Álvaro is certain that an episode of The X-Files he saw while growing up in Puerto Rico has been mysteriously altered since its broadcast, but no one believes him. A darkly compelling tale about the dread of having no one to trust — and how families, and nations, keep circling the places that haunt them.

Reviews of Recent Alien Abductions

“A play that examines the many meanings of ‘alien’.”
The New York Times


“Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas’s heartbroken thriller Recent Alien Abductions weaves a delicate spider’s web.”
Time Out


“The cast is unfailingly strong. A striking work.”
Lighting and Sound America


Listen to The American Theatre’s Podcast Review

FEBRUARY 24 – MARCH 24, 2019

Written & Directed by
Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas

Daniel Duque-Estrada
Vivia Font
Yetta Gottesman
Mia Katigbak
Ronete Levenson
Rafael Sardina

Set Design:
Adam Rigg
Costume Design:
Fabian Fidel Aguilar
Lighting Design:
Amith Chandrashaker
Sound & Original Composition:
Mikaal Sulaiman


46 Walker Street
(Between Broadway and Church St.)
New York, NY 10013

Toshiki Okada

Idea Lab FREE pre-show events

For Recent Alien Abductions, audiences joined us for free “teach-ins” on current issues about the play’s setting, Puerto Rico. The series was hosted at New York Law School, through a partnership with NYLS’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Our inspiration for this series was the Puerto Rico Syllabus, a user-friendly, in-depth guide and robust resource for teaching and learning about the debt crisis facing Puerto Rico and the impact of its colonial history. Developed by project leaders Frances Négron-Muntaner, Sarah Muir, Yarimar Bonilla, Marisol Lebrón, and Sarah Milnari, the Syllabus came out of the Unpayable Debt working group at Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference and was created “to raise critical questions about the role of debt in contemporary capitalism; the relationship between debt, migration, and violence; and the emergence of new political and cultural identities.”

PlayCo hosted five weekend installments, each examining a different topic. We heard from and engage directly with the experts, a few of whom have contributed to the development of the syllabus. 

Saturday, March 2 at 4:30
(Deep) Roots of the Debt Crisis –
The Colonial Context
Led by Marisol LeBrón

Saturday, March 9 at 4:30
The Debt Crisis Era –
How did Puerto Rico become one of the most indebted places in the world?
Led by Ed Morales

Sunday, March 10 at Noon
The Impact of Hurricane Maria –
How the devastation was not a “natural” disaster
Led by Huáscar Robles

Saturday, March 16 at 4:30
The “Emptying Island”   How mass migrations are reconfiguring Puerto Rico and the U.S.
Led by Hector Cordero-Guzman

Saturday, March 23 at 4:30
Debtless Futures –
How the crisis is producing new ways of thinking and acting in the world. 
Led by Monxo López

All of these pre-performance events took place at
New York Law School
185 West Broadway, Tribeca


PLUS: Playback after-show discussions: Friday, 3/8; Tuesday, 3/12; Sunday, 3/17. These discussions took place at the Theatre.

Toshiki Okada

is a theater-maker based in New York. His most recent plays include Bird in the Hand (Fulcrum, New York Times Critics Pick) and Blind Mouth Singing (NAATCO, New York Times Critics Pick). His many awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts (three years), and the Helen Merrill Award, among others. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists and a NYTW Usual Suspect.

Toshiki Okada

DANIEL DUQUE-ESTRADA (Néstor) is thrilled to be making his New York debut. He has been a resident actor at the Dallas Theater Center and at Trinity Repertory Company, where he currently works, as well as two seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He holds an MFA from Brown University/Trinity Rep. Para mi familia, como siempre…

Toshiki Okada

VIVIA FONT (Ana) PlayCo: villa; Wild Project. Other NYC: underneathmybed Rattlestick, Fernando The New Ohio, Romeo & Juliet NY Classical Theatre. Regional includes: Bad Dates Cincinnati Playhouse, Native Gardens Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival(2 seasons) The Old Globe, Denver Center, NJ Rep. Other work with Ensemble Studio Theatre, PlayOn!, Playwrights Realm, Primary Stages, The Public, Clubbed Thumb, New Dramatists, The Lark & others. Film and TV: One Life to Live, Sarbanes Oxley, Love;Repeat.

Toshiki Okada

YETTA GOTTESMAN (Beba) LA Theater: The Power of Duff (Geffen Playhouse), El Nogalar (Fountain Theater). Select N.Y. Theater: Underneath My Bed (Rattlestick Theater) The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (World Premiere, The Public Theater written by Stephen Adly Guirgis/ dir. Philip Seymour Hoffman) Touch (Women’s Project), Where’s My Money? (World Premiere, written & directed by John Patrick Shanley). Regional: Mariela in the Desert (Denver Center Theater, Ovation Award Nomination), The Cook (Seattle Rep) Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (Hartford Stage). Film and TV credits include: The Last Thing He Wanted; Driven; Sex, Death and Bowling; Rabbit Hole; 27 Dresses, The Oath, Startup, Nurse Jackie, Sex and the City, Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Member of Labyrinth Theater Company and The Actors Studio.

Toshiki Okada

MIA KATIGBAK (Olga) Selected NYC: Henry VI (NAATCO, St. Clair Bayfield Award); Trial of the Catonsville Nine (Transport Group); Scenes From a Marriage (NYTW); Dear Elizabeth (Women’s Project); Awake and Sing! (NAATCO, Obie Award). Other NYC: Ma-Yi, New Group, Foundry, New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, Target Margin. Humana Festival’s Recent Alien Abductions. 2017 Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement; Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theater; IT Artistic Achievement Award. Artistic Producing Director and co-founder of NAATCO.

Toshiki Okada

RONETE LEVENSON (Patria) Television/Film: Law & Order: SVU; Possible Side Effects (dir. Tim Robbins); Taking Woodstock; and recurring on House of Lies (Showtime). Off-Broadway: Our Town (w/David Cromer); What Once We Felt (LCT3); Origin Story (Public Theater); Blood Play (Bushwick Starr); Stunning (NYTW). Regional: Humana Festival (2 seasons); Our Town (w/Helen Hunt); Bus Stop (IRNE Award Winner); August: Osage County (dir. Sam Gold). Directed and scored the documentary Life Through a Lens (LA Reel Film Festival Award Winner).

Toshiki Okada

RAFAEL SARDINA (Álvaro) is excited to be making his debut with the Play Company. Favorite credits include: Sea of Tranquility (Atlantic Theater Company); Of Mice and Men (Westport Country Playhouse); and Jorge Cortiñas’ Sleepwalkers (Alliance Theatre Company). He received his MFA in Theater from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; Rafael has also trained with Terry Schreiber, Ron Van Lieu, and Marci Phillips. Favorite film and TV credits include: The Brave One with Jodie Foster; Law and Order (SVU and CI!); and War of the Worlds directed by childhood hero Steven Spielberg. Rafael lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.

Toshiki Okada


has presented solo-projects at Art in General in New York and the Espai 13 of Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions in New York City, including Neighbors at the Bronx Museum, Greater New York (2016) at MoMA/PS1, La Bienal (2013) at El Museo del Barrio, Fremde Überall/Foreigners Everywhere (2013) at the Jewish Museum, Vienna,  Autopsia de lo invisible(2008) at MALBA in Buenos Aires, Import/Export (2005) at RISD Museum in Providence and Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self (2003) at the International Center of Photography. He was a grant recipient of an Art Matters grant, and earned a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts and an MFA from Columbia University. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Poster photography: Signal (1999) by Ignacio González-Lang

The Play Company proudly recognizes our Community Partners

Toshiki Okada


World Premiere in the 2017 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. 

Recent Alien Abductions was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons with funds provided by The New York State Council on the Arts. The script received development from Fulcrum Theater, efforts that were supported in part by the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Ford Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. Special thanks also to New Dramatists, NYTW and The Corporation of Yaddo.


Poster photography: Signal (1999) by Ignacio González-Lang


PlayCo does not usually offer advisories about our plays as we understand sensitivities vary and each theatergoer reacts differently. If you have questions, please contact our offices at 212-398-2977.