Shelter: The Play

Una obra sobre travesías (A play about journeys)
Conceived and written by Marissa Chibas
Directed by Martin Acosta

Shelter is a movement-based theatrical performance that shares stories of the massive human crisis of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border and passing through the U.S. deportation shelter system, unraveling the painful truths of immigration. Shelter was written and conceived by Marissa Chibas and directed by Mexico City-based director Martin Acosta. It premiered in 2016 and continues in the form of theatrical presentations, civic engagements, and a documentary short film. Click here to view the Shelter production team credits.

Two versions of Shelter were created: The first was an outdoor, site-responsive version in the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Lincoln Heights. Utilizing a 20′ shipping container, the story unfolded in, on, and around the installation, evoking the experience of traveling on la bestia (the beast), the name given to the train that runs the length of Mexico, used by immigrants to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The summer of 2016 it was presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. (See the full-length video below).

The second version was created as a mobile production that could easily travel to various communities and venues, performed in or outdoors, such as theaters, community centers, conference rooms, parks, etc. Accompanying both versions is a plan for audience/civic dialogue to delve into the issues brought up by the performance.

CalArts Center for New Performance is a participant in the Global Connections–IN the LAB program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre.

Shelter was awarded an Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for community-based art projects.

Photos: Steven Gunther, CalArts

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