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refuge show title art

Midwest Premiere

October 7 – November 13, 2022
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A play with music co-created by Satya Jnani Chávez & Andrew Rosendorf with translations by Mari Meza-Burgos.


Refuge weaves passionate and driving original music with the charm of artistic puppetry to share a bilingual tale of determination, grit, and hope. Magical realism allows this multidisciplinary play to tackle the immigration crisis through a beautiful, unique lens. Chronicling the harrowing journey of one young Honduran girl as she crosses the US border into the inhospitable, barren land of Texas, Refuge is an exploration of empathy and of America – who we are and who we say we are.

Refuge was commissioned and developed by Curious Theatre Company and received its World Premiere production this past Spring.

Refuge is partially supported by a grant from the Evanston Arts Council, a city agency supported by the City of Evanston, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.

Please note the November 5 performance of Refuge is intended to invite the Latine communities of the Chicagoland area to experience the show together. Code COMUNIDAD will unlock $10 tickets.

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Photo credit Jay Towns Photography

Refuge Programprograma en español

Production Team

Co-Director/Music Director – Satya Jnani Chávez

(she/they; Co-Creator, Co-Director & Music Director) THEO: Debut. Satya is an Indigenous Mexican-American, queer, Chicago based multidisciplinary artist. Their compositional work includes: Refuge (Curious Theatre, Theo, Unicorn Theatre, Theatre Lab FAU), which has received an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, a Venturous Theater Fund Grant, a MAP Fund Grant, and an NNPN rolling world premiere, co-created with Andrew Rosendorf; an original score for the Drama League nominated Where Did We Sit on the Bus? by Brian Quijada (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center); and musical compositions for Late, A Cowboy Song (Wirtz Center); Hamlet and Ophelia (The Artistic Home); Empanada (The Public SA); Life on Paper (Jackalope Theatre Company); and Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night (Colorado Shakespeare Festival). REGIONAL: American Mariachi (Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, South Coast Repertory, Arizona Theatre Company); Undesirables (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center); A Christmas Carol, Evocation to Visible Appearance (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Othello, Twelfth Night (Colorado Shakespeare Festival); Undesirables, Ghost Of Lote Bravo, Shoe (John F. Kennedy Center); Black Elk Speaks, Arabian Nights (Aurora Fox); and Jesus Christ Superstar (Arvada Center). Proudly represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.

IG:@satyachachachale |

Co-Creator – Andrew Rosendorf

(he/him, Co-Creator) Andrew’s work has been produced or developed at La Jolla, MCC, KC Rep, Signature Theatre, National New Play Network, American Theater Company, Nashville Rep, City Theatre, Geva Theatre, Actor’s Express, Curious Theatre, and Local Theater Company. He is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, a Venturous Theater Fund Grant, and a MAP Fund Grant for Refuge, co-created with Satya Jnani Chávez. He is an alum of the Goodman’s Playwrights Unit, NNPN’s Playwright-in-Residence program, the Ingram New Works program, terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, and has been a SPACE on Ryder Farm, Tofte Lake Center, VCCA, and MacDowell Colony Fellow. He was a previous McKnight and Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center. He is a current Core Writer with the Playwrights’ Center and an Associate Artist with Local Theater Company. He is currently in development on a television pilot with Amblin at Peacock.

Co-Director – Valen-Marie Santos

 (she/her, Co-Director) THEO: Debut. A Chicago-based writer, director, and actor originally from South Florida, Valen-Marie is thrilled to be making her Chicago directing debut at Theo Ubique alongside the incredible Satya Chávez. Through her work, Valen- Marie spotlights young people, women, family, and the Latine identity within the US. Her theatrical directing credits include Hookman by Lauren Yee and “we are no longer accepting your feedback.”, an interactive, multi-media radical feminist experience in the form of a website. She also is the co-director and co-creator of “Using Protection,” a four-episode comedic web series that premiered at the 2022 SeriesFest in Denver. Valen-Marie would like to give a big thank you to Theo and the Refuge team for allowing her to work on this incredible and important story.

Scenic Designer – Jose Alexander

(he/they, Scenic Designer) THEO: Debut. Jose is super excited to be part of the Midwest premiere of Refuge! Making his professional design debut, they are honored to be part of this wonderful team.

Lighting Designer – Trey Brazeal

(he/him, Lighting Designer) Theo: Debut. Chicago/Regional: Much Ado About Nothing & Fences (Olney Theatre Center); The Last 5 Years (Third Avenue Playworks); Moulin Rouge! (2nd Ass’t, National Tour); Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster (Manual Cinema); This Wide Night (Shattered Globe & Interrobang); Little Shop of Horrors & My Way: A Frank Sinatra Tribute (Metropolis Performing Arts Center).

Properties Designer – Lonnae Hickman

(she/her, Season Props Designer) Theo: Godspell. Chicago/Regional: American Players, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Urban Theatre Company, Theatre Wit, and Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Lonnae grew up in Milwaukee but has adopted Chicago as her new home after graduating from DePaul’s Theatre School with a double major in Theatre and History. She’s passionate about finding stories that not only need to be told but have slipped through the cracks of the theatre world.

Costume Designer – Jazmin Aurora Medina

(she/her/ella, Costume Designer) Theo: 8-Track. Current: Where Did We Sit on the Bus? (Milwaukee Chamber), Mole Hill Stories (Children’s Theater of Madison), The How & The Why (Renaissance Theaterworks), and Carmela Full of Wishes (Chicago Children’s Theatre/Seattle Children’s Theatre & First Stage Children’s Theater). Previously, Jazmin also had the honor of being selected as one of thirty-four young emerging costume designers for the 2019 Prague Quadrennial, where her work on Eurydice (UW-Milwaukee at Waukesha) was featured in the US exhibition. Jazmin is a queer Chicana creative, born and bred in Milwaukee, and she couldn’t be more grateful & thrilled to be a part of this team! Jazmin wouldn’t be here without the support of her incredible family, friends and community, and would like to continually honor them through her work. 

IG: @jazminnauroraa |

Translations – Mari Meza-Burgos

(she/her, Translations) An actor, singer and musician from Colorado, Mari has spent most of her life performing traditional Mexican Mariachi music and is currently the lead vocalist and vihuela player for the female Mariachi, Las Dahlias. Theatre credits include Su Teatro, Curious Theatre Company, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival Violence and Prevention program and a multilingual version of The Glass Menagerie in Egypt. Mari holds a BA in Music from Metropolitan State University of Denver and an MFA in Theatre, Contemporary Performance, from Naropa University. She is passionate about extending her knowledge of Mariachi music to youth by providing private lessons in voice and vihuela, and serving on the board of directors for Colorado Youth Mariachi Program.

Original Puppet Designer – Adolfo Romero

(he/him, Original Puppet Designer, on loan from Curious Theatre Company) Adolfo is a multifaceted artist from Chile (visual artist, musician, poet and cultural arts project developer). Currently, residing in Denver, Colorado, he is active in the local art and music community. His visual works include a series of mediums that are always searching for symbolic relationships between the human psyche, and its origins in the social world and history. In just 7 years of living in Colorado, he has positioned himself as one of the most outstanding emerging Latin artists. He has exhibited at the Denver Museum of Arts on several occasions and has also created several murals and other art pieces for the Santa Fe Arts District of Denver. You can find his artwork as part of Children’s Museum Marsico Campus Denver. One aspect of his work is puppetry, collaborating with some projects for carnivals in Chile and Colorado. 

Sound Designer – Stefanie Senior

(she/her, Season Sound Designer) Theo: 8-Track and Godspell. Chicago: Somewhere Over the Border & Enough to Let the Light In (Teatro Vista); Wellesley Girl (Compass Theatre); and Whose Body (Lifeline). Regional: Ada and the Engine (Cardinal Stage); Working and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (Depot Theatre); The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey and Topdog/Underdog (Lake Dillon Theatre Company). She also works on the podcast I’ve Been Meaning to Listen to That.

Stage Manager – Peyton Cooper

(she/her, Stage Manager) Theo: Debut. Peyton is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she majored in Theatre with a concentration in Stage Management. Peyton has previously worked with The House Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, and the Sterling Renaissance Festival. Peyton would like to thank her family for all the support they’ve given. “Enjoy the show!”

Assistant Stage Manager - Olive Haugh

(they/them, Asst. Stage Manager) Theo: Debut. A British-American stage manager based in Chicago, they graduated from Northwestern University with degrees in Music Composition and Theatre in 2022 before working as a stage manager at Drunk Shakespeare Chicago. Olive is very excited to be making their debut at Theo with Refuge.

Production Manager – Molly Smith

(they/them, Production Manager) Theo: Asst. Stage Manager on Godspell and current Director of Production. An arts manager and dancemaker originally from Charlotte, NC; Smith has a BS in Dance & Arts Management from OCU and has been a company member of Chicago Tap Theatre since 2018. Molly is a dance teacher and choreographer; they are also a co-founder of and musician in Them the Band. They have experience in company management, stage management, production management, and arts administration for various theatres throughout Chicagoland. Molly is thrilled to work with this wonderful team!


Arrive early and enjoy dinner before the show! Add a 3-course prix fixe meal when you purchase your tickets for just $30. (Drinks & gratuity not included, must be reserved 1 week in advance.)

Provided by Taco Diablo

Side Salad with orange vinaigrette, romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, roasted corn & black beans, scallions and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Choice of one of the following:
Black beans and rice are vegan/vegetarian friendly.

  • Vegetarian taco box – 1 fajita mixed vegetable and 1 guajillo potato taco with black beans & rice
  • Vegan – taco box vegan – 2 fajita mixed vegetable tacos with black beans & rice (no cheese)
  • Meat taco box meat – 1 chicken tinga taco & 1 beef barbacoa taco w/ black beans & rice

Dessert, one of the following depending upon availability:

  • Chocolate Brownie bites
  • Lemon Bars
  • Cappuccino cheesecake square
  • Carrot cake square


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