american (tele)visions


By Victor I. Cazares
Directed by Rubén Polendo
A co-production with Theater Mitu

2022/23 Season

September 10, 2022—October 16, 2022

Run time: 100 minutes with no intermission.

Read Synopsis

A long, long time ago—the ‘90s—in a Walmart far, far away, Erica, our Hero of Ages Lost, pushes her shopping cart—that most sacred ancient vessel of capitalism—through the aisles of a memory play. american (tele)visions is an explosive collision between the American Dream and the American Nightmare—the story of an undocumented Mexican family.

With singular wit and pathos, NYTW Tow Playwright-in-Residence Victor I. Cazares creates an epic multiverse where time is fluid and the characters are refracted through literal televisions, imagined video games, endless Walmart aisles and a double-wide torn in two. NYTW Usual Suspect Rubén Polendo, founding artistic director of Theater Mitu, directs the multi-media production which includes live performance, live camera feeds and pre-recorded video.

Scenic & Costume Design Bretta Gerecke
Specialty Costumes Mondo Guerra
Lighting Design Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew
Technology Design Theater Mitu (Kelly Colburn, Alex Hawthorn, Justin Nestor)
Casting Caparelliotis Casting (David Caparelliotis/Joseph Gery)
Fight Director J. David Brimmer
Intimacy Director Andy Arden-Reese
Voice & Text Coach Dawn-Elin Fraser
Stage Manager Shelley Miles

Join us for our special FOR THE CULTURE events for american (tele)visions.

Content Advisory

Please note that american (tele)visions contains adult situations & language, simulated violence, loud sound effect (including repeated clicks & glitches), explosion sound effects, flashing light effects and haze. Audience discretion is advised.

  • Jesse/Alejandro

    (they/them) NYTW Debut. Regional: A Guthrie Experience (Valór); Trinity Rep (A Christmas Carol, u/s); South Dakota Shakespeare Fest (Othello); Hanover Theatre (Julius Caesar); Second Thought Theatre (Mlima’s Tale); Theatre Three (Raptured; She Kills Monsters); Stage West (An Octoroon; The Royal Society of Antarctica). Brown/Trinity Rep: Angels in America; The Winter’s Tale; The Skriker. In tribute to family near and gone. Mom, dad, and Nicci, this is for you.@clew.cifer

  • Octavio

    (he/him) Castillo is a proud member of the LABryinth Theater Company. His playwriting credits include Between You, Me and the Lampshade (Teatro Vista, Chicago) and Knives and Other Sharp Objects (Public Theater). Stage acting credits include, Death and the Maiden (Victory Gardens Theater), Adoration of the Old Woman (Intar), and School of the Americans (Public Theater). Film: “Cha Cha Real Smooth”, “Hustle”, “Mother/Android”, “Army of the Dead”, and “We The Animals”.  TV credits include, “Atypical”, “Vida”, “Seven Seconds”, and “Looking”.

  • Jeremy

    (he/him) NYTW debut. His play Hi, Are You Single? recently concluded its world premiere run at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and his new play Dark Disabled Stories will debut this season at The Public Theater, co-produced by The Bushwick Starr. His TV credits include the upcoming FX limited series “Retreat” and the Netflix series “The Politician.” He is a recipient of Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and a 2020 Disability Futures Fellow. Ryan dedicates this performance to his mom’s vintage Barbies, whose hair he chopped off as a child. @ryanjhaddad

  • Maria Ximena

    (she/her) NYTW Debut. Credits Include: Timon of Athens (Theatre for a New Audience/Shakespeare Theatre DC), Blithe Spirit (The Guthrie), Top Girls (The Huntington), Between Riverside and Crazy (ACT Geary Theatre). “New Amsterdam”, “The Resident”, “Shades of Blue”, “Search Party”, “The Affair”, “Madam Secretary”, ”Law and Order: SVU”. The Yale School of Drama (MFA). NYU Tisch, Faculty. @msbrownisanicon

  • Erica

    (they/b) NYTW Debut. Former collaborations include work at Manhattan Theatre Club, Tectonic Theatre Project, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, and Clubbed Thumb. TV: “WeCrashed” “Let The Right One In”. Education: PCPA,The Juilliard School. @biancadnorwood

Victor I. Cazares / Playwright

(they/them) NYTW: Pinching Pennies with Penny Marshall. Victor is a non-binary Poz Queer Indigenous Mexican Artist (enby PQIMA for short) who has had stints at Yale, Brown and other less prestigious centers of rehabilitation. Like any border child, they were born twice: once in El Paso, Texas and another in San Lorenzo, Chihuahua. They teach a tuition-free class for emerging immigrant playwrights as part of PEN America’s DREAMing Out Loud program; these students are Victor’s pride. Plays include: american (tele)visions and Pinching Pennies with Penny Marshall (NYTW); Ramses contra los monstruos, We Were Eight Years in Powder, and «when we write with ashes». Victor is currently the Tow Playwright-in-Residence at New York Theatre Workshop. @thejoyofvictor

Rubén Polendo / Director

RUBÉN POLENDO is Founding Artistic Director of Theater Mitu. Committed to challenging the parameters of theater research and practice with Mitu for over twenty years, Polendo’s practice and pedagogical work is situated in the tension between acting and performance, theatrical design and installation, multi-media and interactive technology. Theater Mitu is located in its own interdisciplinary arts space in Gowanus, Brooklyn called MITU580. This former glass recycling facility is a unique gathering place where transdisciplinary arts practice is interrogated, incubated and produced. The company’s work has also been presented and developed nationally (including NYTW, The Public Theater, Skirball, Lincoln Center, NAATCO, Rattlestick Theater, 3LD, Kennedy Center, McCarter, Perseverance, The Alliance, Mark Taper Forum, A.C.T., Sundance, Watermill, NACL, Zspace, Rubin Gallery, MASS MoCA, NOLA Contemporary Arts Center, LATC, BAM) and internationally (including Patravadi Center/Thailand, CCPN/Mexico, DUOC/Chile,  Visthar/India, UB Blkbx/Mongolia, Mansion Blatt/Lebanon, Manarat Al Saadiyat/UAE, NYUAD Arts Center/UAE, Kontakt Festival/Poland, CIFCET/Egypt, MESS Festival/Bosnia & Herzegovina). Theater Mitu has been company-in-residence at The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop and at The NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center. Polendo served as Founding Theater Program Director and Associate Dean for the Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi. Polendo is currently Chair of The Department of Drama at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. 

Bretta Gerecke / Scenic & Costume Design

(she/her) NYTW debut. Bretta is the Resident Production Designer and Co-Creator at Catalyst Theatre. Credits include Salome, Tartuffe, As You Like It (Royal Shakespeare Company); East is East (National Theatre, Birmingham REP); Allavita! (Cirque du Soleil); Nevermore, Hunchback, The Invisible (Catalyst Theatre); The Tempest, Alice Through the Looking Glass (Stratford Shakespeare Festival).

Mondo Guerra / Specialty Costumes

NYTW debut. A designer/social influencer whose innovative style and bold prints have caught the fashion world’s imagination, while his truth and courage captured the hearts of fans around the world when he first revealed his HIV-positive status on “Project Runway” (Season 8). He later went on to win the debut season of “Project Runway All Stars” and became an audience favorite as mentor on Lifetime’s spinoff series, “Under The Gunn.”

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew / Lighting Design

NYTW debut. Award-winning designer for theatre, dance, opera, musicals, music performances and large-scale immersive installation. The Nosebleed (LCT3), Oratorio… (Ars Nova), Golden Shield (MTC), Snow in Midsummer (CSC), cullud wattah (The Public), Suicide Forest (Ma-Yi), KPOP! (Ars Nova), Walden (Theaterworks), Blue (Detroit Opera), Sweetland (The Industry), A Dozen Dream (Engarde Arts).

Kelly Colburn / Technology Design

(she/they/k) NYTW debut. Kelly is a DC-based interdisciplinary artist working as a producer, director, projections designer, and devised performance maker. She is the Artistic Lead for Theatre at Flying V, the Digital Producer at Theater Alliance, and a Helen Hayes recipient. BFA: NYU-Tisch. MFA: UMD.

Alex Hawthorn / Technology Design

(they/them) NYTW: </remnant/>. Artist, composer, and technologist based in Los Angeles and Brooklyn. Their work in both physical and digital media interrogates notions of archive, memory, and time. Company Member with Theater Mitu: Utopian Hotline, House, </remnant/>, Hamlet/UR-Hamlet, Juárez, Medea, DR.C, HAIR, Death of A Salesman. Obie & LA Ovation Award winner.

Justin Nestor / Technology Design

NYTW: </remnant/>. Co-artistic director of Theater Mitu where he has been a member for over 15 years. He is a performer, researcher and technologist based in Brooklyn, NY. Working across disciplines, he creates installations and works for the stage that explore the intersections of performance, visual art and technology.

Caparelliotis Casting / Casting

NYTW debut. Broadway: The Minutes, Macbeth, Skeleton Crew, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, King Lear, Hillary and Clinton, Ink, Waverly Gallery, Boys in the Band, Three Tall Women, Meteor Shower, A Doll’s House Part 2, Jitney, Glass Menagerie. Additional theatre: MTC, Signature, Vineyard, Atlantic, Old Globe, Goodman. Current TV: “New Amsterdam” (NBC).

J. David Brimmer / Fight Director

NYTW debut. SAFD Fight Master. Has choreographed some stuff (selected Broadway: Passover, Hangmen, American Buffalo, Spring Awakening, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Grace, Speed the Plow, Thérèse Raquin, Long Day’s Journey into Night, NY premieres: Socrates, Fairview, Is God Is, Yen, Gloria, An Octoroon, Blasted, Bethany, Blackbird, Bug, Killer Joe). “Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.” G. Fox

Andy Arden-Reese / Intimacy Director

NYTW debut. The Co-Founding Artistic Director of ÁSA Theatre, in residence with Cape Cod Theatre Company & Cape Cod Rep. Credits: New York Shakespeare Festival, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Stage Company, Primary Stages, the National Playwrights’ Conference, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Shanghai Theatre Institute. BFA, NYU; MFA, Rutgers University. Assistant Arts Professor & Director of Professional Training for Tisch Drama, NYU.

Dawn-Elin Fraser / Voice & Text Coach

NYTW: Slave Play, Sojourners, Her Portmanteau, An Ordinary Muslim, The House that Will Not Stand. North American Dialect Coach: Hamilton. Broadway: What the Constitution Means to Me, Once on this Island, Waitress, Finding Neverland. Off-Broadway: Richard III, Merry Wives, Fat Ham, SUFFS (The Public/The Delacorte). Director, Coaches of Color Initiative. Education: MFA, American Conservatory Theater.

Shelley Miles / Stage Manager

NYTW: Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Hadestown, What’s It All About?: Bacharach Reimagined. Favorite credits – Broadway: Dana H., Is This A Room, The Ferryman, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Violet, The Best Man, Betrayal. Off-Broadway: Soft Power, Tumacho, Harry Clarke, For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday, The Outer Space.

Theater Mitu / Co-Producer

Driven by a commitment to innovation, Theater Mitu expands the definition of theater through methodical experimentation with its form. Founded in 1997, this artist-led organization frames artmaking as a mode of research and inquiry. We share knowledge, spark dialogue, and strengthen our community through cultivating radical ways of reimagining our world. Mitu embodies this by way of theatrical productions and exhibitions, trans-global research initiatives, artist support opportunities, education programs galvanizing the next generation of artists, and the curated programming of MITU580. Mitu’s founding Artistic Director Rubén Polendo, and Co-Artistic Director Justin Nestor, lead an interdisciplinary group of company members in building bridges across ideas, cultures, and communities. Mitu’s work has been presented at theaters, contemporary arts centers, and venues throughout the United States, South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. In 2018, Mitu established MITU580, a space where transdisciplinary arts practice is interrogated, incubated, and produced. This 2,400-square foot multi-use art space stands on unceded Munsee Lenape and Canarsie land now known as Brooklyn, NY. The venue is home to our primary artistic programs: New Work (world premieres and tours of company created productions); Hybrid Arts Lab (fellowship supporting trans, non-binary, and women artists of color working in technology and performance); Expansion Works (developing and presenting works fusing new media, visual art, and performance); and Artists-At-Home (technical residencies offering space and equipment for artists to integrate technology into the process of creating new work). Theater Mitu values artistic rigor, disciplined exploration, and the continuous exchange of knowledge. We are committed to creating and maintaining a space that embraces the whole person as a vibrant and unique range of embodied experiences, histories, and imaginations. Theater Mitu asserts that identity is not negation but aggregation. We hold these intersectionalities as essential to innovation and the vibrancy and growth of our community.


Exploring The American Dream


Playwright Victor I. Cazares and director Rúben Polendo join ALL OF IT WITH ALLISON STEWART to discuss the process of creating the multimedia production, AMERICAN (TELE)VISIONS.

Victor I. Cazares on Queering Theater

Into Magazine

Calling the play “magical” feels regressive, and yet the transformative journey that it allows audiences to tap into is nothing short of spiritually revolutionary." Playwright Victor I. Cazares chats with Juan Michael Porter II just prior to Opening Night about their journey of writing AMERICAN (TELE)VISIONS.