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Sanctuary by Milta Ortiz
Southside Presbyterian Church
Tucson, AZ
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Sanctuary by Milta Ortiz
A New Play by Milta Ortiz
Directed by Marc David Pinate
Presented site specifically at Southside Presbyterian Church

September 6-23, 2018

Based on real people and events Sanctuary chronicles the Tucson birth of the 1980s Sanctuary Movement.

In 1981, when Carol and Mica find out about detained Salvadorans fleeing civil war, they set out to process political asylum applications. After they meet Victor, a Salvadoran in a Border Patrol detention center, they realize they're going to need help. They call on Father Hartford, who is first to meet Nidia, another Salvadoran with strong but different opinions on the Salvadoran civil war.

Carol and Mica enlist pastor Jeff Chord of Southside Presbyterian Church, who sits on the National Presbyterian Council and before long Quaker Will Hewitt joins the group with ideas of his own. As the number of detained Salvadorans and Guatemalans continues to grow, the group must choose whether or not to stand up for what they believe. Will they choose the law of man or the law of God?

Sanctuary kicks off a trilogy of plays dealing with immigrants seeking refuge in the U.S., exploring the U.S. involvement in Central America, its consequences, and response.


In an effort to make discussions with immigration specialists accessible, they will be livestreamed through Howlround, a knowledge commons by and for the theater community.

September 9th: Originators of the 1980s Sanctuary Movement
Panelists: Margo Cowan, Lupe Castillo, Reverend John Fife and Father Ricardo Elford
Moderated by playwright Milta Ortiz

September 13th - Southside Presbyterian Church Today
Panelists: Pastor Alison Harrington and Day Laborer Program representative
Moderated by T.B.D.

September 16th - Immigration Awareness: What Tucson Groups Are Doing to Help in the Immigrant Crisis
Panelists: Catherine Gaffney of No More Deaths, Debbi McCullough of Tucson Samaritans, Laura Belous of the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, and Rocío Calderón and Cecilia Valenzuela Gee of Casa Mariposa Detention Visitation Program.
Moderated by Anna OLeary Ph.D. Department Head/ Mexican American Studies, University of Arizona

September 20th - Globalization and Immigration, and Advocacy
Panelists: Isabel Garcia (Attorney and long time organizer/Derechos Humanos,) Consul General German Alvarez (Salvadoran Consulate,) and Zaira Livier (Peoples Defense Initiative and Free the Children Coalition)
Moderated by Elizabeth Oglesby Ph.D. Associate Professor of Geography and Development, and Center for Latin American Studies, University of Arizona

Milta Ortiz- Playwright- Milta Ortiz is a playwright from the Bay Area, who now calls Tucson home. Shes excited to work with Milagro Theater on the play Judge Torres, and with StoryWorks and Arizona Daily Star on a play about the Arizona Foster Care system. She received NEA and NALAC grants to develop/produce her play, Sanctuary (September 2018).  She wrote/directed Solving for X for the Working Classroom (2016-17.) Her play, Más was produced at Su Teatro (March 2017,) and co-produced by Laney College (March, 2016) and Ubuntu Theater Project (May 2016.) Más premiered at Borderlands Theater (September 2015) and was nominated for a Steinberg-ATCA Award, toured Arizona Universities in 2016/17 and will be produced at San Diego State University (October 2018.)  Milta teaches theater at Pima Community College. She earned an M.F.A. from Northwestern Universitys Writing for the Screen and Stage program, and a Creative Writing B.A. from San Francisco State University. She is a proud mom to a precocious Kindergartener.

Marc David Pinate- Director- Marc David Pinate is a theatre maker and producer who has worked with noteworthy theatre companies around the country. His passion is in the field of civic practice and creating sacred moments of theatrical beauty. Marc was the founder and director of the Hybrid Performance Experiment in Berkeley, Ca known for their site specific theatre performances on trains and mall food courts. Since arriving in Tucson in 2013, he has concentrated on theatricalizing local narratives (Más, Barrio Stories, Sonoran Shadows) in non-traditional settings while collaborating with an array of institutional partners, artists, and community members. He is the Producing Artistic Director of Borderlands Theater and an adjunct instructor at Pima Community College.


Southside Presbyterian Church (View)
317 W 23rd Street
Tucson, AZ 85713
United States


Arts > Theatre

Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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