A man departs for the US-Mexican border and vanishes before reaching his destination: Amarillo, Texas. Through stunning projected images, bilingual monologues and a sea of displaced objects and natural elements, this renowned company reconstructs his journey in a multimedia performance that travels imagined landscapes of both geography and cultural identity. The absent man takes on multiple faces and names as he comes to symbolize the thousands of disillusioned travelers who have suffered a similar fate. Amarillo touches on the complex nature of individual and national identity in a time of exodus—both for those who leave and those who are left behind.
Length: 60 minutes without intermission
9 artistic staff and tech
Tech rider available upon request
The group Teatro Línea de Sombra under the direction of Jorge A. Vargas and Alicia Laguna and belongs to a new generation of independent Mexican theatermakers, who have managed to establish themselves beyond the state theater system in their country and to also have a presence on the international scene. The company was founded in 1993 by actors, directors, and set designers. They work in cross-genres and develop their pieces in collective creative processes. In most of their works Teatro Línea de Sombra deals in a critical manner with the social and political reality in Mexico. The group participates in the organization of the TRANSVERSALES festival, which takes place every year in alternating cities in Mexico and has the goals of offering a platform for contemporary Mexican theater and of creating interconnections with artists from other nations.
The ensemble members of TLS are rooted in political theater and collaborative process. Their projects are characteristically modular and use visceral imagery, evocative soundscapes and semi-autobiographical fictional writing. In decades past, many important border plays opted for realistic or documentary approaches in pursuit of the universal. TLS has shaped a new dramaturgy that deploys highly visual method and casts attention on the untold and varied effects on the individual involved in migration restrictions and detainments.
Jorge Arturo Vargas, Artistic Director
Vargasis the artistic director of Teatro Línea de Sombra (since its inception in 1993. He has a degree in theater from Juárez University of Durango and University of Mexico. In the mid 1980s he studied under Jerzy Grotowski at École de Mime Corporel Dramatique, in Paris, which led to his first work, Galería de Moribundos (Gallery of dying men), that established Vargas’ in physical and visual theater. He subsequently trained with the International Theatre School for Latin America and the Caribbean in Havana, Cuba (1990), and Tlaxcala, Mexico (1994.) Until 2010, he alternated between devising experimental theater and directing plays written by authors such as Roland Schimmelpfenning, Jon Fosse, Anthony Neilson, Neil LaButte and Lars Noren. The Association of Theater Writers and Critics (UCCCT) twice recognized Vargas and Teatro Línea de Sombra (TLS) with Best Theatre Group in the Provinces (1982, 1991), and Vargas with two awards for Best Research Theatre Director (2001, 2005). Their work tour throughout Mexico and have toured to major festivals and theaters in France, Argentina, the US, Canada, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Finland, Russia, Korea, Slovenia, and Macedonia.
Amarillo, the hallmark work by Vargas with TLS, received the Latin ACE Award for Best Foreign Production in New York, in 2012; and the Audience Award for the Best Performance of the 21st Exponto International Performing Arts Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The Universal Forum of Cultures Monterrey commissioned Vargas to create and direct The Forge of the World, a large-scale performance piece inside Oven 3 of Fundidora Park in Monterrey. More than a million spectators attended its 80 performances. Vargas is artistic co-director of the International Encounter of Contemporary Scene, Transversales (Transversals), since 1998 and belongs to the National System of Art Creators since 2001. He has taught for more than thirty years in various cultural, private and independent institutions and has taught workshops in and outside the country. His latest projects are: “Carnaval de Abandonados” (Carnival of the deserted ones): a laboratory, ethnography and dramatic happening about impulsiveness, the ephemeral and the festivities. This research began in 2015 in communities subjected to exclusion and marginalization. It is a trans-disciplinary project coordinated by the anthropologist Rodrigo Parrini and collectively directed by Eduardo Bernal, Alfadir Luna and Jorge Vargas, and, “Amarillo en la ruta migrante”, (Yellow on the migrant route) a communal artistic intervention which takes place in the migrant shelters located on the cities of Tenosique, Amatlán de los Reyes, Ixtepec and soon in Saltillo, Coahuila. The company has integrated a multidisciplinary group of collaborators including visual artists, musicians, set designers, academics, sociologists and journalists. Although the creative work is mainly related with the field of theatre, the company has an educational program of contemporary performing arts and produces an annual international theater festival (12 editions) called Transversales, Encuentro Internacional de Escena Contemporánea, an international conference for artistic exchange about trends in the field.