About the Play

Thistle centers on the testimony of a survivor, Rufina Amaya.  Over the course of three days in December 1981, the army of El Salvador killed everyone they could in Rufina’s village, El Mozote.  Rufina escaped but witnessed the massacre.  From her hiding place, a single apple tree, she watched as her neighbors and family, including her husband and four youngest children—aged 9, 5, 3, and 8 months—were killed.  She crawled to safety through cactus plants that tore her dress and skin apart.

Although reports of the massacre at El Mozote surfaced in the media as early as January, 1982, thanks to the heroic reporting of a few American journalists, it took nearly ten years for the U.S.—and the rest of the world—to officially acknowledge the massacre.

Thistle is both Rufina’s story and an exploration of how we react to the discovery of new, terrible information.  The play uses the act of tuning into radio as a metaphor for closer listening.  Once we are tuned in, and hearing the full, terrible extent of the event, what is to be done?  How shall we proceed?  What are our responsibilities?

Director: Tom Dugdale, San Diego

Thistle runs on Monday, Nov 12 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, Nov 17 at 7:30 pm. Click on date for tickets.


About 3rd Space Theatre Collective
3rd Space Theatre Collective is a new San Diego based theatre company, born from a shift of Stone Soup Theatre Company and reflecting the expanded vision for the company by the induction of new artist collaborators. 3rd Space’s new mission is to create adventurous theatrical work. The ensemble is dedicated to giving life to our core member’s projects through rigorous practice and intentional exchange with theatre and education communities further afield, thus increasing San Diego’s presence on the national and international theatre scene, as well as providing an opportunity for San Diego’s audiences to experience a wider theatrical vocabulary. 3rd Space Theatre Company is Judy Bauerlein, Lisa Berger, Carrie Klewin, Erika Beth Phillips and Rebecca Johannsen