SEASON 31 | May 2019
Written and Performed by Jesus I. Valles
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
Presented by The VORTEX
With a single phrase, you can give up your country. With a single signature, you can tear a family apart. With a single word, you can learn to transform. In his first full-length solo show, (Un)Documents, award-winning actor and poet Jesus I. Valles journeys across both sides of a river with two names, moving between languages to find his place as a son, a lover, a teacher, and a brother in a nation that demands sacrifice at the altar of citizenship. In doing so, he creates a new kind of documentation written with anger, fierce love, and the knowledge that what makes us human can never be captured on a government questionnaire. Directed by Rudy Ramirez.
(Un)Documents roared onto The VORTEX stage in August 2018 as the flagship performance of FUTURX, a festival of new and avant-garde LatinX performance designed to explore the many permutations and intersections of LatinX identity in the 21st Century and beyond.
Jesus I. Valles won B. Iden Payne Awards for Outstanding Original Script and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama. Rudy Ramirez won the B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Direction of a Drama. The production also was named #2 on Robert Faires’ Top Ten Treasures of Theatre of 2018 in The Austin Chronicle.
About the Artist
Jesus I. Valles is a Mexican educator, storyteller, and theatre-maker based in Austin, Texas. Jesus is a recipient of the 2018 Undocupoets Fellowship, a 2018 Tin House scholar, the 2017 Button Poetry chapbook contest runner-up, and was a finalist for the Write Bloody 2016 poetry contest. Jesus holds a Master’s in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach, where they focused on studying critical race theory, performance ethnography, and qualitative research methods. Jesus' research on Latina domestic workers working in Los Angeles earned them the recognition of Dean’s Outstanding Graduate Student and was presented at both the National Communication Association and International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. As a theatre-maker, Jesus is a proud member of The VORTEX and has been featured in productions by Teatro Vivo, Lucky Chaos, Scottish Rite Theater, Heckle Her, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, and Shrewd Productions. Jesus received B. Iden Payne Awards in 2016 and 2017 for Outstanding Actor in Theatre for Youth and 2018 Payne Awards for Outstanding Original Script and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama. Jesus currently teaches social and emotional learning to high school students, focusing primarily on students recently arrived to the U.S.
(Un)Documents is funded and supported in part by Bloomberg Philanthropies, VORTEX Repertory Company, and by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department