This press release was produced by and shared with permission from Eastern Mennonite University. 

No Roosters in the Desert, a play revolving around the plight of four women trekking across the Sonoran desert towards the “American dream,” will be performed during the 2013 Mennonite Church USA annual convention on Wednesday, July 3, at 9:15 p.m., in the West Ballroom of the Phoenix Convention Center.

The play follows the four women as they push the limits of their physical and emotional endurance and establish profound yet fragile connections with each other through the magical storytelling of the youngest of them, an indigenous woman from Chiapas.

“This play is about the people behind the headlines and statistics,” said Heidi Winters Vogel, Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) chair of theater.

Written by Kara Hartzler, a 1994 EMU alumnus, “No Roosters in the Desert” is based on actual interviews by Anna Ochoa O’Leary, assistant professor of practice in Mexican-American studies at the University of Arizona.

Hartzler describes her work as ” …trying to portray them [the play’s characters] as multi-faceted human beings who find themselves in a critical situation and respond by being courageous, flawed, noble, selfish, endearing, and maddening—as emotionally rich as any Shakespearean character.”

Registration for the annual conference is $60 a day and grants access to all evening events. Tickets for No Roosters in the Desert are available at the door. Admission is free but a $10 donation is encouraged to support the event.

A talkback with Hartzler will follow the performance.

Some language and content may not be appropriate for children under 13.