcoming flag this June with an all LGBTQ identifying cast. Head upstairs to UP ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Extends Ms. Blakk for President 2019-06-21 - CHICAGO ( June 21, 2019 ) — Due to popular demand, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has added seven more performances to the run of ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag to present The Drag Seed world premiere July 5 2019-06-20 - CHICAGO ( June 19, 2019 ) — Hell in a Handbag Productions continues its 2019 season with the world premiere of THE DRAG ...


Gay News

Windy City Times and Reader Theater Series 2019 2019-06-18 - Click on the link for full schedule and registration form: https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/reader-windy-city-times-theater-series/Content?oid=71068613 . ...


Gay News

THEATER Elizabeth Rex 2019-06-18 - Playwright: Timothy Findley At: Oak Park Festival Theatre at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Phone: 847-; $15-$35. Runs through July 21 ...


Gay News

About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble to debut '20/20' 2019-06-18 - The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the world premiere of 20/20—a dive into recent queer history devised ...


Gay News

Terence Alan Smith: The real 'MS. BLAKK' 2019-06-18 - Terence Alan Smith, the Detroit native behind the drag persona Joan Jett Blakk, is still taken aback that a portion of his life ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.