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Announcing LA RUTA Audience Engagement Series

Announcing LA RUTA Audience Engagement Series

In conjunction with the world premiere of La Ruta by acclaimed Chicago-based playwright Isaac Gomez and directed by ensemble member Sandra Marquez, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has curated an event series of conversations and performances designed to enrich the experience around the world of the play. Inspired by the lives of Mexican women who live, work-and disappear-along a Ciudad Juárez bus route, La Ruta weaves live music through a story of resilience in the wake of loss.

La Ruta runs December 13, 2018 - January 27, 2019 in the Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St.

La Ruta Engagement Series Lineup

Every Sunday in January, join Steppenwolf for conversations and performances designed to enrich your experience around La Ruta. On Fridays and select Saturdays during the run of La Ruta, stop by Front Bar for a pre-show cocktail and a live DJ (Dec 21, 28, Jan 4, 11, 18, 19, 25, and 26).

Sunday, January 6

A conversation with playwright Isaac Gomez and director Sandra Marquez

Immediately following the 3pm matinee performance

Upstairs Theatre


Sunday, January 13

Expert Panel on Femicide and Violence Against Women

Special matinee post show discussion on global femicide and violence against women, with a panel of experts including scholars, activists and community organization leaders.

Panelists include: Xóchitl Bada from UIC; Summar Ghias from the Salvation Army STOP-IT Initiative Against Human Trafficking; Mónica Russel y Rodríguez from Northwestern; Linda Tortolero from Mujeres Latinas En Accion

Moderated by Adriana Díaz
Immediately following the 3pm matinee performance

Upstairs Theatre


Sunday, January 20

The Way She Spoke Staged Reading

by Isaac Gomez

La Ruta's companion piece, this solo show by Isaac Gomez was created for and performed by La Ruta actress and ensemble member Karen Rodriguez.

When an actress enters an empty warehouse to read a new play about the missing and murdered women of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, she embarks on an expedition through the broken roads of a city offering far more questions than answers. The work pulls from hundreds of interviews collected down a rabbit hole of drug cartels, ex-convicts, unsavory reporters and others.


1700 Theatre


Sunday, January 27

ALTA presents Noche Victoria: Revival

The Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists of Chicago presents an evening of performances, poetry, music, and more honoring Mexicana lives capturing our mujeres' resilience and survival. Curated by Nancy Garcia Loza and La Ruta playwright Isaac Gomez.


1700 Theatre


La Ruta by Isaac Gomez (December 13, 2018 - January 27, 2019)

Steppenwolf presents the world premiere production of La Ruta by award-winning playwright Isaac Gomez and directed by ensemble member Sandra Marquez. The La Ruta cast features ensemble member Karen Rodriguez (Ivonne) with Charín Alvarez (Marisela); Cher Álvarez (Brenda); Laura Crotte (Desamaya); Sandra Delgado (Yoli); Mari Marroquin (Zaide); and Alice da Cunha and Isabella Gerasole (Women of Juarez).

La Ruta begins previews December 13, 2018 and the production runs through January 27, 2019 in the Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Press performances are Thursday, December 20, 2018 at 7pm and Friday, December 21 at 7:30pm; opening night is Thursday, December 20. Single tickets ($20-$89) are on sale now through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or

To the U.S.-owned factories in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, La Ruta is just a bus. But to the women who live, work and often disappear along the route, it's so much more than that. Inspired by real testimonies, and using live music to evoke factory work and protest marches, La Ruta is a visceral unearthing of secrets buried in the desert and a celebration of the Mexican women who stand resiliently in the wake of loss.

Isaac Gomez is a Chicago-based playwright, originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. An important work from a powerful young voice, Steppenwolf is proud to feature the world premiere of La Ruta with ensemble member Sandra Marquez in her Steppenwolf directing debut and an all-female cast of Chicago's most dynamic Latinx artists.

Playwright Isaac Gomez shares, "Every single woman in this play is based on a real person. And although some names have been changed for their protection, the violence they face and their resilience have not. I made a promise to these women that their stories would be heard by as many people as humanly possible, and through this world premiere at Steppenwolf, we are one step closer to keeping that promise -- to bear witness and carry their stories forward. As a queer Mexicano from the border, I owe my entire existence to Mexican women. This play is for them. Para todas. Para siempre."

Isaac Gomez is an award-winning Chicago-based playwright originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His play La Ruta will be receiving its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theater Company this Fall. His one-woman show the way she spoke will be receiving its Off-Broadway premiere at the Minetta Lane Theatre (produced by Audible) in Spring 2019. He is currently under commission from South Coast Repertory, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Goodman Theatre, Writers Theater, The Theatre School at DePaul University (Cunningham Commission for Youth Theater), Steep Theatre, and StepUp Chicago Playwrights. His plays have been supported by Steppenwolf Theater Company, Primary Stages, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Northlight Theatre, Albany Park Theater Project, WaterTower Theater, Haven Theater, Teatro Vista, Greenhouse Theater Center, Jackalope Theater Company, Pivot Arts, Definition Theater Company, Broken Nose Theater, Stage Left, The VORTEX, and Something Marvelous. He is the recipient of the 2018 Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award, the 2017 Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award at Primary Stages, an inaugural 3Arts "Make A Wave" grantee, Co-Creative Director at the Alliance of Latinx Theatre, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, an Artistic Associate with Victory Gardens Theater, Ensemble Member with Teatro Vista, Artistic Associate with Pivot Arts, an advisory committee member of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) and a core producer with the Jubilee. He is a Professional Lecturer at The Theatre School at DePaul University, and is represented by The Gersh Agency and Circle of Confusion.

Sandra Marquez joined the Steppenwolf ensemble in spring 2016 and most recently appeared in The Roommate last summer and will star in A Doll's House, Part 2 this January. Other Steppenwolf credits include Mary Page Marlowe, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, A Streetcar Named Desire, Sonia Flew, One Arm and an SYA show. At Teatro Vista, where she is a longtime company member, she directed Fade, My Mañana Comes, Breakfast Lunch & Dinner and Our Lady of the Underpass and has acted in numerous productions, including A View from the Bridge for which she received a Jeff Award. She completed a three-year arc playing Clytemnestra in what was billed as Court Theater's Iphigenia Cycle (Iphigenia at Aulis, Electra and Agamemnon). Film and television credits include Boss, Empire, Chicago Med, Chicago Justice and Timer. Marquez is on the theater faculty at Northwestern University.

La Ruta production team includes Regina García (scenic design), Christine Pascual (costume design), Jesse Klug (lighting design), Mikhail Fiksel (sound design), Rasean Davonte Johnson (projection design), Zacbe Pichardo (musical direction), Andra Velis Simon (vocal direction), Polly Hubbard (dramaturg), Gaby Labotka (fight choreographer) and Gigi Buffington (company voice & text coach). Additional credits include Christine Freeburg (stage manager), Amanda Landis (assistant stage manager), JC Clementz (casting director) and Greta Honold and Patrick Zakem (artistic producers).

Previews: $20 - $76, Regular Run: $20 - $89. Prices subject to change

20 for $20: Twenty $20 tickets are available for subscription shows on the day of the performance at 11am (Mon - Sat) and 1pm (Sun), by phone only at 312-335-1650. Limit 2 per person.

Rush Tickets: Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show.

Student Discounts: Limited $15 student tickets are available online. (Limit 2 tickets. Must present a valid student ID for each ticket).

Group Tickets: All groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance.

Black Card Memberships are for audiences interested in extreme flexibility. Cards include six tickets for use any time, for any production. The tickets are valid for one year at time of purchase with the option to add additional tickets as needed. Perks include easy and free exchanges, access to seats before the general public, savings on single ticket prices and bar and restaurant discounts for pre- and post-show socializing. Red Card Memberships are available for theatergoers under 30. More info at

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