The University of Texas at Austin
  • Isaac Gomez: Creating Theatre for Social Change

    Published: May 13, 2013

    For Isaac Gomez, theatre is not merely entertainment, it’s a life-changing event.

    I believe through theatre you can change the world.”

    The El Paso native created a new work called “The Women of Juarez,” which debuted during the Cohen New Works Festival this year. The play, which incorporates music and dance along with different kinds of storytelling methodologies, shares stories about women who have firsthand experience with the violence and murder of women in the border city of Juarez.

    “Our goal is to give a space for the stories to be told, uninterrupted and unaltered,” says Gomez, who recently won a George H. Mitchell Award for Academic Excellence.

    The first person in his immediate family to leave El Paso for college, Gomez was drawn to theatre at the age of 10. He acted in community theatre and school plays in El Paso and did some playwriting, but his perspective about theatre has evolved over time. One of his goals is to apply theatre studies to accomplish positive social change and activate a sense of civic duty in people.

    “[We want] for people to leave the space and continue to tell the stories” of the women of Juarez. “That’s how you spread awareness,” he says.

    Gomez, a double major in theatre and dance and journalism, plans to move to Chicago or New York and continue his work as a “theatre practitioner and scholar.”

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    • Quote 2
      m larsen said on May 23, 2013 at 11:33 a.m.
      The play's the thing wherein to catch the conscience of the king. ~Shakespeare
    • Quote 2
      Anne Martinez said on May 21, 2013 at 9:13 a.m.
      I end my lecture classes on Mexican American history with a unit about the border, including the feminicides in Juarez. I also end with a challenge to my students to use their UT educations to change the world. I invite Isaac Gomez to perform in my classes!
    • Quote 2
      Alyssa Cervantes said on May 16, 2013 at 4:18 p.m.
      As an El Pasoan and Longhorn, I congratulate Isaac for his work and contributions in educating our state and beyond of the obstacles endured by our international neighbors and sisters. Way to go, Isaac!
    • Quote 2
      Rick Cherwitz said on May 14, 2013 at 7:19 a.m.
      “[We want] for people to leave the space and continue to tell the stories” of the women of Juarez. “That’s how you spread awareness,” he says. Congratulations to Isaac! His work is a terrific example of community engagement—of leveraging knowledge for social good. I am delighted that his project on “The Women of Juarez,” began when he participated in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship (IE) Pre Grad Internship. [http://communication.utexas.edu/ie/] Isaac writes about this experience: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=384090698289166&set=a.367497259948510.91422.105692732795632&type=3&theater
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