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No Roosters in the Desert: Theatre for Community Change

Sunday, August 19, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

SPECIAL EVENT: Join us following this matinee performance and community learning exchange for a special reception and story circle featuring the voices of immigrants and allies that shape a unique narrative. Come and engage the truth about immigrant justice through a lens of personal, human experience. Then make an informed and empowered choice about where you fit into this story.

In this riveting play – based on actual interviews by Anna Ochoa O’Leary – four women trek the desert towards the American dream. On their way they push the limits of their physical and emotional endurance, as they establish profound yet fragile connections with each other through the magical storytelling of the youngest of them, an indigenous woman from Chiapas.

This performance is open and accessible to the community and therefore FREE to the public. Any donations made will be in support of the work of Welcoming Gainesville & Alachua County and other immigrant justice work.

No Roosters in the Desert by Kara Hartzler, field work by Anna Ochoa O’Leary PhD, was commissioned by Borderlands Theater, in 2008. Hartzler, a playwright and immigration attorney for the Florence Immigration and Refugee Rights Project, used 130 interviews of women migrant border crossers conducted in 2007/08 by O’Leary. These interviews were undertaken for the purpose of studying the intersection of mass migrations from Mexico and Central America, increasingly of women, and U.S. border enforcement policies. In addition to these interviews, developed into a fictionalized framework, are indigenous stories inspired by published texts Hartzler encountered while living and working for human rights organizations in Chiapas.

Theatre for Community Change invites the Gainesville community to focus on the universality of the human experience through the presentation of plays and performances chosen to connect us around themes that celebrate the individual stories that define us as a community. Through Welcoming Gainesville’s generous sponsorship, Ignite Applied Theater presents No Roosters in the Desert written by Karen Hartzler. The play explores the internal as well as external journeys of four women who make a perilous border crossing through the Mexican/US dessert. The performance is designed to challenge the conflicting narratives around immigration and focus more on the human face of this highly charged issue.

As a closing act of each performance, we will engage in a community learning exchange intended to capture the collective reflection across each audience member so that we can connect our personal experiences to the larger narrative of immigrant justice. This exchange will be facilitated by Dr. Syraj Syed of Your Authentic Self Work. Community learning exchanges create an open space for mutual respect, appreciative inquiry and shared understanding through honest dialogue that ultimately serves to connect us across the Gainesville community and beyond.

This activity has been funded in part by a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council. For additional information or clarification contact Visit Gainesville/Alachua County ( at or at 352-374-5260.


Sunday, August 19, 2018
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Heartwood Soundstage
619 South Main St.
Gainesville, FL 32601
352 448 4849


Heartwood Booking