2020/2021 season graphic with female dancer

La Ruta

By Isaac Gómez

Directed by Anna Skidis Vargas 

The heartbreaking story of a border town, a bus route and the women of Ciudad Juárez who are disappearing. Inspired by real testimonies from women affected by the ongoing femicides along the border, Isaac Gómez’s La Ruta weaves together beautiful storytelling and music in a celebration of the resilience of Mexican women in the wake of tremendous loss.

For at least two decades, the women of Juárez, known as “the capital of murdered women,” have been disappearing along the bus route to and from the U.S.-owned maquiladoras where they work. Despite the dangers, the promise of opportunity and paid jobs forces them to make the trip along la ruta as they struggle to support their families. The play shifts back and forth through time following the story of two mothers, Yolanda and Marisela, as they fight to uncover the truth about their missing daughters.

Contains mature content and discussion of violence against women. 


Performances of La Ruta will be live streamed the weekend of October 23-24, 2020. Additional details will be available in the coming weeks regarding performance times, ticketing information and instructions to view the virtual event. 


Isaac Gómez is an award-winning Chicago-based playwright originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance in 2013 with a B.A. in Theatre and Dance. His adaptation of Erika L. Sánchez's award-winning novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter had it's world premiere with a Steppenwolf for Young Adults production in February 2020; his play La Ruta received its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theater Company in December of 2018; and his play the way she spoke received its Off-Broadway premiere at the Minetta Lane Theatre (produced by Audible) in Summer 2019. He is currently under commission from South Coast Repertory, Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Steep Theatre. His plays have been supported by Steppenwolf Theater Company, Denver Center, Primary Stages, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Goodman Theatre, among others. He is the recipient of the 2018 Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award, the 2017 Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award at Primary Stages, is an inaugural 3Arts “Make A Wave” grantee and holds various affiliations with artistic organizations nationally and locally. He is a Professional Lecturer at The Theatre School at DePaul University and is represented by The Gersh Agency and Circle of Confusion.


Anna Skidis Vargas is a director and play-maker who subverts stereotypes through myth, spirituality and humor. She works primarily in devising and developing new work, with a focus on Latinx and mixed identity stories. She is the founder of Theatre Nuevo in Saint Louis, where she produced and directed This is Not Funny, Orgullo, Acronyms, HELL and Luchadora! Skidis Vargas holds a B.A. in Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and is a current M.F.A. in Directing candidate at The University of Texas at Austin where she has directed Spring Awakening, Lloronx, A Fistful of Trespassing and 30 Floods. skidisvargas.com

The world premiere of La Ruta was produced and presented at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago, IL;
Anna D. Shapiro, Artistic Director and David Schmitz, Executive Director 

This project was developed with support from the Pivot Arts Incubator Program at Loyala University Chicago.

Titles, dates, artists and venues are subject to change. 

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