New voices? Sure. New passion? Now you’re talking…

Adriana is an MFA physical/experimental theater director/visual artist, actor, hired ninja killer. As far as I’m concerned, she represents the future of theater. But that’s how we roll.

We asked Adriana to direct this months reading. No one has looked back since.



Death and Snacks

Mourning and snack cakes, in that order please.


Here’s Adriana:


Me, direct a staged reading?!

For A Public Fit? You mean me?  Wow!

Let me think about this.

What?!  Wow!  Wait, wait, wait.  Am I ready?

I have not directed anything in Vegas yet.

“Take a week and think about it,” says Ann Marie.

Ok.  A week.  A week to wallow in my thoughts?!  Oh god, the agony. Ok. I’ll think about it.

I took a week to sit with the fears, the I-don’t-know-how-to-do-this thoughts, the that-other-person-would-do-a-better-job-than-me thoughts, the I’m-going-to-make-a-fool-of-myself-in-front-of-the-theatre-community thoughts, the I-need-more-training thoughts.


I was exhausted by the spinning and dread. But then I settled down, took a deep breath and re-read the play. A story based on the true disappearances and murders of young girls in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico?  A character called La Santa Muerte?  The protagonist is a female?  Elements of magical realism? More roles for Latinx actors?

Yes!  Sign me up!  I need to be a part of this project in any capacity!

It’s so good. Great characters, poignant, necessary, supernatural, Latinx. To top it all off, I looked on my image/vision board –the one I started last year and pasted various images and quotes about theatre and multidisciplinary pieces I wanted to devise.  Under “Topics”  there is written “The Femicides in Cuidad Juarez.”


Is this a sign or what?!  I had forgotten that I had written that a while back. This is the kind of project I’ve been looking for!  Ready or not, it’s happening. The universe is bringing it to me.  And if I learned anything in grad school, (and I learned a lot of things in grad school about devising theatre in ensemble and about being an actor-creator), it was to dive into the abyss head first.

Effort, Risk, Momentum, Joy.

That was ingrained in me now.  I have the tools, I have the passion, I have the support.  Let’s do this!  I don’t have to have all the answers.  That’s what having an ensemble is for.  The cast and I are going to discover the answers together!

This cast.

This cast has been a major motivator.  Every single one of them is bringing something so powerful.  They are equally as passionate, committed, empathetic and hungry to tell this story.  They are working so hard.  It’s beautiful and inspiring to witness and to be a part of. The rehearsal room is filled with discussions about characters, discoveries that give them chills, questions that make them want to dig deeper, and most importantly there is laughter and joy in the space. What more could I want?  And almost everyone in the room is Latinx!  We can speak in Spanglish and we understand it!  And there is something UNspoken that we get about each other too, I think.

At least that’s how I feel.  And on breaks or when we are chatting, we understand the references to El Chavo del Ocho, Tajin, Juana la Cubana, Cholas, El Diablo, Catholicism. It kind of feels like




So, here we are, in the thick of it.  About to open in a week.  So many unanswered questions, so much work to keep mining. And we may not get there by Friday, but we ARE going to get somewhere close to it. I trust in this cast and crew. They want it.  And to think I came so close to saying NO to directing this project.

I’m glad I went with my gut, dove in and said Yes because the journey thus far has been amazing. I’ve learned so much.  The learning does not stop.  And to be real, the I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing fears have not gone away.  What’s different is that I don’t feel alone.  I’ve got a great cast of actors rising to the challenge with me.

Adriana Chavez

September, 2019



2 replies
  1. John Bernstein
    John Bernstein says:

    Great article. I came up in the experimental theatre scene of the early 70’s in New York and the East Village. My stomping ground was La Mama ETC and the Wooster Group and was trained in the Grotowski physical discipline. I am glad that there are experimental theatre artists emerging in Las Vegas.

  2. Lisa Chapman
    Lisa Chapman says:

    Domestic and sexual violence is the focus of my everyday job. This is just an important conversation we need to have in our communities. Your enthusiasm and excitement for this project just radiates from your words. I can’t wait to see this reading.


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