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Yadira De La Riva

One Journey: Stitching Stories Across the Mexican “American” Border

Written and Performed by Yadira De La Riva

Multi-Media Design by Kenji Calderon-Miyamoto

Music Contributions by FUGA – www.myspace.com/fuguista

I began writing for theater in a creative effort to understand my identity as an American from the U.S./Mexico borderland of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Living on the margins of the United States and Mexico, I often felt ignored or completely overlooked by mainstream media in both countries. What did it mean for me to live in a small community divided by a fence that separated my family by nationality, and for us to compromise our cultural heritages depending on what side of the border we were on and for our bi-national lifestyles to be directly impacted by border enforcement everyday? Theater has provided the vehicle for me to address U.S./Mexico border identity and issues such as immigration, labor, femicide (mass killing of women) and the recent war on drugs. These issues have impacted my community for generations and continue to inform the artist I am today. In the lack of women’s voices like mine, I am inspired to represent these marginalized American stories and to use the stage to universalize our personal experiences in the larger global context.

One Journey: Stitching Stories Across the Mexican “American” Border began as an idea, a seed planted in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, nourished in the Bay Area, California and harvested in New York City. After ten years of digging for my history through insightful family and community interviews, I was determined to transform the richness of their stories into a dramatic interpretation that became this one-woman show. One Journey had its world premier in 2010 with an independently produced collaborative project entitled Emerging Identities: Bodies on the Line. Since then I have had the privilege of perform One Journey in different theaters, community centers and universities throughout the United States to raise awareness of the socio-political realities of border life. My vision is to reach international audiences, promote women’s stories and question the meaning of borders in today’s world through the lens of theater.

Yadira De La Riva