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With a single phrase, you can give up your country. With a single signature, you can tear a family apart. With a single word, you can learn to transform. In their first full-length solo show, (Un)Documents, award-winning actor and poet Jesús I. Valles journeys across both sides of a river with two names, moving between languages to find their place as a child, a lover, a teacher, and a sibling in a nation that demands sacrifice at the altar of citizenship. In doing so, they create a new kind of documentation written with anger, fierce love, and the knowledge that what makes us human can never be captured on a government questionnaire.

(Un)Documents is an autobiographical play that charts Valles' childhood in Mexico, their eventual migration to the United States, their early life as an undocumented person and eventual naturalization, the sudden deportation of their older brother, and the aftermath of this devastating event.

Please note:  On Saturday, both the performance and moderated discussion (information below) will be in English with simultaneous Spanish translation.



Con una sola frase, se puede renunciar un país. Con una sola firma, se puede desbaratar a una familia. Con una sola palabra, se puede aprender a transformarse. En su primer solo de teatro de duración larga, (In)Documentos, el galardonado poeta y actor Jesús I. Valles viaja por ambas orillas de un río con dos nombres, transitando entre idiomas para hallar su lugar como niñe, amante, maestre, y hermane en una nación que demanda un sacrificio en el altar de la ciudadanía. Al hacerlo, crea una nueva forma de documentación, escrita con enojo, amor feroz, y el conocimiento que aquello que nos hace humano nunca se puede captar en un formulario de gobierno.

(In)Documentos es una obra autobiográfica que traza la juventud de Valles en México, su eventual migración a los Estados Unidos, su vida de joven persona indocumentada, su naturalización, la partida repentina de su hermano mayor, y las secuelas de este evento devastador.

Tenga en cuenta: el sábado, tanto la presentación como la discusión moderada (información a continuación) serán en inglés con traducción simultánea al español.

On Sat., Aug 19, please join HartBeat for the Just Kin Arts Festival, a celebration by and for queer and (im)migrant artists and organizers imagining and building a world beyond borders and binaries. We're featuring the voices and artwork of members of Hartford Deportation Defense, Vivan Las Autonomas, the Connecticut UndocuFund, and Husky for Immigrants. Varun Khattar Sharma and Danilo Machado, Producers

El sábado 19 de agosto, únase a HartBeat para el Just Kin Arts Festival, una celebración de y para artistas y organizadores queer e (in)migrantes que imaginan y construyen un mundo más allá de las fronteras y los binarios. Presentamos las voces y obras de arte de miembros de Hartford Deportation Defense, Vivan Las Autónomas, Connecticut UndocuFund y Husky for Immigrants. Varun Khattar Sharma y Danilo Machado, Productores 

About the Artist:

Jesús I. Valles (they/them) is a queer Mexican immigrant, educator, writer-performer from Cd. Juarez/El Paso. Jesús is the winner of the  2023 Yale Drama Series (Bathhouse.pptx), selected by Jeremy O. Harris, the winner of the 2022 Kernodle Playwriting Prize (a river, its mouths), and was named the 2022 Emerging Theatre Professional by the National Theatre Conference. Their playwriting work has received awards and support from OUTSider festival, Teatro Vivo, The VORTEX, The Kennedy Center, New York Theatre Workshop, The Latino Theatre Co. at the LATC, and The Flea. They are the recipient of four B. Iden Payne Awards, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama ((Un)Documents, 2018), and Outstanding Original Script ((Un)Documents, 2018) and were nominated for the 2019 Mark David Cohen New Play Award ((Un)Documents, 2019). They starred as (not) Penny Marshall in New York Theatre Workshop's Pinching Pennies with Penny Marshall: Death Rituals for Penny Marshall, written by Victor I. Cazares. Jesús is the 2021 CantoMundo fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, a 2021 Lambda Literary fellow, a 2019 Walter E. Dakin Playwriting Fellow of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a recipient of the 2019 Letras Latinas Scholarship from the Community of Writers’ Poetry Workshop, and a 2019 poetry fellow at Idyllwild Arts Writers Week. Jesús is also a 2018 Undocupoets Fellow, a 2018 Tin House Scholar, and a fellow of The 2018 Poetry Incubator. Their work has been published in Shade Literary, The Texas Review, The New Republic, Palabritas, The Acentos Review, Quarterly West, The Mississippi Review, Palette, The Adroit Journal, BOAAT, The McNeese Review, and PANK. Their poetry has also been featured on NPR’s Code Switch, The Slowdown, The BreakBeat Poets' LatiNext Anthology, the Best New Poets 2020 anthology, and the anthology, Somewhere We Are Human

(Un)Documents is part of HartBeat Ensemble’s (im)Migration 360, a series of convenings, workshops, discussions, and performances interrogating the crises and joys and culture-building around the migration of people within the Americas and from other continents to Connecticut. HartBeat is developing an ever-evolving series of events that seeks to stimulate learning, promote healing and build stronger cross-cultural communities. This program is supported by CT Humanities and the Hartford Foundation for the Arts. Additional support for the Just Kin Festival is provided by the CT Black & Brown Student Union and the People's Saturday School.

(Un)Documents is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies. Additional support is provided by the J. Bissell Foundation, CT Humanities, CT Office of the Arts, Department of Economic and Community Development, National Endowment for the Arts and Travelers. 

Support for Simultaneous Spanish Translation Saturday's performance and moderated conversation provided by Graustein Memorial Fund Grant.


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Carriage House Theater 360 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105
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