Yale production explores violence against ‘Women of Ciudad Juárez’

In conjunction with its Latin American Theater Series, the Yale Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies will sponsor a performance of “Women of Ciudad Juárez” on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. The event will take place at the Off-Broadway Theater, 41 Broadway; it is free and open to the public.

The play portrays the epidemic of violence against women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Four actresses take on the roles of various women, their family members, and the officials investigating the case, offering multiple female perspectives — from mothers and daughters, to factory workers and prostitutes — on the meaning of life under the threat of violent death in this Mexican border city.

The production is the English-language debut of “Mujeres de Ciudad Juárez,” originally written in Spanish and performed by Mexican actress Cristina Michau as a one-woman show.

Produced and directed by Jimmy A. Noriega, founder of Teatro Travieso (Troublemaker Theater) and assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the College of Wooster, the play features an all-student cast from that department.  

Teatro Travieso was founded in 2012 under the direction of Noriega, who holds a Ph.D. in theater studies from Cornell University. “Women of Ciudad Juárez” is the group’s second production. Noriega’s current research focuses on community-based and activist performance across the Americas. He has directed more than 30 productions in English and Spanish, including performances at theaters and festivals in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, and Israel.

The Latin American Theater Series is a collaboration between the Yale MacMillan Center’s Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies and the Yale Department of Spanish and Portuguese, with the support of a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The project aims to demonstrate the relevance of the Latin American theatrical tradition by staging plays produced on campus and by inviting theater groups, theater critics, playwrights, and performers from Latin American countries to give presentations and performances.