Building on the success of the 2016 Global Pre-Conference in Washington DC, Finding Home; Migration, Exile and Belonging, the Global Theater Initiative (the Lab’s partnership with Theatre Communications Group) hosted the 2017 Global Pre-Conference entitled Beyond the Four Walls, a meeting ground for artists and theatre leaders to embrace theatre’s function as a space of solidarity that extends beyond physical, geographic, and cultural borders. Theatre makers from across the country gathered in Portland, a sanctuary city, to identify actionable steps participants can take to utilize theatre to ignite dialogue and humanize current issues of local, national, and global concern.

The Pre-Conference included an afternoon working session with global theater practitioners focused on action-oriented discussions and strategies. The evening event featured Teatro Línea de Sombra and their celebrated production Amarillo, which tells the story of a man who departs for the US-Mexican border and vanishes before reaching his destination. Through stunning projected images, bilingual monologues, and a sea of displaced objects and natural elements, this renowned company from Mexico City reconstructs his journey in a timely multimedia performance that travels imagined landscapes of both geography and cultural identity.

Teatro Línea de Sombra’s Amarillo (Mexico City, Mexico). (Photo by Sophie Garcia)

Post-show panel included:

  • Leilani Chan, Founding Artistic Director, TeAda Productions (Santa Monica, CA)
  • Jorge Vargas Cortez, Director, Amarillo (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Antígona Alejandra González, Actress, Amarillo (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Natasha Haunsperger, Police Officer, Portland Police Bureau (Portland, OR)
  • Chief Mike Marshman, Portland Police Bureau (Portland, OR)
  • Raul Mendoza Rosas, Actor, Amarillo (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie, former Director of Refugee Resettlement, Catholic Charities (Portland, OR)
  • Moderated by Derek Goldman, Co-Director, The Lab (Washington, DC)
Teatro Línea de Sombra's AMARILLO (Mexico City, Mexico)

Watch the livestream of the 2017 Global Pre-Conference, courtesy of HowlRound TV: