i put the fear of mexico in 'em

by  Matthew Paul Olmos

Full Length Play, Drama  /  2m, 3f

An American couple on holiday in Tijuana stumble off the beaten path, and are accosted by a Mexican couple in an alley.

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i put the fear of mexico in 'em

by  Matthew Paul Olmos

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 3f
  • Duration


    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre


  • Accolades


    Sundance Storytelling Fellowship
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

When Jonah and Adray cross the border into Tijuana for a quick vacation, they stumble off the beaten path and come face to face with a Mexican couple in an alley. What ensues is a humorous and complex dance that explores and challenges notions of boundaries, safety and identity.

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  • ***Received the 2009 Sundance Institute Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship Award.***


"What ensues is a complex encounter that challenges notions of boundary, safety, identity and what you would do for your family. It's a dissection of difference, of connection, of the borders and barriers we use to distance ourselves, and those dangerous moments when we cross over those borders and barriers." - Philip Himberg, Artistic Director - Sundance Institute

“An American couple is taken hostage in Matt Olmos’ frightening trip through a real and imagined Mexico. Olmos’ writing is both hallucinatory and brutal. His story of an American couple’s nightmare is not at all different from America’s nightmare with its ever present neighbor.” - Rogelio Martinez, playwright


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Drugs Drugs
  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots
  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.



  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Setting:

    The sort of alley you're not supposed to go down in Tijuana, Mexico. 

  • Additional Features: Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)


2m, 3f

EFREN – mexican, 37
JUANA – mexican, 30
ADRAY (uh-dray) – güera, 34
JONAH – güero, 34
VIVIA – female
All Other Characters – mexican

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Cast Attributes

  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)


Available Services



Matthew Paul Olmos

Matthew Paul Olmos was born and raised in Los Angeles to a police officer and Labor/Delivery nurse. He is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient (2014 Lab, 2013 UCROSS, 2009 Time Warner Storytelling Fellow), New Dramatists Resident Playwright, the 2012 Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting and w ...

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I Put the Fear of Mexico in 'em received its world premiere with Teatro Vista at Chicago Dramatists in Chicago, IL on November 4, 2012.

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