The plays produced by Digna Theatre will transform the way communities understand human rights issues in their own communities and raise awareness of the state of human rights outside of the U.S. as well as the role of arts in social change.

Digna Theater/Teatro Digna purpose is to intertwine art, beauty and human rights in a journey to enhance awareness and action.

Seasons will be organized around a particular theme (i.e. women’s rights, LGBTQ/gender violence, border violence, indigenous sovereignty and rights, poverty, political expression and participation). Every play produced will have its own human rights action attached to it. Digna Theatre/Teatro Digna will go beyond raising awareness about human rights issues. The goal is to provide audiences with opportunities to seek social transformation through creative action.

Why in Tucson?

Tucson’s geographical location and history- its closeness to the border, a rich indigenous history, a diverse cultural and ethnic population- have proven to be fertile ground to many humanitarian and human rights organizations such as Humane Borders, Derechos Humanos, The Samaritans, Owl & Panther, and various religious communities.

Tucson is also home to many art organizations. Digna Theatre seeks to weave together human rights activism and theater arts to strengthen coalitions to address local and global issues.

Digna Theater Performance Schedule & Ticket Info

Digna Theater’s first production is the play “DIGNA” by Patricia Davis. February 23-26 and March 2-5 at 7:30 pm at THEATRE @YWCA, 525 Bonita Street, Tucson AZ.

Digna is directed by Barclay Goldsmith, features Alba Jaramillo as Digna, and is accompanied with live music by Rebeca Cartes.

Performances: February 23-26 and March 2-5 at Theater@YWCA, 525 Bonita Avenue, Tucson AZ.

$15 general admission, $12 for students, and Thursday is pay-what-you-can day.

About Digna Ochoa

In October 2001, renowned Mexican human rights lawyer Digna Ochoa was found shot dead in her Mexico City office. Ochoa’s death at the age of thirty-six was declared a suicide by Mexico City prosecutors, despite evidence pointing to foul-play, her receiving death threats, and attempts on her life.

Ochoa, a former nun, went on to represent farmers defending the environment in the state of Guerrero, Zapatista guerrillas in Chiapas, and indigenous peoples in her home state of Veracruz. In her pursuit of truth and justice she challenged powerful governmental agencies. She also uncovered torture and other abuses by the Mexican military and police.

Ochoa was twenty-four when she discovered a blacklist of union organizers and political activists in the office of the state attorney general. A few days later, she was kidnapped and raped. Her family and fellow human rights activists rejected the finding of death by suicide, and fought for the case to be re-opened. Ochoa’s case was reopened in 2005. Regrettably state prosecutors maintained suicide as the origin of her death.

About The Play

In this one woman play, Digna Ochoa, an internationally recognized Mexican indigenous civil rights attorney, returns from the dead to address an audience about the harrowing attacks she suffered in response to her defense of environmentalists by Mexican security forces. Holding a brutal army to account has a price. Forced to flee, she finally had to choose: Washington or Mexico—the safety of exile or the pull of her calling?

In light of the 43 disappeared students, she confronts the memory of her kidnapping, murder, and suppression of dissent. Based on her life and struggles, the play explores resistance – its modalities and costs – and its essential transformative power.

About The Playwright
Patricia Davis is a 2016 fellow in the Arena Stage play development program at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. Her plays include Alternative Methods (2010 NYC Fringe), Cleared (Kennedy Center’s 2013 Page-to-Stage Festival); and After the Blood (presented at La Mama in 2014). Former director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission, she is co-author, with Dianna Ortiz, of The Blindfold’s Eyes.

Her articles on foreign policy have been published by the North American Congress on Latin America, the Copenhagen Initiative for Central America and Mexico, and the Center for International Policy and have appeared in The Nation, Foreign Policy in Focus, Counterpunch, and Common Dreams. She also writes theater reviews for HowlRound. She has published a collection of poetry (The Water that Broke You, 2014). Her poetry work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Davis holds an MFA from American University and a BA from Carleton College.

Board of Directors

Alba Jaramillo, Chair

Ana Cornide, Vice-Chair 

Trayce Peterson, Secretary 

Ildefonso Poncho Chavez, Treasurer