A play by Augusto Federico Amador

Atacama is a two-person play about a man and a woman who meet in the northern Chilean desert while searching for bone fragments of loved ones disappeared by the Pinochet regime,  and find a deep and unsettling connection that shakes their souls. 

WHEN: August 9 - 25, 2024 | Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 pm.; Sunday at 2:00 pm.

COST: $25 General admission, $15 Limited Income

>> Purchase tickets online or call 505-424-1601 for reservations (pay at door) <<


Teatro Paraguas presented the world premiere of the play in September 2018, commemorating the 45th anniversary of the brutal coup d'etat staged by General Pinochet. The production was directed by the late Juliet Salazar, with Bernadette Peña as Ignacia and James Chavez as Diego.

To honor Ms. Salazar as a "talented, inspiring, deep thinking, and funny woman," Bernadette Peña decided to direct a new production of the play. James Chavez returns in the role of Diego, and JoJo Sena Tarnoff plays Ignacia.

Augusto Federico Amador was born and raised in the Silicon Valley and is the son of an accomplished Peruvian jazz composer and an Austrian mother who is a master chef. Among his innumerable awards, Mr. Amador was awarded the prestigious Lincoln City Fellowship from Speranza Foundation for playwriting. The play was a finalist in both the Austin Latinx New Play Festival and the San Diego Latinx New Play Festival.  It was one of nine finalists in the 2018 BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition (in the English as a first language division).  Atacama received a staged reading at Wake Forest University in 2023, and last March at Urban Stages in New York under the direction of José Zayas. Atacama was translated into Spanish and published by Teatro Sin Paredes in Mexico City in 2023 in an anthology which included plays by Caridad Svich and Quiara Algeria Hudes.

A lover and creator of dance, Bernadette Peña spent most of her career in public high school dance and theatre education, as well as curriculum and community development. Her work spans over 34 years in which she directed numerous plays, musicals and dance recitals. She lead her students in award winning dance, theater, film and tech programs and recently retired from NMSA where she taught health/wellness, fitness, gifted and restructured curriculum for a more  diverse and inclusive dance program as a Co-Chair for the NMSA Dance Department. At Teatro Paraguas, Ms. Peña has acted in In The Time The Butterflies, Cascarones, and Atacama.

James Chavez has served as the Performing Arts Rental Manager at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque since 2004. He appeared in Teatro Paraguas' premiere performance of Sucio's Frog in 2006 at El Museo Cultural in Santa Fe, and again at the NHCC in 2011. He has coached soccer at Cochiti Pueblo and at Sandia Prep, and is currently coaching his granddaughter at South Valley Soccer Club.

JoJo Sena Tarnoff is a founding member of Teatro Paraguas, and currently serves as the Board President. She has directed and acted in innumerable plays at TP, and is the director of Umbrella Children's Theatre. She and her husband Jeff Tarnoff helm the jazz fusion band Melange.

This project is made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Santa Fe Arts and Culture and the 1% Lodger’s Tax, Santa Fe Community Foundation, and the National Latinx Theater Initiative.