Meet The Women Of Steppenwolf's LA RUTA

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Meet The Women Of Steppenwolf's LA RUTAThis December, Steppenwolf Theatre Company is proud to present the world premiere production of La Ruta by acclaimed Chicago playwright Isaac Gomez, directed by ensemble member Sandra Marquez. Featuring ensemble member Karen Rodriguez along with an eight-member all female Latinx cast, La Ruta is 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 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) go on sale this Friday, October 19 at 11am 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.

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."

Meet The Cast

The La Ruta cast features ensemble member Karen Rodriguez (Ivonne) with Charin Alvarez (Marisela); Cher Alvarez (Brenda); Laura Crotte (Desamaya); Sandra Delgado (Yoli); Mari Marroquin (Zaide); and Alice da Cunha and Isabella Gerasole (Women of Juarez).

Charin Alvarez (Marisela) theatre credits include: Lettie, Mojada, Oedipus El Rey, Anna in the Tropics, A Park in the House (Victory Gardens Theatre); The Scene (Writer's Theatre); 2666, Pedro Paramo, El Nogalar, Dollhouse & Electricidad (Goodman Theatre); In the time of the Butterflies, Our Lady of the Underpass, I put the fear of Mexico in 'em, Dreamlandia, Another Part of the House (Teatro Vista); Water by the Spoonful (Court Theatre); and The Clean House (Remy Bumppo Theatre), among others. Film/TV credits include: Easy, Shameless, Chicago Fire, Mob Doctor, Boss, Chicago Code, Approach Alone, Rooftop Wars, Arc of a Bird, Were the World Mine, Chicago Overcoat, First and Only Lesson, Eric's Haircut, Dogwalker, Signature Move, En Algun Lugar, Princess Cyd, Single File, Teacher and Hala.

CHER ALVAREZ (Brenda) makes her debut at Steppenwolf and holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts. Theater credits include Our Town (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); As You Like It, Measure for Measure, Pericles, Prince of Tyre and A Midsummer Night's Dream (American Player's Theatre). Ademi, mis pollitos gracias por tu apoyo y amor.

Laura Crotte (Musician) also makes her Steppenwolf debut. Chicago credits include Yasmina´s Necklace, Pedro Páramo, The Sins of Sor Juana, Mariela in the Desert, Electricidad (Goodman Theatre); Into the Beautiful North, Yasmina´s Necklace (16th Street Theater); Blind Mouth Singing , Another Part of the House, The Sins of Sor Juana (Teatrovista); Esperanza Rising (Chicago Children´s Theatre); La Casa de Bernarnda Alba (Aguijon Theater); and her production of Blood Wedding (Goodman´s Latino Theater Festival).Film credits: Maydays, Out of Love, Alquimia and La cita de Bardini.

ALICE DA CUNHA (Woman of Juarez) Chicago credits include: United Flight 232 (The House Theatre-Jeff Award for Best Production and Best Ensemble); Tug of War (Circa Pintig); Veteran Voices (Erasing the Distance); The Clean House (Remy Bumppo); and Please Say Yes (Redtwist). London credits include: This Much is True (Theatre 503); Closing Time (Soho Theatre) and The Illegals (City Hall). Film Credits: The Iron Lady, Outpost: Black Sun. She is Co-Artistic Director of Physical Festival and Artistic Consultant for Theater Unspeakable.

Sandra Delgado (Yoli) returns to Steppenwolf after last appearing in her smash hit La Havana Madrid, produced by Teatro Vista in the 1700 Theatre. Steppenwolf credits include Motherf*cker With the Hat, Sonia Flew, and House on Mango Street as well as her storytelling series Saints and Sinners for Steppenwolf's LookOut Series. Other acting highlights include Oedipus El Rey (Public Theater), 2666 (Goodman Theatre), Mojada (Victory Gardens). TV credits: Law and Order:SVU, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, Betrayal and Mind Games. Delgado is an ensemble member of Collaboraction and Teatro Vista. She is currently developing her new play Felons and Familias and is one of the 20 women of Chicago arts and culture featured on featured on Kerry James Marshall's mural RUSHMORE.

ISABELLA GERASOLE (Women of Juarez) is a graduate of Northwestern University, and her recent credits include the 9th Annual 1 Minute Play Festival (the Den Theatre), Lucky: A Musical (Second City), and The Burn (Steppenwolf, Understudy). She can also be seen in Snugglr, a new pilot from Conde Nast and Indigenous Media now available online as well as in the web series of the same name that premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2018. She is a company member at Barrel of Monkeys.

Mari Marroquin (Zaide) returns to Steppenwolf where she was last seen in House on Mango Street. Other credits include: Motherhood the Musical (Royal George) and The Comedy of Errors (Chicago Shakespeare). She is a proud company member at Barrel of Monkeys and has a degree in Music from Simpson College.

Karen Rodriguez (Ivonne)is a Steppenwolf ensemble member and she was last seen in The Doppelganger (an international farce) and The Rembrandt. She recently appeared in the world premiere of Breach by Antoinette Nwandu at Victory Gardens Theater and in the critically acclaimed solo show The Way She Spoke by Isaac Gomez at Greenhouse Theater Center. Other Chicago credits include The Displaced (Haven Theater); Hookman (Steep Theatre); Blue Skies Process, Another Word for Beauty (Goodman Theatre); good friday (Oracle, Jeff nomination for Best Ensemble); Don Chipotle (The Storefront Theater); Graveyard of Empires, Our Holiday Stories (16th Street Theater); Romeo and Juliet (Teatro Vista). Television credits include Chicago Justice. Ms. Rodriguez is a 2017 recipient of the Make a Wave 3Arts Award.


ISAAC GOMEZ is a Chicago-based playwright, originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His plays include La Ruta (developed at Steppenwolf Theatre, Primary Stages, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, and Pivot Arts); Wally World (Sideshow Theater Company); The Way She Spoke: A docu-mythologia (Greenhouse Theater Center, 2016; The VORTEX, 2018); and The Displaced (Haven Theatre, 2018); among others. He is the recipient of the 2017 Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award at Primary Stages, an inaugural 3Arts "Make A Wave" grantee, an Elizabeth George Commissioned Playwright at South Coast Repertory, a 2017-18 Goodman Theatre's Playwrights Unit member, Co-Creative Director at the Alliance of Latinx Theatre, a Chicago Dramatists Resident Playwright, an Artistic Associate with Victory Gardens Theater, Ensemble Member with Teatro Vista, Artistic Associate with Pivot Arts, a steering committee member of the Latinx Theatre Commons, and Professional Lecturer at The Theatre School at DePaul University.


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).

Ticket and Production Info

Dates: December 13, 2018 - January 27, 2019

Previews: December 13 - 19, 2018

Press Performances: Thursday, December 20 at 7pm and Friday, December 21 at 7:30pm

Opening: Thursday, December 20, 2018 at 7pm

Regular Run: December 21, 2018 - January 27, 2019

Accessible Performances:

American Sign Language Interpretation: Sunday, January 6 at 7:30pm

Open Captioning: Thursday, January 10 at 7:30pm and Saturday, January 26 at 3pm

Audio Description and Touch Tour: Sunday, January 13 at 1:30pm

Curtain Times: Tuesday - Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm and 7:30pm

Ticket prices:

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 including the LookOut Series. The tickets are valid for one year 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

For tickets or more information, contact Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at 312-335-1650 or

Visitor Information
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ($12 or $14, cash or card) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($14 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12noon before Wednesday matinees. Limited street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at 312.335.1774.

Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance and the Downstairs and 1700 Theatres are each equipped with an induction hearing loop. All theaters feature wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, and Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.

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