At Mass MoCA: Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas have truths to tell in this age of Trumped up lies

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 on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 8pm.

JUÁREZ: A Documentary Mythology Trailer from Theater Mitu on Vimeo.

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.

The New York-based theater company, Theater Mitu, commits to creating, developing, and presenting a theatrical work that “transliterates a wide variety of performance traditions,” incorporating installation, projection, music, movement, and documentary elements into its theater productions. Driven by a concept it calls “whole theater,” Theater Mitu presents experiences that are “rigorously visual, aural, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual all in the same moment.” The company’s work has been recognized by the Sundance Institute, among others, and following a two-week run of shows at The Los Angeles Theatre Center in California, is presented at MASS MoCA on Saturday, December 3, at 8pm.

Tickets are $5 for members and students, $12 advance, $18 day of, and $24 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at

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