Co-Created by Satya Jnani Chávez & Andrew Rosendorf

Transcreation by Mari Meza-Burgos

“To Gerardo Chávez, a man who defied the limitations of borders,
surpassing all expectations of what a brown body crossing
a border could be, and setting an example for all of us seeking
refuge in our own American Dreams. Thank you for all of the
support you provided behind the scenes as a translator, poet,
and endless inspiration to drive this work forward.”

The theatrical event of the season, Refuge weaves passionate and driving original music with the charm of artistic puppetry to share a bilingual tale of determination, grit, and hope. Magical realism allows this multi-disciplinary play to tackle the immigration crisis through a beautiful, unique lens. Chronicling the harrowing journey of one young Honduran girl as she crosses the US border into the inhospitable, barren land of Texas, Refuge is an exploration of empathy and of America – who we are and who we say we are.

Run Time: 1 hr 45 min

No Intermission

Click here to view the digital playbill!

Commissioned and Developed by Curious Theatre Company.

Edgerton Foundation New Play Award recipient.

Dates & Times

DateTimeAdditional Information

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Articles to Read

Resources to Stay Educated & Up-to-Date

Local and National Organizations to Continue the Conversation

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Curious Theatre Company and The Denver Public Library recommends these library resources to enhance your theatre experience of REFUGE!


The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú 

Told in three progressively more soul-searching parts, Francisco Cantú’s memoir of his nearly four years as a border patrol agent describes the borderlands and his work there with a raw-nerved tenderness that seems to have been won from both the landscape and, disconcertingly, the violence he was implicated in.



Crossing Arizona, dir. Daniel DeViv and Joseph Mathew (2006) 

This timely documentary reveals the complicated dilemmas presented by the US/Mexico border crisis, and the surprising political stances people take when immigration policy fails everyone. The film has screened around the world, garnering 8 international awards and honors. Stream it on Kanopy, free to all Denver residents with your library card.



Immigration Nation by Charlie Porter

Refuge features passionate original music and so too does this jazz album. The songs combine the influences of immigrants in America as heard through saxophone, piano, bass, and drums. Porter’s expressive style follows the intricacies of the immigrant experience, the combined hope and fear, the yearning, and the angst. Let the music move you as dramatically as the play does.



Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Although a bit darker than Refuge, this well-known gothic horror novel tells an alternate story on abandoned children with only each other to rely on. Chris, Cathy, and the twins are to be kept hidden until their grandfather dies so that their mother will receive a sizable inheritance, however, years pass and terrifying things occur as the four children grow up in their one room prison. Read by award-winning actress Mena Suvari.


CBP: Customs & Border Patrol Agency
Coyote: human smuggler
Chupacabra: myth, legend of a demon thought
to suck blood
Cutting the sign: tracking
Hither thither: the disturbance of the Earth from
human or something else
Mesquite: thorny “trash trees” of the desert
Saint Toribio Romo: the patron saint of immigrants
Tonk: slur used by Border Patrol & others referring
to the sound a Maglite makes when hitting the head
of an undocumented migrant
Victoria [Texas]: shorthand for the May 2003 tragedy
where 19 undocumented migrants died crossing the
border in a tractor trailer
Yuma [Arizona]: shorthand for the tragedy in
May 2001 where 14 undocumented migrants died
crossing the border

In Media

  • Curious Theatre’s latest play, about migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, is still relevant, despite debuting years after its scheduled premiere

    The play uses puppetry, music and lingual storytelling to inspire empathy for those making the harrowing journey across the U.S.-Mexico border...REFUGE tells the story of a Honduran teenage girl making the journey across the U.S.-Mexico border to reunite with her mother, who crossed the border years back and is now...

  • “REFUGE”A Story Of Pursuit, Danger, & Empathy, Now Thru April 9th At Denver’s Curious Theatre

    Superb, astonishing, open and direct, a must see, were just a few of the accolades following the opening night of the world premiere of REFUGE at the Denver’s Curious Theatre March 5, 2022. The five minute rousing standing ovation at the end of the production was a further testament to the excellence of this heart wrenching, thought provoking play...

  • Marlowe's Musings

    Hat’s off to director Dee Covington and her cast and crew for their compassionate and creative opus, “Refuge.” Curious Theatre is once again helping with humanitarian awareness. This time it’s all about what’s going on regarding the men and women who undertake a formidable migratory journey to cross borders to find...

  • “REFUGE” Beautifully Unwraps the Harrowing Crisis for Migrants Crossing the Border

    Each year, hundreds of migrants lose their lives attempting to cross the border, including a record 650-plus migrant deaths in 2021. To cross the border, refugees have to trek through the desert, an unrelenting landscape not suitable for almost any form of life. People die of starvation, dehydration, heat exhaustion and animal attacks during journeys that can take months. REFUGE tells their story. An original Curious Theatre Co. Production, REFUGE celebrated its world premiere on March 5. Co-created by Satya Jnani Chavez and Andrew Rosendorf, the play follows three people and two animals on their individual fights for survival and safety in Southern Texas...

  • Review: “Refuge” is a gripping border story that focuses on people, not politics

    In “Refuge,” the haunting and grounded new play at Curious Theatre Company, someone we care about will die. That is not a spoiler so much as an acknowledgment that the territory on which the work unfolds can be unforgiving and hungry. Set in the fictional border town of Desolation, Texas, “Refuge” tells the story of the wary meeting of a Honduran migrant trying to get to her mother in the United States and the rancher whose land she wanders onto. With the evocative music of Mari Meza-Burgos, beguiling animal puppets and some poignant-prickly performances, “Refuge” carves out a space to feel...