Stage Door News

Toronto: Aluna Theatre presents the RUTAS festival September 22-October 9

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Aluna Theatre is thrilled to announce its fifth edition of the RUTAS International Performing Arts Festival, inviting audiences and artists to re-think the routes of our lives in a shifting world and participate in the experience of imagining collective possibilities. Running from September 22nd to October 9th, RUTAS 2022 will present a compelling series of performances, installations, cabaret and three days of Conversatorio/Conversations, in partnership this year with Theatre Passe Muraille, Factory Theatre, York University, Hemispheric Encounters, and Nuit Blanche. “RUTAS was born out of a desire to bring art from across the Americas to Toronto. To introduce new perspectives, voices and ideas, and to engage in conversations about art and human rights. 

In 2022 RUTAS celebrates its 5th edition. And once more, we find ourselves at a pivotal time of collective need for change not only in this city but around the world.” Says Beatriz Pizano, Artistic Director of Aluna Theatre, “When we sat down to imagine what kind of festival this could be, we knew we had to create a space that allows art to do its best – to inspire, to feed our curiosity, to transform and empower our collective consciousness and actions.”

The 2022 edition of RUTAS showcases an exciting lineup of interdisciplinary talent from across the Americas, including work by Lara Arabian and Carla Melo (Canada, Toronto); Claren Grosz (Canada, Toronto); Santiago Guzmán (Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador); Victoria Mata Soledad (Venezuela/Canada); José Torres-Tama (United States); Teatro Línea de Sombra (Mexico); and Nina Vogel (Brazil).

Pizano adds, “The amazing line-up of artists and performances this year delve into our role and responsibility in effecting change, in working together toward a better and inclusive world. Into thinking about a collective approach to life. These works are artistically compelling and deeply engaging. They invite us to share, love, laugh, remember and celebrate our lives together.”

From a multitude of perspectives, these diverse performances tackle old and new concerns: alienation and immigration; the implications behind consumer culture; love, loss, and grief; political divisiveness and our inability to come together to address environmental crisis. The work presented this season is demonstrative of the importance of connection – to self, to each other, to place and to ancestry.

Aluna Theatre has partnered with Theatre Passe Muraille and Factory Theatre this year, bringing the festival programming closer to the heart of the city. This move from its most recent home in the Artscape Daniels Spectrum remaps RUTAS’ own path bringing it back to the origins of its inaugural festival in 2012.

Tickets for RUTAS 2022 are available now at The festival runs on a pay-what-you-can-afford ticketing model with three price points of $10, $20 and $40. Performances of Cacao will be free to the public. For more information about Aluna Theare’s RUTAS 2022 Festival, please visit .

RUTAS 2022 Festival Programming



A RUTAS international performing arts festival presentation of Cacao | A Venezuelan Lament

Victoria Mata Productions and Aluna Theatre in partnership with TOLive at Mel Lastman Square in North York

September 22 at 8:00pm

September 23 at 8:00pm

September 24 at 8:00pm

September 25 at 8:00pm

Cacao | A Venezuelan Lament is a new live performance works about belonging, land and the preservation of traditions. Drawing on twelve years of community-based fieldwork, this polylingual and multidisciplinary dance and theatre production offers timely insight into the complex lived realities of Venezuela’s cacao farmers. Creator, Director and Choreographer Victoria Mata roots her vocabulary and aesthetics in the tensions between remembering and forgetting, and in a dynamic dialogue between Afro-Venezuelan genres and contemporary expressions of dance and music.

Runtime: 75 minutes



A RUTAS international performing arts festival presentation of a Pencil Kit Productions production at the Factory Theatre Studio

October 6 at 7:30 pm

October 7 at 7:30 pm

October 8 at 8:30 pm

In I Love The Smell of Gasoline, Claren attempts to reconcile her Alberta oil-industry roots with the current environmental emergency. The project was born of a frustration with divisive Canadian politics, rampant hypocrisy, and a lack of team spirit when facing impending doom. It unpacks some of the forces that drive global warming and Western alienation in a personal account of what it is to live in a modern, capitalist environment, be a self-serving organism, and also care about the earth and fellow creature kind.

Runtime: 70 minutes


A RUTAS international performing arts festival presentation of a CorpoLuz Theatre production at the Factory Theatre Studio

September 30 at 7:30pm

October 1 at 3:00pm

October 2 at 4:00pm

A multimedia, multilingual one-woman show that explores the writer/performer’s desire to dig deeper into her cultural roots through a reimagining of Siranoush, a 19th century ethnic Armenian actress who was a trailblazer both on and off the stage. Tapping into ancestral knowledge and diasporic memory, the performance takes us across time and space to explore the power of theatre as a way of cultural survival and female empowerment.

Runtime: 75 minutes


A RUTAS international performing arts festival presentation of an ArteFuturo Productions production at the Factory Theatre Mainstage

September 29 at 7:30pm

October 1 at 8:30pm

October 2 at 2:00pm

With the anti-immigrant hysteria gripping the U.S. twenty plus years since the 9/11 tragedy, award-winning performance artist / activist, published playwright and poet, José Torres-Tama takes the Immigration issue head-on in his critically acclaimed "ALIENS, IMMIGRANTS & OTHER EVILDOERS." The artist deftly shape-shifts into nine characters that challenge the dehumanization of immigrants in a system that readily exploits their labor. Visually dynamic, profoundly moving, and a hilariously funny "tour de force," he offers a clarion call to action for the "United States of AMNESIA" to remember its mythic promise as the "land of the free" carved into the iconic Statue of Liberty. His comic battle cry is NO GUACAMOLE for Immigrant Haters!

Runtime: 75 minutes


A Theatre Direct and RUTAS international performing arts festival presentation of Nina Vogel’s original interpretation with the Euphonia Chamber Ensemble, at the Factory Theatre Mainstage

October 8 at 3:00pm

October 9 at 3:00pm

Peter and the Wolf, the classic story and music by Sergei Prokofiev, bursts to life with glorious puppets crafted in ateliers in Brazil. Created by master craftsmen and artist Nina Vogel, from the very musical instruments featured in the symphony, the visually stunning costume from which the puppets appear and disappear delights children with an unforgettable performance as they experience the fable for the first time. Supported by Toronto's Euphonia Chamber Ensemble, Nina Vogel presents this ingenious and beautiful spectacle with an accompanying short film, ANIMA, which takes the audience on the fantastical journey that Nina Vogel followed to create this contemporary interpretation of Peter & the Wolf.

ANIMA Minidocumentary Team

Audiovisual Director Luiza Marques da Costa

Cinematography Director Tiago Pinheiro

Film Editing and Montage Luiza Marques da Costa e Tiago Pinheiro

Realization FRONTERA Films

Runtime: Approx. 75 minutes



A RUTAS international performing arts festival presentation of an RCA Theatre Company Production at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace

September 30 at 7:30pm

October 1 at 7:00pm

October 2 at 4:00pm

Eugenio is a queer young immigrant living in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador. Less than a year has passed since his move from Mexico, but in that time, he experienced deep love and deeper heartbreak when his new boyfriend, Benjamin, inexplicably “ghosted” him. No, Benjamin isn’t dead; he just stopped calling and texting. And the thing is…Eugenio’s still not over it. Looking to the traditional Mexican holiday Día de Muertos (The Day of The Dead) and his father's previous experience with paranormal activities, Eugenio decides to build an altar (a central part of the Día de Muertos ritual) in the hopes that he will be able to summon his boyfriend’s ‘ghost’ to sort out the end of their relationship once and for all. Through the altar, Eugenio realizes that he has been something of a ghost himself to the loved ones he left behind in Mexico. Will setting up an altar be enough for Eugenio to forgive, forget, and love again? Or enough to help him heal the relationships with his friends and family far away?

Runtime: 55 minutes


A RUTAS international performing arts festival presentation of Danzantes del Alba by Teatro Línea de Sombra at the Theatre Passe Muraille Main stage

(Performance in English)

October 7 at 7:30pm

October 8 at 7:00pm

October 9 at 2:00pm

Dancing and sewing are two founding elements of this piece.

Danzantes del Alba is a phantom carnival which ritualizes the making of 36 festive costumes of the character, El loco de la danza. Several artisan workshops created these 36 costumes, including a group of old communist workers, the home of a Central American migrant woman who was earning money by crossing the border, a women's cooperative who rescued an abandoned place and turned it into a small textile factory, and a collective of gay activists on the border with Guatemala.

Danzantes is a performative essay on the intersection of documentary research and the construction of landscapes on stage. At the end of this extraordinary dance / story, the audience is invited to explore the final installation and become part of the living landscape.

Runtime: 60 minutes


Conversatorios - A Home for Our Migrations

Artists, scholars, cultural workers and community leaders come together to discuss and share insights into the festival’s performances and the sociopolitical issues they raise. This three-day conference will explore transformative curatorial practices, intersections with public art, artistic collaborations, shared political struggles, and the future of performance in response to growing migration and environmental crises.

Produced in partnership with Hemispheric Encounters, The Space Between Us, aabijijiwan New Media Lab, Nuit Blanche and the City of Toronto.