A Unique Look Back at 2020 Hits the Virtual Stage This Spring in Year of the Tiger


February 11, 2021

For immediate release:
Media Contact:
Megan Bommarito; 512.232.5328; megan.bommarito@austin.utexas.edu

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Year of the Tiger

Directed by Khristián Méndez Aguirre

March 5-7, 2021


Texas Theatre and Dance presents Year of the Tiger, a newly-developed work that explores our shared reality of the past year. On the eve of the anniversary of the COVID-19 global pandemic, a news anchor is preparing for a special transmission commemorating the year that has gone by when she is visited by a tiger who really wants her to get the story straight, no matter what the cost. 

Composed of interviews with workers impacted by the pandemic, viral videos, official declarations and a tiger, Year of the Tiger is a blend of fact and fiction that seeks to respond to some of the troubling and often unbelievable events of the past year. This investigation explores not only the impact of COVID-19 worldwide, but also civil unrest, police brutality and the Trump administration's war with truth. 

“The hardest but most exciting aspect of Year of the Tiger is achieving a sense of balance,” shares director Khristián Méndez Aguirre. “We’re drawing from both film and theatre; we’re drawing from documentary theatre and fiction; we’re trying to work collaboratively while remaining physically distant; we’re trying to be heard while we’re wearing face masks. At the same time, it feels like theatre has a unique set of abilities to offer to both artists and audiences right now: theatre can make room for really big emotions; it can capture how absurd life can feel; it allows us to see something as both real and artifice at the same time and it even invites us to listen.”

Khristián Méndez Aguirre is a theater-maker, arts-based researcher and scholar from Guatemala City. Recent production-direction credits include Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Mr. Burns, a post-Electric play by Anne Washburn and Mammoth: A De-extinction Love Story by Adam R. Burnett. 

The production team for Year of the Tiger includes: Michael Bruner (Interactive System Designer and Video Director), Chris Conard (Scenic Designer), Zoey Crow (Media Designer), Jason Lee Huerta (Technical Director), Khristián Méndez Aguirre (Director and Lead Playwright), Julio Muñoz (Stage Manager), Pollyanna O’Hair (Sound Designer), Lindsey Rae (Costume Designer and Cinematographer) and Bill Rios (Lighting Designer), as well as an incredible cast, including Jayla Mariah Ball (Kimberly Jones/Annie), Melissa K. Elkins (Anchor), Andrew Kusman (Tiger), Juan Padron (Carl), Montserrat Santibáñez (Laura Curran, Sally May Lancaster) and Tori Schulze (Hannah, Trump).

For more information about Year of the Tiger, please visit JoinTheDrama.org


March 5-7, 2021 – The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance presents Year of the Tiger – details available at JoinTheDrama.org.

Performance times are March 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. (CST). All ticketing for the 2020/2021 Season will be available at pay-what-you-can pricing with a minimum donation of $5.00. All performances this season will be presented virtually. Details about how to stream performances will be made available at: theatredance.utexas.edu/season-tickets/subscription-series. More information about ticketing is available at: theatredance.utexas.edu/ticketing

Texas Theatre and Dance is committed to the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and audiences. Due to the uncertain nature of our current times, all titles, dates, times and presentation details may be subject to change. 


The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance is a world-class educational environment that serves as the ultimate creative incubator for the next generation of artists, thinkers and leaders in theatre and performance.

Texas Theatre and Dance is a proud participant of The JUBILEE, a year-long, nationwide theatre festival featuring work generated by those who have traditionally been excluded – including, but not limited to artists of color, Native American and Indigenous and First Nations artists, women, non-binary and gender non-conforming artists, LGBTQIA2+ artists, Deaf artists and artists with disabilities. 


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Associate Producing Artistic Director, Alexandra Bassiakou Shaw

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