Bearing Witness: Alba Jaramillo and Patricia Davis discuss "Digna"

THU, OCT 15, 2020 (1:19:45)

In the second of this trilogy of women storytellers, Alba Jaramillo and Patricia Davis talk about “Digna.” Written by Patricia Davis, the one-woman play follows Digna Ochoa, played by Alba Jaramillo, a prominent Mexican human rights lawyer who suffered torturous attacks following her defense of environmentalist peasants in Mexico. By the age of 37 she had met President Clinton, became close to the Kennedy family, and won a MacArthur Fellowship and the Amnesty International’s Enduring Spirit award. In 2001, she was killed in her Mexico City office.

In the play, Digna comes back from the dead in response to the worsening human rights crisis in Mexico. Jaramillo, an immigrant, human rights lawyer and activist herself, plays the role of Digna with conviction, passion and self-reflection. In telling her story and confronting her own doubts, Digna finds her strength and courage as she invites us to find our own.

The evening’s moderator is Iani Moreno, associate professor, World Languages and Cultural Studies Department, at Suffolk University.

Presented by Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University. This event is free and open to the public.

+ BIO: Alba Jaramillo

Alba Jaramillo is a human rights lawyer and founder of the theater company Teatro Dignidad.

+ BIO: Patricia Davis

Patricia Davis’ play, “Digna,” based on the life of Mexican human rights attorney Digna Ochoa, was produced in February-March 2017 by the Digna Theater, a new professional theater company in Tucson, Arizona, directed by Barclay Goldsmith, and has since been produced in Spanish and English in Mexico and the U.S. Patricia participated in Arena Stage’s 2015-2016 Playwrights’ Arena, where she developed “Digna.” Other productions include “Alternative Methods,” about a psychologist’s work on a torture team in Iraq, produced in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won a Best Director Award and garnered a Pick of the Fringe recommendation from The New York Theatre Review. “Alternative Methods” was also selected for readings at Urban Stages, Georgia State College and University, and Catholic University, in collaboration with Theater J.

“After the Blood” is a one-act about two activists in Washington, DC during the summer of 2014, at the height of the war in Gaza. “After the Blood” received a reading at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in January 2015. “Cleared,” a fifteen-minute play, focuses on Guantanamo, protests at the White House, and the conundrums of a suburban mom with highly placed friends. “Cleared” was selected by Theater Alliance for presentation in the Kennedy Center’s 2013 Page-to-Stage Festival.

Short plays include “Daphne in Leaf,” produced as part of the Kathy Rasmussen Womens Theater’s Magical Creatures Festival in 2019; “Four Minutes,” produced in the Jane Addams New Play Festival in 2019 and a finalist for the Bridge Initiative; and “Fish Story,” selected to be read in the 29th Street Playwrights Collectives’ Feisty Women Festival in 2018.

Ford Hall Forum
Beyond Borders: Women's Stories and the Art of Bearing Witness