For his world premiere of “La Ruta” at the Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago based playwright Isaac Gomez has commandeered a bus transporting “maquila” workers to and from their jobs in Juarez, pointing its headlights into the vast darkness. It exposes the despair and anguish of the mothers and sisters of an estimated 1,400 women kidnapped, used as sex slaves, murdered and disposed of like trash in the Mexican desert.
According to Gomez this is a story that has been systematically silenced through intimidation and adherence to a Latin American culture of toxic masculinity, or “machista.”
Based on a true story and directed by Sandra Marquez, “La Ruta” is performed by an all Latinx cast of eight that centers around the few days leading up to and the nearly three years following the disappearance of Brenda (Cher Alvarez).
Gomez is careful to point out in the program notes that this is not a docu-drama but rather a “creative re-imagining.”